In this guide
Taking the time to consider whether you’re going to spay or neuter your new dog or cat is common. Finding out your house could be overrun by puppies or kittens isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But do you need to consider it for your new hamster?
Of course, even if your hamster did have babies, it’s not the same as if you had a litter of puppies running around your house. However, it’s still a huge hassle, especially if you haven’t had time for the correct preparation.
Another thing to consider is the procedure itself and putting your pet through the surgery. Some people understandably don’t want their new pet to undergo any type of surgery. So let’s first look at alternatives to spaying or neutering your hamster.
Alternatives to Spaying or Neutering
There are always alternatives; sometimes, they’re the better, more obvious option. So, here are two alternatives if you decide spaying and neutering aren’t for you and your hamster.
Only own one hamster
Spaying or neutering your hamster won’t be necessary if you only intend to own one. Syrian hamsters, in particular, prefer to live alone. However, if your hamster was kept in a cage with other hamsters, and perhaps not all of the same sex, there’s a chance you could end up with a pregnant hamster.
Of course, you could opt for a male, but the sex of a hamster can be challenging to identify, so your male hamster could still be female. That’s why buying your hamster from a trusted shop, breeder, or shelter is essential.
But let’s say everything goes to plan; only owning one hamster is the perfect alternative to spaying or neutering. You don’t have to worry about having unexpected hamster babies or paying for a procedure to avoid that. Plus, your hamster gets your undivided love and attention without having to undergo surgery. It sounds like a great deal!
Want to own more than one hamster? Opt for hamsters of the same sex. The obvious downside to this, as mentioned in the last point, the obvious downside to this is if your hamster’s sex isn’t correctly identified by the pet shop, breeder, or shelter.
However, if it is, and you want to own more than one of these cute and furry creatures, going for all male or all female hamsters is the way to go. Then, none of them will get pregnant and won’t need to be spayed or neutered.
What’s great about this option is that most hamsters are generally more content in same-sex groups, so it’s a win-win.
Now that we’ve looked at the alternatives to spaying or neutering your hamster let’s answer the question you’re here to find out the answer to: do hamsters need spaying or neutering?
Do Hamsters Need Spaying or Neutering?
Let’s first address what is probably on many people’s minds when they think about spaying or neutering their hamsters: it’s not worth it.
Hamsters only live an average of 2-4 years, and spaying or neutering them seems a little pointless. It’s not a cheap procedure, and a lot of people only have one hamster anyway.
Even if this isn’t your train of thought and you want to ensure you take the proper steps and care for your hamster in the best way possible, spaying or neutering your hamster is risky.
The procedure can be done, but you need to seek out exotic animal specialists who are knowledgeable and experienced with spaying or neutering these small mammals.
Another thing to note is that the procedure must be done under anaesthesia. Small animals are at risk of dying when put under. So, it’s most likely not worth it if you can’t find a highly qualified and specialist vet.
A Note About Syrian Hamsters
We’ve talked about spaying or neutering your hamster to ensure they don’t reproduce, but that’s not the only time to consider the procedure.
Female Syrian hamsters are prone to pyometra, an infection of the womb. Spaying the hamster can cure this infection, but as we’ve outlined, it can be very risky. However, if your female Syrian hamster suffers from pyometra, spaying them should be seriously considered as it could save their life.
Unless your hamster is a Syrian female suffering from pyometra, spaying or neutering your hamster isn’t necessary.
Opt for owning a solo hamster or choose two or more hamsters of the same sex. This way, you won’t have to worry about unwanted babies, an expensive procedure, or putting your pet through surgery.