6 Things You Should Never Do If Your Hamster Has Babies

Updated on December 27, 2017
poppyr profile image

Poppy is a proofreader and Dragon Age fan. She lives in Tokyo and has two hamsters named Zelda and Hemingway.

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.

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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!

Questions & Answers

© 2017 Poppy

Comments

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  • poppyr profile imageAUTHOR

    Poppy 

    6 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 

    6 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 

    6 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 

    6 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 

    6 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 

    6 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 

    7 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 

    7 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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