When it comes to their hair, hamsters are known to go through color changes. Winter White hamsters are more likely to change colors, although Syrian hamsters may as well. Color change occurs for several reasons, the most common of which is to disguise themselves from predators in the wild or as they become older.
This article will explain why hamsters change color and answer questions on the topic.
Why Does the Fur of a Hamster Change Color?
The color of a hamster’s fur will vary throughout time. Although Syrians also go through them occasionally, winter whites are more prone to color changes than other hamster species.
The majority of hamster fur color varies as they age, becoming lighter, darker, or greyer. Winter whites become white to blend in with the snow in the winter.
This camouflage makes them hard to spot by predators.
This change commonly affects the winter white hamsters that are in the wild. This does not necessarily mean that those in captivity do not change. It is common for hamster parents to notice the change of fur in their pets.
Another factor that motivates change in the color of the fur is scent gland or urine stains. They create yellow hair, and a wet tail may make the fur surrounding the tail seem black or yellow.
The Siberian hamster does not change color to blend in with its environment, although you may notice that your pet’s color changes with time. The color shift in this situation is more connected to age.
The color of a hamster’s fur may begin to alter as they age, owing to pigment loss. Humans go undergo a similar process: we lose melanin as we age, and our hair starts to grey.
Hamsters contain melanin, which gives them their distinct colors, although it may diminish with age.
Color-changing fur is hardly a reason for concern, but if your hamster shows indications of illness, you should look into the cause since the two might be linked.
At What Point Should the Color Change Be an Issue of Concern
A change in your hamster’s fur is unlikely to be serious and is more likely a normal part of their life cycle. However, if the color shift is accompanied by other signs such as hair loss, you should be concerned.
It’s good to get your pet looked out for if you see them losing hair, whether it’s all over or in spots.
It’s possible that the issue is as simple as your hamster rubbing against something or scratching excessively. It is likely that she is irritated in this instance, which you should address as quickly as possible.
You might also try changing your hamster’s bedding to see if allergies are causing its hair to shed. However, since an uneven diet might lead to loss, it’s worth considering if your pet is receiving enough protein.
Fur loss in a hamster might be caused by mange, a parasitic skin infection, or even kidney problems, so seek medical help right once.
What is the Meaning of The Specific Color Changes?
Why is the Fur Turning Grey?
When hamsters become older, their fur develops grey spots or a faint grey tint, and they grow pale. Temperature swings as the season change can also contribute.
When black dwarf hamsters lose their summer coats, their hair frequently comes back more silvery than before.
This is very common in the winter white dwarf species, where you may also notice:
- Poor quality of fur
- Lethargy and being slow
The Fur Turning Black
It’s pretty unusual for hamsters’ hair to darken with time, giving the appearance of being black. The fur of a hamster, on the other hand, tends to lighten rather than darken, so it’s rare for it to get black.
The black color around your hamster’s tail region might be due to diarrhea if the hair is suddenly dark and feels wet and sticky. A wet tail is a dangerous condition that causes diarrhea regularly. It dries and forms a crust around the anus, giving it a black appearance.
You may also see symptoms like
- Loss in weight
- Increased thirst
- Loss of appetite
- A wet behind
The Hamster’s Fur Getting Lighter
One of the most prevalent causes of fur lightening is age. While this may seem confusing given that hair darkens with age, as we’ve seen, hamsters react differently depending on their initial fur color and species.
Because hamsters’ fur thins and lightens as they age, their fur seems lighter. The variation in fur tone shouldn’t be too drastic, but it should be noticeable.
Aspects of light have a role as well. Sunlight might make your hamster’s hair look lighter than normal, depending on how much light comes through his cage.
During the summer, this will be more visible. This is unusual since hamsters are crepuscular, meaning they only come out between dawn and dusk. Hamsters are seldom exposed to sunshine, much less direct sunlight.
Why is the Fur Turning Yellow?
Around the smell glands, the fur might get discolored with a yellow tinge.
An oily discharge that seems waxy causes this. Scent glands are more pronounced in males than females, according to Veterinary Practice News; thus, males are more prone to have discolored yellow fur surrounding them.
Yellow fur is also caused by pee stains. Many hamsters urinate where they sleep and bathe, covering themselves with urine unintentionally.
The fur won’t be completely yellow, but it will have a tint of yellow. Your hamster will also have an ammonia-like odor.
A sand bath will help keep your hamster clean, but you’ll have to do this every couple of days to get rid of any urine.
Another reason for yellow hair is a wet tail, which is less prevalent depending on how your hamster’s diarrhea looks. The majority of hamster excrement is dark brown or black; however, germs may cause it to become yellow and runny.
Why is the Hamster’s Fur Turning Brown?
As they age, black Syrian hamsters rust or become brown. This color shift is more typical in older hamsters, although it may happen at any age.
Because black is a recessive trait that fades over time, it’s common for black hamsters to become lighter without notice. During the summer, their fur becomes a chocolate brown color.
Winter white hamsters have brown hair outside of the winter, as we’ve stated. When the winter is done, and the weather begins to warm up, they shed their white coat and return to their natural brown color.
This is typical and anticipated behavior in winter white hamsters.
What Causes the Fur to Get Darker?
A hamster’s fur will seem darker if it is not exposed to sunshine. During the winter, Syrian hamsters, which are more prone to fur changes than other hamster species, are more conspicuous.
There’s no actual cause for it other than the fact that it’s a natural part of the aging process. There’s no reason to be concerned as long as your hamster seems healthy and maintains its hunger.
Changes in your hamster’s fur color may not be a reason to raise eyebrows. As discussed in the article, the causes of this change vary from age to changes in the climate.
In case you see your pet exhibit other symptoms like lack of appetite or lethargy and diarrhea, kindly visit the vet for medical attention.