menu1 menu2 menu3 menu4 menu5
spacer spacer
About Robo
spacer spacer
spacer spacer
spacer spacer
spacer spacer
spacer spacer
spacer spacer
spacer spacer
spacer spacer
spacer spacer
spacer spacer
spacer spacer
spacer spacer
spacer spacer  
About Roborovskis | Behavior
• History and habitat • Behavior • Appearance• Genetics
  The Roborovski dwarf hamster is considered a social hamster and it usually enjoys the company of a sibling. I would recommend them as a duo or trio, though males are known to reject a cage mate more often than females. Theoretically they can be kept in larger groups than 2 or 3 but the risk of fights breaking out increases considerably. Read more about colonies here.

Roborovski hamsters good natured and they rarely nip their owner, when agitated they will rather run away and hide intead of seeking confrontation.
Even though they are good natured they are not as widely kept as pets as other hamsters, maybe this is mainly because they are not so easy to handle.
They can can be really quick runners due to their slightly longer legs and many owners faced with an escaped roborovski know they can be hard to catch.

Apart from being extremely fast and lively, they are also quite shy. A roborovski is more susceptible to stress than other hamsters and may seem skittish and nervous before gaining your trust. This means that they are quite unsuitable for young children who will want to play with them and pick them up.
Their minute size also means that handling them will mean having quick reflexes and a firm grip, because they are master wrigglers. They will not hesitate to jump from your hands onto the floor, so when holding them in our hands, be sure to keep your hands low above the ground or above a soft surface like a couch or your lap.

Fun to watch
  The main attraction to Roborovskis for me is that they so much fun to watch, because they are such an active lot. They will tumble over each other and run around their cage, jumping on and off all toys and houses you might have put in there.
Although they can be quite timid and might initially shy away from you, they are intensely curious . They will return within seconds to sniff out the new things you place in their cage and it is very funny to see the internal struggle when they want to grab that sunflower seed from your hand but cannot decide if they are brave enough yet.
Roborovski Colonies
After seeing how often attempts to keep Roborovskis in colonies fail, I would never recommend keeping colonies. I have heard too many stories of fights breaking out and timid robos being dominated by others and whither away. It is true that they live in sizable colonies in the wild, but I guess we still know to little about Roborovskis to provide them with a suitable colony environment. An acquaintance kept a mixed colony of 8 robos in a cage of 2 square meters and still fights broke out. On the other hand there are people keeping same sex Roborovkis in colonies of 5+ which seem to do okay. However in those cases they would always have to put up with a certain amount of fighting amongst the Roborovskis. Vigilance is also required in these cases, because a stable colony might collapse when one of the Roborovski falls ill or when the hierarchy changes.
If any one wants to share their thoughts this subject, please feel free to e-mail me.
A word on pairing up lonely robos
  Although I would not advise to pair up two total strangers, it is sometimes possible. Note that it is preferable to introduce them to each other at a young age (under 3 months) and before they are used to living alone. And make real good care that you introduce them on neutral ground. If you can use a bit of vanilla essence (a food additive) to subdue their own scent and pay real good attention the next few days, especially at night.
If you can please stay alert and close to the cage between 12 and 5 a.m. the first night. Otherwise docile robos can transform into wrestling champions at night. You just cannot trust their behaviour during the day.
My Roborovski Isotope slept happily together in one furry heap with the two robos I tried to introduce to her at one time, but at night they fought and chased each other around relentlessly. Had I not stayed alert, I would never have noticed this behaviour and it would've been only a matter of time before one of them would have gotten seriously hurt.
It is normal for them to squabble a bit in the beginning when establishing a hierarchy, but this should limit itself to a few squeeks and the occasional chase. Usually they will accept eachother within a few nights, but remember this is by no means a fail safe method.
  robo colony  
split cage
The Split Cage Method
Introducing Roborovskis to a new cage mate can be nerve wrecking but there are ways to letting them get to know each other gradually.
Divide the cage into two parts by means of a wire mesh or bars. It must be something through which they can see, smell and feel the other but cannot really hurt each other.
Change sides every day to make them comfy with each other's smell and then after a week or so, introduce them by removing the cage divider.
You will know that it is time to do so by observing their behavior. When they are not ready, they will try to nip each other and act a bit scared when approaching the divider. They are ready when they continue to huddle against each other (even when awake) and act relaxed to the other's presence. Be sure to make your divider sturdy though. Roborovskis have a knack for escaping and might end up meeting the cage mate a tad early.
    back to top
Home > About > FAQ > Contact > Site Map > © R&R Hamsters 2010