An Introduction To Hamsters

What are hamsters?

Hamsters are warm-blooded mammals, and more specifically, rodents - and have around 25 breeds. In the wild, hamsters spend their time underground to avoid being caught by their predators. Their diet includes dry food such as nuts, fruits, berries and vegetables. They have really big pouches in their cheeks so they can store food to take back to their home and eat later - very clever!

A hamster's lifespan is normally around 3 years, but some live to 4. They can squeeze themselves into really small places!

What do hamsters look like?

Hamsters have short legs, stout bodies, little furry ears and a tail that is shorter than their body. Their fur can be either short or long and one of a variety of different colours.

One of the hamster's most distinguishing features is their long, sharp teeth which continue to grow throughout their life but are worn down by their love of chewing.

Hamsters have poor eyesight and they are colour blind. What makes up for this though is that hamsters have a brilliant sense of smell and they can hear very well.

History of hamsters

Hamsters originally came from the East - in countries like Mongolia, Bulgaria, Syria or Turkey. Since they are secretive little fellas, it's unclear when they were first discovered. What we do know is that the Syrian Gold hamster first appeared in the UK in the 19th century. Originally used for scientific purposes, hamsters have been bred since.

To find out more about hamsters, take a look at our amazing hamster facts!