Roborovski hamsters, what are they eating

Profile of Roborowski dwarf hamsters

The Roborowski dwarf hamster (Phodopus roborovskii) has been kept as pets since the 1990s. It differs from the Djungarian hamsters, which are also kept in human care (Phodopus sungorus), Campbell dwarf hamsters (P. campbelli) and Chinese striped hamsters (Cricetulus griseus) on the one hand due to its smaller size. The Roborowski dwarf hamster is considered to be the smallest hamster species in the world! On the other hand, the dwarf hamster, also simply called “Robo”, always seems very busy and almost a bit hectic as soon as it is awake.

Roborowski dwarf hamsters originally come from the Gobi desert and the adjacent desert regions of northern China and Mongolia. The back fur of the wild form is ocher-colored, the belly side white, the soles of the feet are finely haired. With this coat color, the animals are optimally camouflaged in their natural environment and the hairy soles allow them to move safely on sand. Roborowski dwarf hamsters live in underground structures they have dug themselves in the wild or they also colonize existing structures of other animals, into which they retreat during the day. Activities outside the buildings take place at dusk or at night.


Color shapes

In addition to the wild form, Roborowski dwarf hamsters also have a higher proportion of white on the face. These animals are called "white faces". There are also piebalds and pure white animals.



Little is known about the social behavior of Roborowski hamsters in the wild. It is assumed that the animals live together at least temporarily in pairs and also come together in larger colonies. Nevertheless, the animals are territorial and drive away conspecifics that they do not want to be close by. In pet keeping, especially for pet owners with little experience, the individual keeping of dwarf hamsters is recommended. Despite being so small, dwarf hamsters can fight aggressively, seriously injuring and even killing one another. In nature, Roborowsi dwarf hamsters only come out of their burrows at dusk and at night, when kept as pets, the nimble and always somewhat hectic animals can sometimes be observed during the day.


Animal-friendly husbandry

In order for it to have enough space, your Roborowski dwarf hamster needs an enclosure of at least 100 x 50 x 50 cm (length x width x height). Ideally, you should place your enclosure in a quiet place, protected from drafts and sunlight, and not in your bedroom. Otherwise your hamster may wake you up during its activities. In order to create structures, your dwarf hamster needs a layer of litter made of different materials at least 20 cm high. Small animal litter, straw, hay, cork and cardboard tubes, natural branches and leaves are suitable. He builds his nest out of hay and cotton litter. Your dwarf hamster will be happy to move into an underground sleeping house, but there should still be opportunities to retreat on the surface. Make sure you offer your "Robo" a sand bath filled with chinchilla sand so that it can take care of its fur. Secure all heavy furnishings from being buried under. To do this, place them either on intermediate levels, on a stone plinth that extends to the floor of the enclosure, or directly on the cage floor. In order to satisfy its urge to move, your dwarf hamster needs a running plate or a running wheel (at least 20 cm in diameter).


Animal-friendly nutrition

Roborowski dwarf hamsters are, like all hamsters, mixed dieters. They eat mixtures of seeds and grains, but they also need animal protein. In order to be able to cover your nutritional requirements, it is advisable to feed a complete dwarf hamster food. Fresh food such as herbs, sprouts and vegetables that do not bloat (e.g. cucumber, zucchini, carrots) should also not be missing on the menu. The dwarf hamster is not used to fruit from its barren homeland. It is best to refrain from feeding completely, as it can quickly cause diarrhea and promote diabetes. You should also generally not give sticky food, as this can cause your hamster's cheek pouches to stick together. Like all hamsters, “Robos” also bunker food. However, you should regularly check the hiding places for uneaten fresh food and remove this so that no mold forms.

tip: As a special activity, you can give your dwarf hamster his favorite food, e.g. For example, hide a dried mealworm in an intelligence toy, a hay bag or a digging box!


Who are Roborowski dwarf hamsters suitable for?

Roborowski dwarf hamsters are suitable as observation animals. The animals usually quickly lose their fear of "their" people, but the hamsters do not like to be picked up or taken out of the enclosure. Because the animals are very tender, small and nimble, there is a very high risk of injury to the animal if handled improperly. It is difficult to predict when exactly your "Robos" will be active to be observed. However, the activity rhythm levels off after a while and when your dwarf hamster is awake, it is correct! The life expectancy of a Roborowski dwarf hamster is quite short. It is just 1.5-2.5 years. During this time, the little roommate gives his people a lot of joy. You need 15 - 20 minutes for the daily basic care (health check, feeding, cleaning the toilet corners, removal of uneaten fresh food) and an additional hour a week for the more thorough cleaning of the enclosure and cleaning of the furnishings.