Why Does My Hamster Smell Bad? 

Hamsters may smell bad due to numerous reasons. For example, it may be due to the bad odor of the dirty cages, farts caused by the high protein diets, issues with hygiene, diseases, etc. literally it could be due to either owner’s ignorance or due to natural causes. So, to rectify this issue it is vital that you understand the root cause for this and then act fast and smart to solve it. So, this article would cover all the possible root causes which would contribute to this condition and if you are eager to know about this issue, it would be worthwhile to go through this article.

Why does my hamster smell bad ?

Let’s find out the reasons for their foul odor first. Then we can find how to get rid of this smell.

Dirty enclosure  

A dirty cage or a dirty enclosure would be a prime reason why your hamster may stink. Hamsters urinate to remove their waste just like humans do. However, if they can’t access a proper litter box, they will end up urinating everywhere. That said, old hamsters would tend to urinate and sleep anywhere they feel comfortable doing that. Their urine would smell weak. However, the odor released from the smell could be very strong and it may cling to the hamster’s fur.

Farts due to the high protein diet

Hamsters cannot burp as their digestive system is not designed for it. They will have a flap covering their stomach after consuming food. So, they would tend to pass a very foul smelly gas depending on the food they consumed.

Hamsters scent glands

Hamster scent glands are one more common fact as to why the hamsters may stink. That said, keep in mind that this is a very normal occurrence. For instance, when a female hamster is too warm it would tend to release sexual pheromones every four days with the purpose of attracting male hamsters. Further chances are that the female hamsters may have periods on the fifth day till they do the mating and get pregnant as well. However, the pheromones released here would give a strong foul odor to the hamsters.

On the other hand, if there are two male hamsters in the same enclosure, there will be high levels of testosterone when they are sexually mature. In fact, they would tend to release more odors to surpass the other hamster scent.

Hygiene neglect

Hamsters would do their cleaning purposes by simply licking their paws and coats. They do this to maintain their hygiene and if you can’t spot them doing that it is very likely that they are suffering from an injury or an illness. Besides if the hamsters are too old they would slow down and consequently they would find it difficult to clean them.

Hamster diseases

If the hamsters are suffering from illnesses which may have arisen from bacteria’s, it would also result in foul smells of the hamsters. Some of the commonly spotted symptoms of these illnesses  are such as runny nose, wounds etc. Those illnesses could also make the hamster’s  bodies stink.

Wet tails

Keep in mind that wet tails are a lethal ailment that occurs in the hamsters. It would also cause foul smelling diarrhea. Once the bacteria overgrows in the hamster’s stomach they would start to stink. So, if you happen to know that your hamsters are suffering from wet tails, best would be to take them to a doctor. They will conduct physical examinations, lab tests and thereafter they will prescribe medication for the hamsters. The medication would be antibiotics most of the time. Lastly infections in the bladder and kidney may also result in foul odors of the hamsters. It would make their urine smell terrible.

Why does my hamster stink all of a sudden?

if your hamsters happen to have consumed a protein mixed diet it would make them fart and result in a foul smell all of a sudden. Additionally, If your hamsters start to stink all of a sudden, it could be also due to a dirty cage, and issues in hygiene. Further, it could also be due to the diseases and due to sexual maturity  as well.

Why do female hamsters smell?

If your female hamsters are in heat, they may start to release a foul odor. Consider that your female hamster is mature then they would release sexual pheromones into the air every four days. In fact, they would do that by releasing the vaginal secretions. You may call this ‘the estrous cycle’ as well.

The purpose of doing this activity is to attract the male hamsters to them. Female hamsters will have their periods on the fifth day till they mate and get pregnant. So, this could be the reason for the foul smell released from the female hamsters.  In fact, this odor could be so foul as it could even stink up the entire room of yours.

Is it normal for hamsters to stink?

Hamsters do not sink all the time. They only stink when they fart or for a few other reasons as I described above. However, mostly the stink is confined to their cage area. Ideally you need to give a thorough cleaning to their cages once every week by dumping all the bedding and scrub. You could use mild detergent and some warm water to do this task. Unless, they would continue to smell and make the entire area stink.

How to prevent hamster smell

Improve the ventilation in the enclosure

If you have placed the hamsters in small, cramped areas, there is a high potential for the hamsters to stink. That said, if your hamsters don’t indicate any sign of sickness or seem to be in their heat, it is very likely that a foul smell is occurring in the enclosure. So, ideally, you need to move the enclosure for another place where there is better ventilation. Besides, you can remove the things in the cage as well.

Make sure that you clean the cages on a daily basis too. If you are a responsible hamster owner, ensure that you remove all their waste. Be it soiled bedding, urinated food or fecal matter.  Do the scrubbing every week using warm soapy water. Thereafter provide some fresh shavings to absorb the foul smell too.

Try potty training your hamster. You could do that by placing a sandbox in the corner of the enclosure. Ideally, you need to place it in the area where you suspect the hamster urinates quite often. It is very likely that they will urinate in only one place in the cage and you could try placing it there. That way you can ensure that hamsters don’t get in contact with the urine.

Schedule a vet visit.

As aforesaid, hamsters may release a foul smell due to an ongoing sickness in their bodies. Therefore, try to take the hamsters to the doctor periodically and see whether everything is alright with them or whether there is any health-related issue. They will conduct lab tests and wellness checkups to determine the root cause of the ailment.

Monitor  the hamster’s diet

You need to pay special attention to what you feed the hamsters if they start to smell terrible. If the hamster is healthy, its diet would consist of dry pellets, vegetables, and fruits as well. Further, you can add vitamin supplements also to that.

How can I make my hamster smell better?

It is vital that you clean and deodorize the cage quite often. First, you could place the hamsters in a safe location and then remove all others in the cage. Dispose of all their waste into a garbage bag. Next, you may wash the cage with mild soapy water as explained above. Don’t forget to wash your hands once you complete this activity. Thereafter you can deodorize the cage.

I suggest you use a commercial cleaning product which contains enzymes which would overcome the foul smell. You may choose a product such as Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray.

To do this task. Additionally, you may also apply baking soda or vinegar. You simply have to sprinkle some baking soda and then wipe it with a warm wet sponge or with a cloth. If you want to use the vinegar you could simply wipe the cage with a vinegar-mixed sponge. Eventually, you can give it a good wash.

Choose the right bedding to make your hamsters smell better. If you happen to use the wrong bedding it can overpower the scent of the hamsters. It has to be water-soluble bedding where the hamsters can ingest and expel without any issues. In addition to that, I suggest you use an air purifier to combat the foul smell that hamsters may release. Air purifiers can eradicate all the contaminants which are released from the hamster’s.

Do male or female hamsters smell worse?

Female hamsters can smell terrible compared to male hamsters, especially during their periods. Apart from that, the amount of smell would vary depending on the species as well. For instance, female Syrian hamsters would smell very bad compared to dwarf hamsters.

Do hamsters stink up your room?

Yes, if you happen to keep the hamsters in the room, they would undoubtedly stink up your room and you will find it very unpleasant. Hamsters may consider your room as their habitat and if you don’t attend to its cleaning on time, it will make your bedroom so unpleasant. They will keep urinating and pooping in your bedroom too. Besides, they would run, and sleep in your rooms to make things worse.

How to get rid of hamster smell in the room

If you wish to get rid of the hamster smell in the room, the best would be to use entire plastic cages to keep the hamsters as they would trap the odor within the cage. Don’t use aquariums as they usually have poor airflow. So once the hamsters pee in the aquarium ammonia would build up and result in foul smells. So, I urge you to use a fully caged enclosure so that it would give a good airflow as well as the best odor control too.

Next, you need to choose the right substrate to overcome the smell you get from the hamsters. Don’t use hay and straw as substrates since they are not the best when it comes to absorbing the odor.  A substrate that has wood pulp would work well with this.

Thirdly, add a 2-inch layer of bedding to the enclosure. That will allow sufficient space for the hamsters to make nests and burrow. Above all, it would help to absorb the urine as well.  Needless to mention, you should clean the hamster’s cage properly on a daily basis. Once you clean the cages on a daily basis it would help you to remove their urine as well as droppings.

Next, I suggest a thorough cleaning with soap and water on a weekly basis. When you clean them ensure that you remove all their bedding, toys and accessories too. Use some detergent also when washing these. Next rinse the cage with some hot water and let it dry afterward. Once it is dry, you could put the hamsters back there. Additionally, you could teach the hamsters to use a litter box as well.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Hamster smells like skunk

Hamsters may smell skunk due to many reasons. As explained above it could be due to sexual maturity, uncleaned cage or disease cindition. Or it could be due to unbalance protein diet. That kind of diet make hamsters fart.

Do Robo dwarf hamsters smell?

Roborovski dwarf hamsters don’t smell in general. However, the male Roborovski hamsters may have a strong odor.

Do Syrian hamsters stink?

Syrian hamsters may release a foul smell and you could commonly spot this among the female Syrian hamsters quite a lot. In fact, the smell would be sort of like a  strong acrid and downright musky smell.


So, if your hamster starts to smell terrible, it would probably be not his fault but the owners’. Further, if you are not the type of person who can tolerate the smell of the pets, it would be best not to bring them home. However, hamsters may start to smell terrible due to the above-mentioned reasons and it is important that you determine the reasons for that and act smart to overcome it. To recap, the very first thing you need to do is to check the cage and the hamster next. Once you determine the reason, you can try out aforesaid methods to overcome the foul smell.

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