Coming from a large subfamily of rodents, the Chinese hamster is most commonly used as a companion animal around the world for its small size and easy care. However, this species is prohibited in Brazil due to legislation regarding the importation of live specimens. Keep reading to know everything about the Chinese Hamster .
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The Chinese Hamster is, as its name suggests, coming from the deserts of northeastern China and Mongolia. This hamster breed was domesticated for the first time in 1919 and its history began as a laboratory animal. Years later, the Chinese hamster was replaced by bowls easier to care for and it was at that time that it gained popularity as a pet.
It is a long and thin rodent that has a small prehensile tail of 1 centimeter. It has a certain resemblance to the common mouse, although it measures about 10 or 12 centimeters at most, weighing between 35 and 50 grams approximately.
Dark eyes, open ears and innocent eyes make the Chinese hamster a very cherished pet. They exhibit some sexual dysmorphism, since the male is usually larger than the female, having a slightly decompensated testicle for his body.
The Chinese hamster is usually two-colored, reddish brown or grayish brown, although it is possible to find black and white specimens on rare occasions. The upper part of your body has lines, as well as a black fringe from the front and along the spine, ending at the tail.
Once domesticated, the Chinese hamster is a perfect pet who will not hesitate to climb into the hands or sleeves of the tutor and thus enjoy their caresses and care. They are very intelligent and playful animals that enjoy the contact with their tutor.
They are somewhat unpredictable in relation to members of their own species, for they can behave territorially since they are accustomed to being solitary animals (it is not advisable to join them to groups of the same sex). If you have large groups, the guardian should always be vigilant because aggressions or disputes can arise.
You will find, on the market, a wide variety of products from different brands including various seeds to feed your Chinese hamster. Their content should include oats, wheat, maize, rice and barley. They should be high in fiber and low in fat.
You can add fruits and vegetables to your diet, such as cucumber, tomato, zucchini, spinach or lentils, as well as apples, pears, bananas or peaches. You can also add small amounts of nuts such as hazelnuts, walnuts or peanuts. In the case of pups, pregnant mothers, nursing mothers or the elderly, may include oats with milk in the diet.
In nature, it feeds on herbs, sprouts, seeds and even insects.
Chinese hamsters are very active animals and therefore must have a cage of at least 50 x 35 x 30 centimeters. His great obsession with climbing requires a two-story cage, suspension toys, a large wheel, and even a hallway so you can have fun when you’re not with him.
Then you can check out a list of the most common Chinese hamster diseases:
- Tumors : In old age, your hamster is likely to experience tumors.
- Cannibalism : If your Chinese hamster suffers from protein deficiencies, you can resort to cannibalism with your own babies or with members of your own habitat.
- Fleas and lice : The guardian should not worry about the appearance of these insects if the animal lives indoors.
- Paralysis of the hind legs : If you have suffered a significant fall, the hamster may show paralysis of the hind legs because of the shock, although it usually regains mobility after resting.
- Pneumonia : If your hamster is exposed to strong drafts or low temperatures, you may be suffering from pneumonia that can be identified by nosebleeds. Provide a warm and relaxed environment for your recovery.
- Fractures : After suffering a sip or a fall, your hamster may break some bone. Usually a period of 2 – 3 weeks is enough to cure yourself.
- Diabetes : Very common if we do not feed the animal correctly, also due to hereditary causes.
Portaria 93/98, which deals with the import and export of live specimens, products and by-products of Brazilian wild fauna and exotic wildlife leaves the import of Hamsters, and this species can not be brought to Brazil.