6 Things You Should Never Do If Your Hamster Has Babies

Updated on May 29, 2019
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Poppy lives near Tokyo and likes to read novels and play video games, especially fantasy RPGs.

Your female hamster giving birth to a litter of cute, little, pink babies is a very exciting time. If this has happened to you, congratulations! It's always great when your pet has a child or three of their own.

Baby Hamsters

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Although it can be easy to want to play with them right away, it's very important, especially in the first two weeks of the babies' lives, that they and their mother feel safe and calm. Here are things you shouldn't do if your hamster has babies.

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1. Don't Look at the Babies

Although you have probably seen them at least once already, it's important that you don't move things around to have a look at the babies. Chances are that the mother is keeping them somewhere safe such as a concealed corner or a small house if she has one. If the mother sees you trying to find her offspring, she may take this as a threat, no matter how much she trusts you.

Hamsters are very territorial creatures and, after all, you are a lot bigger than she is. Even if you have a very strong bond with your hamster, don't go looking for the babies. You'll be able to hear their cries when you're nearby.

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2. Don't Make Loud Noises

It's very important that the hamsters' cage is somewhere quiet after she's had the babies. Sudden or loud noises can cause her to panic, which can result in her killing and eating the babies. This may seem harsh, but the survival instincts tell the mother that danger is nearby, and she has to sacrifice her offspring for the nest’s overall safety.

Put the hamster in a quiet room that isn't used much, or ideally, a spare room where there is little to no noise. You don't have any control over noises outside the house such as the weather, motorcycles, or sirens, but make sure that small children don't make noises in the room, the cage isn't knocked or moved, and you don't go in there to vacuum.

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3. Don't Try to Touch the Babies for at Least Several Weeks

As well as avoiding looking at the babies when they're very young, ward off touching them until they're moving around on their own and have fur. If the mother detects your scent on her babies, she'll kill them. Also, don't disturb them by trying to take photographs of them, however tempting it might be.

4. Don't Let Other Hamsters Into the Cage

Unlike humans, hamsters don't really get attached to their children beyond the initial care when they're very small. It might be tempting to let the father hamster, if you have him, into the cage to meet the children. Don't do this.

The hamster mother can be moody—she might not always want the father around even at the best of times. The presence of another hamster can also frighten the mother. Keep all other hamsters away from the mother's cage.

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5. Don't Clean the Cage

Hamster cages are supposed to be cleaned at least once a week, but after a hamster has babies, cleaning the cage is a big no-no.

Drop kitchen roll and extra food into the cage (as quietly as you can), and change the water every day as always. The hamster will use the kitchen roll to make softer bedding for her babies, and she'll also need extra food. If she thinks there isn't enough nutrition for her and her children, you guessed it—she might end up killing her little ones.

6. Don't Pick Up the Mother or Take Her out of the Cage

You might be the type of hamster owner who brings out the hamster every few days or so to play with them. However, you must leave her alone while she's taking care of her young. She won't get lonely as she'll be busy feeding her babies and keeping them warm.

Taking her out of the cage will just cause her distress, and your scent will get on her as well, which might confuse the pups. Leave her alone for at least a couple of weeks.

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Avoid doing these six things, and give your new hamster babies a much greater chance of surviving!

Once your hamsters have grown a little, it's time to decide what to do with them. Consider giving them away to new homes once they're big enough, or if the mother only has one or two, you could consider keeping them if you have the space. Just be sure to do some research on the type of hamsters you have and their living habits. Good luck!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

  • Why is my hamster separating one of her babies to a different area of the cage?

    It could be several reasons. The baby might be sick, not smell right (have you touched any of them?) and she might be preparing to cull it. If you’re really worried, gently put the pup back with its siblings using a warm spoon (but do NOT touch it; if you get your scent on them, she will kill them.)

  • My hamster mom is putting her baby in her cheeks for a long time. Why is this?

    If the baby is small enough to fit in her cheeks, you should not be disturbing them. Let her do what she needs to do.

  • I just noticed that my hamster gave birth. It’s been a couple of days, and the male hamster remains in the cage but wants nothing to do with the babies. The mother hasn’t done anything either. Should I leave the male or should I take him out?

    It’s always going to be a case by case situation. As the article states, it’s better to move the male to another cage. They definitely shouldn’t be living together anyway because they might breed again very soon which will be stressful for the mother.

  • My hamster gave birth to nine babies. Why did they all die?

    It could be for a number of reasons.

    Maybe the nest was disturbed too much, or the mother thought there wasn’t enough food for them all. Maybe the room she’s in was too noisy. Maybe the mother is too young to take care of a litter. Did you do any of the things mentioned in this article?

  • My female hamster had six babies this morning, so I immediately separated my male hamster from them all. Now I am only left with one baby hamster, but my grandma asked me to put the father with the mother and baby because now the father does not have a cage. He looks very lonely, but I am not sure if I should after reading the article. What do I do?

    You should buy a cage for the father! Females and males shouldn’t be living together because they’ll breed too much. Make sure they live separately. Hamsters do not get “lonely.” Also, you said there’s only one baby left; does this mean the mother killed the rest of them?

© 2017 Poppy

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    • poppyr profile imageAUTHOR

      Poppy 

      2 weeks ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Hi there. You really should have removed the upper floors while she was pregnant because the babies could die if they keep falling. I'd suggest moving the babies to the bottom floor and then removing the upper floors, but there's always a risk you'll disturb the nest too much and upset the mother. Try moving some of her bedding to the bottom to encourage her to move the nest there.

    • profile image

      Gee 

      2 weeks ago

      Hi. My hamster just gave birth to 5 babies. She made her nest on the second floor of the cage. Everytime she eats, she goes down to her feeding bowl and the babies fall off. But the mother picks them up and always return them in the nest. Im just worried about the one which she didnt picked up. Is she not seeingvthe other one or is she not picking up the scent of the one left on the first floor? Should i get it back to the nest? Pls help.

    • poppyr profile imageAUTHOR

      Poppy 

      5 weeks ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Hi Henna, there are plenty of guides online about appropriate hamster cages. Please do your own research.

    • profile image

      henna 

      5 weeks ago

      i am buying a hamster do you have an idea of what cage i should get

    • poppyr profile imageAUTHOR

      Poppy 

      3 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Unless they're buried in the shavings, they'll be just fine. Does she have a little house to hide in? She is trying to keep her babies out of sight.

    • profile image

      Kavita Chatar 

      3 months ago

      My hamster has given birth to few babies, she has burrowed a tunnel inside the wood shavings bedding. I'm worried for the babies, what if they'll get stuck inside those small tunnels and have problem in breathing

    • poppyr profile imageAUTHOR

      Poppy 

      3 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Some hamsters just don't have motherly instincts, just like humans. It may seem like the mother is not taking care of her babies, but she'll be doing other things like making a nest and eating by herself. It doesn't necessarily mean that she's neglecting them. Please follow the steps of the article and leave her alone to do what she needs to do.

    • poppyr profile imageAUTHOR

      Poppy 

      3 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Elisa, you shouldn't be putting the father in with the babies. They aren't like humans, and they don't need 'family time.' Putting the father in with the pups is actually very dangerous because the mother might attack him if she thinks he's a threat or, like what has happened with you, the father may attack them. Please give the father a separate cage and do not let him anywhere near the pups or the mother.

    • profile image

      Arsenia 

      3 months ago

      The fmale hamster has given birth for the first time and had 6 pups, and she killed 4 pups and the other's does not want to take care of it, i did not touch them or make loud noises.can you tell me why?

    • profile image

      Elisa Arevalo 

      4 months ago

      So the father hamster ate one of the babies, but the baby was a little smaller than the others Nd walked Nd moved a little slow. What do I do? Why did the father hamster do that? This is the first time this has happened out of the many times I’ve had the father hamster in the cage with his babies.

    • poppyr profile imageAUTHOR

      Poppy 

      4 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

      That can happen. If she has a nest or a little house to hide in, she'll gather them up. Leave her alone and let her do her thing.

    • profile image

      Aarionna 

      4 months ago

      My hamster mom had all of her babies in different place. Why.

    • poppyr profile imageAUTHOR

      Poppy 

      4 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Never! You shouldn't house males and females together because they'll breed again quickly. And you should especially never put the male with the babies because he might attack them, or the mother may attack him. The father may also breed with the female babies! Please house them separately!

    • profile image

      Jaleeya 

      4 months ago

      How long should it take before I put the male together with the female and pups

    • poppyr profile imageAUTHOR

      Poppy 

      5 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

      No, don't move any of the babies. You would have to take care of it by yourself if you did and it's tough to do so. I can't stop you, but you should only move that baby if you really feel it's in danger of dying and you're willing to care for it for the first few weeks of its life.

    • profile image

      Amyra 

      5 months ago

      My hamster had her babies 6am this morning i aant to know if i could move one of the babies because the mom in not caring for that one and she baired them

    • poppyr profile imageAUTHOR

      Poppy 

      6 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Your cage should only have one level if she has babies, so I'm not sure what you mean by "bottom." Give her tissue paper to make a nest. Follow the steps of the article.

    • profile image

      Fritzi 

      6 months ago

      Why did my hamster bury her babies at the bottom

    • poppyr profile imageAUTHOR

      Poppy 

      6 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Maybe she feels comfortable with you now so she's no longer shy. Does she get a lot of exercise? Does she have a wheel, a ball, etc.? Hyperactivity might be a result of pent-up energy.

      Hamsters can bite for a number of reasons. She might have been scared or, if it was just a nibble, testing to see if you were food if your hands smelled different.

    • profile image

      Junuda Harris 

      6 months ago

      My hamster usually was really calm and kinda scared to come to me, i been feeding her fruit just to gain trust and bribe her i guess you could say, but now all of a sudden she been very hyper, she bit me the other day now shes running around like a lunatic lol, what do i so? should i be worried? shes been launching at me a lot too, every time to have to open up the cage.

    • poppyr profile imageAUTHOR

      Poppy 

      6 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

      She probably won't be having babies anytime soon, then!

    • profile image

      Nadia 

      6 months ago

      I only have one hamster and it is a girl dworf !!!!!!!

    • poppyr profile imageAUTHOR

      Poppy 

      8 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

      The wheel isn't a problem.

    • profile image

      dihaw81 

      8 months ago

      My syrian just gave birth 2 weeks ago.. should i remove the wheel? Is it dangerous for the mummy or the pups..?

    • poppyr profile imageAUTHOR

      Poppy 

      8 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

      I've answered your question in the Q&A section, Lilli.

    • profile image

      Lilli 

      8 months ago

      My hamster gave birth in a high part of her cage. to get up there you have to go up this super long tube. Her nest is up there and her babies are 1 week old. Should I move the babies or what should I do?

    • poppyr profile imageAUTHOR

      Poppy 

      8 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

      You should be cleaning the cage once a week whether you knew she was pregnant or not. The answer to your question depends on many factors - how much noise you made, whether the new bedding will cause a confusing smell, and so on.

    • profile image

      Joena Latina 

      8 months ago

      Our hamster just gave birth 3 days ago.. And we havent clean the cage since i was not aware she was pregnant.. I cleaned the other half of the cage (the portion where she and the babies does not sleep).. Was there a chance of her eating her babies?

    • poppyr profile imageAUTHOR

      Poppy 

      9 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

      You're very welcome! I'm glad to help people who need help raising their hamster babies. After all, their little lives are in our hands and it's good to be educated on how to give them the best chance at survival.

    • profile image

      COOL91 

      9 months ago

      thank you for the help and everything

    • poppyr profile imageAUTHOR

      Poppy 

      19 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

      I advise against moving them. Is there a way to block the place where they could fall down? You’ll frighten the mother if you move her house now.

    • Courtney23657 profile image

      Courtney23657 

      19 months ago

      she’s in an unsafe cage for the babies she had them in a bubble at the top and the babies are gonna fall down the tube how bad would it be if i moved her bubble into a 20 gal tank her nest is in the bubble so that the babies don’t get hurt would that be okay?

    • poppyr profile imageAUTHOR

      Poppy 

      19 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

      There’s not much point putting a blanket over the cage because hamsters are nocturnal anyway and it might cut off ventilation.

      Make sure there is no noise in the room, don’t keep checking up on them because that’s just going to stress out the mother. What kind of room is she in? The living room, someone’s bedroom? Ideally, keep them out of rooms that have TV screens or noise.

      Keep your kids out of there too. Your hamster needs peace and quiet now for a few weeks.

      Change her food and water once a day, but other than that leave her alone otherwise she may take your presence as a threat.

    • Courtney23657 profile image

      Courtney23657 

      19 months ago

      I put a blanket over the cage i just go to check every now and then to make sure everything is okay and she has food I hope she doesn’t do that to any I took the dad out he’s out of the cage everything seems fine I got them from a local pet store and was told they were both female we’ve only had then a few months they were some they said had came in the store and they were re selling them that why they were different Colors did not expect this I really hope I did not make her to upset and she kills them ! So I should just leave her alone with just check in for water and food and they should be fine ?

    • poppyr profile imageAUTHOR

      Poppy 

      19 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

      First of all: STOP going near the cage. Approach it very quietly and only to change the water and food. Give her extra food. Are there other hamsters in the cage, such as the father or other adults? Remove them. If you're lucky, you didn't disturb the mother enough for her to cull her pups.

      Ten is a lot of babies to handle, and the mother might cull a few of them anyway, but this doesn't necessarily mean it's your fault, don't worry. She might feel that she needs to get rid of some of them for the overall good of the litter.

      Two weeks from the day you noticed the babes, check again. In the meantime, don't bother the mother and only change the food and water very quietly. Don't clean the cage.

      I hope the little ones make it!

    • Courtney23657 profile image

      Courtney23657 

      19 months ago

      My hamster had babies i am not to sure when my daughter was in urgent care the past week so we were only home to give all the pets a quick feed and run back we’re finally home I go to clean the cage and see that she’s had babies 10 of them I continued to clean the cage it didn’t bother her put her back took buddy out and then left her she’s made a new nest she has them all under her feeding them and stuff but I’m seriously worried cause everything’s i red says it’s a big no no and i will not be able to sleep tonight unless I’m certain she won’t eat them or something crazy can anyone help me

    • poppyr profile imageAUTHOR

      Poppy 

      20 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Hi, Louise! Thank you for your comment. The pics are all royalty-free, but I might post my own hamster instead! Thanks again :)

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 

      20 months ago from Norfolk, England

      I have had one or two hamsters in the past, but none that have had babies. I love the pictures you posted, they are sooo cute. You've given a lot of good advice here, as I'm sure so many people wouldn't know what do to! Thanks. =)

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