Appearance

Roborovskis are very easy to recognise due to their coat's features and size. The coat colours vary, but not too much. Here is an easy to read chart of what the averageRoborovski should look like:

  • Size - 4 to 4.5cm (1.5 to 1.75 inches)
  • Weight - 22 to 26 grams
  • Feet - 4 toes on front paw and 5 on the hind (larger) paw
  • Lifespan - 2 to 3 and a half years (highest recorded is over 4 years)
  • Colours - Agouti (wild or 'natural'), White faced

Agouti

Also known as 'wild' or 'natural' colouring. This is the most common form of colouring found in pet stores. The agouti coat is sandy coloured with the roots of the hairs grey. All coloured Roborovski's don't have dorsal stripes like other dwarf hamsters. Agouti Robo's have adorable little white eyebrows, whilst white-faced Robo's don't have these, as, uh, their faces are completely white.

Their ears have a tiny bit of black to the side of them with a patch of white behind them. The belly is completely white (though male Robo's have a tiny patch of gold where their scent gland is), and eyes are pure black with no cloudiness or red patches around them. The noses are beautifully pink surrounded by white and sandy coloured fur. The whiskers should be many and long - white with darker whiskers closer to the eyes, as shown

White-Faced Roborovski's

Also called 'White mask' or 'Husky' Robo's. Although there are some theories that tampering with the colouring has produced Robo's which later in life can have health problems (more on that later). The white face coat is same as the agouti except for the usual white eyebrow feature which is not present in this variation. Instead the whole face is white. The rest of the body shows the normal agouti color, though lighter versions show up too.

The white face pattern first appeared in Sweden around 2002 before making its way into Europe. In one reported case two agouti's mated, with the offspring being one Agouti pup and one  white-faced with a diluted colour, because of the recessive gene.

Platinum Gene and Fading

Some White faced Roborovski's are born with a diluted colour - the whole body, not only the face. Not all though. There is a debate that a separate colour gene altogether produces this diluted colour or it might just be that the gene is acting differently (different fenotype), but there is no actual reason for this. No-one really knows the reason for this diluting, but it may be a hidden illness or weakness. So the debate goes on... still, no-one is sure a) what causes this dilution and b) what the long-term effects of this disturbed gene may be.  

Some white faced robo owners say that their Roborovski's colouring has faded over time. There is a lot of scepticism about this subject. This is because there is nearly no actual evidence of this effect.