Do hamsters have periods? 

do hamsters have periods

As hamsters are mammals, I was wondering if hamsters have periods like human females. I decided to find out more about periods and hamsters 

Do hamsters have periods? While a drop of blood is sometimes visible, hamsters don’t have a period like humans have. While hamsters have a reproductive cycle like all mammals, they have an estrous cycle rather than a menstrual cycle as they are a non-primal mammal. This is a reproductive cycle where the lining of the uterus is not shed like in humans but absorbed by the uterus instead. 

Do hamsters have periods?

Do female hamsters get discharge? 

Yes, female hamsters get a whitish discharge instead of bleeding during their reproductive cycle. They can get this up to 7 times a month when not pregnant. The morning after she has mated, she will also have a thick creamy discharge which is called the ‘copulatory plug’. She will also have a thick discharge for 5 days after mating. 

Is it okay if a hamster bleeds? 

While a female hamster could sometimes have a drop of blood visible during her estrous cycle, this is not the norm. If you have a male hamster or have a female hamster which is bleeding from their rear, then it’s important to contact your vet as it could be a sign of internal injury or a serious illness.   

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Do Russian hamsters have periods? 

Russian hamsters have estrous cycles like other hamster breeds, rather than the periods humans know. As a hamster is not a primal mammal, the lining of the uterus is absorbed by the body rather than shed. A Russian dwarf hamster reaches sexual maturity when they are between 4 and 6 weeks old, however complications could occur in young hamsters, so it’s better to wait some months if you want to breed your hamster. 

Do hamsters have menstrual cycles? 

No hamsters don’t have menstrual cycles, but estrous cycles instead. A female hamster is in heat every 4 days, this means she will be ready to mate at least 7 times per month.  

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What does it mean when a hamster is bleeding? 

If your hamster is female and bleeding more than a drop at a time, you should contact your vet as this means she could be severely ill or have an internal injury. 

If you have a male hamster which is bleeding from his rear, then you need to contact the vet immediately as again this could be either a severe illness or an injury with internal bleeding. 

What does a female hamster do when she’s ready to mate? 

When a female hamster is in heat and ready to mate, she will stand really still and lift her tail and bottom in the air. She will also give out a specific odor, which the male hamster will recognize and respond to. 

When is a female hamster ready to mate? 

Female hamsters can reach sexual maturity as young as 4 weeks. While she can get pregnant at this age, it’s not very safe for her. Complications are likely, which can result in death of the babies, but also of the mom. The best time for a first litter would be when the hamster is between 4 and 8 months of age. 

Do female hamsters go through menopause? 

The menopause basically means the end of menstruation which hamsters don’t have. However, hamsters will stop going into heat when they get older as their reproductive cycle stops. This means they are no longer able to have a litter of pups. While it seems similar as a menopause, it’s not actually the same as hamsters don’t bleed and humans do. 

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How do I know if my hamsters are mating? 

If you catch them in the act, you are certain they are mating. This would mean finding the male hamster on his hind legs behind the female, moving his body forward and back.  

If you have not caught them in the act, but want to know if they are actually mating, then you’ll need to watch your female closely for 4 days to see if she comes into heat. You will know by the way she smells and the way she moves her tail and behind in front of your male hamster. Alternatively, you can wait 2 to 3 weeks and see if a litter appears. This is a very clear sign that your hamsters are indeed mating. 

How long do hamster heat last? 

The reproductive cycle of a hamster only lasts 4 days, but this doesn’t mean she is on heat for 4 days. The time she is in heat lasts about 12 hours and these are likely to be at night. 

What do I do when my hamster is in heat? 

Some people stroke the underbelly of their female hamster in heat as this is something the male hamster would do. The idea is that the female hamster will be calmer. She will likely react with being still and lifting her tail as this would be a reaction she would have to receive a male hamster.  

When does a hamster first come into heat? 

Your hamster can come into heat where they are ready to mate as young as 4 weeks. She will give off a potent odor which shows she is in heat. 

 Do hamsters breed all year round? 

Hamsters can breed all year round and are likely to do so if the temperature stays warm enough. If the temperature drops in the house, especially in winter, the female might abandon or eat the pups. She is still able to get pregnant when it’s colder though so it’s important to keep her warm. 

How often do hamsters breed? 

Female hamsters are in heat every 4 days and can produce a litter once a month. They prefer mating at night, but the female can get aggressive towards the male after mating and in-between heat, especially if the male comes too close. So, it’s best to keep an eye out. 

How do I know if my hamster is pregnant? 

First of all, your hamster will no longer be in heat when she is pregnant. The musky and potent odor your hamster gives off when in heat, is no longer present. However, as your hamster will only be pregnant between 2 and 3 weeks, it’s easy to miss. Just days before birth you should be able to see a slightly larger abdomen, but again, this is easy to overlook. 

What do I do if my hamster is pregnant? 

If your hamster is pregnant, there are a couple of things you must do: 

  • Give your hamster lots of bedding and material so she can nest 
  • Give your hamster a quiet and calm place to be 
  • Leave your hamster alone 
  • Replace her hideout with a more open one so you can spot the pups after birth without needing to get close. 
  • Give highly nutritious food  
  • Increase the amount of food so she can create a food store 
  • Remove all potentially dangerous items from the cage, i.e., water and sand baths, toys, tubes and wheels.  
  • Supply a water holder which can hold enough water for 1 to 2 weeks 

She will need to be calm and feel safe. If she gets stressed, she could abandon the pups or eat them. 

What do I do when my hamster has given birth? 

You will need to give your hamster space for at least a week after birth. It’s important not to disturb her especially if it’s the first litter. The new mom needs time with the pups and feel safe and secure. If she doesn’t, she might abandon the pups or even eat them. 

How soon can you take a hamster from its mother? 

Hamsters can have a litter each month as they breed at an astonishing rate. This means that you can take a baby hamster from its mother within 3 to 4 weeks. As a matter of fact, it’s best to separate the male pups from the female pups as soon as they are weaned as they will otherwise mate together.  

How long will hamster pups drink from their mother 

Hamster pups will drink for 2 to 3 weeks. After that period, their mom will wean them off. This is the time when you can safely remove the pup from the mother. Make sure you have enough food available for both the mother and the pups.

How do I know if my hamster is male or female? 

It’s not always easy to tell the sex of hamster pups as female pups have two openings on their underbelly near their tail which are close together, while the openings at the underbelly of males are slightly apart. 

When do you have an unwanted pregnancy in your hamster? 

If hamster pups are kept together for too many weeks, or they are identified as the wrong gender, unwanted pregnancies can occur. As females become sexually mature after just a month or so and are in heat every 4 days, it’s only a matter of time before your female hamster is pregnant if she is kept with a male. 

Sometimes a female gets pregnant at the breeder or shop, and you might unknowingly bring a pregnant hamster home.  

We looked at the question ‘Do hamsters have periods’ and found out that hamsters don’t have menstrual cycles. While hamsters are mammals, female hamsters have oestrus cycles instead, which means female hamsters get discharge rather than bleeding.

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do hamsters get periods