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How long are hamsters pregnant? It’s a question that many hamster owners ask. It’s actually a very short pregnancy – less than 20 days in most breeds. For the smaller hamster breeds such as Syrian hamsters it can be just 16 days!

How long are Hamsters Pregnant?

If you have a male and female hamster living together, pregnancy is possible. It can even happen before you bring home your hamster because many shops do not separate male and female hamsters when they are on display. You may be scared about what is to come but this article will tell you the facts about the most popular breeds of hamster and things you should know when your hamster is pregnant. We are going to concentrate on the most common two types of domesticated hamster-The Syrian and the Russian dwarf hamster.

Pregnancy lasts between 16-17 days for female Syrian hamsters. Which is not long at all. Syrian females often give birth to multiple hamsters-between 5 and 15. However, in some cases, they may have less or more. Hamster pups are born blind but they quickly grow and become active once they open their eye. 

Remember you will have to separate your hamster pups from their mum after 4 weeks so they can learn to survive without her help. 

Typically, these are the signs that tell you your Syrian hamster may be pregnant:

  1. Her nipples will begin to swell and stick out.
  2. She will pay more attention to her nest, hoard more food, and generally seem restless. Also, the fact she is creating a nest is a huge sign she may be pregnant. 
  3. Her belly will grow larger, typically extending to the sides, so you can see that when looking at her from above. However, this may take a few weeks to show.

Additionally, here are some signs to tell if they may be another issue going on and that your hamster may not even be pregnant. This goes for all types of hamster:

  • If your hamster is younger than 6 weeks old, she is almost certainly not pregnant because it has not matured enough yet.
  • If your hamster has not had a male companion in over 4 weeks (28 days) then she is not pregnant.
  • If you have suspected she is pregnant for more than 7-10 days and she has not given birth then your hamster may have another issue so you should contact your local vet to do a check-up.

On the other hand, Russian dwarf hamsters can start breeding after 3 months and they will stay pregnant for around 20 days which is a bit longer than the Syrian hamsters. The dwarf hamster’s gestation period is only 18 days and they normally only have between 4-6 hamsters pup but remember they are smaller in size compared to Syrians. These hamsters are easier to breed since the females have a special scent that attracts males every four days.

If you think your dwarf hamster is pregnant check for these signs:

  • She will become very plump and big- this will not happen until 10 days after the mating.
  • Nipples will become more pronounced and easier to spot
  • Drinks loads of water
  • Stores loads of food
  • Does not come into heat

For further information about hamsters and new-borns check out our new born hamster guide and Hamster Litter.

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