The Chinese Hamster is a species of hamster, scientific names Cricetulus griseus, which originates in the deserts of northern China and Mongolia. These animals grow to between 2.95 to 3.54 in (7.5 and 9 cm) long and as adults can weigh 1.76 to 2.65 oz (50 to 75 g). They live two to three years on average. The Chinese hamster is often kept as a pet or as a laboratory animal.
A Chinese hamster’s body proportions, compared with those of other hamsters, appear “long and thin”. They have a relatively long tail. Chinese hamsters are not related to the social “dwarf” hamsters.
The wild color is grayish brown above with a black stripe down the spine and a whitish belly. Besides the wild color, a well-known variation is the white-spotted Chinese hamster. It is often grayish white all over, with only a dark stripe on its back.
They have quiet temperaments and are easily handled. One of their endearing traits is that of clinging to a finger with all four paws. Chinese hamsters can be quite nervous as youngsters. Once they are tame, display an endearing calmness and gentleness of character.
In the past, Chinese hamsters were commonly used laboratory animals. The common mouse and rat replaced them, because they are easier to keep and breed.