Golden Hamster Golden hamster in breed portrait

Golden hamster in breed portrait

Golden hamsters are among the most popular pets and usually quickly become tame and trusting. Nevertheless, the acquisition should be well considered, since they are suitable, for example, only conditionally for children.

How you can make the attitude nevertheless positive for owner and hamster, you can read in this comprehensive breed portrait.

In this article you will learn what special features there are to consider with golden hamsters, what is important in the diet and how you can offer species-appropriate employment.


Size12 – 18 cm
Colorgold, yellow, sepia, gray, cinnamon, purple, multicolor and monochrome
Life expectancy2 – 3 years
Characteractive, tame, intelligent
Enclosure typeSolitary


One of the most popular character traits of golden hamsters is that the animals become trusting and tame comparatively quickly.

This makes them well suited as pets even if you have little or no experience with hamsters.

They are also intelligent and eager to learn. On the one hand, this means that you can even teach your pet tricks.

On the other hand, however, it also means that your golden hamster needs accordingly much demand, variety and the possibility of employment.

This is also true because the animals are very active. They must therefore have sufficient freedom of movement.

How you can implement this as species-appropriate as possible, you will also learn in this guide.

But first back to the suitability of the golden hamster as a pet.

They fit well to beginners, as long as you consider their peculiarities and load them out. They can also be the right choice for older and more cautious children.

However, it is important to consider their activity level.

As with other hamster breeds, their active phase begins in the evening around dusk.

Until morning, they spend their time running, climbing, preening and foraging as much as possible.

In a nursery, this can disrupt sleep.

In addition, a golden hamster should also be able to sleep as undisturbed as possible during the day. This can hardly be implemented with very small children.

Apart from that, however, the animals are a good size for children.

Because with a body length of up to 18 centimeters and a correspondingly high weight, they are not too fragile.

If children are supported in keeping them and can occupy themselves with them during the active phase, there is nothing against keeping them.


Golden hamsters are solitary animals, which after puberty only have contact with conspecifics in phases when they are ready to mate.

Therefore you should keep your hamster individually.

When choosing and planning a hamster home, keep in mind that these animals are very active and like to move around.

Therefore, when choosing a cage or a home, the bigger the better.

If you don’t have a lot of floor space available for the hamster cage, you should set up different levels.

This is best done in a hamster home that already has several levels.

Pay attention to safety. The levels should not be further apart than the hamster is long. This will prevent dangerous falls from occurring.

In addition, your golden hamster needs offers for movement and occupation.

This includes in any case a running wheel.

Even though this has been controversial for a long time, and still is today, as it is thought to promote compulsive behavior in hamsters, it is essential for exercise.

This is because golden hamsters cover many miles during their nocturnal phases in the wild. This is necessary to gather sufficient food or even to find mates for reproduction.

Likewise, they may need to create burrows or flee from attackers.

As a domestic animal, food is always available within a short distance, no enemies can be found and reproduction is usually not desired.

This eliminates many of the dangers and efforts.

This sounds relaxed and comfortable at first. However, it also leads to boredom and less movement.

Both mental and physical health suffer as a result.

Possible consequences are, for example:

Obsessive-compulsive disorder
insufficient muscle mass
weakened immune system

Even noticeable aggressive behavior is possible in otherwise tame and trusting golden hamsters.

By providing a running wheel, opportunities to climb and foraging, you can offer your hamster the necessary occupations.

It is also ideal if your golden hamster can dig and burrow.

For this, it is recommended to provide the lower floor with a thick layer of bedding.

Suitable for this are for example:

Wood chips
Hemp litter
Bark mulch
Coconut fiber

A hamster home made of wood and Plexiglas has the advantage that the litter cannot be distributed in the environment when digging.

Life expectancy

The life expectancy of a golden hamster is on average between two and three years.

Depending on the genes and the attitude, there can of course be considerable deviations.

By a balanced nutrition and sufficient occupation the life can be arranged long and healthy.

However, despite all precautions it is also possible that a genetic disease or predisposition leads to an earlier death.


Golden hamsters are the short-haired variety of teddy hamsters. Size, behavior and attitude are therefore not only similar. They are the same.

The only difference is in the coat dress.

However, this also refers only to the length and not to the colors.

Possible color shades in the golden hamster are numerous and versatile. The animals can be as unicolored as multicolored.

The colors range from light to dark, but are mostly beige to gray. White markings occur frequently.

Especially common and responsible for the name are golden spots or a golden-brown coat.
Frequently asked questions
When are golden hamsters fully grown?

From the age of three to four months, golden hamsters no longer grow noticeably in length.

However, they can still increase in width or girth.

Also a slight growth in length is still possible.

However, this is limited to a few millimeters, so that it is not noticeable in normal cases.

When are golden hamsters awake?

From dusk to dawn is the awake, active phase for golden hamsters. During this time, they forage, preen, satisfy their urge to move, and explore their surroundings.

Because of this peculiarity, you should consider very carefully whether you have time to keep them busy in the evening or in the morning.

Also consider that the hamster makes noises during the night, for example by digging or running in the wheel.

In a bedroom he is therefore not in good hands.

In addition, he needs his rest during the day to sleep undisturbed. He should therefore be in a room that is not frequented during the day.

What do golden hamsters prefer to eat?

A balanced diet is important for golden hamsters. In addition to seeds, vegetables, fruit, greens and animal protein in the form of insects and, for example, boiled egg whites are also readily accepted.

Make the menu varied and also offer bark or twigs and branches. This also helps to wear down the lifelong growing nail teeth.

How much may a golden hamster weigh?

Depending on the body length, a golden hamster should weigh about 85 to 150 grams. More important than the weight, however, is the figure.

If ribs and pelvic bones are clearly noticeable or even visible, the animal is undernourished.

If, on the other hand, a belly appears and the ribs can no longer be felt, this indicates overweight.

Significant and abrupt fluctuations are also a warning sign that you should take seriously. It often indicates health problems.

How many babies do golden hamsters have?

You should expect four to six kittens per litter. However, the number can be significantly higher.

Since the animals are on the one hand very early reproductive and on the other hand have only a short gestation period, the number of golden hamsters can take on unexpected proportions in a very short time.

When are golden hamsters sexually mature?

Approximately from the fourth week of life, the golden hamsters become sexually mature and are thus capable of reproduction. With smaller litters this condition can occur even earlier.

At the latest then the animals must be separated to prevent unwanted offspring and inbreeding.

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