The Winter White Hamsters, or Dwarf Russian Winter White Hamsters, Siberian Hamsters or Furry Hamsters, as they are also called (they go by many names), are some of the most beautiful hamster varieties available.
Each of these names describes one of the features of this amazing animal, therefore you can get a pretty good idea of what it looks like. This hamster is white in color, it has very tiny size, furry feet and it is a great companion. It is also called Siberian Hamster because that is its place of origin.
When they reach maturity, Winter White Hamsters reach just 3 or 4 inches in length. Although they have prominent eyes, that doesn’t mean they have great eyesight; on the contrary, it is quite poor. They have various features that they share with other hamster varieties, but also some traits that are characteristic only to them.
Some of their predominant traits are their curved spine, Roman nose, and short tail; they also have expandable cheek pouches for transporting food (this being, of course, a characteristic of all hamster varieties).
Their natural habitat is the Siberian steppe, and their winter white coat is an essential survival tool in that environment. The coat helps them, serving as camouflage in the vast snow plains and allowing them to remain unseen for their natural predators. The color of their fur changes with the season, so the snow-white color becomes a slate grey coat, accompanied by a shade of pearl white on their underbelly and a dark gray dorsal stripe.
When they are in captivity, they rarely wear the wonderful white coat that gives them their name, therefore it is somewhat more difficult to identify them and distinguish them from other hamster species. The task is even more difficult because pet shops all over North America rarely have purebreds of these wonderful animals.
That is why they are very often confused with Campbell’s Russian Dwarf Hamster, which is very common dwarf hamsters and can be found in virtually any pet shop. If you want to get this variety of hamster as a pet, you need to have a trained eye or use the help of someone who can distinguish them, since they are often mislabeled in professional stores as well.
Many times, the Winter White Hamsters are interbred with other varieties of hamsters, such as the Campbell’s Russian Dwarf Hamster, but that could lead to disastrous results because the resulting hamsters are prone to disease and they can be extremely sensitive to climate change.