Hamster Fact Sheet

Common Name:


Scientific Name:


Wild Status:

Least Concern


Warm dry areas


Originally Syria, Belgium, Romania, Greece, & Northern China


Burrows & Tunnels

Life Span:

1-3 years


2-13 inches depending on species

Cool Facts:

  •  Hamsters have special pouches in their cheeks, and they use these to store lots of food!
  • Hamsters love to explore -  a hamster ball is a great way to give your little buddy some exercise, and a chance to discover new places around your home!
  • The name Hamster comes from the German word "hamstern" which means "hoard".
  • Right after birth, newborn hamsters are blind until they are about 2 weeks old!


The hamster is a category of small rodent that contains over 20 species! They have become extremely popular as small household pets, and like laboratory mice, they have been helpful in scientific research. They are naturally nocturnal, so they enjoy playing at night, and they can actually learn their own names like a dog. Hamsters love exercised, and that's why a wheel makes for a great toy for them! Hamsters are actually omnivores and can eat insects, but tend to enjoy veggies and fruits. While their sense of smell is great, they have poor vision, so a hamster will generally follow its nose.

Taxonomic Breakdown:

Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Order: Rodentia Family: Cricetidae Subfamily: Cricetinae

Conservation & Helping:

Most hamsters are of least concern on the endangered species list. However, the golden hamster found in Syria has the status of Vulnerable. Doing your part to promote the protection of animals and conservation of our planet can help keep all species of hamsters thriving!

For Teachers and Educators


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