Meet the European Hamster!

Are they pet hamsters?

The European Hamster is not actually an official pet in most parts of the world. But there seems to be a growing interest in them. Should they be left alone in nature or can humans provide them an alternative lifestyle? You be the judge!


These hamsters are also known as the Common Hamster because they were once very common in Europe. Because they are the largest hamster breed with a unique black underside, they are also affectionately called the Giant Hamster and Blackbellied Hamster.

To learn more facts about this hamster, visit its Info & Gallery page.

The Common hamster's Origins

A few decades ago, Common hamsters were often thought of as pest to farmers. Just one hamster can hoard up to 150lbs of crop in their burrows. As a result, the farming industry took measures to exterminate them to the point of near extinction.

Today, programs and laws are needed to preserve this species (see video below).

To pet or not to pet?

There are dissenting views of course. Some would say that these hamsters were never meant to be caged. While others would say they could provide better care for their pets than they can themselves. What do you think?

Interview #1

I was able to interview Martina Umlauft (also known as "TheFeldhamster" on YouTube) on this issue. Matina is an avid filmmaker of wild Common hamsters in Vienna. She has posted many rare videos of these wild hamsters on YouTube. She also authors a hamster cages blog and a wild European hamsters blog.

Read how Martina describes her experiences filming wild hamsters and why she doesn't recommend these hamsters as pets.

Interview #2
I was also able to interview Zita Fulop. Zita is a hamster fancier in Hungary that has had 2 Euro hamsters as pets. She has uploaded a few short clips of them on her youtube channel.

See Zita's take on keeping these hamsters as pets and her plans to breed and tame them in the future.



Would you recommend European Hamsters?

There you have it. You've heard from the experts. Now what do you think? Should European hamsters be kept as a pet or left alone? Share your opinion!

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What Other Visitors Recommend

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Some animals best left untouched 
Tigers, wolves, baby lions. They are all cute but should just be left alone if the caretake can't give them a good life.

YES Not rated yet
Breeding them as petswould keep them from extinction

Pet with Careful Keeping Not rated yet
I think these can make acceptable pets, but like any non-domestic animal, extra care has to be taken in housing and feeding. These should only be kept …

yes Not rated yet
In Poland these hamsters are killed everywhere by the farmers. I have seen many of them killed on the roads. More homes are being built, leaving less room …

They make perfect pets Not rated yet
The more people breeding them, the more there will be of these beautiful animals and won't be extinct in some countries. In Poland there are tons of them …

The wild Not rated yet
Because if they were originally in the wild, we should not keep them away from their home and to take away everything they have ever known would just be …

I would recommend the European hamster be breed for the pet trade Not rated yet
The reason is as far as I can tell this hamster isn't already in the pet trade is because the years of persecution and little knowledge of its existence …

yes they should be domesticated Not rated yet
if european farmers eradicate them in the wild there will always be a captive population

european hamsters! Not rated yet
I have one at home! She is a baby, about 2 years old. She is a black European hamster. I am 9 years old and got her for my 8th birthday. Trust me they …

European Hamsters should be kept as a pet Not rated yet
My reasoning is simple. A lot of today's pets were once wild and not considered to be tame or were not thought to make good pets. I'm sure Syrians started …

yes yes yes Not rated yet
I have raised them and they make such lovable and fun pets.

Maybe captive only in zoos! Not rated yet
I believe the best option is for the European Hamster to be kept captive in zoos. Most people may not have the essential knowhow to successfully cater …

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Top Questions:

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