From my own perspective, I think every hamster owner should learn to sex their fluffy. The character of hamsters differs a lot according to their sex, so knowing their sex will help get along well with your hamster, especially when you first get him home.
For owners who have more than one hamster, the skill also prevents unplanned pregnancy if you are ready for breeding baby hamsters. Therefore, let us start up with the basic procedures of sexing a hamster.
Though the whole checking process can be really quick, we still need proper preparations in consideration of the safety of our fluffy.
First, wash your hands and put your hands into the cage until your hamster shows no panic. It is then time to offer him some favorite snacks and gently give him a stroke until he is fully released. Prepare a soft blanket or large bowl on your knee before you get him out of the cage, in case of potential struggle and falling.
Hold your hand like a cup, so that your fluffy can comfortably sit in your hand. His belly will be exposed to you, which is the most important part of telling the sex. Now it is time to start our observations.
- Anogenital distance
When you first look at the belly side of your fluffy, it is easy for you to notice that there are openings near its tail, which are their anus and genitals.
For male hamsters, the distance between his anus and the penile opening is usually up to 1-2 centimeters, while for female hamsters, the distance between the vaginal/urinary opening and anus is rather short.
If you are facing immature female hamsters, sometimes the two openings look like one opening, which is a symbolic sign of the female.
This is the surest and the quickest way to tell the gender of a hamster, no matter an immature one or mature one.
Female hamsters have six nipples, which are in two rows on their belly. Male ones technically do not have any nipples. The nipples may be hidden under their fur, so observation alone may not work. Cup your fluffy with one hand, and use another hand to carefully run through their fur to check if there are any protrusions arranging in two rows.
This method may sound quick and easy, but the truth is that belly is the most fragile body part of a hamster, so in most circumstances, they will desperately struggle away from you when you try to touch his belly. Therefore, this method is not the first choice unless your fluffy is an extremely friendly one, or her nipples are very obvious to find.
Male hamsters have testicles, while female ones do not. The testicles are swellings near the tail and are really noticeable comparing their limited body size. It is also interesting to know that the testicles will also affect the shape of their back ends.
The male ones’ rump will seem a lot plumper, longer, and rounder because their testicles bulge up, while the female ones are more likely to have a short, blunt end. This method will not work until your hamster is sexually mature, which usually happens when they are 35 days old.
3. Supplementary methods
- Body size
Male ones are usually larger than female ones. But if you have only one hamster, you will not have to opportunity to compare, so this can only be used as referenced evidence.
- Scent glands
This only works for dwarf hamsters. Male dwarf hamsters have a large scent gland, which is a large, round yellow point on the right middle of their belly, while that of female ones are much less noticeable.
Above are the basic methods to tell the sex of your fluffy. Do not forget to slowly and gently put your hamster back to his cage and give him some snacks to ease him after your check. If your hamster is still in his childhood and you are still confused with his sex after reading this article, do not worry and just wait. It will be way much easier to distinguish his sex after sexual maturity. Try yourself now!