Do you think your hamster is pregnant and want to confirm it? Start by identifying the gender of your hamster if it is young. Once you are sure that your hamster is a female, recall its interaction with any male hamster. Make sure that the stomach of the hamster is naturally swollen and there aren’t any lumps. Observe if your hamster is consuming more food and gathering material for its nest. These were some common symptoms of pregnancy in hamsters.
You have to be very vigilant if you see that the belly of your hamster is swollen. There are a lot of boxes you will need to check for confirming hamster pregnancy.
Conditions For Pregnancy In Hamsters
Before checking for the signs of pregnancy in hamsters, be sure if they can be pregnant or not.
Down below are the eligibility criteria that a hamster must meet in order to get pregnant:
Has To Be A Female
It seems very obvious, but many cases are reported where many hamster owners mistook their young male hamsters as female hamsters just because of the name their hamster had in store.
Identifying the gender of the hamster is quite easy. You simply have to turn your hamster upside down. If you see nipples on the belly of your hamster, it is definitely a female. Meanwhile, the male hamster’s testicles are pretty apparent, sitting near the tail.
Before assuming that your young hamster is pregnant, ensure if it is a male or female.
More Than 6 Weeks Old
The reproductive system of female hamsters younger than 6 weeks isn’t mature enough to get pregnant. If you have a female hamster not older than 6 weeks, it is probably ill instead of being pregnant.
To be sure of your hamster’s pregnancy, you will have to be sure about its age as well. In the case of dwarf hamsters, it becomes very difficult to predict accurate age because of their small size.
The best rule of thumb is to calculate the age according to the age of the hamster when you bought it. It will help you in assessing whether your hamster can be pregnant or not.
Interaction With Male Hamster
Just like in humans, the interaction of male and female hamsters is also a mandatory condition for pregnancy. If your female hamster hasn’t interacted with any male for 4-5 weeks, then she can’t be pregnant.
The duration of the hamster’s gestation period is not very long. Although it varies according to the breed of the hamster, it is no longer than 30 days in any case. Signs of pregnancy are only visible when the hamster is near to deliver babies.
Following is the duration of pregnancy in different breeds of hamsters:
- 16 Days In Syrian Or Golden Hamsters.
- 18-23 Days In Chinese Hamsters.
- 18-21 Days In Winter White Hamsters.
- 22-30 Days In Roborovoski Hamsters.
For instance, if you own the most popular breed of hamsters, Golden Hamsters, and your hamster hasn’t interacted with any male in 20 days, she can’t be pregnant.
Signs Of Pregnancy
When you are sure that you have a female hamster older than 6 weeks and have interacted with a male hamster anytime soon, proceed to check signs of pregnancy in it.
Following are the common signs of pregnancy in hamsters:
The swollen belly is one of the most visible signs of pregnancy in hamsters. But swollen belly does not always indicate pregnancy. Various medical conditions lead to swollen bellies in the hamster.
Some of the medical conditions that may cause swollen belly in hamsters are:
- Belly Tumors.
- A womb infection called Pyometra causes pus to accumulate in the stomach.
- Bowel problems lead to swelling due to excessive waste storage.
- Development of cancer in organs like the spleen or liver.
On top of that, even if the hamster is normally pregnant, you will notice an enlarged belly in the last third part of the pregnancy.
Another one of the most apparent changes you will witness in the body of your hamster during pregnancy is enlarged nipples.
If you examine your hamster regularly, one way to check for pregnancy is by noticing the change in the size of your hamster’s nipples. When the mother hamster is near to delivering the babies, its body starts preparing for feeding as well.
Another thing that you will notice is that your pet hamster will become a little aggressive. She will even hiss at you if you try to touch her. It is because the mother hamster becomes instinctively protective in this duration.
Nesting is also something that is found in the instincts of the female hamsters. Sometime before the delivery of the litter, the female hamster will start gathering material for her nest. As a responsible hamster owner, it is your moral duty to provide her with the best nesting material.
Increased Food Consumption
When your hamster is pregnant, she will start eating more than her regular diet. When your hamster is pregnant, she will need extra food for the babies in her womb as well. It is why you should make changes in her diet plan as well during the gestation period.
Here are some questions that will help first-time hamster owners to care for their pregnant hamsters:
The number of babies delivered at once by a hamster depends upon its breed. For example, Syrian hamsters deliver around 6-8 puppies in one go. The highest number of babies in one litter is 16.
The material should be natural. Other than that, some materials can cause allergies in the hamsters. Hence, study the material before placing it in your hamster’s cage.
Hamsters Pregnancy Concluded
Understanding hamsters take a while. If you are a first-time hamster owner, you can easily mistake a medical condition as pregnancy in your hamster. For this, you should start by confirming the gender of your hamster. Also, check if it is old enough to get pregnant.
Once you are sure that your hamster can be pregnant, check for signs of gestation period.