When you get your first hamster, many things are going through your mind. What color, what breed and what age. However, another factor that you may consider is your hamster’s sex. This is what has led me to write this article asking if you should get a male or a female hamster. There are no right or wrong answers to this question! Male and female hamsters have different traits and different things to take into consideration at the time. This article will go through the different attributes of male and female hamsters and what you need to know. Hopefully by the end of it, you will know if you want a male or female hamster.
Will you know what sex my hamster is when I buy it?
You may want to ask the pet store what sex your hamster is before you buy it. The pet shop will try their best to give you an answer but you can never be 100% certain about the sex of a hamster, especially if it is a young hamster. There have been many cases of people taking home what they thought were two same sex hamsters but ending up with a pregnant hamster! If you ask the pet store, they will give you their best guess but you shouldn’t take this as gospel. Wikihow gives you a good guide if you want to sex your hamster by yourself!
Differences between male and female hamsters
The differences between male and female hamsters actually depends on the breed of the hamster. Some breeds, such as Syrians, have differences between the two sex; whilst Chinese hamsters don’t have much difference at all. We will divide this section into headings, so you can see the differences for your preferred hamster breed!
Differences between Male and Female Syrian hamsters
Syrian hamsters is generally where the biggest differences between male and female hamsters is found. Male hamsters seem to be more relaxed whilst female hamsters may have a lot more character. Female hamsters may also smell more due to going into heat. I have some personal experience on this matter, as I have had a male and a female hamster. My current male hamster, Richard, is a lot more relaxed than my previous female hamster. He has never bitten and is a lot happier with being held. This is just an anecdote but it may reveal some differences between male and female Syrian hamsters!
Differences between Male and Female Robo Hamsters
Unlike with Syrian hamsters, there is not much difference in attitude between male and female Robo hamsters. They tend to be the same level of relaxed and female hamsters won’t be more hesitant or broody. Male robo hamsters are known to smell more than female Robo hamsters due to the scent gland on their belly.
Differences between Male and Female Dwarf Hamsters
Dwarf hamsters, including Chinese, Winter White and Campbell types, have a few differences. Male dwarf hamsters tend to be bigger than female hamsters but there is no evidence that their attitude differs due to their sex. Male dwarf hamsters will have a more notable scent gland and this may be more notable in terms of smell as well!
Should you get a Male or a Female hamster?
So with that in mind, should you really take your hamster’s sex into account when choosing them? It is my view that it should not be a major factor, unless you are getting a Syrian hamster. It may be advisable to get a male Syrian hamster if you have children who are not used to animals. Male Syrians are more relaxed and are more likely to be friendly to your child. Other than that though, sex is not an important factor unless you are getting more than one hamster. Placing a male and female dwarf hamster in a cage together is going to lead to some unfortunate results! Remember that the sex of your hamster doesn’t really impact their lifespan.
With that in mind, let’s summarise the differences between male and female hamsters.
Male hamsters are likely to be:
- Mellow and relaxed – good news if you have a small child!
- Easier to handle– good news if you have a small child!
- Smellier, if you have a Syrian!
- Likely to shed fur, especially when they get older
- Big. Male hamsters tend to be larger than their female counterparts!
Female hamsters are likely to be:
- Territorial, female hamsters tend to be more dominant than male hamsters
- Smellier, if you don’t have a Syrian!
- Harder to handle
- Muskier, especially when they are in heat
My personal experience with male and female hamsters
As I stated before. I have owned a male and a female hamster; therefore I feel qualified to be able to give some personal advice on this topic!
In my experience, Richard has been easier to handle; but this isn’t some damning attack on female hamsters! My female hamster, although harder to train, was a loving companion and was just as friendly as my male hamster. Choose your hamster on their personality when you first see them, not on their sex alone! I chose both my hamsters based on their activity in their enclosure and how active they were. This is more important than sex.
Conclusion – Should you get a male or female hamster?
We have looked at the differences between male and female hamsters in this article. There are a few differences between male and female hamsters, especially when it comes to Syrian hamsters. However this doesn’t mean that sex is a hugely important aspect that you should look at when getting a hamster. Your hamster, whether they are male or female, is capable of loving you and being friendly towards you. You can have friendly females and aggressive males, hamsters are unique!
Is your hamster male or female? What has your experience been like? Let me know in the comments!