When handling your hamster on a daily basis, it’s important to know whether they can jump – and if so, how far.
The most important answers on this topic are now available!
Can hamsters jump?
Yes, hamsters can jump up and down. However, they are not good at estimating distances and can therefore quickly injure themselves when jumping. Accordingly, there are a few things that need to be considered when setting up the cage and handling the animals.
Why do hamsters jump?
There are several reasons. A hamster may jump because it:
wants to escape
was interrupted during an activity
wants to reach food or conspecifics
wants to get back into the cage
to relieve stress or the urge to move
However, if you are holding your hamster or it is at a higher altitude, this can be dangerous. This is because rodents are not good at estimating distances due to their limited vision.
Jumping from too great a height can cause significant injury and even be life-threatening. Broken bones as well as internal bleeding are possible.
How far / high can hamsters jump?
Depending on the size of your hamster, jump heights of 10 to 25 inches are possible.
How far the animals can jump also depends on the size but also on the training of the muscles. A well-trained, young and healthy hamster will manage greater distances than an older animal that moves less.
For distances from horizontal surfaces, the animal’s maximum jump height can be used as a guide.
The jumping distance is usually slightly less than this.
When does hamster jumping become a problem?
Dangers of picking up your hamster
Whether you want to control your hamster, take him up from the cage for grooming, cuddling and playing, or have to move him:
As soon as the rodent is in your hands, you must expect the animal to jump. This is true even for very tame hamsters. Especially young animals and dwarf breeds are agile and fast.
However, there is a high risk of falling.
For one thing, hamsters do not hold on well without building up too much pressure and using force. Secondly, the animals are short-sighted and have poor spatial vision.
Therefore, they cannot estimate how far away the supposedly saving floor or the cage entrance are.
In addition, hamsters quickly feel threatened or think they are in danger. The flight instinct can lead to them jumping off “blindly” and not paying attention to their surroundings beforehand.
So, to avoid falls and injuries, you must be very careful and take the appropriate measures before picking up your hamster.
Dangers in the hutch
Hamsters will also jump out of the cage if given the opportunity and food or conspecifics outside the hamster home serve as motivation.
This is problematic for two reasons.
A hamster running free in the home has countless hiding places. Finding him and bringing him back into the cage is therefore difficult. In addition, there are hazards such as power cords and outlets, poisonous houseplants, the fibers of carpets or upholstered furniture, and other pets.
In addition, if your hamster has injured himself falling out of the cage, he may hide.
If the cage is elevated, the risk for wounds is high. However, if your pet is now sitting behind a cabinet instead of being treated by a veterinarian, it can be fatal.
So a hamster home that is open to the top or an open cage door pose significant risks. This is primarily true if the cage is elevated.
At what height does a fall become dangerous for hamsters?
A hamster should not fall lower than its jump height.
For a golden hamster, this can be up to 25 centimeters. For dwarf hamsters, the distances are correspondingly smaller.
It plays however also a crucial role, on which underground the hamster falls. A fall on tiles or hard wooden floor is clearly more dangerous than a landing on 30 centimeters high and soft bedding or a high-pile carpet.
What to do if a hamster jumps: 5 possible precautions
To avoid a jump with an unfortunate landing or a fall in the first place, there are several precautions you can take. From choosing a location for the hamster’s home to getting it up properly, several factors come into play.
- make the cage safe
Cages or hamster homes with multiple floors are practical and offer significant benefits to your pet.
So from opportunities to climb to more space in a small footprint, they are a good purchase. However, when choosing one, you should make sure that the individual levels overlap completely.
If a ramp or ladder opening is directly under an opening in the tier below, your hamster can drop far more than 25 inches. So proper partitioning is critical.
Also, avoid placing hard objects under the openings. Because if a hamster falls on them, the injuries can be much more severe.
Also, offer climbing opportunities only directly above a thick layer of bedding. This acts as a cushion and absorbs the greatest force of the fall.
Hamster homes that are open at the top should also have walls high enough to prevent the hamster from jumping out and falling. Although 25 centimeters is considered the maximum height – it is sufficient if your animal manages a higher jump once.
- be careful when picking up and carrying
Hamsters are neither the calmest nor the cuddliest animals.
They may enjoy being petted, but being carried is usually uncomfortable.
Also, losing the ground under their feet is often frightening for them.
Therefore, they usually do not hold still, but try to escape – even by jumping if necessary.
Be aware of this and hold your animal accordingly!
It can also help if you move your hands flexibly and let the hamster climb from one hand to the next. For safety, however, you should only lift and carry the rodent when you are over soft ground. It’s best to practice holding it while it’s still in the cage. 3.
- do not interrupt your hamster
One of the possible reasons for a jump is that you have interrupted your hamster eating or grooming.
If he wants to return to that activity, jumping is more likely. It is also better not to pick up an animal that is currently excited.
- avoid stress
Loud noises, abrupt movements and other pets in the area are stressors.
Especially in more fearful animals, jumpiness can be expected as a result.
Picking up and carrying outside the cage should only be done if you can provide a quiet environment and are not stressed or pressed for time.
- offer exercise
Young animals and hamsters that have little opportunity to move around in their cage are more prone to jumping.
On the other hand, if rodents can get regular physical exercise, there is less danger. Offer a suitable and safe running wheel, enlarge the hamster home if possible, and create opportunities for climbing.
My name is Mark and the senior editor
I take great pride in being the best possible author and giving you the knowledge that i have on all different types of animals!
I have spent a lifetime learning about pets and animals, and have worked in the pet and vet industry for over 20 years now!
The website will draw have authors who are vets, pet owners, and local pet breeders. All who will contribute their fantastic knowledge which in turn will be able to help you i hope.
There is a lot of information on the internet so it may be hard to know where exactly is the best place to start learning. But we will write articles that get straight to the point, and give you all the information that you need with no fluff!
If you have any questions please leave a comment on the article, and i will reply to you!