Why Is My Hamster Sneezing So Much?

It can be a matter of concern if you catch your Hamster sneezing. But, why is my Hamster sneezing? Is sneezing a bad sign for my Hamster’s health. I went to my vet with the question ‘why is my Hamster sneezing?’ and what he taught me was significant for my Hamster and me since then.

Various factors can trigger sneezing in Hamsters. Dust, allergen in the living environment, foreign particles in the nasal passage due to leftover food, or some respiratory infection like Upper Respiratory Infection(URI) are some of the common factors. It is advised to observe your Hamster carefully to determine the right cause and consult a vet if necessary.

Hamsters have a very weak and sensitive digestive system, changes in their living environment can cause infections and allergies in them.

Hamster Essentials
Hamster Essentials

Check if something is causing an allergic reactions in your little ones. If not, watch out for further signs of illness in your Hamsters.

Okay, I understand that my Hamster is sneezing but how bad can sneezing be for my Hamsters? This was my second thought when I caught my little one sneezing for the very first time. Let’s see what I learned from my vet later.

Is It Bad If My Hamster Sneezes?

If your Hamster sneezes due to an allergen in the environment or just from the dust of the hay, then it is nothing to be worried about.

However, sneezing caused by some respiratory diseases like Upper Respiratory Infection (URI) or Pneumonia can be fatal for your little ones.

Why Do Hamsters Sneeze?

There are several factors that can trigger sneezing in your Hamsters. Your Hamster will never sneeze without a cause. Therefore, if you notice your Hamster sneezing, it must be one of the following reasons.

  • Your Hamster might be suffering from a respiratory disease. Mostly it is either Pneumonia or Upper Respiratory Infection (URI).
  • It can be an allergic reaction to something around them. The reaction can be due to things like smoke, dust, or aroma.
  • Some food particles or hay might have stuck in your Hamster’s nasal passage.
  • You have used scented body care or washing liquid to clean your Hamster’s enclosure or the toys.

Sneezing due to allergens is quite common in Hamsters and should not concern you much but if your Hamster is suffering from some respiratory issue then it should be taken care of as soon as possible.

It is always best to take your Hamster to a vet if you have any suspicions about their health.

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Do Hamsters Sneeze A Lot?

Usually, Hamsters do not sneeze a lot. However, occasional sneezing is common in them due to allergens in their living environment.

Frequent sneezing in Hamsters could be sign of respiratory complications such as Pneumonia or Upper Respiratory Infection (URI).

You should look for other symptoms of diseases as well to determine the cause and seek treatment.

How Many Times Is It Ok For My Hamsters To Sneeze In A Day?

Sneezing once or twice a day is ok and it can be ignored without any worries. However, if the sneezes are frequent or are accompanied by some other symptoms, then it could be a sign of a respiratory infection.

You can prevent sneezing in your Hamsters by following a few simple steps. It has been discussed in the later part of this article.

Should I Be Worried If My Hamster Is Sneezing?

If your Hamster sneezes occasionally then it should not be a significant concern for you.

However, if your Hamster sneezes repeatedly, then you might need to investigate a little deeper to find the cause.

Sometimes, food particles gets stuck in Hamster’s nasal passage, causing irritation and sneezing.

However, other times it could be due to someone serious health complications.

You might need to look at other symptoms to understand why your Hamster is sneezing and how bad it can be for your Hamsters.

Hamster Sneezing And Running Nose And Crusty Eyes

Continuous sneezing, rusty nose and crusty eyes is sign of Upper Respiratory Infection (URI) in Hamsters.

Observe your Hamsters closely and see if your Hamster is refusing to eat or drink, has labored breathing, is lethargic, discharging from eyes or nose.

If you notice any of these symptoms accompanying the sneeze, then the chances of URI are very high.

It would be wise to visit a vet immediately. URI in Hamsters can get fatal within a day or two itself, and thus it can be terrible for your little one’s well-being.

Hamster Sneezing And Coughing

Usually, sneezing and coughing in Hamsters a possible symptom of Upper Respiratory Infection (URI).

They usually don’t catch a cold (until they have soaked themselves in water), so if you find them sneezing and coughing, chances are they are suffering from URI.

In some cases, Pneumonia is also a cause of sneezing and coughing in Hamsters.

Also, it is advised to visit the vet immediately if your Hamster has started coughing continuously.

Hamster Sneezing And Bleeding

Sneezing blood is a rare sight in Hamsters. If there is a little blood dripping out, then it could be due to some bedding material poked in their nostril.

However, if you notice your Hamster bleeding severely and it is bleeding even after cleaning it, then you must rush to a vet immediately.

Severe nose bleed is a sign that something is undoubtedly wrong with your Hamsters. Also, you must make sure that your Hamster do not inhale the blood as it can cause Pneumonia and other health issues in them.

Hamster Sneezing And Squeaking

Hamsters who are wounded or are otherwise in pain may scream and squeak, especially if something aggravates the pain.

Like any other living being, a harsh cry is the natural response of the body, and the same is true with our hamsters as well.

Keep an eye on your Hamster if they continuously squeaks and sneezes. If you are suspicious about your Hamster’s health, call a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Also Read: Why Do Hamsters Squeak?

Hamster Sneezing And Shaking

Hamsters are warm-blooded creatures and a sudden change in temperature can cause discomfort to them. This can often lead to shaking or shivering in Hamsters.

The ideal temperature for Hamsters ranges from 68°F-74°F (22°C- 24°C).

If you live in a place where weather conditions are extreme, then you might need to look into some source or some other alternative method to stabilize the temperature around their enclosure.

Also Read:

Hamster Sneezing And Scratching/Itching

If the sneezes of your Hamsters are accompanied by continuous scratches or itching, then there are high chances that your Hamster is suffering from an allergy.

It can possibly an respiratory infection or mite infestation. It is best to visit the vet in these cases.

Hamster Sneezing But No Other Symptoms

A lot of factors can trigger sneezing in Hamsters. Some of the common things that trigger sneezing are dust, allergen in the living environment, foreign particles in the nasal passage due to leftover food, or some respiratory infection like Upper Respiratory Infection(URI) or Pneumonia.

However, if your Hamster is showing no other sign other than sneezing, then the reason should probably be some allergen in the area.

You can prevent this just by making sure that you provide your Hamster a healthy and clean living environment. You must use good quality bedding in your Hamster’s enclosure. Never use pine or cedar shavings as bedding.

Also, it is advised to observe your Hamster closely as they are good at hiding pain and sickness.

Hamsters can suppress the symptoms long enough till the condition gets critical by the time you notice something. If your Hamster is sneezing continuously, then take an immediate appointment with the vet.

Also, sometimes the smell or the aroma of essential oils or scented candles can be the reason behind your Hamster’s continuous sneezes. Learn more about it in our in-depth guide: Hamsters And Essential Oils.

How Can I Stop My Hamsters From Sneezing?

If your Hamster sneezes frequently then it can be a bad sign on the other hand if the sneezes are occasional, there is nothing much to be worried about.

If your Hamster sneezes often, then try to look out for other symptoms to find out the cause of sneezing. By following some practices, you can prevent sneezing in your Hamsters without any worries.

Firstly you must litter train your Hamsters. Spot clean their cage daily and deep clean their enclosure at least once a month. This will ensure that there is no waste buildup in the cage.

Waste buildup can increase the level of ammonia in the air around your little one’s enclosure, which in turn results in sneezing. Sometimes waste buildups also trigger allergies in Hamsters.

In some cases, the location of your Hamster can also be a major concern. Make sure there is enough airflow and ventilation wherever you place the cage. Also, place it away from your fireplace or kitchen, the smoke from these places can also cause frequent sneezing in Hamsters.

Also, if you have place hay inside your Hamsters enclosure then make sure it is dust-free. Hay dust allergy is common in Hamsters as well as humans.

Continuous use of dusty hay can cause respiratory complications in Hamsters. Therefore, I would recommend you to use good quality hay in your Hamster’s enclosure.

Another thing you must be considerate about is the bedding of your Hamster. Always use good quality bedding in your Hamster’s cage. 

I personally use a combination of AspenKaytee clean & cozy, and timothy hay as the bedding. This combination helps in reducing the odor around the enclosure.

You must make a visit to the vet if the sneezing continues for some time, or if you see signs of other diseases in your Hamsters.

Sources: Pneumonia infected Hamsters, Effects of aqueous cinnamon extract, Research Gate,  Biology and Diseases of HamstersDehydration In HamstersHyperadrenocorticism in Three Teddy Bear Hamsters


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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