Sometimes, hamsters are known to emit very unpleasant fish-like smells. If your hamster starts emitting that sort of smell, it can cause you a great deal of concern. For instance, you will want to know whether something is wrong with the hamster, hence the smell. You may also wonder whether you are failing in taking care of the hamster’s hygiene needs, hence the smell. In this article, you will learn why your hamster smells like fish, and what you can do about it.
Why does my hamster smell like fish? Well, if your hamster is female, the fishy smell could be an indication that she is on heat. It is normal for female hamsters that are in heat to emit such fish-like smells. Sometimes, the smell can be admittedly so bad that it makes you almost gag when you go near her cage.
Of course, there are other situations where the smell is on account of an infection in the hamster. Or where it is due to improper/irregular cleaning of the hamster’s cage. Another possibility is where the hamster smells due to clogged scent glands. But in most of these other situations, the smell – while pungent – may not be fish-like. Where you encounter a fish-like smell, and the hamster is female, the first possibility to consider should be that of the hamster being on heat.
Let’s see more in detail about Hamsters smelling like fish and reasons for Hamsters to smell like fish and how to prevent hamster from smelling like fish here.
Are Hamsters Smelly?
A good starting point in answering the why does my hamster smell like fish is by finding out whether, generally, hamsters are smelly. So, are hamsters generally smelly? The answer is ‘no’. Hamsters are generally not smelly. As long as you clean the cage where your hamster lives properly and regularly, it shouldn’t be too smelly.
That being said, it is important to appreciate that some degree of odor is normal in female hamsters when they are in heat. And they do get heat very often, as their cycles are only 4-5 days long. Thus, if you have a female hamster, you can expect her to emit some fishy smell once every 4-5 days. That is when she is on heat.
The exception to this would be when the female hamster hasn’t reached maturity age. Or when she is pregnant or when she is beyond reproductive age.
Do Hamsters Smell Like Fish?
No, hamsters don’t smell like fish. At least, that is not their normal day to day smell. Female hamsters that are on heat may indeed have some fishy smell. But that is usually only once per 4-5 days. Otherwise they don’t usually smell like fish.
That is to say, in other words, if your hamster develops a permanent fish-like smell, you have reason to be concerned. You will want to know, why does my hamster smell like fish on a permanent basis? And in most cases, it could be an indication that something is wrong with it health-wise. Or that you are not taking proper care of its hygiene needs.
Why Does My Hamster Smell So Bad?
It could be that your hamster is dirty, and that is making it smell so bad. In that case, the hamster may benefit from something like, say, a sand bath. Further, it could be that the cage where you are keeping the hamster is not clean. So it may be the cage that is smelling, not the hamster.
Or it could be that yours is a female hamster, emitting the fish-like smell they naturally emit when on heat. That is in order to invite males for mating purposes. On another note, it could be that your hamster is sick. Perhaps, due to some internal sickness, there is some smelly discharge coming from the hamster.
That may be the case, for instance, if the hamster has pyometra. That condition can lead pus to build up inside her, the end result being a smelly discharge.
Why Does My Hamster Smell Like Fish?
In answering the question on why does my hamster smell like fish, we first need to know whether the hamster is male or female. Further, in answering the question on why does my hamster smell like fish, we need to know whether the smell comes and goes, or it is ‘permanent’.
If the hamster is female, and the fishy smell comes and goes every few days, it could be on account of her being on heat. Thus, every time she is on heat, she emits what you perceive as a fishy smell. That is simply to invite any available males for mating.
If the hamster is female, and the fishy smell is permanent, it could be on account of discharges that are as a result of internal infections. Or it could simply be on account of you not cleaning her cage properly or regularly enough.
If the hamster is male, and has a fishy smell, it could be an indication that he has a health problem. Something like a wet tail or kidney can cause a male hamster to have this sort of odor. But it could also mean that the hamster’s cage is dirty. Thus what you think is the hamster smelling may actually be his (dirty) cage.
Why Does My Hamster Pee Smell Like Fish?
Sometimes, rather than posing the why does my hamster smell like fish question, one may ask why their hamster’s pee smells like fish. That is after discovering that it is not the hamster itself that smells like fish, but rather, its urine.
Where you are certain that it is the hamster’s urine that smells like fish, it could be on account of a kidney or bladder infection. It would be ideal to have the hamster checked by a vet.
But if it is a female hamster’s urine that smells like fish, and that happens only once every several days, it could simply be on account of being on heat.
When a female hamster is on heat, both her body and her urine have some fishy smell.
Why Does My Male Hamster Cage Smell Fishy?
Perhaps you don’t clean it properly or regularly enough. The accumulation of dirty stuff inside (pee, feces, soiled bedding and the bacteria they attract) can ultimately give rise to a fishy smell.
If you clean the hamster’s cage regularly and properly, yet it still has a fishy smell, it could be an indication that the hamster is actually emitting urine with fishy smell. This could be a sign of a health problem that requires veterinary attention.
A possibility is that, for instance, the hamster has a kidney or bladder infection, which is making him pass out urine with a fishy smell. The smell then spreads to the entire cage. In that case, it is best to have a vet check the hamster.
Why Does My Female Hamster Cage Smell Like Fish?
The hamster may be on heat, which often makes them emit fishy smells. This is likely the case if the fishy smell comes and goes every few days. But it could also mean that the hamster’s cage is too dirty, hence the fishy smell (because of bacteria that have festered there). It could also mean that the hamster has health problems, causing her to pass out discharges with fishy smells.
The most important thing is to rule out the possibility of the fishy smell being due to a serious illness. Then you can proceed to rule out the possibility of the fishy smell being due to poor hygiene. Only then can you have reassurance that what you are experiencing is the normal fishy smell that female hamsters emit while in heat, every 4-5 days.
Why Does My Female Hamster Smell Like Fish?
Anyone who asks why does my hamster smell like fish (specifically if it is a female) is first advised to consider the possibility of the hamster being on heat. If that isn’t the case, one needs to consider the possibility of the hamster being sick, and passing smelly discharges.
If this too is ruled out, one has to consider the possibility of poor hygiene (for instance in the cage) causing the hamster to smell like fish.
Why Does My Dwarf Hamster Smell Like Fish?
Is the dwarf hamster male or female? If it is a female, her fishy smell could be a sign of her being on heat (and hence a natural thing not to worry about). But it could be an indication that the hamster has been rolling on smelly bedding, perhaps due to poor cage hygiene. Or it could be evidence that she has some illness that either makes her pass discharges that smell like fish or urine that smells like fish.
If the dwarf hamster is male, what you need to consider more is the possibility of him having been rolling in smelly bedding: perhaps due to poor cage hygiene. If the cage hygiene is proper, consider the possibility of him being sick, which leads either to smell discharges or smelly urine. So you can consider kidney infections, urinary tract infections, internal infections etc.
Hamster Urine Smells Fishy, Why?
Is the hamster that is passing the urine female? It could be that she is on heat. The secretions that she emits while on heat get mixed up with the urine, giving it a fishy smell. If that is not the case, the hamster may be sick (perhaps with a kidney or bladder infection), which makes it pass smelly urine.
Final Verdict – Why Does My Hamster Smell Like Fish
Why does my hamster smell like fish? It can be something as benign as the hamster being on heat (especially if it is a female), and emitting the fishy smell as a mating signal. But it could also be something to worry about. That is like your hamster having an infection that causes it to pass urine or discharges that have a fishy smell.
By the way, it could be something as simple as the hamster’s cage being dirty. That may eventually give it (and the hamster by extension) a fishy smell.
There are several things that can make your hamster smell like fish. Once you accurately identify why your hamster has a fishy smell, you can figure out what to do about it. If it is on account of her being on heat, you can dab out the secretions that bring about the fishy smell with a tissue. Then flush the tissue down the toilet. Where the fishy smell is on account of poor cage hygiene, you can improve on the same. And where the fishy smell is because of a disease, you can get a vet to diagnose and treat it.
Welcome to Learn About Pet. My name is Rajkumar Ravichandran and I love all pets, travel, and amazing food. I write about my passion and personal experience caring for multiple pets in this blog! ❤️
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