Hamsters have become a popular choice of pet for households everywhere. Children especially adore these fluffy spunky creatures for their cuddly physiques. However, some people can’t stand the sight of these fluffy rodents – as said people can’t overlook the fact that hamsters are closely related to the sewer rats people have been accustomed.
Despite their unfortunate blood line, hamsters are clean domesticated animals with good hygiene practices by default. Hamsters are also much more plump and rounder in comparison to their sewage rate cousins, and when given proper care, would live longer and healthier too.
Physique wise, hamsters have a smaller mouth and nose length in comparison to their rat relatives. Additionally, rats have sharper teeth and are relatively much more aggressive than hamsters. Hamsters generally have a shorter tail than rats: where a rat’s long tail serves as a tool of balance while hamsters may not need the tool as much as rats would.
Another clear distinction only found in hamsters is their famous food-keeping cheeks. Hamsters are able to store food in their cheeks, where they would usually keep throughout winter time. Hamsters would then feed their collected feeds throughout a time span, thus making their cheeks a convenient organ in the means of survival. These cheeks are are present in both male and female hamsters, hence the popular notion that confirms that hamsters are an easy pet to raise.
There are many positives to raising a hamster, which makes the animal a popular first choice of many. Some people would breed their hamsters and sell them off to enthusiasts, while some just enjoy the company of their fluffy friend. Despite what each breeder’s purpose is, it is wise to at least have a basic understanding on what it takes to raise one. Particularly for breeders who are raising them for offsprings, they are advised to know the differences between a male and female hamster for reproduction purposes.
So, if you’re one of those breeders, be sure to stick around and read on to find out the 7 ways to differentiate male and female hamsters!
1. Their Body Odor Organ
One difference you could observe between the two sexes would be the presence of their body odor organ. To observe this, calmly pick up your hamster with one hand and gently turn them over with their stomachs facing up. Be sure to remain calm and gently during this picking up process, as hamsters are very prone to stress and could bite you out of self defense (especially for Cambel and Winter hamsters, who are best known for their aggressiveness). Scan over their stomachs and you could locate the organ of a male hamster far off from their anus, and much bigger in size than their female counterpart.
This body odor organ is used to help hamsters mark their territories. They would give out a distinct smell surrounding a designated area to ensure that other hamsters are aware that the area has been market. Hamsters are territorial animals that may turn aggressive when their peers challenge them.
2. Their Genitals
The most obvious distinction between a male and female hamster is their genitals. A male hamster’s genitals would have fully developed during the ages of 3-4 months, and it is located above their anus. Male hamsters’ genitals that are aged below 3-4 months cannot be detected as easier as their older peers’.
The male genetalia is located nearby their anus area. Breeders could observe two holes, or a bump, around the area. The hole nearby the tail is their anus holes, whilst the other hole/bump is where their penis is. The distance between the two organs are around 2-3 cms. Female hamsters, on the other end, do not have this bump. Their vaginas, however are located not far off from their anus – in some cases, having almost no distance. .
Another clear distinction between the two sexes would be the presence of nipples. As most animals go, a male hamsters would not have nipples, while their female counterparts do. Generally, a female hamster would have 4-6 nipples on the side of their stomachs. However, just like the male’s genital, a female’s nipples may not be as visible to the naked eye before a certain age – and they are often hidden under a thick layer of fur. The nipples are also especially prominent when the female hamster is nursing.
4. Their Characters and Personalities
This distinction may lie on a rather gray area. All hamsters are unique with their own personality traits, so uniforming one trait with the rest of the sex would seem unfair. However, the general rule of thumb states that male hamsters are much more aggressive and territorial than their female counterparts. This is due to a unique hierarchy that is found in a hamster society that assigns an alpha male that rules a society.
5. A Male’s Scrotum
While waiting for 3-4 months may be an unreliable and time consuming task to differentiate between the two sexes, breeders could just wait 4 weeks until one’s scrotum has been fully developed. A male hamster’s scrotum is usually large and often mistaken for a tumor for new breeders. To avoid this misconception, breeders are strongly advised to do prior research to differentiate between the two.
6. Their Anus
Aside from their genitals, another distinction between a male and female hamster would be the size and shape of their anus. Male hamsters have a longer and rounder anus hole than their female counterparts – and it is most obviously distinct in Chinese Hamsters. Female hamsters would also have a longer tail in comparison to their anus holes, but the results may vary amongst subspecies.
7. Their Actions
As previously mentioned, though their personalities and traits may not be a reliable distinction, their actions would play the same role. Despite so, male hamsters are generally more active and outgoing than their female counterparts. This could, as mentioned, be due to the natural hierarchy within their hamster society.
So there you have it, 7 ways to differentiate male and female hamsters. Note that these are just basic differences, and there is always a possibility of an outlier. In such case, be sure to consult medical professionals and do more prior research to know how to properly raise your special hamster. Good luck!