The first report of the Chinese hamster was of an individual captured in Beijing
(formerly Peking), China and being sold as a pet. They were soon used as lab
animals as early as 1919 at the Peking Union Medical College. Later these
hamsters were exported for use as lab animals all over
the world. In 1948 ten males and ten females were exported to Harvard Medical School.
The Chinese hamster is the most difficult of the dwarf hamsters to breed
and raise in captivity. If they are kept as pets they should
be housed individually to avoid problems with fighting. The Chinese hamster is
also referred to as a "rat-like" hamster because of its short nose, thin body, stocky
legs and long tail.
BANNED: THE NOTORIOUS CHINESE HAMSTER!
It's true. The curious little creature known as the Chinese hamster, rat-like
hamster and even the "Mouster" is prohibited in some states. Pet owners should
check with their state's Fish and Wildlife Department before purchasing one of
these cute little guys.