Oh, so your adorable ball of fluff had a romantic moment with your male hammy? Congratulations! You’re soon going to have tiny fuzzy jellybeans in the house.
Err, whattt? Did she get pregnant already?
Yep, friend. Female hamsters conceive in a whisker. It’s fur real!
Wow! But how long are hamsters pregnant?
A female hamster stays pregnant for 16-22 days, depending on the species. Syrian hamsters remain pregnant for 16-17 days. If you have a Dwarf Roborovski hamster, she’ll keep her babies in for 22 days or an entire month.
Do you want to know more about how to tell if your hamster’s pregnant and how long it’ll stay so? Stay right here.
Coming up next in this article, we will tell you everything you should expect (and do) when your hamster is pregnant. By the end of it all, you’ll be prepared to be a responsible grandparent!
Table of Contents
Hamster Gestation Period: How Long Are Hamsters Pregnant
Hamsters live short lives. Most of them only survive between two and three years, even in captivity. And so, they go through life’s sweet processes faster than your other pets.
A female hamster reaches sexual maturity between 4 and 6 weeks.
Okay, so a month-old hamster can get pregnant?
Yes! But the chances of stillbirth are high during this early age. Let your girl reach 8-10 weeks before breeding her if you want healthy hamster babies.
What about the male hamsters? How soon can they mate?
A male hamster reaches reproductive maturity at six weeks of age.
Can hamsters get pregnant by themselves?
No, they can’t. They must mate! The good thing is that hamsters are quick maters. So, if you keep viable hamsters from different genders in the same cage, the female hamster will get pregnant in a few hours. Okay, max in a couple of days. Keep your hamsters in different cages if you don’t want any surprise pregnancies.
Coming back to the main concern: how long do hamsters stay pregnant?
On average, a hamster’s pregnancy lasts 16 to 22 days. However, a hamster’s gestation period depends on the species. You’ll find the details below.
Pregnancy Period in Different Types of Hamsters
There are over twenty hamster species in the world. Of these, only five make good pets. The highlight here is that female hamsters from each species stay pregnant for a different number of days.
Let’s take a deeper look into it now.
Syrian hamsters are the lone stars of the lot. They are perfectly golden brown and reach up to 5-9 inches in size. Humans love them. But if you ask what these golden teddies love, they’d probably squeak, “Please, touch us less!”
If you have one, you know how territorial this kind can be.
A Syrian hamster’s gestation period is the shortest – 16 to 17 days max.
Say hello to the little fur tornadoes on caffeine. These brown hamsters with a distinctive black fur line running across their backs are tiny and active. They max out at 5 inches, and they love other hamsters. Their lifespan is between 2 and 3 years. They won’t mind even if you cuddle their tiny bodies. But if you make them uncomfortable, they’ll bite!
Chinese hamsters can stay pregnant for 18-21 days. That’s about three weeks.
Dwarf Roborovski Hamster
Another tiny breed, the dwarf hamster (literally 3 inches big), is pretty social. They live for three good years. But because they’re so itty-bitty, you shouldn’t touch them a lot. They’ll escape.
A Dwarf Roborovski hamster can carry her babies in her white belly for 20 to 22 days. Some might remain pregnant for a good whole month.
Campbell’s Dwarf Russian Hamster
These grayish brown marshmallows with a white tummy are another hamster species that don’t grow beyond 3 inches. Campbell’s Dwarfs are friendly. You can keep them with the same gender of their kind, and they’ll spend their day playfully.
As for their gestation period, it is between 18 and 21 days. So, about three weeks.
Dwarf Winter White Russian Hamster
Ever seen a hamster change colors? Well, these little buttons can. The Winter White Russian hamsters are called so because they can turn their dark gray fur completely white during the winter. They are only two inches big and live for two years at most.
A Dwarf Winter White Russian female keeps her babies in the womb for 18 to 21 days.
Hamster Litter Size
How many baby hamsters can I expect?
Like different breeds have different gestation periods, their litter size also differs. Also, no two pregnancies are the same. So, the number of baby hamsters will vary each time.
Here’s how many babies you can expect from pregnant hamsters of each species.
- Syrian Hamster: A Syrian ham mom will give birth to at least five pups. The litter size for Syrians caps at 15 pups.
- Chinese Hamster: The pocket-sized cuties will give you four to six pups.
- Dwarf Roborovski Hamster: Expect as little as one baby in the litter. If you’re lucky, you’ll get seven at the most.
- Campbell’s Dwarf Russian Hamster: A Campbell’s hamster will give birth to approximately four to six pups.
- Dwarf Winter White Russian Hamster: The litter size for this breed is between 2 and 10 babies.
What are the Signs of Pregnancy in a Hamster?
How do I know if my hamster is pregnant?
Female hamsters have an estrous cycle of only four days. It’s when they are the most receptive and can conceive easily. When a female hammy is ready to breed, she’ll run before her male counterpart and freeze until he mounts her.
The act’s done! But how to know when your hamster is pregnant?
The first few days are confusing. You can’t tell if she’s pregnant or just fat.
But there are some signs to look for once your hamster is past the two-week mark. Here’s what they are:
Bigger than usual tummy? That all can’t just be food, can it? There’s your first sign. We can also help you tell between a chubby hamster and a pregnant one.
A pregnant mother hammy will have a pear-shaped tummy while the other will be round.
Hamsters are mammals. And like all the other mammals, they feed their young with milk. So, it’s no surprise that a pregnant female will have protruding nipples around her 10th-14th day of gestation.
A mommy-hamster will start building nests for her little ones even before they are born. She’ll scour for warm and safe spots, fill them with shredded materials from her cage, and create a safe little home for her forthcoming. Also, this is when food hoarding starts.
Caring for a Pregnant Hamster
Now that you know your hamster is pregnant, it’s your time to play nurse. Hamsters are adorably tiny. The fact that they’re able to keep 4 to 15 babies in that little body is nothing short of a miracle. So, you have to step up and be the ultimate guardian of your little marshmallow.
We know you might have questions. Find your answers below.
What to Feed a Pregnant Hamster?
An expecting female hamster will eat more than usual. So, make sure her bowl is always full of fresh food.
What should I feed my pregnant hamster?
Your little momma-to-be needs a lot of protein and calcium. So, feed her bits of chicken, boiled egg, and cheese. Please add nuts, seeds, vegetables, and fruits to her diet, too. It's best to keep bread and cereal to a minimum - they are low in protein.
Hamsters that don’t do too well on food might need vitamin supplements. Consult your vet before introducing any multivitamins to your expecting hammy.
What Not to Feed a Pregnant Hamster?
Hamsters are easy feeders. But that doesn’t mean you can feed them anything you have on hand, especially not during pregnancy.
Here’s a list of foods you should keep away from your hamster:
- Raw foods
- Citrus fruits
What Changes Should You Make to Your Hamster’s Cage?
Once the babies arrive, you won’t be able to do much cleaning and adjustments. So, now’s the time.
Give your pregnant hammy a comfortable and spacious cage. Remove the hamster wheel and replace it with a box filled with shredded paper and other soft materials. Also, make sure her cage has separate areas for sleeping and eating.
Since baby hamsters are blind and deaf for a few days after birth, there shouldn’t be any wires or sharp edges that can harm them.
Tips for Making Pregnancy Easier
A pregnant hamster is prone to stress and mood swings. Follow these tips to make their pregnancy stress-free:
- Try to keep her away from loud noises and sudden movements.
- Give her a separate cage and transfer it to a quiet place.
- Cover the cage with a blanket to keep visual stressors away.
We know you must be tempted to cuddle the fur ball and handle her more often than usual. But resist the temptation for the first two weeks at least. Your constant presence might stress her out even more.
Caring for Baby Hamsters
A baby hamster weighs only 2-3 grams at birth. The tiny bundle of joy is hairless, his eyelids are closed, and he can’t hear anything.
It takes almost ten days for baby hamsters to be ready to take their first bite of solid food. So, the mother will produce milk and feed her babies until then. When it’s time, moisten solid food with water and feed the little ones.
The best thing you can do for baby hamsters is to keep their mother full at all times. If the new mommy doesn’t get enough food, she might chomp on her babies. Creepy!
Can I touch the babies?
Not until they’re two weeks old. Even then, be extra careful. Don’t pick a hamster with his tail. It can hurt his spine. Instead, cup your hands around his belly and scoop him up.
How Often Can Hamsters Get Pregnant?
Hamsters can get pregnant every four days thanks to their estrous cycle. But, just ’cause they can doesn’t mean they should. Science says that hamsters really shouldn’t have more than three litters in their lifetime.
If you’re a hamster owner, make sure to give your furry friend at least three months in between litters to avoid any health issues. Trust us; it’s for the best.
The Pitter-Patter of Little Paws: Wrapping Up Your Hamster’s Pregnancy Journey
Let’s see what we learned today.
Hamsters get pregnant. If you aren’t careful, they can get pregnant every month. That’s because a hamster’s estrous cycle renews every four days.
So, how long do hamsters stay pregnant?
A hamster’s gestation period lasts between 16 and 22 days. Some species, like the Robos, can stay pregnant for longer than others – about a week more.
When your pet hamster is expecting, she is more fragile and sensitive than usual. That’s why you must make adjustments to her diet, cage, and lifestyle as soon as possible.
Offer her a calcium and protein-rich diet, remove the wheel, and cover her cage with a blanket. Most importantly, keep your distance during the first two weeks of pregnancy and post-birth.
Did you find the information in this article helpful?
At Oddly Cute Pets, we always strive to provide our readers with interesting articles about adorable little furry beans. For more information about hamsters, check out our website.
Thanks for reading!