Hamsters are a fairly "new" pet, unlike dogs and cats that have been living with humans for thousands of years. In fact, the first documented cases of pet hamsters go back only about 100 years ago, to the 1930's.
Less than a century later, we have today a variety of pet hamster breeds. It may surprise you to know that Teddy Bear Hamsters are not a recognized or "official" breed. You will not find any reputable breeder boasting about their Teddy Bears.
So what are those Teddy Bear Hamsters? They are officially known as "Syrian Hamsters". Syrians are the most popular, first to be domesticated, breed of hamsters. They're the fairly large hamsters you can see in most pet shops. The generic hamster, if you like.
Some people tend to reserve the "Teddy Bear" label for long-haired Syrians. Others just like the furry look, especially combined with full cheek pouches and see all Syrian hamsters as cute little Teddy Bears.
Since care for long-haired and "regular" Syrians is pretty much the same (except for possible grooming issues with very long-haired ones), this site will essentially provide you with information about hamster care that pertains to Syrian hamsters.
Let me stress at the outset that this website is intended for beginners. If you're thinking about getting a hamster, or are curious about these cute little creatures, then hopefully you'll find some useful information here. I am not an expert on hamsters, so please do not email me with questions. I am merely a hamster fan who spent long hours reading up about them and wants to share the information online. Please read more here about what made me start this website.
Here's what you will NOT find on this website: information about how to breed hamsters and information about hamster health problems.
I strongly believe that you should never breed your hamster. The only exception may be in the case of professional and ethical breeders who not only know how to properly care for their hamsters, but are committed to finding each and every hamster born in their hamstery a loving home.
As for health issues - while you may find some useful references online, I urge you to consult your vet whenever you suspect a health problem.
The pictures on these pages were graciously donated to our website by members of the forums at TheCatSite.com: Nekochan, ut0pia, 709Juggalette and AbbysMom<.