Long Haired Syrian Hamsters are known to be one of the most popular hamster breeds as house pets. They are normally found in the wild in Turkey and Syria (as the name suggests) but they have been domesticated so that we can enjoy them.
Long-haired Syrian hamsters also called ‘teddy bear’ hamsters are known for their long coats. They especially get long hair on the sides of their torso which may require a trim. The hair can reach great lengths, unlike the Syrian short-haired hamsters who have a short coat throughout their life.
How To Keep Your Syrian Hamster?
Most Pet shops will suggest your Syrian hamster lives alone as they can often fight in pairs. In the pet shops you will see them living in pairs but when they are young this is perfectly fine. However, as a pet, they are extremely gregarious and very active at night, since they are nocturnal creatures.
Syrian Hamster Life Span
Unfortunately, their life span is not too long. It is normally around 2 years, although it is not uncommon for them to go slightly over the average lifespan. However, they are great first pets for younger children and for people who are busy as they do need too much attention compared to other animals i.e dogs.
Where To Purchase A Syrian Hamster?
If you would like to purchase a hamster, most garden centres and pet shops sell them. They are around £10-£15 depending on where you go.
Your hamster should eat a pelleted hamster mix that is specially made for their dietary needs. Avoid any food with artificial colourings as they are not as healthy for your hamster. You can give your hamster the odd piece of fruit or veg on special occasions, but it should only be given once a week. Some examples of suitable fruit and veg are; bananas, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, spinach, peas, and even dandelion greens
The best food to get is pellets or muesli. However, hamsters tend to be picky over what type of muesli they eat.
It does not matter what time of day you feed your hamster as long as they can eat when they are hungry. Therefore, you should make sure their bowl has food in it most of the time. They often stuff food in their cheeks and hide it in their bedding for later. However, fresh food is better.
Additionally, hamsters only drink water so, make sure their water is always full and that there are not any obstructions in the metal tube. For further information, check out this website.
Caring For Your Long Haired Syrian Hamster
In regard to caring for your long-haired hamster, you will need a comb to brush out the fur. As you do not want it to get matted. Do not bathe your hamster. Our blog post on grooming will explain in more detail about other alternatives.
Pros and Cons of a Long Haired Syrian
- Great first pet
- Care is simple-easy pet to care for
- Most are friendly-males are slightly more friendly
- Easy to purchase
- Can live in small spaces in an enclosure
- You have to groom them because bedding, food and other debris get stuck in their fur
- Sometimes their hair does not stop growing so you may have to cut it
- Fast runners if they escape
- Bonding takes awhile so hold them every day
- They tend to fight with other hamsters if they live with them
- Short life span (approx. 2 years)
Overall, the main difference between short haired and long haired Syrians is simply the fact you will have to groom a long-haired Syrian hamster. This means they are slightly more effort to care for but other than that, they are identical in temperament and diet.
If you enjoyed this article you might also like to read about Siberian Hamsters.