Should Hamsters Mate With Their Siblings?

The hamsters are animals that reproduce heavily when they reach maturity. Since hamsters do not recognize their siblings from the same litter, they will mate if given the opportunity.

Should hamsters mate with their siblings?

Hamsters should not mate with their siblings because the offspring born from such mating will have genetic problems and defects.

In today’s article, you will learn in detail why hamsters shouldn’t mate with their siblings and related questions.

Should hamsters mate with their siblings?

Hamsters should not mate with their siblings because the resulting baby hamsters will not be entirely healthy; they will have deformities and may die within a few days.

Hamsters born from sibling mating may have deformities such as:

  • Curved spine
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Vision problems
  • Paralysis in the legs
  • Epilepsy
  • Heart defects
  • Rapid loss of fur

These and other issues are common when baby hamsters are descendants of siblings mating.

To avoid such problems, it is necessary to separate hamster siblings before they mature enough for reproduction.

Hamsters reach maturity for breeding at around 6 weeks old. Other combinations of mating between father and daughter or mother and son hamsters are possible without causing consequences for the health of the offspring.

What happens after hamster siblings mate?

As mentioned, if hamster siblings mate, numerous deformities and issues will likely arise, potentially shortening the lifespan of the offspring.

Here is a detailed explanation of the possible consequences for baby hamsters born from sibling mating.

Paralysis in the legs

Baby hamsters born from mating between sibling hamsters often suffer from paralysis in their hind legs due to spinal cord damage.

While these hamsters might survive with paralyzed legs, they will have issues as they won’t climb or exercise like normal hamsters.

Hamsters with paralyzed hind legs can’t groom properly, affecting their hygiene and making them susceptible to diseases and other problems.

Onset of muscular dystrophy

Muscular dystrophy is possible if sibling hamsters mate, resulting in weaker muscles and less muscle mass due to abnormal genes inhibiting protein production necessary for muscle growth.

Hamsters with muscular dystrophy won’t perform regular functions like healthy hamsters and may have a shorter lifespan.should hamsters mate with their siblings

Risk of premature death

Hamsters born from sibling mating have a high risk of premature death.

They might be stillborn or die within days of birth due to genetic complications, preventing them from living long lives.

Heart problems

Hamsters born from sibling mating often suffer from heart problems and might experience heart attacks.

Cardiomyopathy, the hardening of tissue around the heart, might prevent normal blood flow throughout their bodies.

Hamsters with cardiomyopathy struggle to be active due to compromised breathing, and any exertion could cause a heart attack.

Reduced immunity

Hamsters born from sibling mating often have weakened immune systems, making them more susceptible to diseases and infections throughout their lives.

Their weakened immunity shortens their lifespan.


Hamsters born from sibling mating tend to be more aggressive and nervous.

They might attack each other if housed together or act aggressively toward their owners, exhibiting biting behavior.

These hamsters are more territorial and challenging to care for in domestic environments or cages.

Risk of epilepsy

Hamsters born from sibling mating often suffer from epilepsy, which results in:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures
  • Bladder problems
  • Bowel issues

All these problems from epilepsy can lead to premature death in hamsters.

In summary, it’s crucial to prevent mating between hamster siblings to avoid these severe health issues and complications in their offspring.

Hair Loss

Hamsters born from mating between sibling hamsters face issues with their fur.

These hamsters experience the following problems:

  • Partial or complete fur loss
  • Problems regulating body temperature due to lack of fur
  • Cuts and wounds on the skin due to lack of fur
  • Risk of skin infections due to inadequate fur

Clearly, hair loss isn’t a simple issue and can cause significant problems for these hamsters born from mating between their siblings.

Retinal Degeneration

When hamsters suffer from retinal degeneration due to being born from mating between sibling hamsters, they become blind.

In such situations, these hamsters lose one or both eyes and within 15 days, completely lose their sight.

However, it’s important to note that even when blind, hamsters can live and navigate their surroundings due to their excellent sense of smell and hearing.

Read more: How Do You Breed Syrian Hamsters? Let’s Discover

Will hamster siblings attempt to mate with each other?

Hamster siblings will attempt to mate with each other if they live together.

They don’t recognize that they are relatives, and when mature enough for breeding, they will mate.

Hamsters recognize each other by scent, but they don’t understand familial relationships, leading them to mate with their siblings.

Read more: How Old Are Baby Hamsters When They Open Their Eyes?

What can you do to prevent hamster siblings from mating?

To prevent hamster siblings from mating, it’s necessary to separate them from each other before they reach 6 weeks of age.

There is no other way to prevent mating because if you leave them together, you can be sure they will produce new offspring in their litter or cage.

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Can hamsters interbreed?

Campbell’s and Winter White hamsters can be crossbred despite their genetic differences, but their resulting offspring are commonly infertile.

Can hamsters live with their siblings?

Hamsters can live with their siblings; however, a potential problem arises if they mate. In such cases, offspring with genetic issues might be born. Therefore, it’s best for hamsters to live either with brothers or sisters only.

At what age can hamsters breed?

Hamsters can start breeding around 10 weeks of age, but it’s advisable for them to stop breeding by the time they reach 15 months. Continuing to breed beyond 15 months poses risks to the mother hamster’s life and the babies she carries during pregnancy.


Under no circumstances should hamster siblings mate because the consequences, namely the baby hamsters born from such mating, will have numerous genetic disorders.

These hamsters will suffer from spine issues, vision problems, weak hearts, low immunity, fur issues, paralysis, and other health problems.

Hamsters born from mating between their siblings don’t live long or might be stillborn.

These hamsters are much more aggressive than others and are much harder to care for in domestic environments.

In conclusion, it’s best to prevent mating between hamster siblings entirely, as the offspring will not have good health and will have a shortened lifespan.

Read more: What Are The Reasons Why A Mother Hamster Eats Her Babies?