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Gerbils & Hamsters/Female syrian hamster


I just got a pair of male and female Syrian hamsters which are roughly around 45-60 days of age. The female looks smaller that the male and is probably younger. They were kept together in the pet shop and as soon as i bought them i put them in separate cages. The male is normal and is very active in the nights whereas the female seems to be very dormant. She eats little and seldom comes out of the tube. She has been shivering slightly for the past two days and seems very disturbed. She only comes out of the tube to pick up the bedding i've put and stores it in the tube? Is she pregnant? If so will she be able to make it because she's too young :( please help!

Hi Malavikka

Thanks for your question.

There are number of things here I want to discuss with you - firstly, hamsters become sexually active at only 4 weeks old, hence the reason why they need to be sexed and separated at that age.  The female comes into season every 4th day, and the gestation period for a Syrian is between 16 - 18 days.  

The fact that you have separated them is good.  You may not know for another 16-18 days if she is pregnant - often they don't show any real signs.  Sometimes the female will keep relocating her nest if she is pregnant, and close to the time of giving birth she will develop a real bulge on her hips which remains if she stretches up the bars.

If she is pregnant, you don't want her having any babies in a tube.  This will make the situation very difficult and stressful for you as well as her.  What type of cage has she got?  Is it wire with tubes, or just tubular?  If you can remove any tubes, or block them off so that she has her food and water on one level.  I also tend to remove any houses to prevent a litter being born in that.  If she gives birth in a tube, the area will be too small and babies can become separated or fall out of the tube as when the mother leaves the nest in search of food, they sometimes have their babies still attached if they are feeding and they can leave a trail of babies.  In a single storey cage, if this happens the mum should gather them up and return them to the nest which is vital as they are totally dependent on her in the first couple of weeks.  

Regarding her shivering - does she appear cold, or is this just nervousness? Hamsters can tremble a bit if they are worried.  Females are usually the most energetic out of the sexes, but this isn't always the case.  One of my females is very lazy and never wants to come out of her nest - so this isn't always a sign there is something wrong.  However, if she is shivering then hamsters can develop colds.  Whereabouts is her cage kept in the house?  Is it in a warm area or cold?  Does she have enough bedding?

What is her poo like?  Is it runny/wet, or normal?  If there is any sign of diarrhoea then this needs treating immediately. I can advise you on this if necessary.

I hope this helps you.


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Sheila Adby


Syrian hamsters are my specialty, however, I have kept Campbells,Winter Whites and gerbils in the past. I can advise on most subjects associated with hamsters, including housing, bedding, feeding, handling, new borns and catching escapees. I have had some experience of various health problems with hamsters and can offer my opinion and advice on basic health issues, however I am not a qualified vet and therefore cannot recommend drugs etc. My website is


I have been keeping hamsters and other small animals for more than 12 years. My favourites are Syrian hamsters and I foster litters and 'difficult' hamsters for a rescue centre. My job is to tame hamsters ready for re-homing, which is extremely rewarding. I also enjoy looking after new litters and raising the pups. I have co-written a book on hamsters with my local vet and have a website:

Hamsters in Sickness and in Health - Sheila Adby and Dan O'Neill ISBN186163218-5 (Capall Bann Publishing)

Educated to A Level standard in the UK.

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