It is all too easy to imagine that two hamster species can peacefully live together. After all, both of them are hamsters, right? However, this is not always the case. Several hamster species are more solitary, so it may mean trouble for both you and your hamsters if you try to get them to live together with other species. How about Robo hamsters, then? Can Robo hamsters live alone?
Robos, or Roborovski hamsters, have been seen and observed to live in the wild in pairs. They are among the few species of hamsters that live together with other hamsters. But most of the time, Robo hamsters live alone.
However, even if it is common to see Robo hamsters living on their own, they are also one of the hamster species that will most likely cohabitate well with other hamsters.
You can keep your Robo hamsters together in the same enclosure. But you still have to make sure that all the Robots have more than enough space where they can seek some alone time when they want to.
While Robo hamsters live in groups and pairs without any problems, it is still important to keep a close eye on them to watch out for any signs of aggressive behavior. This hamster specie is friendly in general. But even if it is rare for them to bite, their extreme activity makes it difficult to handle them.
If you are planning to get some Robo hamsters soon, here are a few important facts about this cute hamster specie.
Robo Hamsters in the Wild
Roborovski hamsters with the scientific name Phodopus Roborovski are also called Desert hamsters. This hamster specie can be found in Russia, Manchuria, Mongolia, and China.
The natural habitats of Robo hamsters are semi-deserts and deserts with minimal vegetation. Robo hamsters live in the wield in a straight burrow inside the sand dunes with a length of 50cm to 150cm with soft sand covering the entrance.
The Robo hamsters are found to be the most efficient of the whole Phodopys genus to concentrate urine. While they may have the least sensitivity to cold temperatures, Robos are quite sensitive to heat. They also appear to have a reduced need for water compared to dwarf hamsters, making them well adapted to life in the desert.
Robo hamsters are also very social hamster species, living together in groups. However, since they have poor eyesight, they rely a lot on their extremely acute sense of hearing and smell to recognize their environment and other hamsters.
Robos are also crepuscular, which means they often sleep a lot during the daytime and will remain underground when the harsh and bright sunlight is out.
However, these hamsters still come out during the daytime as long as there is only very low light, like during days when there is heavy cloud cover, at dusk, or right before sunrise.
Robo hamsters are very active during nighttime but since they prefer periods with low light, they find it better if there is more moonlight.
Robo Hamsters as Pets
Robos are relatively new hamster species kept as pets because it was only during the 1970s when they were domesticated for the first time.
Lt. Roborovski discovered the specie in July 1894 but were only studied scientifically in 1903. They were imported into the United Kingdom by London Zoo in the 1960s. However, the ones studied first in Britain were imported from Moscow Zoo in the 1970s. But none of the said hamsters bore any offspring.
The countries in continental Europe were more successful in breeding Robo hamsters. But the Robos that are now in the United Kingdom are the descendants of the batch that was imported in 1990 from the Netherlands.
Robo hamsters are dwarf hamsters, and they are among the smallest hamster breeds typically kept as pets. These hamsters are very social, and they do rather well when kept in small groups or pairs of the same sex. There is even a belief that Robo hamsters that live alone tend to have shorter lifespans.
However, many hamster owners have discovered that they prefer living alone and splitting them up is the best thing you can do if fights break out among Robos living together. It is also discovered that it is easier to tame Robo hamsters living alone. It might be because they didn’t bond to a cage mate, or it might also be because there are no other Robo hamsters to imitate or copy from.
If you are keeping a pair or group of Robo hamsters together, you might notice how they seem to copy one another, running around inside the cage very fast whenever they see you going near their cage.
How to Handle Robo Hamsters
Robos are extremely energetic and fast little creatures that are very inquisitive by nature. After they calm down and become more familiar with being handled, these hamsters can be very gentle that rarely bite. Instead of biting, these hamsters would rather turn around and run away.
It is also very rare for these hamsters to bite even when cornered. They would rather struggle and squirm to get free while making a lot of noise. But once they get loose, you might have a hard time retrieving them.
Contrary to popular belief, you can hand tame Robo hamsters. Some will even become very tame although it would still depend on individual personalities. Others also prefer being left alone.
Just like with other pets, plenty of time and patience is required to tame these small pets. It is recommended to start handling them as early as 2.5 to 3 weeks old, a time when it is already safe enough to do so, although it still depends on the mother and her temperament.
The Bottom Line
Robo hamsters are interesting hamsters that are just recently kept as pets. If you are planning to get one, the good news is that they can live alone well without any issues. However, due to their social qualities, it might be great to have them in pairs or even groups so you can have a fun time watching them interact and play with each other all day long.