How To Tell A Male Hamster From A Female
Differentiating a male hamster from a female is not always easy. For this reason, it is one of the first questions that tutors ask themselves when they adopt a small rodent, or when they still do not know whether to choose a male or female hamster.
To verify this, the most effective thing is to wait until the animal in question is sexually mature and examine its genital area. How? Very simple, with: delicacy, softness, care and by making sure we do not cause the animal any stress, since any inappropriate movement can lead to a bite or, in the worst case, death of the animal. Keep reading and learn how to tell a male hamster from a female, here at AnimalWised.
How to recognize if a hamster is a male or female
Before going on to explain how to know if a hamster is female or male, it is necessary to clarify some general recommendations to avoid confusion and, above all, to guarantee a positive experience for the animal. Handling a hamster improperly, for example, can make the animal feel: insecure, uncomfortable, annoyed and even force it to react with aggression.
To know for sure if a hamster is male or female, it is necessary to wait until it reaches sexual maturity. In general, a hamster is considered sexually active after 30-50 days of life, males experiencing this later than females. Of course, the definitive period of time may vary depending on the species. Therefore, if you are having difficulties identifying the sex of the hamster, we suggest waiting a little longer or going to a veterinarian. Likewise, it should be noted that the fact of being sexually mature does not imply that they can already have offspring. In fact, pregnancy in hamsters before 10 weeks of age is discouraged.
When it comes to recognizing whether a hamster is male or female, it is necessary to ensure that there you present your hamster with a relaxed and completely stress-free environment. To do this, you can start by gently caressing the animal, offer it a piece of food and let it sit on the palm of our hand. Little by little, try to hold it, gently. When you feel that it is comfortable, turn the hamster over completely. We recommend keeping it at a diagonal, with its head facing you, as if it was sitting in your palm. Once the hamster is comfortable in this posture, you can observe its genitals.
How to know if my hamster is male?
Recognizing whether a hamster is male or female because of its size may not be conclusive, since in some species female species are larger than males. For example, if we look at how to know if a Russian hamster is male or female, we should know that in general, the male is larger than the female. We can say the same for the Chinese hamster, but not for other hamster breeds.
To know if your hamster is male, it is best to observe the perianal area of the animal, just below the tail, exerting slight pressure and separating the hair. Males are characterized by a greater distance between the genital papilla (penis) and the anus. In addition, the back of its body in correspondence with the tail, tips, due to the location of the testicles. Some hamster species have more protuberant than others, such as the Chinese hamster.
The umbilical gland can also help us distinguish if a hamster is male or female, since in males it is much more visible than in females. To see it, we must hold the animal gently and separate the hair that covers it naval.
How to know if my hamster is female?
The body of a female hamster, in contrast to the apparent male testicles, has a rounded end. The best way to know if a hamster is female or male is through their genitals, since the females sport a very short distance between the anus and the genital papilla (vulva), featuring two holes close to each other. In addition, in females it is possible to notice the presence of nipples in the lower abdomen, although in younger specimens it is not always easy.
In short, to recognize if a hamster is male or female, one must check the perianal area, located under the tail. Secondly, you can check the distance between the anus and reproductive hole; if they are placed together, it is a female, and if they are considerably separated, it is a male. This works in most cases, provided that the animal has exceeded three weeks of life.
If you notice that these tricks and tips have not worked and you are still not sure whether your hamster is a male or female, we recommend consulting a veterinarian.
Should I get a male or female hamster?
The answer to this depends on the individual situation, and whether you intend on having one or more hamsters. If you just want one of these adorable animals, the decision to choose a male or female hamster is totally up to you. If you want more than one hamster, here are some recommendations;
- In general, males usually fight each other due to their territorial instinct. Therefore, it is not advisable to have two male hamsters.
- Females, on the other hand, tend to share a peaceful coexistence.
- Hamsters are very receptive and active animals. Since females usually go into heat every 4-5 days approximately, if you have a female and a male hamster in the same cage together, it is likely that she will fall pregnant. However, if your female hamster becomes pregnant, it is important to know that female hamsters can give birth to a litter of up to 20.
- Some adult hamsters do not tolerate the arrival of a new hamster very well. Therefore, we advise you to adopt two hamsters at the same time.
If you want to read similar articles to How To Tell A Male Hamster From A Female, we recommend you visit our What you need to know category.
- Fernando J. Benavides; Jean-Louis Guénet. Manual de Genética de roedores de laboratorio. 2003. Universidad de Alcalá de Henares y SECAL.