How to identify the gender of your hamster?
Knowing whether your hamster is a boy or a girl is crucial whether you’re choosing a name for your furry pet or raising two at once (keep in mind that hamsters are solitary creatures and would prefer that you be their only companion). Making sure that male and female hamsters do not mistakenly live together is crucial since female hamsters go through heat cycles about every four days and their gestation periods can range from 16 to 22 days depending on the species.
When hamsters are young if you don’t have both male and female hamsters available for comparison, it might be challenging to determine their gender. All hamster species, whether Syrian, dwarf, or Chinese, have comparable fundamental differences. Each species does, however, have unique traits or characteristics that can help with sex identification.
What should you look for?
It’s vital to keep in mind that juveniles’ testicles aren’t always visible and that adults’ testicles can occasionally retract. Instead, pay attention to the anogenital space. In particular, pay attention to the area between their anus and genitalia (the vaginal and penile apertures). In females, the area between the anus and vaginal entrance can occasionally be so close together that it appears to be a single organ. The gap will be wider between males than females, and the testicles may be visible. The easier it is to identify your hamster’s gender, generally, the bigger and more mature it is.
Their nipples – or lack thereof – is another distinguishing feature. Male hamsters do not have any nipples, while females have six pairs. Compared to females, men often have larger smell glands. Syrian species have them on their sides, and dwarf species have them on their tummies.
Holding your hamster to check its gender
You’re all set to look? Make sure your hamster is alert and at ease first. You can pick up your hamster by gently grabbing it from behind and placing your palm over its back while speaking sweetly to them. It might be more comfortable for your hamster and less likely to wiggle if you hold it up straight rather than turning it on its back.
In addition, maintaining a male hamster in this position can cause his testicles to enlarge and become more noticeable. If your hamster isn’t used to being handled, be cautious at all times and keep an eye on how they act to assist avoid bites. A treat can occasionally be used to divert a hamster while you decide if your new friend is a male or female.
Other general differences
All hamsters have a few minor differences, though depending on the age and species of the hamster, they may be challenging to notice.
- The back end of the male tends to be elongated and rounder in appearance in comparison to the female.
- Male hamsters often have a noticeable scrotum with testicles after about four weeks of age, although the testicles can be retracted.
- Only female hamsters have nipples.
Characteristics of Syrian hamsters
Since the distinctions between males and females are rather clear, it is usually simpler to determine the sex of Syrian hamsters than it is to do so with other species. The nipples of female Syrian hamsters are rather conspicuous and are arranged in two rows parallel to and along the sides of the belly. Short belly hair on the hamster makes the nipples more apparent. Syrian hamster males have quite noticeable testicles that stick out from their posterior end. The testicles may be retractable (as they are in all male hamsters) or covered by fur, although in most cases, they are visible.
Characteristics of Dwarf hamsters
The additional characteristics of dwarf hamsters can be used to identify their sex. Near the center of the belly, male dwarf hamsters have an obvious scent gland. Additionally, the gland’s secretions may leave a yellow or greasy staining in its vicinity. Small, invisible smell glands are found on the female dwarf hamsters. Additionally, male dwarf hamsters can be recognized by their testicles and by the way their hind ends taper toward their tails. On mature hamsters, the testicles can be seen the most. Last but not least, male Dwarf hamsters are larger than females, despite the fact that size varies by age and animal type.
Characteristics of Chinese hamsters
The form of Chinese hamsters’ hind ends is one of its most distinctive features. Males’ rear ends are longer and rounder than those of females. The anogenital distance must be used for positive identification if you don’t have access to hamsters of both sexes for comparison.
If you want more helpful advice on looking after your hamster, including tips on food, toys, accessories and accommodation, add a comment below to let us know!
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