Female VS Male Hamsters – How to Differentiate Male and Female Hamsters


Hamsters are the most popular low-maintenance pets that make excellent pets for adults and children. Hamsters don’t require much attention, but a lot goes into this straightforward pet.

Each hamster has its personality, but some basic differences exist between Female VS Male Hamsters. Identifying the hamster’s sex can be complicated, especially if they are young or you don’t necessarily have both female and male hamsters for comparison.

So if you are thinking of owning a hamster, you should know the difference between Female VS Male Hamsters to know which gender is more suitable for you and what qualities you are looking for in your new pet to have a happy relationship with your new pet.

Female vs. male Hamsters can be differentiated based on their physical characteristics, behaviors, and temperament. However, Female VS Male Hamsters can also be distinguished based on their anogenital difference. It is the difference between the anus and the genital openings. The anogenital difference in female hamsters is shorter than in male hamsters. 

Related Article: What Do Hamsters Eat – Ideal Hamster Diet

The basic differences for all hamster species (Chinese, Syrian, and Dwarf) are similar. Yet different characteristics in each specie aid in the sex identification of Female VS Male Hamsters.

Female VS Male Hamsters:

CharacteristicsFemale HamstersMale Hamsters
Avg. length: 6 – 8 inches 6 inches
Avg. Weight: 4 – 6 ounces 3 – 5 ounces
Temperament: Friendly but sometimes aggressive Easy-going and friendly
Territorial: Yes Sometimes
Grooming: No Yes
Handle-able: Difficult to handle Yes
Lifespan: 18 – 24 months 18 – 24 months

Female VS Male Hamsters:

These are the basic physical characteristics differences between Female vs. male hamsters. Keep reading to learn more about the gender identification of male and female hamsters.

Distinguishing Female VS Male Hamsters By Anogenital Difference:

Hold on to the hamster by the scruff of its neck or cup your hand over the hamster and gently turn it onto its back to look at the belly area. Keep your hamster in a slightly upright position to determine if testicles are present or not.
Anogenital openings are the surest way to determine if the hamster is male or female. The distance between their genital openings and anus is shorter in female hamsters and is normally 2x long in males.

Other Physical Key Differences Between Male Vs. Female Hamsters:

Here are some additional physical differences that may be difficult to see, but you can differentiate between a male and female hamster on their basis.
Only female hamsters have nipples.
The hind ends of male hamsters tend to be rounder and elongated in appearance compared to female hamsters.
After about four weeks, the male hamster's genitalia is visibly apparent, though the testicles can sometimes retract.
The male hamsters have fuller and thicker coats and must be groomed to remove debris from their coats.
The female hamsters have a thinner coat of fur.
Furthermore, the female hamsters produce an unpleasant musky smell when they go into heat every four days. So if you are sensitive to smells, think twice before owning a female pet hamster.
Other physical character sticks may vary from specie to specie which will be discussed separately.

Behavioral and Temperament Differences Male Vs. Female Hamsters:

Although male and female hamsters are cute, they have different behaviors and temperaments.
The male hamsters are easy-going and friendly, while female hamsters are far more temperamental. Female hamsters are more aggressive behavior than male hamsters.
In addition, male hamsters are calm, obedient, and easy to handle. They don't get aggressive when you reach their enclosure to pick them up. On the other hand, female hamsters are more likely to bite you when you reach into their space to pick them up.
It indicates that female hamsters are not a good option for children. And male hamsters are more affectionate and lovely, making them the best choice for children.
It doesn't mean female hamsters aren't good pets; however, owning a female hamster will require you to have more patience and can be an excellent companion.

Characteristics of Syrian Hamsters:

The Syrian male and female hamsters are easily identified compared to the other two species because their sexual characteristics are highly visible.
The female Syrian hamsters have fairly visible nipples in two parallel rows along the sides of the belly. These nipples in female Syrian hamsters are more visible when their belly hair is short.
On the other hand, Syrian male hamsters have relatively obvious testicles that extend from their hind end. The testicles may be hidden by fur or retracted, but they are discernible in most cases.

Characteristics of Dwarf Hamsters:

The male dwarf hamsters are relatively larger than the female dwarf hamsters. The size may be unreliable because a hamster's size varies by age. But the dwarf hamsters have some additional features that may help you identify their sex.
The male dwarf hamsters have a highly visible scent gland near the middle of their belly. There may be yellow or oily staining around the gland, resulting from the gland's secretions. The female dwarf hamster's scent glands are small and difficult to see.
Male dwarf hamsters may also be identified by their testicles and tapered hindquarters toward their tails. Moreover, the male hamster's testicles are most visible when they mature.

Characteristics of Chinese Hamsters:

The Female vs. male Chinese hamsters can be distinguished based on the shape of their hind ends. The Male Chinese hamsters have longer and rounder rear ends brought into comparison to the female hamsters.
But, if you don't have both genders of hamsters for evaluation, then you'll have to rely on the anogenital distance for sex identification.


Is it better to get a female or male hamster?

There is not much difference between male and female hamsters. However, female hamsters are more aggressive than males and fight more. So if you have children in your home, you should go for the male hamsters.

Are female hamsters cuddlier or male?

Male hamsters are more friendly and easy to handle than females. In comparison, the female hamsters are larger yet aggressive. So, if you want an affectionate fur ball to cuddle up with, you might have better luck with male hamsters.

Which type of hamster is the friendliest?

The Syrian hamsters are the most popular and friendliest of the three hamster species. The Syrian hamsters can form a quite strong bond with their owners.


Neither the female hamster nor the male hamster is a bad choice, but they are different. So if you are purchasing a hamster for your child, you should go for the male hamsters. Male hamsters are friendly, docile, and easy to handle, yet they need grooming.
While female hamsters are harder to handle, more territorial, and more aggressive than males, it means that petting a female hamster requires much patience. In addition, the female hamsters produce an unpleasant musky odor.
Female hamsters are not bad pets; however, there are certain things you should keep in mind before owning any male or female hamster. But a hamster can be a great addition to your family.

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