The Chinese Hamster, which originated in northern China and Mongolia, belongs to the group of hamsters with rat-like characteristics. This breed was first reported and sold as a pet in Beijing in 1900. Used primarily as lab animals, they were later used at the Peking Union Medical College in 1919 and soon exported to other labs worldwide. Harvard Medical School received ten males and ten females in 1948. Eventually, Chinese Hamsters were introduced into the European pet market in the 1960s. Interest in Chinese Hamsters grew in the 1970s, as the Russian Hamster was also introduced to the pet market. Chinese Hamsters are not an endangered species, but they are rare, particularly in the United States, where many states do not allow them. If considering one of these animals as a pet, please check your local regulations to make sure it is allowed and no restrictions apply.