Dwarf Hamsters

Dwarf Russian Hamster
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Superfamily: Muroidea
Family: Cricetidae
Subfamily: Cricetinae
Genus: Phodopus
Miller, 1910

Phodopus campbelli
Phodopus roborovskii
Phodopus sungorus

The dwarf hamsters represent a group of small hamsters in the genus Phodopus. Although they do not belong to this genus, the Chinese Hamster is often referred to as a dwarf hamster as well.


  • Genus Cricetulus - ratlike hamsters
    • Cricetulus griseus - Chinese hamster. These are not strictly considered dwarfs. They are characterized as being very aggressive and will bite if provoked.
Although more limited in colour than the Syrian Hamster, dwarf hamsters are an alternative to pet owners who enjoy a smaller, more sociable hamster.

The Campbell's Dwarf Hamster and Winter White Russian Dwarf Hamster, which is often referred to in Russian as a "Shwi-shwi", usually live between 1.5 and 2.5 years and reach a length of about 8-10cm. The Chinese Hamster is 10-12cm in length and usually lives to 2.5 to 3 years. The Roborovski Hamster is the smallest at only 4-5cm and lives for 3 to 3.5 years.The Russian Winter White is 8-10cm, as are the Campbell's. Due to the similarity in size and color, they are mistaken as one species.

A Dwarf Hamster in its cage.
Hamster fight.
Roborovski hamster baby. First day.


  • Nowak, Ronald M. 1999. Walker's Mammals of the World, 6th edition. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1936 pp. ISBN 0-8018-5789-9

External links

  • Pet Web Site (formerly The Complete Hamster Site) section on Hamsters
  • Russian Dwarf Hamsters information from breeder Jean McGuire