Can Hamster Swim?

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You probably have seen those videos or photos of hamsters placed on a sink full of water. If you are an inexperienced hamster owner, you surely wondered before how to keep your hamster clean, how to bathe them and attempt to wash them with water just like dogs.

This article will answer your question “can hamsters swim” and I will also show you how to properly bathe your hamster.

However, there is a big misunderstanding between hamsters needing a bath and their talent for swimming. In this article, we will discuss if hamsters can swim, do they want to get wet, is it safe to wash your hamster, and how to properly and safely clean your hamster without stressing them or endangering their life.


No, at no time should a hamster get wet. You might be asking yourself “Why can’t hamsters get wet?” or “What happens if a hamster gets wet?”. Hamsters don’t like getting wet, if they do, they are risking a chance to catch a cold that could develop into a respiratory issue.


Can Hamster Swim

Technically, yes. However, while hamsters can paddle around, you will notice that they are paddling towards the “dry” land. Hamsters can keep themselves afloat and swim, however, they don’t like it. Hamsters are known to hate getting wet, hence, we use sandbath to help them clean their fur instead.

Hamsters are not really swimming as a matter of enjoyment when you place them in the water. They are trying to get out of the water and find a dry and safe place. They paddle for survival.


No, you may not and should not. Placing a hamster in water will make them anxious and do their best and use all their power and energy to get out of it. Forcing a hamster to swim can cause stress to them and worse, they might get drowned.


The best and safest way to bathe or clean your hamster is to simply place a sand bath in their cage. Get a sandbox or use a ceramic bowl and fill it with a suitable sand bath. Choose sand that is specifically made for a hamster. It shouldn’t be too fine that it’s almost like a powder or dust.

To be honest, sandbaths made for hamsters are often away too fine, hence, we rather recommend reptile sand as long as it doesn’t have too much or extra calcium. The sand bath should also be with zero to no scent.

You should change your hamster’s sand every other day or whenever you feel like the sand is too wet forming a solid shape or when it smells strongly

Can Hamster Swim


If you accidentally wash your hamster with water or they fell and got wet, here is what you can do:

  1. Fish them out of the water right away and go into a warm room.
  2. Wrap them in a dry and clean cloth/blanket and pat them dry.
  3. Use a low setting on your hairdryer (not too hot, if no other option, choose the cold air). Place the hair dryer about half a metre away from your hamster.
  4. Make sure to keep your hamster as warm as possible until all their fur is dry.
  5. Give your hamster a luke temperature drinking water and change the water in the bottle to room temperature.
  6. Place them back in their cage and let them burrow and feel safe.
  7. Place a dry and warm blanket on top of the cage but do not block the ventilators.
  8. Leave them alone for a few hours until they come out by themselves.


I understand that we all just want to keep and make sure our hamster is healthy and safe that we forgot the most vital thing to do – educate ourselves about hamsters. Most of us made a mistake or two. Regardless of how horrifying it was, don’t beat up yourself too much. What important are you are working towards learning about your hamster and making sure everything you do is for their well-being.

I hope this article about can hamster swimming answers your questions. If you have more things to add or things we forgot to mention or discuss, let us know in the comment section below.


Hamsters are not natural swimmers and can easily drown in water. It is important to never put them in deep water or force them to swim as it can be dangerous and stressful for them. via @Thehamstercareblog

4 thoughts on “Can Hamster Swim?”

    • Sorry to hear that, Cathy. I hope she’s okay. Don’t use a hairdryer (unless it has a cool air option and very low speed, hold it far out). Simply pat your hamster dry towel and keep her warm. Sending hugs!


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