Campbell’s Hamster

Best kept in same-sex pairs or small groups reared together from a young age, the interactions of Campbell’s dwarf hamsters with one another are as fun as their interaction with their keepers.

Campbell’s dwarf hamsters are small, but they don’t act like it. Outside their home, they are sweet and affectionate, often grooming their owner’s fingers with tender licks and nibbles. Inside their homes, many are fiercely protective, as they would be of the colony’s nest in the wild. For that reason, a ladle or mug is the safest way to offer a cage-protective Campbell’s dwarf hamster a way out of its home. This simple measure of respect for a Campbell’s dwarf hamster’s nature helps establish a positive relationship. So do handling and giving treats to all members of a pair or colony each time any one is handled or given a treat.

While the Campbell’s dwarf hamsters’ usual hamster mix can be served in a dish or by scattering it for them to gather, hand-fed treats reinforce a good relationship. These can include bits of fresh vegetables, but avoid offering fruits, corn and dairy products, because Campbell’s dwarf hamsters are susceptible to diabetes.

Campbell’s dwarf hamsters are most active at night, but will gradually alter their sleep patterns to be awake awhile whenever attention is routinely available. Campbell’s dwarf hamsters require a great deal of daily exercise, so a quiet, solid-surfaced exercise wheel is essential. The larger the dwarf hamster group, the more exercise wheels necessary to prevent squabbles, as each Campbell’s dwarf hamster has the same drive to exercise at the same time.

While one to three Campbell’s dwarf hamsters can be comfortable in 2 square feet of living space, more dwarf hamsters will require a larger home, additional exercise wheels, water bottles and private spaces. To maintain harmony in a dwarf hamster group, enclosures, tubes and other toys shouldn’t have areas where a Campbell’s dwarf hamster can corner another dwarf hamster in a squabble.

The recommended habitat for Campbell’s dwarf hamsters is a 10-gallon aquarium with mesh cover, or a similarly sized cage or storage tub with a fitted wire-mesh cover. A Campbell’s dwarf hamster pair or trio living together require a larger habitat. The habitat must have good ventilation and be escape-proof and easily cleaned. Walking, play and wheeling surfaces should be solid for safety.

Feed Campbell’s dwarf hamsters a commercially made, hamster-specific diet, supplemented with tiny portions of hamster-safe fresh vegetables. Feed at the same time daily, have fresh water and dry food available at all times, and remove any veggies before spoiling.

Breed Details

Scientific Name:
Country of Origin:
Central Asia, including Mongolia, China, and northern Russia
4 to 4.5 inches
Life Expectancy:
1 to 2 years, occasionally longer
Campbell’s dwarf hamsters are available in a wide array of colors from the wild (agouti) brown to solid white, beiges, grays and black, with either red or black eyes.