Why Is My Hamster Not Drinking Water? (Reasons, What To Do & More)

If you are a new Hamster owner, it can be matter of concern for you if your Hamster is not drinking any water. Hydration is specifically crucial to your little one’s survival. It can be a significant concern if your Hamster is not drinking any water. But why are your Hamsters not drinking water? Are they sick? Unhappy? Or are they just overreacting?

Health complications like overgrown teeth, urinary tract infection (UTI), respiratory infection, etc. can impact your Hamster’s drinking habits. Fluctuation in the temperature and sudden dietary changes can decrease their appetite for water. If you feel your Hamster is sick, take them to a vet.

If your Hamster is showing unwillingness to drink water, then you must find a reason behind it. There can be several reasons behind this.

Hamster Essentials
Hamster Essentials

Observing your Hamster closely will help you find the exact reason behind such kind of behavior.

There is a possibility that your Hamsters does not like the smell of the water, or there may be a problem with their bowl or bottle.

Let us learn more about the behavior of water consumption in Hamsters and at what point we should be concerned about them.

How Much Water Should My Hamster Drink Per Day ?

The amount of water consumed by an adult Hamster depends upon various factors. On average, they drink up to 20-25 ml of water per day.

The age, size, and diet of your Hamster also plays an important role in their water consumption. Older Hamsters tend to drink less water as compares to young and growing Hamsters.

The level of activity performed by your Hamsters also decides the amount of water intake by them. Super active Hamsters can drink even up to 35 ml of water a day.

Also, if you feed more watery fruits or leafy vegetables to your Hamster, they are likely to drink less as compared to the ones who eat dry pellets and food grains.

The temperature and the weather conditions in which your Hamster is housed also determines the amount of water intake by them. The warmer the weather, the more the water intake by your Hamsters.

Here are some of my favorites leak-proof water bottles from Amazon. Check them out!

Is It Normal For Hamsters To Not Drink Water?

No, it is not normal for any Hamster to not drink water. Water is essential for the survival of all living beings. 

If your Hamster is not drinking any water, then there surely will be a reason behind that. Some Hamsters stop to drink water due to health complications like difficulty in breathing, dental pain, and urinary tract infection.

Also, if your Hamsters are stressed, they may stop drinking. Try to understand and calm down your Hamsters in such situations.

If your little one has not sipped any water for a long time then observe them closely and look for any negative reactions. See if your Hamster is acting unusual. It is advised to take your Hamster to a vet if you have any suspicions about their health.

My Hamster Is Not Drinking Water!

If you feel that your Hamster is dehydrated or is not consuming enough water, then you must start monitoring their water consumption.

Always prefer giving your Hamsters water bottles marked with water level. This will help us to make note of the daily water intake by our Hamsters.

You can also use a surveillance system using a camera to monitor the water intake by your Hamsters. 

You should never let your Hamsters recover on their own as the problem could go from mild to severe very quickly.

It can be a matter of concern if your Hamster is not drinking water at all. You must take your Hamster to a vet in such cases.

Here are some of my favorites water bowls from Amazon. Check them out!

My Hamster Is Not Drinking Water From The Water Bottle

In some cases, your Hamster might struggle to drink water from their water bottles. Some of these cases include:

  • The nozzle of your Hamster’s water bottle is not working
  • The water has some additives(vitamin supplements)
  • The presence of certain chemicals such as fluoride and chlorine in water can also reduce consumption

In such cases, you must offer your Hamster with some fresh water in a bowl or refill their bottle after cleaning it properly. In most cases, you will see that your little ones will start to sip water as soon as you fix these problems.

My New Hamster Is Not Drinking Water

If you have got yourself a new Hamster, then they probably need a few days to settle in the new environment. 

New Hamsters rarely eat or drink in the first few days. They feel unsafe and insecure, thus, they tend to come out of their hiding space only when no one is around.

You must try to make your Hamster feel at home. Also, providing them with more than one source of water will instigate them to drink.

In the beginning, you can add one bottle and a bowl or even 2-3 water bottles at different heights. Once your Hamster has settled, you can remove the extra bottles.

My Hamster Is Neither Drinking Nor Eating

If your Hamster is not eating or drinking at all, then there are high chances that your little one might be suffering from some kind of health complication.

In these cases, your Hamster needs medical care, and thus you must take them to a vet as soon as possible.

You must keep in mind that, a Hamster’s health can deteriorate in no time, therefore you must take all the necessary steps as soon as possible.

Some of the common health complications that can impact your Hamster’s eating and drinking habits are overgrown teeth, other dental complications, and digestive problems.

Baby Hamster Not Drinking Water

Baby Hamsters are nursed for approximately 3-4 weeks. During these nursing days, the babies feed on their mother’s milk, after that the mother will start to teach them to chew on food and drink water from a bottle or a bowl.

You should not worry about baby Hamsters till they are with their mothers. Once separated, you can provide them with a water bottle or a water bowl.

In most cases, Hamsters start to drink once they are 3-4 weeks old.

Have a look at these amazing ‘No Drip Water Bottle & Food Bowl Set’ I got from amazon. My Hamster loves it.

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Old Hamster Not Drinking Water

Older Hamsters are lethargic and are not so active. They spend most of the time hiding or just sleeping.

If your Hamster is old, the best way to make them drink water is by providing them water in a ceramic dish.

It can be difficult for older Hamsters to reach the water bottle, which is placed at a height.

The best option would be to provide you Hamster with both, a bottle as well as a bowl.

How Do I Get My Hamster To Drink More Water?

If your Hamster is not drinking water or is unwilling to drink water, then you must try to fix this problem. You can encourage yout little ones to drink more water by using some tricks:

  • Serve your Hamster with more of dry food such as pellets. Such food encourages Hamsters to drink more.
  • Try to place different water bottles at a different heights to see what works the best for your Hamsters. Sometimes, if the bottle is too high or too low, it can make it difficult for your Hamsters to drink.
  • Applying some honey at the tip of the bottle(do not put too much) will encourage your Hamster to drink water. You can also ass some unsweetened fruit juice in their water bottle, this will also draw their attention towards the bottle (do not make it a regular practice, it could make your Hamster diabetic).
  • Provide your Hamster with a large play area with several toys. If your Hamsters run and exercise more, they will get thirsty and drink more water.

Besides tricking your Hamster to drink more water, you must take care of the following:

  • If your Hamster is not willing to drink tap water, arrange some bottled water for them or you can even purify the tap water.
  • Try changing water bottles to bowls, or vice versa. Also, do not clean their food and water containers with a strong-smelling detergent. Use a mild detergent.
  • Provide your Hamster with fresh and clean water that is at room temperature or a little cooler. Hamsters do not enjoy warm water.
  • If you are adding any type of additives to the water like vitamin c drops, then try to cut it out altogether. Some Hamsters don’t prefer drinking the water if it has something added to it.
  • Serve your Hamsters with a well-balanced diet. Most of the hydration needs to be fulfilled then. Watery food like cucumber, zucchini or apple, can help your Hamster to stay hydrated.
  • You must take your Hamster to a vet if you feel they are super dehydrated.

Water Bottle Vs. Water Bowl

Most Hamster owners prefer to use bottle over bowls. However, choosing one between the bowls and the bottles totally depends on you and your Hamsters. Both have their pros and cons.

Some Hamster do not drink water from bottles while others tip off the bowls placed in their enclosure. Also, Hamsters can contaminate the water in the bowl with their droppings.

But bowls are e easily accessible by your Hamsters whereas water bottles may be difficult to reach and access.

If you are providing your Hamster with a bottle then, you must keep a regular check on the bottle to make sure your little one is not facing any problems. Some times the nozzle just gets blocked.

Also, it is advised to use bottles with marked with water level. This will help you to stay updated on your Hamsters water intake.

Give your Hamster the one which you think will be the best. I  personally would suggest you to place both, a water bottle and a water bowl in their enclosure.

How Do I Teach My Hamster To Use A Water Bottle?

If you have got yourself your Hamster from a breeder, then there are high chances that they may never have seen a water bottle before. On the other hand, Hamsters found in pet stores will be fond of using a bottle. It mostly depends on their past experiences. 

You must entice your Hamster to use a bottle, to teach them how to drink from a water bottle. You can put something attractive on the spout, to entice them.

You can go for sweets as Hamsters love sweet things. Sweet unsweetened jam will do the work (it should be xylitol free). This will make your Hamster like the spout of the bottle. 

Keep a check on the proportion, do not overfeed them with the sweets. Also, do not provide treats to your Hamsters for too long or too often, as they will start to expect it all the time if they get used to it.

You must encourage your Hamsters to drink water regularly and be aware if they stop drinking. Most Hamsters won’t remain thirsty for long. If they do, there must be a explanation behind that, which needs to be addressed.

Drinking water is more important than eating food. If your Hamster has not sipped any water for more than 48 hours then your Hamster can be in danger. Never let the case reach at this stage.

Sources: Science DirectDehydration in HamsterBiology, and Diseases of Hamsters, Journal of Nutrition, Polydipsia In HamstersAmerican Psychological Association


Hello, I am Mohini, the founder of this blog. I am a qualified Animal Nutrition. I am here to help everyone understand their pets better.

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