In this guide
First things first, any sex of hamster can make a wonderful pet. But there are some differences between male hamsters and female hamsters.
However, you should note that every hamster has its own personality. So you may opt for a male hamster that ends up having the personality traits of a female hamster. Similarly, different breeds of hamsters vary greatly in how they behave.
Of course, you’re not going to know the ins and outs of your chosen hamster’s personality until you get them home. But it is a good idea to understand the usual differences between male and female hamsters. That way, you can choose the best option for you.
For this article, we’ll focus on the Syrian hamster, the most popular hamster breed kept as a pet. This breed also has the biggest differences between males and females.
We’ll also give you a quick overview of some of the differences between other breeds later in the article.
So let’s dive into male vs female hamsters, their differences, similarities, and which hamster makes for a better pet.
Everything to Know About Female Hamsters
What you’ll notice with female hamsters is that they have stereotypically male traits. First, Syrian female hamsters tend to be slightly bigger than males. But being bigger than their male counterparts isn’t the main thing you need to know what you need to know.
Female hamsters can smell
Naturally, a female hamster will go into heat every four to five days. During this time, they can give off musky odours that many dislike. So if you’re sensitive to foul smells, a female hamster won’t be a good choice.
Female hamsters can reproduce
While we’re on the subject of hamsters in heat, if you’re looking to breed hamsters, you will need a female. But if this isn’t on your to-do list, the sex of your hamster won’t matter.
Female hamsters are temperamental
Overall, female hamsters are more temperamental, aggressive and territorial. So, handling them can be a little more difficult. You may also be better off leaving her to do her thing when she’s in heat.
To put it bluntly, female hamsters take more work than male. So if you’re lacking in the patience department, a female hamster isn’t the one for you. They’ll take more time to warm up to you and simply may not want to be handled whenever you feel like it.
Who are female hamsters suitable for?
Female hamsters are best suited to those with patience and perseverance. Those not bothered by a bit of a stink every four days will do well with a female and of course, people who want to breed these furry creatures.
Everything to Know About Male Hamsters
As mentioned, female hamsters tend to be bigger than males. So if you’re looking for a slightly smaller hamster, you’ll want a male. Although, the size difference isn’t drastic. But with male hamsters, there are some big differences as opposed to females.
Male hamsters are friendly
Male hamsters, like females, can be territorial. It’s simply a hamster thing. However, they’re not quite as territorial and they don’t tend to be as aggressive. On the whole, male hamsters are friendlier and easier to handle.
They’ll be much more accepting of you reaching into their cage and grabbing them for a cuddle.
Male hamsters may need grooming
Even though male hamsters are lower maintenance than female when it comes to their temperament, they may need some grooming. Male hamsters have thicker coats, meaning if it grows out too long, you’ll need to groom it.
On the other hand, as they age, you’ll most likely be dealing with hair loss. That means fluff all over the cage and a patchy looking hamster.
Who are male hamsters suitable for?
If you’re looking for a cute and cuddly friend that loves you as much as you love them, a male hamster is best. Male hamsters don’t take as much patience and work as females. And if a little grooming and potential hair loss don’t phase you, then male hamsters will make the perfect pet.
Differences Between Different Hamster Breeds
The bulk of this article focused on the most popular hamster breed, Syrian hamsters. But let’s look at other breeds and the differences between male and female.
If you’ve chosen to get a Chinese hamster as a pet, your decision between male and female couldn’t be easier.
Unlike Syrian hamsters, there are no major differences between genders.
Many simply want a friendly hamster that isn’t aggressive. When it comes to Roborovski hamsters, they’re overall a friendly breed, whether you get a male or a female.
The main differences in this breed are that male hamsters are more hyperactive, whereas females are calmer. So if you want an energetic Roborovski hamster, opt for a male. Feeling more chill vibes? Female is the way to go.
Like Syrian hamsters, Dwarf hamsters have more defined differences. However, they’re not as distinct as the Syrian breed.
Things to note are that male dwarf hamsters tend to be more aggressive than females. But if you opt for a female, her metabolism will be faster so she’ll need more food.
Other than this, female dwarf hamsters are a little more active than males.
Should I Get a Male or Female Hamster?
If you’re patient, don’t mind a few odours, and may want to breed from your hamster, female is the way to go. But if you’re looking for a hamster that’s friendlier and less smelly, a male hamster will be better.
Other than the differences mentioned, overall, male and female hamsters are similar to care for. They both need food, water, a wheel, and a regularly cleaned cage. And of course, lots of love from you.