Hamster hair (or hamster fur) and hamster colors come in a wide variety because there are so many different species of hamsters. However, the five most popular species as pets are: the Syrian, Winter White Russian Dwarf (Djungarian), Campbell’s Russian Dwarf, Roborovski and the Chinese.
Let’s look at the hair and color of each type of hamster. You’ll surely find one that describes your hamster!
Syrian Fur Colors
The Syrian is by far the most popular hamster and the most varied, in terms of fur. There are also many Syrian hair colors, but they fall into two categories: the self and the agouti.
The self Syrian hamster means its entire body is the same color except in the typical spots such as chin, paws, and mustache. Typical examples are black, cream, and sable.
The agouti Syrian has crescents and cheek flashes which the self doesn’t. Typical examples are grey, cinnamon or yellow, or golden.
Syrian Hair Length
Syrians have either short or long hair, and there are no Syrians with medium length hair. If you see some breeders say theirs have medium length hair, they are just tufts or a long skirt.
Generally, a long-haired female has a lengthier coat than a short haired one, and there will be some tufts on the ends of its hair. A long-haired male hamster, on the other hand, has a flowing skirt. The skirts of these long haired hamsters are lighter than the rest of its body, as it is diluted along the hair’s length.
Syrian Hair Patterns
The different Syrian hair patterns include roan, banded, and dominant spot.
- A roan looks like a white hamster with color that is concentrated on its head, then gets lighter as it goes toward the rear of the hamster. There can be just a little color or a lot of color, depending on the hamster
- Banded hamsters often have a straight band of color around the middle of their bodies.
- Dominant spot hamsters, as the name implies, has a prominent spot, or spots of color evenly spread all over their bodies. Some Syrians have just a few spots while others have so many spots they have very little white fur showing.
Russian Dwarf Hamsters: Winter White
Russian Dwarf hamsters include two main types: the Winter White (Djungarian) and the Campbell’s.
The Winter White Russian Hamster is typically dark grey with a black dorsal strip running along the center of its back. The fur on its belly is usually white or off white. Unlike other hamsters, their fur can change its color into white during winter. This was very useful when these hamsters lived in the wild. But don’t be surprised if this doesn’t happen to your Russian dwarf, as captivity may have bred this change out.
The Sapphire Russian hamster is soft purple-grey with a grey undercolor and thick grey dorsal stripe with an ivory belly. The ear hair is light grey-brown.
The Pearl Russian hamster has a white pattern with colored hairs throughout its fur.
Campbell’s Russian Dwarf Hamsters come in a wide variety of fur colors. These can include the usual grey-brown wild color, sandy with white belly, blue-grey with white belly, and black all over.
What makes them more interesting is the different types of coats they come in, including:
- Normal: short and flat
- Satin: shiny which makes the hamster look wet or greasy
- Wavy: somewhat long and wavy; the coat changes to a normal coat over time; curly whiskers
- Rex: short, soft, and curly; the coat and whiskers remain curly when they become adults
The original or typical robo will be sandy brown with a white belly. This is also referred to as agouti. You will also notice the white area over its eyes. Some people refer to these as the robo’s “eyebrows.”
The other type you might see is white faced. Obviously, this type Roborovski has a white face and body, although its body may be almost completely white or have a small tan area on its back.
The two most typical colors for Chinese hamsters are normal and dominant spot.
The normal Chinese hamster color is what you find when the hamster is in the wild. It is a mahogany gray-brown fur with a concentration of a darker brown color along its upper body. There may even be a stripe of black hair along its back.
The dominant spot Chinese hamster has a base white color with patches of the normal color across the upper part of its body. It may also have the stripe of black along its spine.
The Chinese hamster tail, for which they are known, is about an inch long and is hairless.
Hamsters come in all different colors. But most people pick their hamster based on its personality, regardless of color. And remember, no matter what hair color your hamster has, it’s still fun to gently pet it!
To best see your hamster hair, keep it in an aquarium cage. Read Using an Aquarium for your Hamster Cage for more information.