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Help! My Hamster Is Pregnant!

Updated on November 6, 2007
Hamsters -- taking over the world one heart at a time
Hamsters -- taking over the world one heart at a time

"Even the best laid plans of hamsters and men..." Well, that's a mangled Robert Burns quote, but you know what I mean. Even the most responsible hamster owner can wake up one day to suddenly discover their carefully observed hamster is pregnant. They sometimes seem to breed like coat hangers. They are very clever at escaping their cages and entering the cages of other hamsters. You also could have brought a hamster home who, unknown to everybody except the hamster, that she was pregnant. This is especially disconcerting if you thought the hamster was a male.

It's Not The End Of The World

Female hamsters have certain advantages than that of females of other species. They are often bigger than the males, have wide hips and give birth to babies that are quite small. Most female hamsters seem to know what to do about giving birth and go about it with a minimum of fuss. They get through the whole ordeal better than the owner. Hamsters have the shortest gestation of any mammal - only about 16 days. So you will have to deal with babies sooner rather than later.

Some things you should do as soon as you realize your hamster is expecting:

  • If she's not already in her own cage, give her her own cage.
  • Try to handle her as little as possible.
  • Make sure she knows how to use a water bottle. Baby hamsters can drown in water dishes.
  • Give her fresh veggies as treats.
  • Give her one piece of dry dog food a day (she will need the protein).
  • Keep her cage clean as you right before she seems like she can't get any fatter - she is most likely about to give birth and will not let you clean the cage afterwards.
  • She may be more prone to bite than usual. Make sure anyone who gets near her knows that.
  • Ask friends and family or local pet stores now about homes for the babies.

Hamster Hannibal Lector

It is true that hamster mothers can sometimes eat their own babies. There is some debate as to just why this happens. One theory is that they are starving and eat the closest source of food available. This is one reason why you must give your pregnant hamster the dog food. If the baby is born dead or extremely ill, the mother will eat the baby in order to protect the rest of the group. (A corpse gets smelly and attracts predators). Another reason is self-defense. You must leave the new mother alone with her brood as much as possible for the first week. If she gets scared and thinks a predator is going to attack, she may eat the babies. If it happens, it happens. Try not to beat yourself up over it.

Hamster mothers will normally eat any afterbirth they produce in order to not have the smell attract any predators. If you see her chomping on something fleshy, don't conclude that it's a baby she's eating.

A Week After The Birth

Now is the time to clean the cage. Carefully remove Mom and kids and place them where you usually place your hamsters when you clean out their cages. Be sure to leave a pinch or two of the old bedding, so it has the scent of home on to reassure Mom that this is indeed Home Sweet Home.

The babies will have their fur and start to develop their own personalities. It is especially interesting to watch a whole litter try to use a wheel at the same time! Although first time mothers tend to have smaller litters, hamster can have anywhere from one to twenty babies in a litter. The average seems to be eight.

It will be hard, but try to avoid handling the babies. They are very fragile and Mom might still be in an over-protective state. A fall from only a foot can injure or kill them. Now is a great time to get a Zoom lens on your camera!

Try not to name the babies if you are planning on giving them away. Naming them will make them closer to your heart. It is in their best interests to give them away if you don't have the space, time or money to keep them. But you don't need to make it any harder on yourself than you need to.

Weaning

You can remove the babies from Mom when they are about a month old. Yes, hamsters grow fast! If you possibly can, try to separate the boys from the girls. Hamsters are a very precocious species. This is, of course, easier said than done. If a pet shop or someone will take the whole litter, you won't need to bother sexing them. Just take the whole lot to the shop. Being sad at this time is normal. But reassure yourself that you are doing what's best for them, for you and for Mommy Hamster.

You will miss the babies more than Mommy Hammy will. She's already thinking of how she can get the next litter started.

If you have more questions about hamsters, check out http://www.hamsters.co.uk/

Film of Mom one day before giving birth by pudosopolar

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  • livelonger profile image

    Jason Menayan 9 years ago from San Francisco

    That has to be the cutest picture I have ever seen in my entire life!

  • RenaSherwood profile image
    Author

    RenaSherwood 9 years ago

    You think THAT was cute, check out the website the image of Mocha the baby hammie is originally from:

    http://www.maniacworld.com/hamster-enjoys-Broccoli...

  • Whitney05 profile image

    Whitney 9 years ago from Georgia

    I remember having to go through this... Not fun.

  • profile image

    dalton 9 years ago

    well my hamster is giving birth in 2 days my hamster is a teddy bear hamster she is wite and the dad is black so i do not now wat coler they are going to be but ya i'm verry nervose because i do not wont her to die

  • profile image

    Kayla 9 years ago

  • RenaSherwood profile image
    Author

    RenaSherwood 9 years ago

    Hamsters usually get through giving birth really well, Dalton. My theory is that hamster mothers teach all of their babies mothering skills that they remember for the rest of their lives. Separate Dad Hammy from Mom, though. The parents might attack each other in the stress of the new arrivals.

    Kayla, has this hub left you speechless? :-)

  • profile image

    Antonio Loya 9 years ago

    man!!! my hamster got pregnet 3 times already and i keep all the hamsters in different cages (infact 2 hamsters per 1 cage).

  • profile image

    eric waz 9 years ago

    they are so cute

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    Yvonne 9 years ago

    my hamster mom passed last week,we r feeding babies byhand,we only have 1 left at this time but were very hopeful. any suggestions?

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    lola 9 years ago

    whaat do you do if ur hamster is not going good with there pregnace

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    Laura/xfarmxgirlx 9 years ago

    wow, the video of the pregnant hamster, she looks massive!!!

  • profile image

    imogen 9 years ago

    soooooooooo cute i wish my hamster was pregment

  • profile image

    steven davies 9 years ago

    First you have to see if your hamster has a bacterial vaginosis.

    If it is allright you have nothing to worry about.

  • profile image

    Marius 9 years ago

    Hi, I am just curious to know if and when the female gives birth, is it ok to leave the male inside the same cage as the newborns? Or should I separate him from the others? Thank you.

  • profile image

    Nikky 9 years ago

    Belive my hamster is going to have babies. So do i just leave her alone??? This is my first time on having hamsters. Any pointers i would like to hear.

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    louby 9 years ago

    My hamster is going to have her pups in 6 days i cant wait she is a chinese hamster! xox

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    Tason 8 years ago

    Ohh soo cute! My hamsters name is Mocha too! she is only three days along so.. we are sooo exited! lol! she is gonna have da cutest little babies ever!!! :)

  • profile image

    xoxoxo 8 years ago

    well, we have 2 hamsters and i was woundering if i could keep both in the same cage like the woman and the babies? please i need an answer this is my first time having a hamster and i have 2 girls! p.s. are they sopos2 too bee naked? p.s.s. when do they open thair eyes?

  • profile image

    amber 8 years ago

    well my hamster al ready gave birth there sooooooo little and cute what do u feed them when there just born and when do they open there eyes please answer this now i need 2 no before they starvie!!!!!!!!!!

  • profile image

    candyfrog 8 years ago

    hi my hamster mom just gave birth a couple days ago, i'm afraid she might abandon her pups cuz this prob her first litter.

  • iloveshawnndjesse profile image

    iloveshawnndjesse 8 years ago from nj

    This is a gud page, can u please check out mine and tell me what i should add?

  • profile image

    howtoinducelabor 8 years ago

    Love that picture!

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    Lottie 8 years ago

    My hamster is called Oreo, she black with a white stripe down her chin, shes gonna be giving birth within the next week im guessing, shes getting pretty fat lol.the fathers really fluffy and blonde, i cant wait to see what they look like lolthank you for your advice, its been a great help :]]xx

  • profile image

    gymnast31121 8 years ago

    i think my hamster is pregnant shes been running around tho

  • profile image

    SurprisedHamsterMom 8 years ago

    I bought two "male" hamsters a couple weeks ago, and now one is pregnant. I won'y remove dad until later, though, as witout him, twice as many babies will die.

  • profile image

    Hamster Help 8 years ago

    My hamster gave birth today and I'm wondering when I can clean out her cage. Thanks for help and if you help me, I'll promise to help back.

  • profile image

    Hamster Help 8 years ago

    My hamster gave birth today and I'm wondering when I can clean out her cage. Thanks for help and if you help me, I'll promise to help back.

  • profile image

    Hamster Help 8 years ago

    I really need to know by the end of next week. Maybe before. Please help me. I really need help. The only thing I know is when the babies are 4 weeks old, that's when they leave mom. That's pretty much it. Thanks for help if you give me some.

  • profile image

    Hamster Lover 8 years ago

    My two "male" hamsters are breeding, lol.cBabies expected 10/2/08. Mother is very, very, VERY fat.

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    I ♥ hammies 8 years ago

    ♥my hammie is about the size of that hamster in the first video. We are expecting babies. I hope she has them tomarrow! ♥ (Twinky is my hammie)

  • profile image

    felicia 8 years ago

    that baby is so cute when they grow fur love it

  • profile image

    christine 8 years ago

    my hamster she made love to a male will they have baby hammys??

  • profile image

    ivana 8 years ago

    my hamster had babies 20 days ago they are s000 sweet

  • profile image

    bad angel 8 years ago

    awwww how cute gim me one plz lol im joking i think u no www.123peppy.com?

    im bad angel

  • profile image

    peace4ever 8 years ago

    OMG! that was sooo adorable i only have 1 hamster so it can't have babies but i hope! we get another that was sooooooo cute!!!

  • profile image

    Sweety 8 years ago

    I have my hamster.After she birth, she's okay but at day 14 it had all eatan my 5 babies!but the mom was so tired like she had disease.please help me to save my hamster!

  • profile image

    reana 8 years ago

    im a hamster pro i have 20 hamsters if they fight one of your hamsters are pregnant separate the father from the babies because he will kill them but if you touch them when they;re newborns or the mother will kill them thouch them when their eyes are open and when they have furr

  • profile image

    greg 8 years ago

    im here to ask when should you put the boy back in the cage with the babies in the cage

  • profile image

    Tadpole 8 years ago

    I got 2 hammies today! When they are old enough i'm gonna breed them <3

  • profile image

    melahnee 8 years ago

    haha i have a pregnant hamster.. my friends hamster "raped" mine and i was like "ur hamster is a BOY?!" so yah i hope she has babies. her name is hammie lol

    im scared she might eat them all :[

  • profile image

    sue 8 years ago

    were acturelly not sure if its a girl or boy it has nothing that makes it look like a boy but it fights with the other male we don't know wat to do

  • profile image

    watever 8 years ago

    we have two hamsters wen we got them i saw one on top of the other one then the one on the bottom fliped the one on top over and they had been in there for a while do u think they mated

    i think it mite be pregrant even though the pet store said they were both boys

  • profile image

    alex 8 years ago

    hello please can you tell me what colour my hammys might be because the mom (minni) is black and the dad (mickey) is ginger and can yu help me cuz like what should yu dop when yur hammys are preggaz i no theres a lot of info but im scared oh ye by the way how many do yu think she will have on her first litter

  • Cindy Letchworth profile image

    Cindy Letchworth 7 years ago from Midwest, U.S.A.

    Enjoyed this article. I had a gerbil who had babies a day after I brought her home from the pet store. It was a rather unexpected event, but somehow she and I made it through and her litter of four was healthy and adoptable.

  • profile image

    Stefan 7 years ago

    my hamster is pregnant what do i do

  • profile image

    Hammie lover  7 years ago

    I just got my hamster about a week ago and now it had babies what should I do to make her not eat them. I hope they don't die

  • profile image

    STEFAN 7 years ago

    Today I woke up and went to check my hamsters and the female got up ,there was this hole and there were three babies in the cage

  • profile image

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  • profile image

    Paolo 7 years ago

    my hamster gave birth and im afraid to give her food because i don't want to disturb her.. what should i do? :S pls help me..

  • Animalanding profile image

    Animalanding 7 years ago from Nevada

    My Hamster gave birth sometime either last night or this morning. She is extremely tame. I had no clue she was going to give birth so I took her out last night to roam around. She wasn't aggressive at all. It was wonderful. Then I wake up this morning and noticed there are babies and still have no clue how many lol. It is amazing how animals are. :) Great article.

  • profile image

    Egirl 7 years ago

    i think my hamster is pregnant cuz her sides are kinda big and she has a bunch of bedding gathered in a corner and she has her npples sticking out and she is nipping me

  • profile image

    Hamster Breeder 7 years ago

    Everyone says you have to separate Syrian hamsters, but i've had two males together and they got along and a male and female together and the father is leaving the nest alone and the male gets food for the female and they've never gotten into a fight. I don't believe that Syriens are solitary animals! Hamsters don't always eat the sick one's too. My female had a sick baby and she shoved him out of the cage bars.

    P.S. The male and female don't even bite each other. Sites like these make me mad.

  • profile image

    Hi! 7 years ago

    Hi! My hamster just had 6 babies. It's been one week. One of the babies died on the first day, but all five of the live ones are still alive! I already moved the male from the male the first thing I saw there were babies. I have some questions. Will you please answer these questions and give me some advice???

    Ok. So, first question is, when can I wash my hamster cage?

    Second, when can I touch the baby hamsters?

    Third, do I really have to put the boys and girls away after one month? Because I can't afford buying another cage because I bought one for all of them. Please answer me. It's my first time having baby hamsters. Thanks a lot.

  • Kimmie10 profile image

    Kimmie10 7 years ago

    I was lucky about my mother hamster, she made the whole process easy for me. I also learned a lot about the development of the pups.

  • profile image

    Jessica Jones 7 years ago

    Thats just sick!!!!

  • profile image

    jenny 6 years ago

    OMG!my hamster is giving birth and im scared.sould i leave the dad in?Plz answer!

  • profile image

    Ryan 6 years ago

    I am Ryan (AKA, Pudosopolar, owner of the video on here). YouTube lost that version of the video so I uploaded a new version. Please check for the new video to embed if you still want to use it. Thanks!

  • lamincome profile image

    lamincome 6 years ago

    That picture of that hamster is really cute :)

  • profile image

    hamsterlover 6 years ago

    i want to breed my hamster by buying a boy but i am really worried that she might die! Also i love her so much and she is perfect and i don't want her personality to change. If she has babies will it change her personality? PLEASE ANSWER QUICKLY!

    thanx!

  • profile image

    joey101 6 years ago

    ive got two hammies, both male and female, and im gonna mate em when there a little older. Im excited already:)

  • profile image

    I love my hammie 6 years ago

    My hammie got prenant at my friends house we got the sister hamsters and they look the same but mine is a lil bit darker amd we got them miksed up and she brote mine home with her and she has a boy hammie and when we found out we swiched hammies IT WAS TOO LATE!

  • profile image

    I love my hammie 6 years ago

    (2/2)

    she was pregnant so now i am exspecting baby hammies in like 3 weeks or so and i don't know what to do PLEAZZZZZZZZZ! help me

  • profile image

    Erica 6 years ago

    My hamster is pregnant and my parents don't know about it -3- lol

  • profile image

    Erica 6 years ago

    -i love my hammie,

    14- 16 days actually

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    GLADYS 6 years ago

    When can i start washing the cage?

  • profile image

    lupita 6 years ago

    i've just got my female hamster 4 months ago i love her but i don't know why now she don't let me touch or hold her what do i do please help!!!

  • GoingOnline profile image

    GoingOnline 5 years ago

    It all started with a school project. We adopted a few hamsters for the school project, made them walk around in laberynts and see how long it took them to reach the cheese. Are they more clever than mice? They are indeed, if by cleverness you mean figuring out how to reach other hamsters in the area, secretly.

    We gave up on them after an error (a male who looked really much like not a male and managed to sneak incognito into the girls cage) gave origin to a dynasty of inbreeds. We just couldn't tell them apart well enough and they just kept on getting pregnant again with horrible results.

    So we found separate homes for the whole lot (only one hamster per home, to prevent accidents again) and forgot about having those precocious little sneaky breeders again.

    Now I'm a cat person. Cats don't breed like, well, hamsters.

  • profile image

    hamsterlover1 5 years ago

    my mom said she was going to give me a female hamster so she could mate with the hamster i already have now(Luther). I used to have two hamsters. they were 12 weeks old when i got them. sadly Zeke(one of the hamsters), died. im still going strong with luther. before he dies, i want him to have children and a wife.

    Oh and also, did you know that if you keep a female hamster in cooler temperatures she will have more girls. if you keep her in warmer temperatures, she will have more boys

  • profile image

    dhias's photos 5 years ago

    you know, i really love my hamster, especially rosa and pep. they are my most adorable hamsters! but i didn't know why they always fight, even i already gave their own toys...

  • profile image

    ching xuan 5 years ago

    My hamster gave birth!!!! This is the first time my hamster gave birth!!! What should I do? Any suggestion?

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    moody_teenager 5 years ago

    My (dwarf) hamster is on her second litter now. Unfortunatly when she had her first litter we didn't know and went to clean them out. We put mummy hamster (who we didn't know was actually female) and daddy hamster in their fitness balls and checked in this huge nest they had made. Glad we did because there were three little baby hamsters snuggled up in there. Quickly put mummy and daddy back. We kept seeing the same one who was getting more and more confident and was soon eating and drinking like a normal hamster we checked the nest and saw no signs of any more hamsters. When we next cleaned them out we found two little bodies, so she hadn't eaten them. By now we had separated the two hamsters but it hadn't been fast enough as yesturday she gave birth again. Unfortuanalty we hadn't excpected her to give birth as quickly so hadn't cleaned the cage. When all is quiet can hear babies squeaking and when mummy is out of the nest can just see some little pink bodies. Still have no idea how many.

  • profile image

    peepee head 5 years ago

    Who was the idiot that wrote those random letters up there?

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    Scarlet 5 years ago

    When my hamster was pregnant, I didn't even know! She was with a male hamster, but I thought she was just eating to much, haha. I came home one day and she had 12 babies all cuddled up in the bedding, she ate about five of them and possibly may have eaten some before I came home and saw. She let me hold them and stuff, she was such a sweetheart! Lol, point is, I don't think there's much you need to do since I didn't even know she was pregnant and all the babies she didn't eat where fine :)

  • profile image

    nicky 5 years ago

    you were saying how the mom ate the babies well the babies of mine are like 2 months old and the ate my nicki minaj

    like wtf do you knw how troma tising that was having to clean every thing up i cant even look at the babies with out getting pissed and depresed could you pls explain why they would do that to there own mother

    ps. its a big fish tank with only 4 babies and 1 mom

  • profile image

    Gorgousgal 5 years ago

    I want to get a female hamster and breed her with my male but I'm not sure if my mom is going to say yes or no to the whole idea.

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    Ria 5 years ago

    I wish my petstore had a more colour variety of dwarf hamsters!!!

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    Connor Fuchs 5 years ago

    My teddy Bear hamster is pregnant and I got her from evergreen pet. She is about 8 days pregnant so they will be here soon!!!!!

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    Random 5 years ago

    I don't know what age my hamster can give birth and be safe! She's not pregnant, but there's a male hamster in a cage next to her. For all I know, she actully COULD be pregnant! And if she is I don't want her to die in birth!!! HELP!

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    sweet steph 5 years ago

    my hamster just had babies last week. should i wait to let her play in the hamster ball. she is a teddy bear hamster can you help me because i was told to hold off to put the mother in the ball

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    lil terry 5 years ago

    i think my hamster is preg.she is white with tan spots. I hope she is

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    Trey 5 years ago

    My hamster just keeps getting fatter and fatter.

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    tonya 5 years ago

    Hello I have 3 females in a 4 foot cage and all three are pregnant I put a devider in the cages to make it three different cages and they tried to eat threw it to be close to each other, I took the deviders out and they are as happy as can be but they are expected to give birth in 4 days will they eat each others babies or will they be alright together, when I have seperated them in the past and put them in their own cage they were not happy and now that they are back together in the 4 foot cage their very happy they sleep together and play together, what should I do please someone help me a.s.a.p.

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    Janice 5 years ago

    WOW!

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    RAHEL 5 years ago

    MY HAMSTER IS A PREGNANT BUT ,WHEN IT IS A TIME FOE THE DELIVERY THA BABYS ,HOW CAN I KNOW?????

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    Kash$$ 4 years ago

    I want my hamster to get pregnant but I don't know what breed she is shes black and white and we don't have the boy yet so I have to research on it befor we do she's so cute I love the video

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