Syrian Hamster

The super-sweet Syrian is the most common type of hammy on the block. The Syrian is the biggest and often most fluffiest type of hamster, usually around the size of a tennis ball or a large apple. (But please, never play tennis with or eat a hamster!) If you are looking for a good pet for a young child, then the Syrian hamster is just right. They’re very much the “cute family pet” and are quite tolerant of young kids. (Of course, you could just be a small animal lover like me!)

Where do they come from?:

Syrian hamsters originate from the middle east, particularly from Israel and Syria.

General Info:

The Syrian hamster, sometimes called the Golden hamster, is the largest of all hamsters. On average they live for about two and a half to three years, but some live longer. The Syrian or Golden hamster comes in many different coats. The most common coat (and the reason for their nickname “golden hamster“) is a goldy, light brown coat, tinted with black spots and with a white underbelly. All Syrians have small beady eyes (which come in a range of colours, depending on the coat) and large ears that, when alert and hyper (as Alfie, my hamster, always is) stick up a mile in the air! They also have a very short tail. Syrians, like all hamsters, have cheek pouches to carry food, and they look absolutely ridiculous with them full!


Syrian hamsters are often considered the ideal first pet for kids because they are cheaper to keep than a dog or cat, and are small enough to keep in an apartment. The other slightly more morbid reason is that hamsters have a relatively short lifespan (about 2-3 years) and this means that it does not tie a family down to the commitment of keeping a longterm pet such as caring for a dog for 15-20 years. However, not all Syrian hamster owners are kids and, if you are like me and just have a strong passion for anything small and furry, it can be a really enjoyable experience caring for these little critters!

Syrian hamsters and Kids:

As I have said before, Syrian hamsters are very tolerant of kids on the whole. The average Syrian is slow-moving and generally good- natured. Because they are the easiest of breeds to tame, they are the most popular with kids, as frequent handling and attention makes them an enjoyable pet. They’re not as skittish as other hamsters, which also helps, if the owner is very young. Overall, if you are buying a “first pet” for a child, then a Syrian hamster is your best bet.

I have made a list of advantages and disadvantages of  Syrian hamsters to help you decide if they’re the pet for you!


  • Syrians are the biggest hamsters, which means they are the easiest to handle. They are not generally skittish and move quite slowly. This is why they are great pets for kids.
  • They come in a variety of different colours/coats.
  • Most Syrians love to be held and have great personalities.
  • Syrians are relatively fearless, and once they are tame, they love spending time with you.
  • Overall, Syrians are great pets for a first time hamster owner, a child or a family who don’t want the expense of a cat or dog.
  • They are easy to tame! It can take as little as a week to tame one of these little guys. Once you tame them, it’s possible to create a really strong bond, one that could last their entire life! However, don’t assume you don’t need to spend time with your pet every day. It is only possible to keep a happy and fully tame hamster by spending quality time with him/her every day and meeting the basic (and sometimes not-so-basic) requirements that a hamster needs.


  • Syrians can be quite territorial and are prone to biting. This is also important because, as they’re so territorial, they can only be kept alone. YOU CANNOT KEEP A PAIR OF SYRIANS! Other wise they will fight! If you want two Syrians, then you’ll have to buy two cages.
  • There’s no denying it, Syrians are lazy. It can be 11pm before you see any sign of the sleepy-heads!
  • Their waste stinks! Their urine has quite a strong scent, and if you’re not prepared to clean the cage EVERY week, then yours and your hammies life will be compromised!

To be honest (and this may be slightly biased as I am a fan of Syrians) there aren’t many problems with Syrians. The cons I’ve listed are only minor faults, so consider them a gold-star candidate!