Roborovski Hamsters – Facts & Care Guide

The Roborovski hamster is the smallest breed of hamster.  These hamsters are also called Rob or Robo hamsters.

Roborovski hamsters are native to the deserts in central Asia.  They can be found living there among the loose sand and sparse vegetation.  In this region, the temperatures get very hot in the summer and cold in the winter.

To survive in these conditions, the Robo hamsters create burrows deep in the ground.  These tunnels can extend up to six feet deep.

These burrows allow the rodents to sleep, urinate, and store food all while steering clear of predators.  The elaborate tunnels typically have multiple entrances.

Inside of the burrow, the Robo hamsters have areas to sleep as well as store food.  The tunnel also helps to keep the rodents safe from predators.

 

Roborovski Hamster Appearance

An adult Robo hamster typically measures around two inches in length.  Robo hamsters are the smallest type of hamster weighing in less than one ounce.

The Robo hamster can show a variety of colors due to breeding.  However, typical Roborovskis have sandy colored fur.  The stomach of this hamster can be sandy colored or white.

Sandy fur helps the Robo hamsters in their wild habitat.  This coloration helps these rodents to blend in with their surroundings to stay safe from predators.

Many breeds of hamster have a dorsal stripe of different colored hair along their backs.  Roboski hamsters do not have this characteristic.  The absence of the dorsal stripe, along with its smaller size, are the main differences compared to other dwarf hamster breeds.

 

Robo Hamster Behavior

Roborovski hamsters have a mild temperament.  Like most other hamsters, they are very curious and also very fast moving.  It is important to remember this trait if you choose to have a Robo hamster as a pet for young children.

Although Robo hamsters can bite, they tend to be very gentle with humans, making them an excellent pet for your family.  They are social rodents which can be housed well with other same-sex Roborovski hamsters.

These rodents are very entertaining to watch, as they are swift and agile.  Robo hamsters are nocturnal, so they sleep during the day.  In the evening and nighttime hours, you can watch your hamster run and play.

 

Handling Your Roborovski Hamster

Roborovski hamsters are a common breed of dwarf hamsters found at pet stores.  It is essential to follow some guidelines if you choose to bring these small rodents home as a pet.  Be patient and consistent when trying to tame your Robo hamster.

Resist the desire to hold your hamster the first day you bring it home.  Give the new pet a couple of days to adjust to its new surroundings.

Begin to talk to your Roborovski hamster after a few days in a gentle voice.  You can begin to reach your hand in the cage to change the water or replace the food.  This motion gives your new pet time to get used to your hands and voice.

By now, your new pet will be familiar with your presence.  Begin to put your hand in the cage until the Roborovski hamster approaches and sniffs your hand.  You can place a piece of seed in your palm and allow the rodent to crawl up on your hand.

If your Robo hamster does nip your hand or finger, don’t panic!  Slowly move your hand out of the cage and try again later.  You want to be sure not to make sudden movements that will startle the hamster.

Once the hamster feels comfortable enough to approach your hand, gently raise it a few inches in the cage.  It is okay if the Roborovski jumps off of your hand.  Allow it to jump off and try again later.

When your Robo hamster allows you to raise your hand within the cage, you can now begin to pick it up.  Start with a surface below you in case the new friend escapes your grasp.  Gently cup the hamster in the palm of your hand.

Due to the Roborovski’s quick and agile nature, it is crucial that you hold the pet over a surface.  It may be difficult for very young children to handle a Robo hamster.

 

Housing Your Roborovski Hamster

Pet stores sell a large selection of hamster cages.  Roborovski hamsters are tiny.  Choosing a plastic cage or aquarium to house your new pet will help ensure your new pet won’t slip through metal bars.

The Robo hamster may be small in size, but your new pet needs plenty of room to run and play.  A 24-inch by 12-inch cage is a suitable size to house your new friend.

At a local pet store, you can find ceramic huts that make great sleeping areas for your Robo hamster.  You will also find many toys for your hamster to play with to stay occupied.  One excellent option is a wooden bridge.

Be sure to check any wooden toys often to ensure they do not begin to rot.  If you notice that any toys appear dirty, rotting, or unsafe, you want to remove these toys from your hamster’s cage immediately.

To keep your new hamster comfortable, you can line the bottom of the cage with wood shavings or shredded paper.  Your Robo hamster will love to climb through various tubes.  Pet stores sell plastic tubing, but your hamster will also enjoy running through toilet paper cardboard tubes.

If you are housing multiple Roborovski hamsters together, it is a good idea to get numerous toys.  Having plenty of toys for each hamster will create harmony within their home.

All hamsters need to chew to keep their teeth healthy.  You should provide your Roborovski hamster with ample wooden toys to chew on within their cage.  These toys will help to keep your new pet entertained and maintain healthy teeth.

Exercise is necessary for your small pet.  A hamster wheel is a great toy that mimics the long distances Roborovski hamsters run in the wild.  These wheels can be found at all pet stores and attach directly onto your hamster’s cage.

Roborovski hamsters have tiny feet.  It is best to purchase a plastic hamster wheel.  The bards of metal hamsters wheels could be dangerous for your little friend.

 

Feeding Your Robo Hamster

Roborovski hamsters will need a lot of exercise.  With that in mind, you also must feed your new pet a balanced diet.  Robo hamsters are omnivores and can eat a variety of food.

Your hamster can receive the majority of its nutrients from store bought hamster food.  You will be able to find both seed and pellet hamster feed.

Seed food will provide your Robo with the nutrients it needs.  Your new pet may become picky and only eat its favorite seeds.  If that is the case, you may want to switch to pellet feed to provide a more balanced nutrient base.

Pellet hamster food looks like a small hamster-sized cookie or biscuit.  This nutrient dense food will provide your Robo with a balanced diet.

You can give your Roborovski hamster fresh vegetables, fruits or insects once a week.  Some good choices to provide your hamster would be carrots, cabbage or bananas.

There are some treat foods that you should avoid giving to your Robo hamster.  You should not provide them with onion, celery, tomato, or garlic.  Be sure always to wash any produce you put in the cage as well.

Clean water is an essential part of keeping your new Robo hamster healthy.  You may choose to place a sizeable ceramic water dish in their cage.  Pet stores also sell plastic water bottles that attach to the side of your new pet’s cage.

If you want to know if your new hamster is getting the proper nutrition, you can observe their droppings.  Loose droppings are a sign that your Roboskwi hamster may be eating too many fruits and vegetables.  Very hard droppings may show you that you can feed your pet more fruits and vegetables.

 

Breeding Your Robo Hamster

Your female Roborovski hamster will reach sexual maturity around four weeks of age.  However, it is wise to wait until she is at least three months old before you breed her for the first time.

You want to be sure that your female hamster is in heat when you attempt to breed your hamster.  Your female Robo will be in heat every four days.

When the female is in heat, you can introduce her to a male in a neutral environment.  This environment can be a container you set up separate from each cage.  You should place some soft bedding in this space.

Once you introduce the male hamster, your female Robo will freeze up.  During that time, the male hamster will mount her several times.  This process can take 20 minutes to an hour or more.

If your female Robo becomes pregnant,  be sure to feed your expectant mother extra protein in her diet.  You also want to give her cage a good deep cleaning.

A few days before your pregnant Robo is to give birth, you should not touch anything in the cage.  If the new mother smells your scent on one of the new pups, she may reject the new baby.

Once your Robo mother is in labor, it will generally take 1-2 hours for the pups to arrive.  There will be a 15-30 minute pause between each new pup coming into the world.

When the pups are born, they will not have any fur, and their eyes will be shut.  Although they cannot hear or see, they already have a keen sense of smell.

It is tempting to pick up the newborn pups because they are very cute.  You should wait until the babies are two to three weeks old before attempting to handle them.  They should have fur and opened eyes by this time.

Once the Roborovski pups have reached four weeks, you should move each pup into their cage.  Robo pups can be housed with other same-gender siblings if you begin the arrangement at this stage in their life.

Roborovski mothers typically give birth to 3-7 liters in their lifetime.  If you choose to breed these small rodents, be sure you are prepared to have the right home for each new pup.

A Robo hamster sells for $15-$35 at pet stores.  Some pet stores may not check for the sex of your new pet.  It is possible to bring home a pregnant female Robo.

 

Do Roborovski Hamsters Hibernate?

In the wild, Roborovski hamsters are used to huge temperature swings.  In much of the day, their habitat is extremely hot.  Temperatures can dip into a very cold range in the winter or at night.

Roborovski hamsters can withstand temperatures between 60 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit without going into hibernation.  If your home goes outside of this temperature range while you are housing a Robo hamster, it may go into hibernation.

Hibernation is an essential skill for your Robo hamster.  If the weather is freezing, it may mean it is harder for the rodent to find food in the wild.  By hibernating, the Roborovski hamster helps lessen the number of calories it requires.

If your pet Robo goes into hibernation, you may mistake it for being dead.  Your little pet will not respond to sound and may not react to your touch.  The hamster will also appear motionless.

To wake your hamster up from hibernation, you should gently pick up your pet.  You can gently stroke its back.  This motion will signal to your pet that the springtime has come and its body can regain normal functioning.

With their small size and entertaining curiosity, Roborovski hamsters may be an excellent choice for your next family pet.  Be sure you are ready to house, feed, and tame your new rodent.

 

 

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