Albino hamsters are some of the rarest hamsters you’ll ever find, and for good reason too. It is said that they are so hard to find that you’ll be lacky to get across 1 in every 5,000 baby hamsters.
Due to how rare they are, they actually make for some of the most sought-after pets you’ll ever find, especially when you consider the fact that they are also highly docile and easy to train.
Still, if you decide to opt for an albino hamster you may want to think better before making your choice because there are more than a few interesting differences between them and the average hamster.
By far the most important thing to note with albino hamsters are their diet, as they require a much different meal plan due to their albino genetics.
On top of that, albino hamsters are also known for being sensitive to light and for having dry skin, which is why they require extensive care in order to actually live a good and healthy life.
There are however some advantages to keeping albino hamsters as pets, including the fact that they are a lot easier on the eyes, so if you or your child happen to have a delicate eyesight, you may want to invest into an albino hamster or two.
If you want to find out more about this beautiful and unique creature, keep on reading because we’ve got a lot of information to relay to you right here and now, starting with:
- The Origins of the Albino Hamster
- The Characteristics of the Albino Hamster
- The Appearance of the Albino Hamster
- The Temperament of the Albino Hamster
- The Health Problems of the Albino Hamster
- Are All White Hamsters Albino?
- Are Albino Hamsters Blind?
- Are Albino Hamsters Evil?
- How to Take Care of Albino Hamsters?
- Albino Hamster Reproduction
- Should You Get an Albino Hamster?
The Origins of the Albino Hamster
The albino hamster was first discovered way back in the day, around the 1950s, but that is not to say that there have never been albino hamsters up until that point, quite the contrary actually.
An albino hamster is essentially just a hamster that was born without pigmentation. This can happen naturally around once ever 5,000 baby hamsters, but they can also be bred with other albino hamsters to produce albino babies.
Besides the typical white variety, you can also get yourself a black, brown, gray, tank, red and pink colored albino hamster.
Do keep in mind however that while it is a unique type of hamster that you can get from a specialized breeder, it is not an official breed of hamster. But if you do want to get your hands on a rare variety, you can’t go wrong with an albino hamster.
Due to how sensible they are to the sunlight, you may want to keep them hidden away most of the time, and when you do take them outside you can have them wear sunglasses or you can wrap them up in blankets to keep them safe.
At the same time though, if you do happen to own an albino hamster you can’t actually sell or trade one across state lines, so you are pretty much stuck with it for the rest of your, or in most cases, their lives.
One advantage that the albino hamster has over any other regular hamster is that it actually tends to live around two years longer than their ordinary counterparts.
Last but not least, one question that gets brought up a lot of the time is whether or not albinism is contagious, but you shouldn’t worry too much about this since it isn’t.
If you do happen to own several albino hamsters though you may want to specifically breed them amongst themselves to make sure that they carry on their genes because doing so you can end up with one of the rarest hordes of hamsters around.
The Characteristics of the Albino Hamster
Albino hamsters are quite hard to come by, and even though they are absolutely stunning to look at, many people passed them up for other varieties due to how much harder they are to take care of.
But what many of these people fail to realize is the fact that albino hamsters are some of the most unique pets you could own. Like for example, did you know that the lack of melanin they have in their bodies actually make it so that they require a lot less light to live?
The one major downside to that is that they are also very sensitive to the sunlight, so make sure that your albino hamster is not standing directly in the sunlight otherwise it will pass away pretty quickly.
Another pretty big downside to owning albino hamsters is the fact that they can’t properly produce vitamin D3, which in turn can easily lead to a lot of health problems.
In order to make sure that your hamster will not be affected by this in the future we recommend that you give them a lot of supplements alongside a healthy and balanced diet.
You can either add the vitamin D3 to their food directly or you can provide UVB lights for sunbathing sessions to get the job done.
The Appearance of the Albino Hamster
Besides that unusual color that is a staple of the albino hamster, you’ll be hard pressed to find something odd or different about their appearance.
They are a bit on the smaller side and they have a soft white coat, which can either be near-white cream or even near-pinkish, and their eyes tend to be pink or red (but they have black eyes as well), fitting inside their heads quite aptly.
Their noses are also pink with black or brown whiskers, and strangely enough they don’t have any fur on the back of their paws.
When it comes to their overall hygiene, while they do take care of themselves, they are also endlessly curious creatures that will not stop at anything in order to explore everything there is to be explored.
They are also quite playful little creatures, and they love playing fetch and interacting with humans all day long.
As we’ve mentioned time and time again though, while playing outside is fun with them, you may want to beware though because they are quite sensible to the sunlight, so make sure to not keep them in direct sunlight at any time.
At the same time though, even though they do love playing with humans, we recommend that you don’t play with them too long because they can get quite shy after a while.
So, what we recommend that you do is you take them to a spacious enclosed room and you let them roam around all day long. This way they can explore to their heart’s content and they also get plenty of exercise and they’re a lot less likely to be depressed.
As far as their size is concerned, the albino hamster is a bit smaller than your average hamster, with most of them being as small as 3 to 4 inches long. At the same time, they can also get to weigh in at around 1 to 2 ounces each or 28 to 56g each.
Last but not least we would like to mention the fact that albino hamsters do tend to be susceptible to respiratory problems such as pneumonia if left unattended in cold temperatures.
The Temperament of the Albino Hamster
Interestingly enough, while there are more than a handful of traits that the albino hamsters have, a specific temperament isn’t one of them.
This means that their personality is heavily reliant on the hamster itself, and most of them are largely non-violent and non-confrontational. In fact, most hamsters out there would much rather run away from you rather than challenge you to a direct one vs. one battle to the death.
All jokes aside, albino hamsters are very laid back and relaxed little buggers that will keep to themselves most of the time. They tend to get attached to you after a few weeks though and before long they will be following you around aimlessly to make sure that you give them a healthy dose of head pats.
Another interesting fact to mention here is that males tend to be a lot friendlier and more comfortable around humans, but that’s not to say that females don’t enjoy the presence of their human caretakers either.
There are also plenty of albino hamster owners that swear by the fact that albino hamsters are a lot less likely to bite than the typical Syrian hamsters, but that’s heavily debatable.
The Health Problems of the Albino Hamster
Due to their lack of melanin they tend to be prone to illness, even more so than most other hamster types or breeds out there.
This is because of how sensible they are to the sunlight or pretty much any other form of light. On top of that, they can’t even produce enough Vitamin D to keep their bones strong, which is why they tend to end up with plenty of bone diseases later on down the line.
Albino hamsters also do quite bad when they’re in captivity, which is why we do recommend that you don’t take them home if you see them in the wild because they’re much better off left to fend for themselves.
But if you do want to keep one for yourself you will need to make sure that they’re properly taken care of. So, you’ll need to cater to their every need and make sure that you pamper them every day.
On top of all of that, you also have the following health problems that you’ll need to look out for as an albino hamster owner:
- Overgrown teeth
- Cheek pouch disease
- Wet tail
- Infectious disease
Are All White Hamsters Albino?
Actually, no, not all white hamsters are albino. In fact, albinism in hamsters is very rare, which is why we can assure you that most of the white hamsters you saw in your life are not actually albinos.
If you want to see the best example of similar yet so different from one another hamsters you just need to look into winter white dwarf hamsters and you’ll instantly be able to tell the difference.
As you can quickly tell here, while winter white hamsters do have white hair, they don’t have red eyes and at the same time they’re nowhere near as white as albinos.
You also have leucistic hamsters which are very similar to albinos, but they have normal colored eyes instead of the typical red eyes that albinos have.
As such, if you do see a hamster that has a white colored coat but normal black eyes then chances are that you are actually looking at a hamster with leucism, not an albino one.
Are Albino Hamsters Blind?
Because of their signature red eyes, many people believe that albino hamsters are actually blind, but they’re mistaken.
While they do have slightly worse vision than regular hamsters, that doesn’t mean that they can’t see. Instead, they struggle a bit with depth perception but that’s about it.
This is because the pigmentation in the eyes is very important for normal vision, so, while your albino hamster isn’t inherently blind, it does have a much higher chance to be running into walls than the average hamster.
Are Albino Hamsters Evil?
Many people also believe that the signature red eyes of the albino hamsters make them inherently evil, which is quite unfair to say the least.
After all, these red eyes tend to mean that they have a harder time discerning depth perception, so they’re pretty much handicapped for life.
On top of that, most albino hamsters owners swear by the fact that they are a lot less violent and a lot less likely to bite you for no reason than the average hamster.
How to Take Care of Albino Hamsters?
Taking care of albino hamsters is actually not that different from taking care of any ordinary hamster out there.
They eat all the same food as their ordinary companions and they have similar requirements to live happy and healthy lives.
But a lot of people make the mistake of believing that albino hamsters are low-maintenance pets that they can just have around their houses at all times without really worrying too much about their diet, bedding and exercise routine.
This is quite wrong as they still require the following:
- An average sized cage (around 24 x 12 x 12 at the least, although it is recommended that you go for a fairly larger one to make sure that your hamster has plenty of room to run around in)
- An exercise wheel (these are quite obligatory because for as cute as chubby cheeked hamsters can be, it is still very unhealthy to have them roam around all day long)
- A food bowl (albino hamsters do need quite a lot of supplements to live healthy lives)
- Freshwater in a water bottle
- Chew toys
- A hamster house (this is where your albino hamster will be hiding in most of the time)
Albino Hamster Reproduction
There are two ways that albino hamsters can reproduce. First and foremost, the female albino hamster can store the sperm in their reproductive tract for as long as a whole year. Doing this, they will release the stored sperm and create an egg when they start ovulating.
The second method is by simply taking albino hamsters and having them mate with one another. This will produce a litter of albinos.
If you breed an albino hamster with a normal colored hamster, you have a 50/50 chance for the offspring to also be an albino.
So, if you want to specifically breed albino hamsters, you may want to mate two albinos as opposed to only having one of the parents be an albino.
Should You Get an Albino Hamster?
Albino hamsters tend to be quite confident and friendly, but they can also be prone to nipping so keep that in mind.
They are very small and fragile though, so they’re not recommended for children because they can easily end up harming the hamsters by squeezing them too hard to being too forceful with them.
Albino hamsters are quite docile and friendly though, so you can show them to children, but never leave them alone with the hamsters because you never know when they’ll just forget about their existence and step or sit on them.
So, with all of that being said, should you get your hands on an albino hamster? Honestly, it all depends on your needs and wants, as well as your capacity to take proper care of them and spend the money to actually make sure that they live good lives.
The truth is that hamsters are never low-maintenance creatures, they have a lot of needs and wants and as a hamster owner you will have a lot of responsibilities on your hands.
So, we can’t tell you whether you should or shouldn’t get yourself an albino hamster, but what we can tell you is that if you do believe that they are the right pets for you, you will never regret your choice in the slightest.
After all, they do require a lot of help and nurture, but if you do take the time to properly make sure that they live healthy lives then you will absolutely love to see the little squishy face staring at you joyfully every time you enter your room.
Albino hamsters are quite incredible little buggers, aren’t they? They are small, yes, but that only makes them cuter and the white eyes almost make them seem alien to say the least.
As such, they are some of the most incredible and unique looking pets you’ll ever see. They are not easy to take care of, but still, they are well worth the effort and commitment at the end of the day.