Djungarian hamsters are ball-shaped and typically half the size of the Syrian hamster. They typically have thick, dark grey dorsal stripe and furry feet. As winter approaches and the days shorten, Djungarian hamsters' dark fur is almost entirely replaced with white fur. In captivity, this does not always happen. These hamsters are common as pets in Europe and North America and exhibit greater variance in their coats than those found in the wild. Djungarian hamsters can also be colored pearl, sapphire, sapphire pearl, and marbled. Other colorations can be mandarin, blue, argente, yellow blue fawn, camel, brown, cream, merle, and umbrous.
In the wild, these hamsters originate from Dzungaria, Kazakhstan, the meadows of Mongolia, Siberia, and the birch stands of Manchuria. They sometimes live in the semi-deserts in Central Asia. Djungarian hamsters also live in the dry steppes and wheat or alfalfa fields, as well as on small fields, grassy planes, and mountain steppes.
Djungarian hamsters are solitary creatures. They don't hibernate. These hamsters are known to dig tunnels one metre deep leading to ground burrows where they can sleep, raise their young and hide from predators. Most of these burrows have six entrances. In the summer, the burrows are lined with moss. To keep the burrow warm in the winter, Djungarian hamsters close all but one entrance and line the burrows with animal fur or wool that they find. The temperature inside the burrow is usually 16.7 °C (62.1 °F). These hamsters are usually active in the evening and early morning and sometimes during the night. When foraging, they fill their cheek pouches with small seeds and carry larger items back to the burrow in their mouth. They either stored collected food in the burrow for the winter or eat it when return to the burrow, or above ground in the shelter. Djungarian hamsters communicate with each other with the help of high frequency sounds and with squeaks.
Little is known about the mating system in Djungarian hamsters. In the wild, males and females meet only for mating which means that this species may exhibit a polygynous mating system. They don't have a specific breeding season and can breed year-round. During the breeding time, Djungarian hamsters may become aggressive. Females are able to become pregnant again on the same day that they have given birth. This can all happen within a 36-day period. This is done as a survival strategy to produce large numbers of offspring in a short period of time. The gestation period usually lasts around 20-22 days. Females give birth to 5-12 pups. The young are born blind and hairless. The mother cares for them alone. Young are weaned when they are around 1 month old. Djungarian hamsters reach reproductive maturity usually soon after weaning.
Threats to Djungarian hamsters are not known at present.
According to IUCN, the Djungarian hamster is locally common and widespread throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List.