​​California Hamster Association

Visit us at Orange County Pet Expo!

April 26-28th, 2019

OC Fair and Event Center

Booth location TBD

Buy tickets and find additional information at the Pet Expo website

Show Policies and Procedures

Fall Show 2018

Entries (not payment) are due to arrive by 6 pm on the Wednesday before the show.  Late entries will be accepted at the Show Secretary’s discretion and a $1 late fee per hamster will be charged. Day-of-the-show entry fees will be waived for those attending their first CHA show.

All hamsters must be checked in in their appropriate show pens and placed on the staging table at least 20 minutes before the judging begins.  Health checks will be performed during check-in.

The minimum age for Dwarfs to be entered in the show is 4 weeks and the minimum age for Syrians to be entered in the show is 6 weeks

Entry Fees
The standard fee for each show is $5 per animal, which enters you into both standards and the pet/fun classes. 

These fees help us to continue keeping the shows alive and allow us to purchase materials such as prizes, ribbons, refreshments, and other necessary items. We do not profit from entry fees in any way.

Each show, one of the girls takes on the bulk of the financial responsibility for that season. We use entry fees to help her recoup what she has spent. Therefore, fees shall be sent to a different person each time. Fees for the 2018 Winter Show may be sent via paypal to Tony at yellow.bird923@yahoo.com. We also accept cash or transfer payment (Paypal, Venmo, Zelle, etc.) on show day at the park.

Show Classes
Standards and Fun classes will be offered at each show unless otherwise specified.

Pet/Fun Classes will be judged separately for dwarves and Syrians. Pet/Fun Classes will be split by gender or other classification at the discretion of the show secretary and judge. 

Standard procedure will be to split each class by gender if there are 5 or more hamsters entered in that class. Each gender class may be further split by coat type, section (Agouti, Self, Patterned), color, or other feature as determined by the show secretary and judge. This will usually be done if there are 5 or more like animals entered in a gender class.

The winner of Best In Show, Best Guide Standard In Show, and Best Unstandardized In Show will be the hamster with the highest point total between the male and female classes.


Large rosettes, medals, or other awards will typically be given for the following
1. Best Pet Dwarf
2. Best Pet Syrian
3. Best in Show Dwarf
4. Best in Show Syrian

Second and third place winners in the Pet/Fun Classes will receive a rosette or flat ribbon.

Small ribbons will be given to the winner of each of the individual classes including the Pet/Fun Classes and the Standardized Classes.

At some shows, an alternative prize will be given for one or more awards.  This typically occurs when prizes are donated to the club.  Donations of prizes are always welcome. These prizes may or may not replace the rosettes, medals, and/or flat ribbons and prize cards.

Health Check

All hamsters who come to the show for any reason must meet minimum health and age requirements.  Each animal will be health checked, and all dwarves must be at least 4 weeks of age while all Syrians must be at least 6 weeks of age. An exception must be requested at least a week before the show. Frail, elderly, easily stressed, pregnant, nursing, or injured hamsters should never be brought to a show. Any hamster brought to the show which has been acquired from a different source must have been quarantined for at least two weeks.  Hamsters acquired within the last two weeks may not be brought to shows.

Show Pens

All hamsters must be shown in show pens and on show bedding.

Approved show pens are the standard Kritter Keepers ONLY. These can be found in most pet stores.  This is required to help maintain anonymity in the judging process.  

Dwarves should be shown in the “small” size Kritter Keepers.  If two dwarves who live together are shown in the same show pen the “medium” size may be used.

Syrians should be shown in the “medium” or “large” size Kritter Keepers.  

The CHA will have a limited number of Kritter Keepers for rent at every show on a first-come, first-served basis.  You must indicate on your entry form if you need to rent one.  Cost is $1 each.

For those shows in which there is a Hamster Ball Race, there will also be a limited number of Hamster Balls available. Please bring your own if at all possible. If not, there will be a space on the entry form to indicate that you plan on borrowing one.

Show Bedding

Hamsters must be shown on alphi-dri bedding.

Packages of alphi-dri bedding will be available for purchase at the show since it is not readily available in the pet stores.  It is a white bedding which works well for all hamsters involved in our shows.  It does not mat for the long hairs, and it does not produce the same sensitivities that aspen does for some hamsters.  

Each hamster must have a small amount of food and a small piece of fruit/veggie in the show pen (cucumber is recommended).

Other Hamsters

Hamsters who are not entered should not be brought to the show. For any other exceptions, please write at least one week before the show to ask permission. 

Selling Hamsters

All animals which change hands at a CHA shows will be required to go through the CHA show sale process and must meet the CHA sales requirements. This is for people selling their youngsters, for people adopting/selling their older hamsters, and for people placing/adopting/selling rescues.  All animals are included.

The CHA requires that a minimum price is charged for all hamsters changing hands at CHA shows. For hamsters under 6 months of age the minimum is $10. The minimum price for hamsters over 6 months of age is $5.  Again, this is a minimum, and you may charge more.

The CHA reserves the right to refuse to allow the sale of any animal at any time and/or refuse to sell to any prospective buyer at any time. All animals will be health checked. Animals deemed in questionable health, and those who are small, scrawny, or in poor condition will not be sold. Runts or babies from large litters will require a few extra days to comply.  Please take this into account and bring them when they are older.  There are no exceptions to these rules. Please do not bring under-aged animals. Due to the stress on them, they will be placed in another area out of the main traffic areas.

CHA Sales Requirements:

1. Hamster belongs to the seller    
2. Hamster is a minimum of 4 weeks old for Dwarves and 6 weeks old for Syrians
3. Hamster has been in the seller's care for a minimum of two weeks     
4. Hamster has not been exposed to any new hamsters during the two-week period prior to this show
5. Hamster has not shown any symptoms of illness, disease, or parasites for a minimum of two weeks
6. The seller must have contacted one of the presidents of the CHA and informed them of their intent to sell their animal at least 2 weeks prior to the show.

CHA Sales Procedures

Sellers must completely and accurately fill out a Show Sales Form for EACH animal they are selling prior to check in at the show. Sales Hamsters will be health checked and entered in the show per CHA show procedures. All sales will take place from the sales table ONLY. 

All buyers will receive the top portion of a completed Show Sales Form with each animal purchased. After sales are complete CHA sales table staff will provide Seller with the money collected and the bottom portion of the completed Show Sales Form as a receipt. CHA is not responsible for bounced checks or any disagreements or problems with animals changing hands at CHA shows. 

The CHA does NOT guarantee the health of any animals sold by any breeder/seller nor do they guarantee any claims made by the breeder/seller.  Please work directly with them if you are looking for anything in particular, and please follow up with them on any care, genetics, breeding, or other support issues.  They are the expert on anything they sell.

Photo Policy

Pictures are usually taken at CHA shows for use on our CHA website.  These include group photos of people as well as pictures of winning or participating hamsters.  On occasion or upon request, pictures of individuals are taken with their hamsters for use in the show results section.  Participation in our shows grants permission for photo use on our CHA website.