Also known as Dwarf Winter White Russians, these hamsters are adorable, small, docile and nocturnal. Not to be confused with Syrian Hamsters, White Winters are originally from parts of Asia where it’s cold and snowy during the winter, hence their name. We welcome them into the European and Western world to provide them a warm home and a healthy life. These toothy fluffs love to hide, burrow, run and exercise. Filling up their cage with different extensions, toys, accessories and hideouts is ideal to keep them happy and healthy at all times.
Life Span & Characteristics
Unfortunately, the life span of this breed is shorter than the usual house hamster. There are many factors that can intervene with the life span of any hamsters and these encompass overall health and happiness, environment and diet. Commonly, these adorable little fluffs can live up to 2 years. Although uncommon, it is possible for them to live about six more months more than that.
A very interesting ability that these particular hamsters have developed in the wild is to change the look and colors of their coat during the different seasons. That being said, the only three possible looks a White Winter Hamster can have are Regular, which represents a black and gray coat with black eyes, Sapphire, which represents a cooler toned, almost blue shade of gray and Pearl, which is what they usually become during the winter, white through and through.
Although these toothy fluffs have the amazing ability to camouflage their coat to their surroundings, this wonderful transformation doesn’t always happen to hamsters that are in captivity, due to the un-sharpened instinct of survival that comes with comfort and safety.
Cage Care & Bedding
When it comes to this breed of hamsters, the bigger their cage is, the better. It is recommended for them to have cages that don’t have wiring around, since they can turn themselves into a pancake and squeeze through almost any crevice in existence. If you are considering a wired hamster cage for your White Winter, please be mindful of the space between the bar and choose one that has reduced spacing. Great options to house these fluffs are Hamster Aquariums and some varieties of Ferplast Cages.
It is important to know that it’s very hard for White Winter Hamster to live with other little fluffs of the same breed and a different sex. They don’t usually have problems living alone, but they can also live in pairs of in large groups without any issue. It is recommended to keep only same-sex White Winters together since opposite-sex hamsters are prone to repetitive conflict.
These quirky fluffs usually have an inverted schedule, meaning that they sleep during the day and are more active during the night. They are nocturnal in nature and are more in tune with the light of the moon. When White Winter Hamsters go to sleep, they can dig over one meter underground to make their little sleepy nests more private. This is a habit that they developed in the wild to keep their beds away from predators. The deep burrowing that comes with their sleeping patterns calls for bedding that is soft, light, comfortable and warm all at the same time. That is why the best choice of bedding for these toothy fluffs is paper shredding. Please avoid wooly beddings, since the accidental swallowing could harm your pet’s health.
The diet of these critters isn’t that different from the one of a regular hamster. Mainly based of a mix of seeds and nuts, with the usual splash of fresh veg. With White Winters you may want to avoid all fruits, corn, or products containing dairy. Different to other hamsters, this breed should not consume excess sugar, since it brings possible health complications. Be aware of the ingredient list when obtaining pre-made boredom breaker treats and always choose the sugar-free version for them. A great combination of foods to feed these winter fluffs is a nut and seed mix with the addition of some fresh carrots, cucumber, apple, broccoli and lettuce from time to time. Of course, you should provide them with tons of water so that they can stay hydrated. Be mindful that these hamsters love to flip their food tray, so investing in one that is on the sturdier side could be beneficial for both pet and owner.
There is no doubt that White Winter Hamsters are great pets. If you found this article interesting and you wish to learn more about different hamsters, we encourage you to read our page about Hamster Breeds.