Roborovski dwarf hamsters (sometimes called Robo hamsters) are a social species best kept in same-sex pairs or small groups reared together from a young age. Roborovski dwarf hamsters are exceptionally quick. They can be difficult to handle and would likely prove frustrating as a starter species for the new hamster keeper or young children.
Early handling of Roborovski dwarf hamsters is best done near the floor inside their homes for safety. For this reason, a tank with a well-fitted screen cover is a good choice of homes. To help Roborovski dwarf hamsters become accustomed to handling, sprinkle some millet, sesame seeds, rolled oats or other tiny treats on your palm and lower it to the floor of the cage. Hamsters are food-motivated, and most will come to these treats quickly, accepting your hand in the process.
To maintain harmony, handle and give treats to all members of a Roborovski dwarf hamster pair or colony each time any hamster is handled or given a treat. While their usual hamster mix can be served in a dish or by scattering it for them to gather, hand-fed treats reinforce a good relationship and allow you to check each hamster regularly for physical changes or ailments.
Roborovski dwarf hamsters are most active at night, but may gradually alter their sleep patterns to be awake for a bit whenever attention and treats are routinely available. They’re more easily startled than most hamster species, so they are best kept in a quiet spot. They enjoy tunneling beneath their bedding to get from place to place, and appreciate finding toilet paper tubes or similar pathways buried beneath the bedding for them.
Roborovski dwarf hamsters require tremendous amounts of daily exercise, so a quiet, solid-surfaced wheel is essential. The larger the Roborovski dwarf hamster group, the more exercise wheels are necessary, as a dwarf hamster group usually wants to be active together.
While one to three Roborovskis can be comfortable in 2 square feet of living space, more space is always better for these speedy, little hamsters. A larger hamster group will need a larger home, additional wheels, water bottles and private spaces. To maintain harmony in a dwarf hamster group, no enclosures, tubes or other toys should have areas where one Roborovski dwarf hamster can corner another in a squabble.
The recommended habitat for Roborovski 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 pair or trio of Roborovski dwarf hamsters 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 Roborovski dwarf hamsters a commercially made hamster-specific diet, supplemented with tiny portions of hamster-safe fresh fruits or vegetables. Feed at the same time daily, have fresh water and dry food available at all times, and remove any fruits or veggies before spoiling.