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What Types of Hamster Are The Friendliest?


Hamsters are naturally friendly pets, to varying degrees. It depends on the species, gender, the amount of hand-taming they have received, their environment (i.e. happy hamsters are friendly hamsters), and whether or not they’re being kept on their own.


syrians are friendly
Syrian hamsters are friendly and full of character

Friendly Syrian Hamsters

Syrians are friendly once hand-tamed, and can form strong bonds with their owners. They are the largest and most popular of the pet hamsters, mainly because of a long history of wide availability, and partly because their size makes them easier to hold than the Dwarf species.

Syrian hamsters are chunky, and quite slow movers. This can make them a less stressful option for more nervous owners when handling and playing with them.

Another factor contributing to Syrian hamsters’ popularity is that they don’t just like being alone, they need to be kept on their own. This means they rely on their owners for entertainment and interaction.

Chinese Hamsters Are Friendly - Sometimes With Each Other!

Once hand-tamed, Chinese hamsters make a very friendly companion, although most are a little timid. They also move very quickly, so an owner needs to be comfortable handling them.

Unlike Syrian hamsters, Chinese hamsters can be kept in groups. However, they are territorial, and you will need a second hamster cage in case they fight. When they do, they tend not to make up, and will need to be permanently separated.

Handling Dwarf Hamsters

Campbell hamsters are much faster than Syrian hamsters, which puts some prospective owners off. Their hyperactive speediness makes them great fun to watch, but the speed with which they move makes handling them a bit tricky.

Similarly, Winter White hamsters are super-speedy and if you’re not careful they can slip out of your hands like hairy bars of soap. This speediness doesn’t prevent these two species from being lovely, affectionate pets.


syrians are friendly
Roborovski hamsters are easy to handle when they're this small, but are difficult to hand-tame

Roborovski Hamsters - Not Ideal For First-Time Owners

Some owners report that Roborovskis are not very friendly, and it’s certainly true that they are the hardest hamster species to tame. This doesn’t mean they’re nasty or in any way dangerous, it’s just that they take a while to engage with the hand-taming process. For a first-time owner, or someone who is a bit apprehensive about handling and hand-taming, Roborovskis are not 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?