Hamsters and Allergies

Being allergic to fur is pretty common in humans, and many people believe there are ways to own a pet even when they have allergies (they’re called reptiles). Here all you allergenic peeps, and unallergentic peeps, can learn all about hamsters and allergies! We’ll be answering what species causes the most allergies, if you can own a non allergenic hamster, and if your hamster can have allergies!

Winter White Hamsters

Commonly referred to as Winter Whites, Djungarians, Siberian or Russian Dwarf Hamsters, the Winter White is an adorable species of dwarf hamster known for changing its coat colour from brown or grey to white in the wintertime.

Domestic Winter Whites typically don’t change colour because of artificial lighting, but if you have them in a naturally lit area the chances of your hamster’s coat changing are increased, but not gauranteed.

Winter Whites are suspected to cause far more allergic reactions than any other hamster species, probably because of their unique colour changing ability.

Alien Hamsters

Hairless, or Alien Hamsters are a breed of Syrian Hamsters which are genetically bred to not have fur. They aren’t the most attractive, but many people believe they do not cause allergies.

When you think of an Alien hamster you probably think of something that looks like a Naked Mole Rat. They basically look like a pinkish or blueish Syrian hamster (because they are Syrians), only their ears are more pronounced and their forelegs look longer, and then there’s the obvious lack of fur.

Hairless hamsters typically live about half as long as furry hamsters, and they also cause allergic reactions like any other hamster. Studies have shown that allergic reactions by hamsters are almost always caused by a chemical they secrete through their skin, and not by their actual fur.

Hamsters With Allergies?

Believe it or not, your furry (or hairless) hammy could develop allergies! Hamsters, like humans can infact be allergic to many things. Usual causes of reactions are substrates, foods, or air fresheners.

When it comes to substrates hamsters can be allergic to wood shavings or scented beddings. I’ve never heard of hamsters having reactions to plain paper bedding. Keep in mind getting a respiratory infection and having an allergic reaction are very different. Consult a vet if you think your hamster has either.

When it comes to food allergies aren’t as common. If you overfeed fruits, veggies or treats this may cause diarrhea, and that’s it. The most common causes of a reaction are Sunflower Seeds and Peanuts. A hamster’s main source of nutrients are seeds, so allergies are very rare in hamsters.

Air fresheners are pleasurable to the human nose, but not to your hamster’s, and sometimes their whole body. Whenever I have family over I always eventually hear, “It smells like pee in here!” From them; other guests are too polite. I try to fix it with daily spot cleans and an air freshener. When you pick out an air freshener that will be near small pets, or birds, which have very sensitive respiratory systems, you must be very careful. Always Google around before getting a specific one, and try to get a light smell. Personally I just use an Arm&Hammar Baking Soda Air Freshener, made for refrigerators. Soon I’ll be getting some Spider-Plants in my pet room to freshen the air.

There are many things to look for when diagnosing an allergic reaction. I personally have no experience, and recommend doing your own research and talking to your Exotic Vet.

If you’re interested in more hamster-related content be sure to like this post and follow the blog, and I’ll be back on Tuesday with more small pet care, DIYs, recipes, cage setups, stories and more, have a ham-tastic day!


  • Winter White Russian Dwarf hamsters are known to cause the most allergic reactions.
  • Winter White hamsters may change colour if only provided with natural light in the wintertime.
  • Hairless hamsters don’t live as long as ‘normal’ hamsters.
  • Hamsters cause allergic reactions from chemicals they secrete from their skin.
  • Hairless hamsters still cause allergies.
  • Hamsters can be allergic to many things including substrates, foods and air fresheners.
  • Always consult your vet if you suspect your hamster is having a reaction.

I’d like to thank Critter Chaws and Google for providing some of the listed information.

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