Why Is My Hamster Not Moving? (You Must Know)

It can be a matter of great concern for you if your Hamster is not moving at all. Thousands of different thoughts cross our minds when we see our little one still, but why is my Hamster not moving? Is he ill? Has he hurt himself? Or it something even worse?

There are a lot of reasons due to which your Hamster might not be moving. Fear, illness, severe pain, old age are some of the common causes that restrict our little one’s movements. Sometimes new Hamsters hide and do not show much movement. Also, baby Hamsters do not show much movement during the first few weeks.

If your Hamster is not eating or excreating, then it can be a major health concern that needs immidate medical attention.

Hamster Essentials
Hamster Essentials

Hamsters are quite active, and keeps moving from one corner of their cage to another. Sometimes we see a sudden change in their behavior, these can be signs of health complications that we must not take lightly. However, not all times this means that thet are sick.

Now, le us dive a little deeper into the topic. Stick with us till the end of the article to understand about the various instances when moving around much could be the normal behavior of our Hamsters, and when we should be worried about our Hamsters.

Picture Credits: Dora, The Syrian Hamster; Instagram Handle: thehamstercalledmouse

Is It Normal For My Hamsters To Not Move?

Being active animals, it is very rare in Hamsrer to be not moving.

If your Hamster is comfortable and well settled and still not moving, then there are high chances that your little one might be going through some serious health complication.

Some of the factors that restricts movements in our Hamsters are arthritis, paralysis and serere pain.

Another main reason that can freeze our Hamsters is fear. If your Hamster is scared or afraid due to the presence of predators near by, then they may not move at all. Loud noises also scare our Hamsters.

If your Hamster is continuously hiding, not eating, not drinking, or moving, then it is advised to take them to a vet as soon as possible.

What Does It Mean When My Hamster Is Not Moving?

There can be several reasons due to which your Hamster might not be moving.

Some of them can be natural causes and can get fixed over time, while others might need some immediate medical attention and care.

Now, let us have a look at the various situations and what it means for us and our Hamsters.

Have a look at some of the best hammocks I ever came across. My Hamsters have loved each one of them, hope your Hamsters love it too!

Hamster Not Moving But Breathing

If your Hamster is not showing any movements but still has some breathing patterns, then it probably means that your little one has some underlying health concerns. Some of the common health complications are:

  • Heatstroke or overheating: Hamsters cannot tolerate extreme temperatures. Do not house your Hamsters in places where temperature goes beyond 78°F(25.5°C), you need to take a few measures to keep your little one cool. Even partial exposure to the sun can quickly overheat our Hamsters, leading to fast breathing and other health issues.
  • Respiratory issues: Pneumonia, upper respiratory infection are some of the common respiratory illnesses in Hamsters. If your little one is suffering from some kind of respiratory issue then he might have a hard time breathing. In such cases, their movement will be restricted.

If you find your Hamster breathing heavily, it would be best to take him to a vet as soon as possible.

Hamster Not Moving Back Legs

There are high chances that something is wrong with your Hamsters if they are not moving their back legs.

There are two major causes that could lead to Hamsters dragging their back legs. These include:

  • Hind Leg Paralysis: Hind leg paralysis is a rare phenomenon in Hamsters. However, it is something every owner must be aware of. To date, there is no concrete justification or answer behind the cause of the issue, but some studies say that a lack of calcium in Hamsters’ diet can be the cause. We as Hamster parents try to cut down calcium intake by our Hamsters to prevent bladder stones. However, no calcium or very little calcium in their diet can lead to paralysis in them.
  • Injury: Hamsters cannot sit in one place for a very long time. They are quite active and keep playing and jumping around their cage. You must never get a cage that is too high or has levels too high. Hamsters can easily climb or jump off and hurt themselves. A fall from that height can result in limb or tissue injury due to which our Hamsters may not be able to walk well.
Picture Credits: Dora, The Syrian Hamster; Instagram Handle: thehamstercalledmouse

You must look out for other signs of physical injury or illness in them. If you free your Hamster is not well, schedule an appointment with a vet.

Hamster Not Moving Or Eating

If your Hamsters are not eating or moving at all, then there are chances that something is wrong with your little one.

Your Hamster might have stopped moving or eating due to a lot of reasons. There is a possibility that they might be suffering from some health complications like dental pain, respiratory problems, or something even more critical.

Your Hamster will turn weak if he has not eaten anything for a long time. Also, he will be unable to move to the lack of nutrition in his body.

In such cases, it is best to take your Hamster to a vet as soon as possible. Your vet will do the needful.

Hamster Not Moving And Cold

If you ever find your Hamsters not moving and cold, then there are high chances that they have passed away.

Though it can be a very tough moment for any Hamster parent, but it is something every owner has to go through.

There have been cases, where Hamsters pass away suddenly without showing any signs of prior discomfort or illness.

A heart attack is one such common health complication that can take your little one’s life in no time.

New Hamster Not Moving

If you have got yourself a new Hamster, you need to give them some days to settle in the new environment and to get comfortable.

It is quite normal for a new Hamster to not move around much and hide every now and then.

Being prey animals. Hamsters feel vulnerable for the first few days when moved to a new living environment.

During the first few days, they are more likely to come out of their hiding area only when no one is around. However, once they are accustomed to the surroundings, you will see them moving even in your presence.

Baby Hamster Not Moving

It is completely natural for a baby Hamster not to move around in the first few weeks. You must keep a watch on them and look carefully to learn if they are breathing normally.

You must leave them alone with their mother until they are weaned. During the first few days, they just lie around their mother and do not move much. You will see movements in them after a day or two.

A Few Best Climbing Toys For Your Hamsters:

What Should I Do If My Hamster Is Not Moving?

If your find your Hamster still or not moving at all, then it is important to look out for signs of further heath complications and consult a vet as soon as possible.

Besides this, there are a few things that we as Hamster parents can do to understand the cause behind th same and provide our Hamsters with first aid if needed.

Here are a few things that we must keep in mind:

  • If you ever find your Hamster breathing heavily, then try to cool them down. Check their body temperature and give them room for some air. Sometimes, heatstroke in Hamsters can often leave them in such conditions.
  • If you suspect that your Hamster has an injury in his leg or any other part of the body, take them to the vet immediately. If your Hamster is bleeding, then apply some antiseptic to their wound till you reach the vet.
  • Examine your Hamster’s cage. If you notice that your little one has not passed any feces or urinal excretion for some time, then it could be a sign that he is suffering from some health complication. It can even be GI stasis.
  • Provide your Hamster with a healthy diet. It will definitely make a difference when it comes to improving their health. Make sure they do not stop eating. They need to eat something to keep their digestive system function and to prevent malnutrition.
  • If your Hamster is ill or is in severe pain then its movement can be limited. It is your duty and responsibility to take proper care of your sick Hamster and provide them with necessary treatment.
  • Another major factor that can change our Hamster’s behavior is stress. A depressed or stressed Hamster is more likely to hide and not move much. In such cases, cheer up your Hamster and provide them with additional care.

How Do I Know If My Hamster Is Dying?

Pet Hamsters can live up to 3 years, if they are kept with proper cage. However, there has been a Hamster that lived for 7 long years (according to the Guinness book of world record).

If you are very close to your Hamster and play with them on a regular basis, then some common changes in their behavior or body will tell you that their death is near.

The sooner you detect these sings, the higher will be the chance to save your Hamster’s life.

Read this article to learn more about, ‘10 Signs That Show Your Hamster Is Dying‘.


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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