101 Interesting facts about Roborovski Hamsters

Chinese Hamster Curled up

Want to learn more about Roborovski hamsters? We have put together a list of fun, interesting facts about Roborovski hamsters.

Fact 1: The average lifespan of a Roborovski hamster is around 2 to 3 years, some hamsters of this breed have actually been known to live up to four years in captivity.

Fact 2: Roborovskis are a breed of dwarf hamsters that have been growing in popularity since being imported to pet store around the world.

Fact 3: The Lifespan of a wild Roborovski is only two years at max. This is largely due to them being prey animals and living in a harsh environment.

Fact 4: This breed has an efficient use of water that lets them survive for long periods of time in the desert.

Fact 5: To help them survive they have the ability to concentrate their urine.

Fact 6: In the wild, these hamsters actually live in burrows and are known to dig up to 6 feet underground to help avoid predators.

Fact 7: When in the wild these hamsters are most active at dawn and dusk.

Fact 8: It has been recorded that this hamster can run up to 100 miles a night. In fact, it’s actually a common occurrence to see this breed travel miles each night.

Fact 9: The incredible 100 miles this hamster can run is equal to around 4 human marathons.

Fact 10: This breed of hamsters actually discovered in 1894 by a Russian explorer named Lt. Vsevolod Roborovski who the breed was named after.

Fact 11: Even though this breed was discovered in 1894 it wasn’t until 9 years later in 1903 scientists actually started studying the breed,

Fact 12: This breed is originating from the deserts of Mongolia, China, Tuva a region of lower Russia, and Kazakhstan.

Fact 13: This is the smallest breed of hamster in the world. The adult Roborovski hamster only grows to 1.8 to 2.0 inches in size.

Fact 14: When compared to the Syrian hamster this breed is only a third of their size.

Fact 15: Thanks to their small size this breed of hamster only weighs in at about 20–25 grams at an adult age.

Fact 16:  A newborn Roborovski only weighs around 1 gram to 2.1 grams.

Fact 17: When this breed is born many are only .8 of an inch big making them a very delicate baby.

Fact 18: The scientific name or binomial name of this hamster is Phodopus roborovskii or  P. roborovskii for short.

Fact 19: Surprising to most owners these hamsters are omnivores instead of herbivores. These rodents can feed on either vegetation or small bugs local to their natural habitat.

Fact 20: While they can eat insects, they prefer to only eat them in small quantities when vegetation isn’t available.

Fact 21: The bugs you may see a wild Roborovski eating are crickets, earwigs, and small beetles. There have also been some cases of the hamster eating snails.

Fact 22: Believe it or not, the Mongolian Roborovski may mostly feed on insects. There are burrows throughout the Mongolian habitat to back these claims.

Fact 23: The China-based Roborovski can be found foraging for millet a treat that is mostly associated with birds.

Fact 24: These hamsters can be found in Tuva primarily living on seeds with very little if any vegetation added into their diets.

Fact 25: Scientist check the diet of the hamster by looking into their cheek pouches. This gives us a clear window into the breeds preferred diet in different regions.

Fact 26: Like many animals, this breed like to hide out in the colder months where food will become scarce.

Fact 27:  For most of the winter, these hamsters will stay underground with the stash of food they gathered throughout the warmer months.

Fact 28: Most hamsters have a special storage room in there burrow where they will keep their stash of food for the winter.

Fact 29: The amount of food a Roborovski takes in is entirely dependent on the individual hamster’s body weight.

Fact 30: Juvenile hamsters intake more food than adult hamsters. This is because their body needs the extra food to promote growth.

Fact 31: Konstantin A. Satunin was the first to study the hamsters.

Fact 32: The breed was first imported into Britain in 1960s where they were kept at the London Zoo. These imported hamsters were not used for the study

Fact 33: In fact, the first Roborovski hamsters studied in Britain weren’t imported until the 1970s.

Fact 34: The study hamsters were imported from the Moscow Zoo, sadly none of the captive hamsters were able to produce offspring.

Fact 35: Many of the Roborovski hamsters you find in Britain today are descendants of a batch imported from the Netherlands who had more success with breeding.

Fact 36: This batch of breeding hamsters wasn’t imported until the 1990s.

Fact 37: This breed didn’t make it into the United States until 1998, making them a rare breed of pet at the time.

Fact 38: A country this breed is surprisingly popular in is South Korea. The Roborovski is one of the most common breeds sold in pet stores.

Fact 39: If you would like to see this breed in the wild though you can stay in Yulin, Shaanxi a city in China where the hamsters often roam around freely.

Fact 40: This breed lacks the common dorsal stripe found in similar breeds of hamster.

Fact 41: There are 10 variations recorded of the Roborovski hamster.

Fact 42: These variations aren’t recognized in all countries, in fact, some countries are still debating the number of variations in this breed.

Fact 43: The first of these variations is the white-face. Like the name suggests the face of the hamster will be colored white. 

Fact 44: There is a variation of this hamster that has red eyes. This is one of the rarer variations and is extremely hard to breed for.

Fact 45: Agouti is one of the more common variations, these Roborovski hamsters appear to have white eyebrows and have a sandy coloring.

Fact 46: Husky is another a variation with a paler coat and a white face.

Fact 47: This breed of hamster does have a pure white variation.

Fact 48: There is a black version of this breed that was first bred in Finland.

Fact 49:  Another cute, but interesting variation has a single spot of color on the hamster head.

Fact 50: There is also a variation that turns almost completely white as it matures, it’s called the platinum Roborovski.

Fact 51: The final variation of this breed has white spots that are randomly placed all along the hamster body.

Fact 52: The black and blue genes are both still currently being studied by breeders.

Fact 53: The White Face breed along with breeds that have been bred off of them are outlawed in some countries.

Fact 54: Germany and Austria have labeled these variations as inhumane breeding. This is because there is some evidence involving this variation and serious health issues.

Fact 55: Baby Roborovski hamster are born completely void of fur. This breed won’t start to show signs of fur growth until after 5 days.

Fact 56: It will take around two weeks for the baby hamsters eyes to open, until this point they are almost completely defenseless.

Fact 57: The average litter size for this breed is 6 babies at a time. Some litters can have as many as 9 babies while others may have as little as 3.

Fact 58: A female Roborovski hamster can become pregnant again within days after giving birth.

Fact 59: It takes around 22 days for a Roborovski hamster to go through pregnancy and give birth.

Fact 60: In the wild breeding season is between April to September. In captivity, this breed tends to produce offspring all year round.

Fact 61: Thinking of bringing home a Roborovski? Remember that these hamsters are better for watching then interacting with. This is due to the fact they can’t sit still. 

Fact 62: This limited level of interaction makes this breed one of the worst for young children who want to interact with their new pet.

Fact 63: When a Roborovski does interact with you they prefer to explore your body. You are likely to find this breed trying to climb up and down your clothes.

Fact 64: If a pet store tells you this breed is hypoallergenic don’t believe it. There have been several cases of allergies popping up with this breed.

Fact 65: Remember that while this is one of the smallest breeds of hamster they need tons of room to work out their energy.

Fact 66: This is a breed that hates being held, they will try to run away every chance they get.

Fact 67: The smallest habitat this breed of hamster should live in is 20 inches by 12 inches. The more room the better!

Fact 68: Thanks to this breeds small size, you will need to pay extra attention to bar spacing. Roborovski are safest in an aquarium where they have no chance of escape.

Fact 69: Unlike some other breeds, you can house two Roborovski hamster together. This, of course, will still depend on the individual temperament of the hamster.

Fact 70: Doubling the space of an environment is recommended when housing multiple hamsters. This greatly reduces the chance of aggression.

Fact 71: It’s best to raise cage mates together rather than add them in later on. The addition of a new hamster can lead to resource or territory guarding.

Fact 72: The breed does well is same-sex pairs with female pairs being the most successful.

Fact 73: Up to three hamsters of this breed can be housed together at the same time without issue.

Fact 74: Be sure to check the sex to avoid surprise babies. The male Roborovski has a visible scent sack and the female has two openings that are close together.

Fact 75: Roborovski hamster shouldn’t be given a traditional bath, in fact, you may want to avoid them getting wet as much as possible.

Fact 76: Bathing a Roborovski can remove important oils from there coat and can be fatal to the breed.

Fact 77: Like the Chinchilla, Roborovski hamsters enjoy taking sands baths. This can clean debris from there fur and be a healthy routine.

Fact 78: The small size of the breed can make finding the perfect wheel daunting. The Roborovski hamster wheel should be no bigger than 6.5 inches.

Fact 79: Sadly, bigger wheels can cause stress in the breed due to the fact the hamsters aren’t heavy enough to properly exercise on it.

Fact 80: This breed also needs a staggeringly small amount of food. An adult Roborovski hamster only needs one tablespoon of food a day. 

Fact 81: These hamsters can’t tolerate citrus fruits or apple seeds.

Fact 82: Roborovski hamsters prefer to scavenge for their food even in captivity. It’s best to scatter food around their cage to create a healthier feeding routine.

Fact 83: Since Roborovskis are omnivores it can be beneficial to feed them mealworms that are commonly sold in pet stores. 

Fact 84: This breed avoids open spaces. This means you will often find them hiding out in their cage decorations.

Fact 85: Thanks to the energetic nature of this breed your hamster can take longer to tame.

Fact 86: The general temperament of this breed is gentle, they rarely nip at their owners.

Fact 87: The California Hamster Association refers to this breed as the “goldfish of the hamster world.” This is due to the general lack of interaction with them.

Fact 88: This is a skittish breed, many Roborovski hamsters will dart away when they feel threatened making them a flight risk when out of the cage.

Fact 89: Many pet stores won’t list the full name of the Roborovski instead, many stores and people simply know them as Robo hamsters.

Fact 90: Many stores list this breed as an easy starter hamster. While this can be true it’s advised to only own a Roborovski once you’ve had a more involved breed.

Fact 91: Millet is a great snack for this breed due to the seeds small size.

Fact 92: Even with their desert origins, these hamsters have a harder time with hot environments than cold ones.

Fact 93: Although not as common today some US states list the breed as an exotic pet.

Fact 94: Once tamed a Roborovski needs to be played with daily to remain comfortable with you. 

Fact 95: Roborovski hamsters have been recorded to be healthier than other breeds.

Fact 96: Females of this breed are more dominant while the males tend to be more submissive. 

Fact 97: Male Roborovski hamsters are known to help raise their young.

Fact 98: This breed tends to thrive better in a single pet household or a household with no predators like cats. 

Fact 99: This breed loves to have accessories added to its environment.

 Fact 100: Experts say to always keep a bowl of play or chinchilla sand in this breeds cage. This gives them a little piece of home.

Fact 101: This breed of hamster is doing wonderful in the wild and is currently on the not concerned section of the endangered species list

Related Questions:

Are Roborovski Hamsters nocturnal? Many people mistake hamsters for being nocturnal but they are actual crepuscular animals. This means they are most active at dust and dawn. Check out our article on this if you would like to know more about their sleeping pattern.

Are Roborovski Hamsters friendly? Each and every Roborovski hamster has a different temperature due to how they have been raised and genetics. Some may bite while others might be extremely friendly.

Are Roborovski Hamsters good pets? These hamsters make great pets. Although they aren’t perfect for younger children, Roborovski hamsters are often very friendly.

Charlotte Silcock

Charlotte lives in the United Kingdom and has worked in animal shelters looking after small animals. She owns a hamster as well as a dog and a cat and hopes to spread her knowledge about rodents to help other pet owners.

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