The Roborovski hamster, or Robo for short, is the smallest domestic hamster breed. Also known as the desert hamster, Robos are native to the deserts of North China and Mongolia. Though they are small in size, they only grow to 4cm in length, these hamsters are known for their large reserves of energy and quick speed. Due to their energetic nature, Roborovski hamsters make popular pets among small pet enthusiasts.
Besides from the Roborovksi’s small size, they have other characteristics that make them unique small pets. Robo hamsters have a distinct sandy-brown coat that helps them blend in with their natural environment. Their sandy coat also has an adorable patch of white fur on the forehead. This distinguishing detail helps set them apart from other species of hamster.
Hamsters are nocturnal and are primarily active at night. The same rings true for Roborovski hamsters. They’ve evolved to forage for food in the cover of the night to avoid predators during the day. However, as a pet you may find your Robo is active throughout the day. Be careful when letting them out of their cage as their small size and quick speed make them quite difficult to catch. If you do take them out of their cage it is recommended to set up a safe play area for them to roam about freely.
When keeping a Roborovski hamster as a pet it is important to make sure their cage has ample room for them to move around. Though they are smaller than other breeds of hamster, they need the same amount, if not more, space. Make sure to get a cage that’s at a minimum two square feet. That being said if you have more space you can allocate to your small pet, they will greatly benefit from it. Also make sure their cage is equipped with various places for them to hide and toys to keep them entertained. Above all else though, make sure they have a wheel that’s at least 6.5 inches in diameter to run on.
Like other species of hamster, Roborovskis are omnivores. They will benefit from a balanced diet of fruits, veggies, grains, and seeds. You can also supplement their diet with insects and other animal proteins in small doses. Make sure they have access to fresh water at all times too. I prefer a water bottle as opposed to a standing water dish as the bottle keeps the water supply clean and prevents the buildup of bacteria.
Like all hamster species, its best to keep your Robo in an enclosure by themselves. Hamsters are extremely territorial and multiple hammies in the same cage can lead to fighting. Roborovski hamsters are also the nippiest of the domesticated hamster breeds. Take time to get to know your hamster and be careful with them while handling.
When it comes to small pets, Roborovski hamsters make for a unique, adorable experience. It can be quite fun to watch them zoom around their cage. With their low maintenance and energetic personalities, they’d make a wonderful addition to any hamster seeking home.