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Gerbils & Hamsters/dwarf hamster query


Dear Sheila, I keep a roborovski dwarf hamster as a pet.I might be a bit old you might think to keep a pet dwarf hamster but I love roborovki hamsters,and I wouldn't like to keep a cat or dog in a high rise block of flats so a pet hamster is ideal.

What I wanted to ask is ''Dinky'' as a lone roborovski is kept in a glass aquarium especially made for hamsters..its 75cm long and is called the Kerry Small Pet Terrarium its from the Zooplus online petshop..incase you wish to Google Zooplus and take a look.They have some lovely cages on there.Do you think this is too small for 1 dwarf hamster or about right?
I have recently ordered another Kerry glass tank off zooplus cause next spring when I've had Dinky for a year I would like to give a home to another lone robo...however I am wondering whether it'd be okay to get two roborovskis as they'd be more active than 1 so it'd be nice to watch them playing together..but would a 75cm long glass tank be a bit too small for a pair of robo's...would they need to have say 100cm in length...or would they still end up having to be separated due to fighting in 100cm?

I cannot now order any further hamster cages,so I cant have a 100cm zoozone 2 as I have now this week retired and gone on state pension.Yes,i'm an oldie hamster keeper.I cannot afford any more cages..however I do have put away some spare cages a zoozone 1 71cm and a couple of ferplast Mini Duna's 55cm long if I did have to split them due to fighting.Should I go for getting a pair or just go with getting another one?Do you think 75cm in length is more for a lone robo than for two as I find lone robo's are not as active as a pair would be.Is this normal as my lone robo isn't all that active...she'll play on her wheel for a couple of hours and I have her out a lot for a run about on my bed with all her toys so perhaps she's too tired then to be playing all night.

My friend keeps two roborovskis and hers are always up playing together all night..very is it usual for a lone roborovski Not to be so playful and active in its cage at night like a pair would be?

Also I find bright electric light makes them tend to stay in their nest until after all the lights have gone this usual as they are nocturnal creatures and proberly think its daytime when the electric lights are on.
When I have Dinky out I now turn off my bedroom light,and put her wheel and toys on my bed so she can run about and play with them.She doesn't run off the bed as shes very tame and stays by me.I leave a little night light on at the bottom of my bed and that is very dim so shes okay with that.

Sorry for so many questions...hope you can advise me about roborovski dwarf hamsters and whether a 75cm long glass tank is only suitable for one roborovski dwarf hamster or whether a pair would be okay or should I forget getting a pair for my other Kerry tank and just get another  lone robo?
As I cant afford to shell out 70 in English currency for a massive 100cm long zoozone2 plastic tank to keep two dwarf hammies in is it best that I only get another one hamster,not two cause of the likelihood of fighting in a tank that's only 75 cm long.

Yours Sincerely
United Kingdom

Hi Hazel

Thanks for your question - I love hamsters too and I don't think it matters how old you are.  Non- hamster people don't realise that these little creatures all have totally different personalities and are great company.

Firstly, a 75cm cage sounds fine.  My cages are no larger than this. The important thing is to make sure that Dinky has things to do - which it sounds as though she does.  I find that dwarf hamsters love to sleep in different places so I usually put in a few tubes and houses in their tank so they can move around.  They also seem to love having a dust bath.  If Dinky doesn't have this you might like to give her this - you can buy 'chinchilla' dust from the pet shop and put a little in a low level dish that she can climb into.  I'm sure she will enjoy rolling around in it. Solitary hamsters do behave differently to those kept in pairs, but it sounds as though she has a lot of things to do and has you as her friend, rather than another hamster.

With regard to getting more hamsters, I think that a 75cm tank would be fine for 2 dwarf hamsters.  The only things to consider with getting two dwarf hamsters is that they must be the same sex and have always been living together.  There is always a chance that they will start fighting and if this happens then you would probably need to separate them, so this is something to bear in mind. If you do get 2 then, again, I would suggest putting in lots of sleeping areas for them so that if they do have a minor falling out they have somewhere to escape the other one.  Also put in 2 wheels if you can fit them.  You can buy mini hamster exercise balls which are great fun - mine all used to run around the house in these in the evening.  Do be careful to tape over any joins so that if they bang into furniture the ball doesn't open, and keep an eye on them as these balls are small and they have a habit of getting stuck under furniture.

I would definitely advise against trying to introduce another hamster to Dinky - introducing hamsters is rarely successful and you don't want to destroy the friendship you have with her.

I hope this helps you.


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Sheila Adby


Syrian hamsters are my specialty, however, I have kept Campbells,Winter Whites and gerbils in the past. I can advise on most subjects associated with hamsters, including housing, bedding, feeding, handling, new borns and catching escapees. I have had some experience of various health problems with hamsters and can offer my opinion and advice on basic health issues, however I am not a qualified vet and therefore cannot recommend drugs etc. My website is


I have been keeping hamsters and other small animals for more than 12 years. My favourites are Syrian hamsters and I foster litters and 'difficult' hamsters for a rescue centre. My job is to tame hamsters ready for re-homing, which is extremely rewarding. I also enjoy looking after new litters and raising the pups. I have co-written a book on hamsters with my local vet and have a website:

Hamsters in Sickness and in Health - Sheila Adby and Dan O'Neill ISBN186163218-5 (Capall Bann Publishing)

Educated to A Level standard in the UK.

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