If you want to adopt a Chinese dwarf hamster the first thing that you need to do is to check with your national and local governments. Unfortunately, in the case of this pet, you cannot rely on your local pet shop to only be selling legal animals. In Australia and New Zealand, all hamsters are banned; in some of the states within the United States, Chinese dwarf hamsters are specifically banned. Governments place controls on the types of animals that people can bring into their jurisdiction. Without implementing the security practices that are common in laboratories that work with, say, the Ebola virus, it is likely that any life form will eventually escape. And governments do not want non-native species overrunning native populations. (Unfortunately, this is not unprecedented. For example, the Mediterranean Sea is being overrun by a type of seaweed that is commonly used in fish tanks. It is causing dead zones where nothing except this plant can survive. Clearly, it is important that you follow your government’s laws.)
Once you are certain that it is legal to adopt the Chinese dwarf hamster, then you are in for quite a treat. These animals are adorable and charming. Unlike the other hamster species that are kept as pets, these animals are more adapted to climbing. They are relatively easy to tame, and can wrap themselves tightly around your finger.
Another thing that you may find out about Chinese dwarf hamsters is that they are master escape artists. Who when they stretch themselves out low to the ground, it can seem that their bodies thin out to nothingness. You will get this impression because he will be shocked at how small a hole can be for a Chinese dwarf hamster to get through it.
This is one species that should be kept only one to a cage.
In the realm of the Chinese hamster, females are in charge. Although smaller than the males, females rule through the threat (and of the act) of violence. Females fight with one another for dominance; they also fight with the males. As a result, once a dominant female has established a nesting area, other females, males, and juveniles of either sex know to stay away. Female Chinese dwarf hamsters also attack and kill any weaker or ill member of their species. This ensures that the limited resources of the desert only are consumed by those who are most likely to survive.
All hamsters use their scent glands to mark their territories, and the Chinese dwarfs are no exception. According to Laboratory Hamsters, edited by G. L. Van Hoosier, Jr. and Charles W. McPherson, the most frequently used marking pattern is “scratching the flank gland vigorously with the hind foot, followed immediately by a perineal drag which consists of depressing the anogenital region on the substrate.” You may find it quite odd, even disgusting perhaps when you first see your pet do this. But realize that in the world of the Chinese dwarf hamster this is perfectly normal and acceptable behavior.