Do Hamsters Eat Their Babies When You Touch Them

Title: Do Hamsters Eat Their Babies When You Touch Them: Debunking the Myth


Hamsters are adorable and popular small pets renowned for their playful nature and compact size. However, there are several misconceptions surrounding these furry creatures, particularly regarding their behavior towards their offspring. One of the most prevalent myths is that hamsters eat their babies when touched by humans. In this article, we will delve into this topic, dispel this misconception, and provide answers to frequently asked questions regarding hamster parenting behavior.

Debunking the Myth:

Contrary to popular belief, hamsters do not eat their babies when touched by humans. This myth likely stems from the defensive instincts of hamsters towards potential threats. When a hamster feels endangered, it may resort to aggressive behavior, including cannibalism, to protect its young. However, this behavior is triggered by fear or stress, not by human interaction.

Hamster Parenting Behavior:

1. How do hamsters care for their babies?
Hamsters are nurturing parents and generally exhibit excellent care for their offspring by keeping them warm, clean, and well-fed.

2. Do hamsters show aggression towards their young?
In rare cases, hamster mothers may display aggression if they perceive a threat to their babies. However, it is crucial to provide a calm and stress-free environment to minimize the likelihood of this behavior.

3. Can hamsters be handled while they have babies?
It is generally recommended to avoid handling hamster mothers and their babies during the early weeks. This allows them to establish a strong bond and minimizes stress for both the mother and the offspring.

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4. How long do hamsters nurse their babies?
Hamster mothers typically nurse their babies for around three weeks before they begin weaning.

5. What should I do if I find a baby hamster that appears abandoned?
If you come across a seemingly abandoned baby hamster, observe from a distance for a while, as the mother might be nearby. If there is no sign of the mother returning, consult a veterinarian or a local hamster expert for advice on proper care.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Are there any circumstances where a hamster might eat its babies?
Instances of cannibalism among hamsters are rare but can occur if the mother feels threatened, stressed, or lacks a suitable environment for raising her young.

2. Can handling hamster babies cause them harm?
Handling hamster babies should be avoided during the early weeks to minimize stress. However, gentle handling by knowledgeable individuals can be beneficial for socialization later on.

3. Do hamsters have a specific time of year for breeding?
Hamsters are not seasonal breeders and can reproduce throughout the year.

4. At what age can hamsters reproduce?
Hamsters can start reproducing as early as four to six weeks of age, but it is advisable to wait until they are fully matured, around three to four months old.

5. How many babies can a hamster mother have?
Hamsters typically have litters ranging from four to twelve pups, but this can vary depending on the species.


It is essential to dispel myths surrounding hamster behavior to ensure the well-being of these adorable pets. Contrary to popular belief, hamsters do not eat their babies when touched by humans. By providing a nurturing environment and respecting the mother’s instincts, hamster parents can raise their young successfully. Remember to consult a veterinarian or a hamster expert for any concerns or questions regarding proper hamster care.

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