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What Types of Hamster Are The Friendliest?

All species of hamster can be friendly towards their owner, but a hamster’s friendliness doesn’t just depend on what type they are - many people claim that it can also depend on the hamster’s gender, how tame they are, and whether or not they’re being kept on their own.

Syrian Hamsters

Syrian hamsters are usually friendly once tamed, and are a good option in many countries because they can form quite a strong bond with their owners. Syrian hamsters are the largest and one of the most popular of the pet hamsters, partly because their size makes them easier to hold. These hamsters are large and chunky, and slower movers than some of their smaller relatives. Many people feel that this makes them a less stressful option when owners are handling and playing with them.

Another factor contributing to their popularity is that this species of hamster needs to be kept on its own, and so it relies more heavily on its owner for entertainment and excitement. Since they don’t have a hamster buddy to play with, they can be more open to developing bonds with their owners during the hours you’re both awake.

syrians are friendly
Syrian hamsters can be very friendly and characterful

Chinese Hamsters

These hamsters can be tamed to become very friendly companions, although some owners say that some of this species are a little bit timid. They can also move very quickly, so need to be with an owner who is comfortable handling them.

Chinese hamsters can be kept in groups, but they are territorial creatures, and you will need to be able to accommodate two hamster cages if they fight and need to be permanently separated.

Dwarf Hamsters

Campbell hamsters are much faster than Syrian hamsters, which is a trait that puts some prospective owners off. Although this species of hamster is a treat to watch, the speed with which they move can make handling them a bit tricky. Similarly, Winter White hamsters are very speedy and can scamper out of your hands extremely quickly. However, both can be very affectionate pets.

Some owners report that Roborovskis aren’t the friendliest of hamster species, and that they are one of the harder hamster species to tame. For a first-time owner, or an owner who is a little apprehensive about handling these animals, Roborovskis may not be the best choice.

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Imogen, 26 September 2021

I think your best bet is a Syrian. There so friendly i used to have a syrian called Goldie and she was so sweet my first ever hamster she bit me once or twice but it was only a nibble and it didnt hurt. Then when goldie passed i got another one this time a male called cookie who was lovely. Now i have another syrian female called Blossom shes the sweetest hamster. She constantly wakes up and stands at the cage door waiting for treats. Ive only ever been nibbled by her never caused blood. I reccomend Syrians for first time hamster owners because theyre so sweet! Ive never had a robo but im going to either get a robo or syrian next. :) Hope this was helpful. Imogen

Tara, 14 August 2021

I am looking for another angora hamster. They seem to be hard to find. Mine died years ago. He lived 4 years. Anyone know where I can find one?

Arizona, 22 April 2021

Hi Lily! I'm not sure where you got Gizmo, but I used to work at Petco and wanted to give you some background on pet store hamsters in case you got him from a store: the hamsters unfortunately do not get handled much while at the store, but they seem to find homes so quickly that you probably have lots of time to tame Gizmo. Something we noticed was that whenever we would open their cages it would be to put a treat (piece of lettuce for example) in for them. Maybe Gizmo associates your hand and fingers with food and nips at them to see what you brought for him :). If that isn't the case, I still think you can win him over with lots of interaction. Give food items only after you have taken him out of his cage so he won't be expecting a tasty treat. Reward him with food and create positive experiences. Soon he will perk up when he hears you coming! There are some fun YouTube videos you can watch to give you more ideas. You sound like a wonderful caregiver that is going to make your hamster very happy. Wishing you and Gizmo well!

Lily, 11 April 2021

I am 10 years old and my parents just got me a Syrian hamster!!!!!!!!! So excited! I got it last night but this morning I put my finger through the cage and it tried to bite me! I have to tame it! Does anyone know how to tame my hamster Gizmo?

Zoe, 9 March 2021

I have gerbils right now but I am either going to get rats or a hamster, which are better for handling and cuddling?