Why does my male hamster smell so bad?

Why does my male hamster smell so bad?

Hamsters can smell bad due to many reasons. In this article, I will disclose some of the main reasons due to which male hamsters stink. These reasons will help you to find out the particular cause of bad smell from your pet.

Why does my male hamster smell so bad? Your male hamster can smell so bad because of poor cage cleanliness, wet tail, old age, poor ventilation, scent glands, diseases, and sexual maturity.

We always love to have a pet, but these pets can be stinky and make our place full of bad smell. It is our common observation that sometimes this delicate and cute pet smell so bad. When you come across their cage or try to hold them, a nasty smell enters our nostrils.

Why does my male hamster smell so bad?

These do not stink naturally. They do not produce any bad smell. They are elegant and clean animals. These pets are have self-grooming as a part of their daily routine. Half of the time, they are busy cleaning. They always make them clean by removing excess fur and dirt from the surface.

The scented stick on their body can easily attract predators. That is why they are vigilant in keeping themselves scent-free to protect them. It can be a reason for any change in the environment. This lousy smell also indicates that your pet is not well.

Poor Cage cleanliness

A cage is a house for a hamster, and they do all the activities in their cage. Surely it eats, sleep, and plays in the cage with their toys. The cage is also a toilet for these pets. If you are not cleaning the cage every week, then the left out food water and litter can make the cage stinky.

All this foul-smelling food and other litter can stick to their bodies during his activities. The dirt and filth become entrapped in the fur, the entrapped contamination of the cage is the main reason for the bad smell of these tiny creatures. Cage bedding can be a reason of hamsters stink.

The old and worn out bedding of cage can stink, and hence they get this foul smell from cage bedding. Your pet can clean themselves very thoroughly, but poor hygiene of the cage can make them smell bad.

Hamster pee and poop

If you train your pet to use a litter box to pee, he will surely follow it, they use a corner of the cage to pee. Sometimes more than one corner is found as a bathroom.

The corner is sometimes challenging to find in the cage. The poop hardly stinks because they are solid. The pee is the main reason for this and the proper cleaning of the cage can resolve the issue.

Wet tail

The watery stool makes it’s tail and bottom wet. This watery stool also has a bad smell. They can get stinky due to these watery poops.

The watery poop not only causes the wetting of the tail but also leaves its mark on the hamster body. The wet tail can be caused due to many reasons, and it is most common in Syrian hamsters.

If the poop gets watery and has an unpleasant smell, then it is an emergency situation. The wet tail can lead to severe dehydration and eventually death.

Old age

As we all know that these pets are very clean, they are always busy in grooming themselves. When it is young, he can do his grooming himself. They use their front paw for cleaning themselves. They lick their fur to remove all the dirt from the body.

As these start to get old, he is not able to groom himself. The old can not even able to move by himself. If you do not clean your pet, he will smell bad. Old age is an inevitable cause of the bad smell.

Excessive sweat production

Excessive sweating can also be a reason for stinking. As the temperature rises, the tiny animal can also sweat. Sweating is a phenomenon to cool down the body when the temperature rises.

They use sweating to preserve their body from excess heat. The bad smell due to sweat is observed in summer.

Food in hiding outs

They have a habit of hiding the food in hideouts in the cage or his body parts. A portion of food that can rot within a few minutes after serving can cause a foul smell. Cabbage cheese boiled eggs are some of the foods which get smelly soon.

When these are fed with such food, the cage and they start to stink. Such food should be served in small amounts. The serving tray should be removed as the pet has eaten food they also hideout food in his body parts. If you see a hamster with his ear folded, he must be hiding food in it.

The hideout food in the ears or paws also causes them to smell bad. This smelly food, when it starts rotting, also spoils the bedding. This thing further complicates the situation. In such a case, you also have to change the bedding.

Poorly vented cage

Poorly vented cage also contributes a lot to this smell. If the cage is placed at a place where the ventilation is not proper, both cage and the pet will stink due to suffocation. In an air-restricted environment, all foul smell which produced in a cage due to any reason cannot pass out.

Sick Hamster

When you feel that your pet smells terrible and there are no apparent reasons, then it is a clue that your pet is sick. Be sure that the cage is clean and properly vented, but it still smells bad. The stink can be due to any illness like dental issues and intestine problems.

Gas trouble and digestion problems can also make them smell bad. A bladder infection can also be a reason for this stinking. You must treat diabetes in hamsters to prevent this situation.


These medicines include antibiotics and diabetes-related drugs. These medicines produce some physiological changes due to which they smells bad. Antibiotics are of prime importance in this aspect.

These medicines are used to treat the infection but have a side effect of making it stink. Antibiotics are excreted in urine and can make the pee stink. Smell due to medicine is temporary, and it disappears after discontinuation of medicines.

Scent glands

Scent glands the main source of hamster clumsy smell. Scent glands are responsible for the smell without any apparent reason. When the cage is clean, and he is not suffering from any illness, the culprit behind his smelling bad is these glands.

These scent glands are also called flank glands or hip spots. These produce pheromones with secretion. Pheromones are responsible for the musky smell of these pets. These are found in both males and females. The flank glands are more prominent in males.

The presence of flank glands and their position differs in all species. In Syrian hamsters, these flank glands are bilateral and are situated on the flanks. They are flat and greasy in appearance.

They are usually pigmented and have longer hairs over them. In dwarf hamsters, these scent glands are single and are situated close to the umbilicus. These are devoid of any hair and have greasy, yellowish secretion.

The musky smell is produced by scent glands has several purposes. The unpleasant smell is an indication of some unique behavior. This can eventually lead to the ringworm infection in hamsters.

Marking the territory

Hamsters live in solitude. They hardly share their cage with any other hamsters. The cage is their possession for himself. In this way, they try to show their dominance. It produces secretion in their cage to mark their territory.

They rub their scent glands against the cage floor for defining their territory. Marking territory is a message to others to stay away from his area. They even mark their food and other belonging with their scent.

Their scent glands produce a strong smell than a female that’s why they have more pungent aroma than females. They also rub their scent gland against other objects like toys to mark their possession. During this course, their whole body is also covered with secretion.

Due to these secretions, they have an unusual smell. Scent glands also produce a musky odor when they are trying to show their dominance over other submissive hamsters. If two hamsters are kept inside the same cage, then the dominant hamster smells stinker than the submissive.

Sexual maturity

Sexual maturity is another reason for hamster smelling so bad. At puberty, when he is fully grown, its scent glands are fully developed. At the age of 4 to 5 weeks, it is fully sexually mature. Then the scent glands produce a more intense and robust smell than usual.

When he gets excited its smells so bad than ever, during the excitement, the pet scratches its scent glands and lick it with the tongue. This scratching and licking increase scent secretion.

Environmental factors like ventilation and poor hygiene make this smell worse. The peculiar smell of hamsters at puberty vanishes somehow when he gets old. Marking scent during excitement is a message to the female hamsters, when the hamster mate the smell on their surface, becomes more intense.

Aggressive or scared

These pets are aggressive and stressed in their nature. Scent marking by a hamster is a sign that he may be offensive or scared. The scent glands produce intense smell in hamsters to communicate their behavior to others.

When the hamster is aggressive, or something is annoying him, he provides scent marks on the objects. If he is aggressive toward other hamsters, then a musky smell is present in the hamster. This way, they try to communicate with other submissive hamsters that he is angry with.

If anything in the cage or surrounding is threatening the hamster, the secretion is produced from scent glands that make them smell terrible. They also recognize each other by their smell. They leave a scent on their surface for their companion to know them. Due to this distinct smell, the female hamster approaches their partners.