Why Is My Hamster Not Moving

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Hamsters are super active animals. They run, climb, burrow, and play all the time. So when a hamster has been idle for a long time, it’s natural that we get worried about our fur baby.

Then you get to the point where you get confused and questioned “Why my hamster is not active?”, “Why is my hamster less active than usual?” or “Why is my hamster barely moving?”.

There could many reasons why a hamster not active and stopped moving from sleeping for longer hours, being sick, or worse, being in a torpor stage which could be deadly. In this article, I will answer the question “why is my hamster not moving”.

I will discuss when you should be worried and make sure that your hamster is alright. Most importantly, I will show you how to inspect if your hamster is doing okay or needs a trip to the vet.

WHY MY HAMSTER IS NOT MOVING AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT

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If the reason a hamster stopped moving is that they are feeling unwell, every second is vital. You will have to make sure that your hamster is sick and how ill are they. Would you have to go to the vet right away or can you do something at home?

Let’s discuss why your hamster is not moving and home remedies you can perform:

Sleeping

Of course, the first reason for the hamster being idle is that it’s sleeping. Remember, hamsters are nocturnal and crepuscular animals which means they are awake at night (or dawn and dusk) and sleep during the day.

During daytime is the time humans are awake, naturally, it’s the longest time we could watch our hamster. Unfortunately, this time is when your hamster is asleep. It’s common for people to panic and question why isn’t my hamster active or why a hamster is not moving for a long period of time. Don’t worry, they are just sleeping. >> Read more fun hamster facts.

Solution

If the evening comes and your hamster is still asleep, you could take simple steps to make sure they are not hurt or have fallen into a deep sleep. You could try to gently shake the packet of their favourite treat (like a mealworm) or bring meat, egg, or cheese closer to the cage to see if your hamster will react to the smell.

But, never shake the cage, tap the cage, or scream or startle your hamster as it can sour their mood for the day.

Sick

It’s actually pretty easy to tell if your hamster is unwell. Often, they move slow, sleep a lot more than usual, and won’t respond to the dangling of their favourite treat or food. Often, an ill hamster also has a greasy coat because they haven’t had time to clean it on the sandbox.

However, if your hamster not moving because it suffers from an eye infection or other common hamster illness, you should be able to tell if it’s alive. There will be minor movement and noise from your hamster.

Solution

Again, you can try to dangle a treat and see if your hamster responds. If that doesn’t work, approach your hamster (use thick gloves if you are worried to get bitten). You should be able to say if your hamster is looking ill.

If it’s a situation in which you cannot perform a remedy at home, contact your vet right away and see them as early as possible.

Broken Limbs

But, if your hamster has broken limbs, this could play a major part in why your hamster is having mobility issues. Hamsters sometimes break their legs from playing, running, and climbing platforms.

If you are letting your hamster use unsuitable toys like wired wheels. Your hamster’s leg can get caught in these mesh wire or fabric (if you are using fabric for a sleeping hideout).

Solution

If you suspect that your hamster has a broken limb, there’s nothing you can do at home. Contact the vet and see them as soon as possible.

READ: Best safe hamster wheels

Torpor/Hibernation

This is one of the major causes of hamsters showing no sign of movement. Torpor is like hibernation. It lets that hamster’s body slow down when the temperature is low. However, unlike bears, hamsters can’t wake themselves up or properly manage their body temperature to stay alive during the state of torpor.

Wild hamsters have the ability to be “torpid” due to their extreme living environment.

This is a common occurrence during winter or when the temperature is below normal. If you live in a colder place, once the temperature drops to 70F (20C), it’s important to keep the cage warm. The ideal temperature of the enclosure is between 65F-75F (18C-25C).

TIP: How to keep a hamster’s cage cool during summer

Solution

First, to avoid getting your hamster into a torpor state, keep their cage warm by placing the enclosure in a room where you can monitor the temperature like the bedroom or living room.

Once it’s getting really cold, place a blanket on top of the cage (unless that’s the only source of ventilation, don’t do this).

You could also place a warm hot bottle and wrap it with a blanket then place it in the cage to keep the temperature at a safe level.

However, if you suspect that your hamster might be falling into torpor (you can’t seem to wake them up and their body is coldish), wrap your hamster into a blanket to warm up their body. If you have an electric blanket you can hold your hamster inside the blanket to keep them warm. Never use a direct light/lamp on your hamster.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Hamsters love to move and are quite fast when they do. That’s why it’s vital that you keep a watchful eye if your hamster shows any sign of slower movement than average. You should check up on them more often especially during winter to avoid a torpor situation.

At the same time, make sure to not panic when you are suspecting that your hamster is unwell because it hasn’t moved in a long time. Keep a clear ahead, approach the cage with care, and ensure that you have a vet’s number on your phone. I recommend having at least two vets for an emergency, only consult a vet that handles exotic animals or with a speciality in rodents.

I hope that you found the answer to “why is my hamster not moving” from this post. If you have other experiences that we fail to cover here, leave us a comment below.

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A non-moving hamster may be sleeping, frightened, or ill. If awake but immobile, check for signs of illness like weight loss or discharge. Sudden lethargy warrants an immediate vet visit. Remember, hamsters are nocturnal creatures. via @thehamstercareblog

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