As a hamster owner, you naturally care about the well-being of your little rodent.
But how can you tell how an animal is feeling?
In this article we will tell you 6 signs that you can immediately recognize that your hamster is sad. We’ll also give you tips on what to do about that sadness.
6 signs of a sad hamster
1: Gnawing and biting at the cage bars.
Cage size is usually a reason why your furry friend isn’t feeling well. Rodent dens from pet stores are usually way too small. You should not underestimate the agile animal’s urge to move.
Did you know that the wild hamster walks about five kilometers every night?
So it’s understandable if it’s too crowded for your lively pet behind its bars.
He then tries to escape from his prison by incessantly gnawing and nibbling on the cage bars. Underlying this stereotypical behavior is a high level of discomfort, both physical and mental.
A hamster that exhibits this problem is enormously stressed and therefore prone to illnesses of all kinds.
But also too few meaningful employment possibilities, missing rodent toys and no free run let your curious fur bearer act in such a way.
He feels his life is too monotonous and is literally bored to death.
After all, the bouncy little animals like to go exploring and love variety. If they have nothing to do, they lose their will to live, get sick and die.
Usually, your hamster will spend its waking hours playing with toys, foraging for food, or doing other typical rodent business.
If he suddenly stops this busy behavior and just lies asleep in his den, something is wrong.
Lethargy is very untypical for a hamster and always a serious alarm sign.
3: Climbing on the cage bars
Also a sign of dissatisfaction and boredom in a hamster is climbing around or shimmying on the cage bars. It is an expression that he wants to escape confinement or lacks employment opportunities.
4: Excessive grooming
Hamsters are clean animals that groom themselves several times a day.
However, if the whole thing gets out of hand and bald spots are already showing in his coat, the little guy literally “doesn’t feel good in his skin anymore.”
He is then plagued by mites or similar parasites that constantly harass him and make his life difficult.
Also an allergic reaction to a certain substance comes into question.
An annoyed hamster regularly reacts to stress factors that stress him over a longer period of time with aggressive behavior.
Such an unhappy animal then unloads its pent-up frustration towards you and becomes biting.
If you come too close, he will show threatening gestures or even bite your hand.
Another characteristic that a stressed hamster will exhibit is constant pacing back and forth along the cage bars.
It should be obvious that this mindless behavior is certainly not an expression of joy and contentment. Again, a cage that is too small may be the trigger, but noise or other stressors are also possibilities.
The right way to deal with an unhappy hamster
There are many reasons why your animal roommate may not be feeling well.
Every hamster is unique!
If his particular needs and preferences are not met, the animal can become depressed. It is up to you, as a responsible owner, to make sure he is happy.
Would you like to know how you can guarantee the curious and agile fur-bearer a lot of joy and a fulfilling life?
Now we’ll give you helpful tips and useful hints that your hamster will love:
The right cage equipment
The top priority for a happy hamster is the cage and its equipment.
Provide your cuddly pet with a sufficiently large dwelling, ideally one that you can expand over and over again with interlocking components.
Climbing, digging and hiding places are a must in any hamster home. A sand bath is the crowning glory and makes your furry friend’s heart beat faster!
The curious rodent likes to explore his cage and nibbles for his life. Branches to satisfy the innate gnawing instinct and toys made of untreated wood prevent boredom and the development of harmful habits.
But even an optimally equipped cage is useless if your cuddly hamster doesn’t get free run!
You’ll find more useful information on this topic below.
The right cage location
The location of the cage also plays a big role when it comes to your hamster’s well-being. Choose it wisely, because the wrong place can have fatal consequences for the small rodent.
Do not expose the hamster’s home to direct sunlight, and a place directly next to the heater is also unsuitable.
Loud noises put a lot of stress on your hamster due to its sensitive ears, and other pets constantly creeping around its cage won’t let it rest. Stressed like this, he is more susceptible to illnesses of all kinds.
Therefore, look for a quiet, well-ventilated and not too bright area where your posh roommate can live a happy life free of fear and stress.
Hygiene and cleaning
Your hamster does not like it at all if his “apartment” is dirty.
Therefore, quickly remove the leftovers of the little one, but you do not need to take apart the whole cage every day. If everything suddenly smells different and his objects are in a completely different place than before, it will stress your hamster even more.
Instead, clean a small area at a time every few days until the cage is completely clean, then start all over again. This will keep the stress on your cute pet in check, because he won’t find a mess he considers chaotic after cleaning.
Your hamster needs species-appropriate food so that his constantly regrowing incisors can wear down.
Providing plenty of fresh water is an absolute must.
To give your hamster a tasteful treat, give the little gourmet sunflower or pine nuts from time to time. Millet is also very popular with the rodent, best put a whole cob in his cage.
Hard-boiled eggs are also a treat for him, which you can offer him once a week.
Your time and affection
To satisfy your cagey hamster’s urge to move, you should allow him to run around outside his cage as much as possible every day.
Take the time to spend with your smart pet. This is also a great way to find out what he likes to do, what he enjoys, and what things are more disliked, boring, or even scary.
Just try multiple ways to keep him busy!
You will quickly determine what he enjoys based on his behavior. There are endless ways to keep your hamster happy. You can use all kinds of everyday objects to keep your hamster busy.
In this way, you offer the bright and energetic little guy with a lot of freedom and variety, tasty food and new discoveries everything he needs.
My name is Mark and the senior editor
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