How to Tell a Male Hamster From a Female

Sexing Hamsters - Diagram - Female or Male Hamster

It can be difficult to sex hamsters, especially if they are young or if you don't have both male and female hamsters to compare. All hamster species, whether Syrian, dwarf, or Chinese, have similar basic differences. Each species, on the other hand, has unique traits or features that might help in sex identification.

Holding a Hamster to Determine Male or Female

To examine the belly area of your hamster, place it on its back. You may cup your hand around your hamster's neck and gently roll it over onto its back, or you can grab the scruff of its neck. If you hold the hamster in a slightly upright ("sitting up") position, you may check for testicles.

Anogenital Distance

The anogenital distance is the most reliable measure to determine if a hamster is male or female. The anus and the genital apertures (penile opening in male hamsters; vaginal and urine openings in female hamsters) are separated by this distance. Females have a substantially shorter distance than men. In females, the two apertures might be difficult to detect, but in men, the distance between them is usually twice as long.

Other General Differences

A few additional differences apply to all hamsters, although these may be difficult to see, depending on the hamster's age and species.

  • 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

Because the distinctions between men and females are very clear, determining the sex of Syrian hamsters is easier than determining the sex of other species. Female Syrian hamsters have relatively prominent nipples that run parallel to and along the sides of the belly in two rows. When the hamster's belly hair is short, the nipples are most noticeable. The testicles of male Syrian hamsters are visible and protrude from their back end. The testicles may be retractable (as they are in all male hamsters) or buried by fur, although they are usually visible.

Characteristics of Dwarf Hamsters

Dwarf hamsters have a few extra characteristics that might help you figure out their gender. A noticeable smell gland may be seen towards the center of the belly of male dwarf hamsters. The secretions of the gland may also leave a yellow or greasy discoloration surrounding the gland. Scent glands in female Dwarf hamsters are incredibly tiny and difficult to perceive. The form of the hind end tapering toward the tails of male dwarf hamsters can also be used to identify them. On grown hamsters, the testicles are the most apparent. Finally, male Dwarf hamsters are larger than females, despite the fact that size varies by age and individual animal.

Characteristics of Chinese Hamsters

The form of Chinese hamsters' hind ends is their most distinguishing feature. Males' rear ends are longer and rounder than females'. You'll have to rely on the anogenital distance for definitive identification if you don't have both sexes of hamsters to compare.