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Syrians are the larger of the hamsters, are nocturnal and live in solitude.  Females tend to be a bit more alert than males, and often wake up during the day to see what is going on.  Males prefer to laze around or occasionally they pop out of their nest to use the loo or find something to eat.  It is possible to train them to come out earlier in the day, which is especially helpful if the hamster belongs to a child as otherwise by the time it would normally rally round, the child will be going to bed and will miss them.

It is the male who will have the very long fur and a 'skirt'.  This will need brushing regularly to prevent wood chippings getting caught in it and it becoming matted.  Use either a small pet brush, or you could try using an old toothbrush.

    Syrians must be kept alone from about 6-8 weeks - if you see them in pet shops in groups chances are they are younger than this. Once they get to this age they will start to fight if left together, sometimes to the death.  They must be separated into single sex cages at 4 weeks otherwise you may find yourself with more hamsters than expected!

Life expectancy is 18 months - 3 years.

See Ted and Cassie's family photos!