How Big Can A Hamster Get?

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How big can a hamster get

Hamsters are one of America’s and the UK’s most popular pets. Not only are they incredibly cute, but their small size means they are quite affordable to buy, feed and maintain. Hamsters primarily eat grains, fruits, and vegetables and they tend to drink lots of water. Hamsters are nocturnal, meaning that they sleep during the day and are awake during the night. 

When it comes to how big a hamster can get, that will depend on several factors. For instance, the species of hamster will affect how large it can grow. It will also be reliant on other factors, such as lifestyle and diet. If a hamster is fed a lot of food, it will tend to be larger than one that isn’t.

Likewise, if a hamster has an unhealthy diet, it will probably be heavier. Some species of hamster will even differ depending on the gender of the hamster. For many breeds, the male is larger and heavier than the female – as explained here.

Of course, this is not always the case. Like humans, the size of a hamster will also be reliant on genetics. Larger parents will frequently have larger children. Therefore, if a hamster’s parents are small, any children they have are likely to be small hamsters. 

The breed of the hamster is the most influential factor that will affect the size of your hamster. Below we have gone through some of the most popular breeds to inform you of what is the average size of each hamster. 

Dwarf Hamster

The dwarf hamster breed is the smallest domestic hamster. Dwarf hamsters are often sociable animals. There are two main kinds of dwarf hamsters, namely Roborovski and Russian.

Roborovski dwarf hamsters tend to only be around 4 to 5 centimeters in length. They tend to weigh about 20 to 25 grams. In terms of appearance, Roborovski hamsters regularly have brown fur and white bellies. 

Russian dwarf hamsters tend to be slightly larger, approximately 7 to 10 centimeters. They traditionally weigh roughly 30 grams. Both Russian and Roborovski dwarf hamsters are regularly fairly active and energetic, though the latter is more so than the former (Russian dwarfs).

Russian dwarf hamsters have fur that is a brownish or grayish hue. They might even have darker stripes on their backs and whitish bellies. Russian hamsters can be kept in pairs, usually of the same gender to prevent breeding. 

Chinese Hamster

These hamsters can be easily recognized by their long tails. They tend to have brown fur, with stripes or ticks. In terms of size, they will be about 7.5 to 9 centimeters long. Often, the Chinese hamster will weigh in the region of 50 to 80 grams. They are thought to be a very intelligent species of hamster. 

Syrian Hamster

A popular choice of pet, the Syrian hamster is quite a friendly creature. They are known as the golden hamster due to the color of their fur. Despite this, not all Syrian hamsters will have golden fur. Affectionate and relatively easy to tame, you can understand why these cute pets are so popular. 

The Syrian hamster is noticeably bigger than dwarf hamsters, growing to around 15 centimeters in length. In terms of weight, the Syrian hamster can range from 85 grams to 150 grams. This is much larger than the dwarf hamsters. They are solitary creatures and, as a result, tend to be kept alone. 

European Hamster

The larger hamster species is the European hamster. These hamsters are not kept as pets. They are wild and not domesticated. Unfortunately, this hamster is considered an endangered species. They can be about 25 to 30 centimeters in length. Male European hamsters are often larger and heavier than females. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Biggest A Hamster Can Be?

As stated above, the largest species is the European hamster. These do not tend to be domesticated pets though. In terms of pets, the largest domestic hamsters tend to only be around 15 centimeters.  Our hamster Oscar was actually small for a Syrian and could easily fit in our pockets.

What Size Hamster Cage Should I Get?

Hamsters should be given plenty of space to move about in and to live. The minimum sized cage you should get for a hamster is dependent on the breed. Essentially, larger hamsters will require more space.

It has been recommended that the Syrian hamster have 150 square inches of square feet, at the very least. In terms of height, it should be at least 19 centimeters tall. This will give the hamster lots of room. 

Of course, dwarf hamsters will require less room, so you can invest in a smaller cage. When buying a hamster cage, you will also have to think about what kind you want. There are wire, wooden, and plastic cages available. 

For more information on which cage to choose take a look at our review of the best hamster cages.

What Hamster Breed Is The Most Friendly?

Most hamsters are quite friendly. By taking good care of your hamster, you can develop a strong bond with them. Syrian hamsters are renowned for being sociable and friendly. If you are looking for a hamster to forge a good relationship with, the Syrian hamster is an excellent choice.

Of course, the answer to this question will also depend on the individual hamster and how much you are prepared to handle them. For instance, while the Syrian hamster is considered a personable breed, there will still be individual Syrian hamsters who are not very friendly or not used to being picked up.  

If you would like to know how to tame your hamster, then check out our step by step guide.

Final Thoughts

The size that a hamster will grow to become will depend heavily on its species. Of course, there are other factors that will impact this too. As previously mentioned, considerations such as gender, diet, lifestyle, and genetics will also play a part in the size of your hamster.

An important point to take away from this is that you must make sure that you have a cage that is suitable for your hamster species, otherwise, it may be too small for them. 

If your hamster appears to be bigger or smaller than this guide, that is nothing to worry about. As long as they seem healthy and they have a good diet, there is nothing to be concerned about. This is merely a rough estimate of the sizes each breed of hamster tends to be. 

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