Help! My hamster is trembling!
Hamster trembling – reasons and countermeasures – title picture
If you notice that your hamster is trembling, you as a loving pet owner of course immediately 1000 thoughts shoot through your head:
Is my hamster cold?
Is he scared?
Is he sick?
What can I do to make my hamster feel better?
All these questions we will now clarify in detail, so that you know at the end of the article exactly which causes can be behind the trembling with your hamster and which measures you can and should take against it.
Let’s start without much ado directly with the actual topic!
Why is my hamster shaking?
If you observe that your hamster suddenly starts to tremble, you will probably immediately get an uneasy feeling – and this feeling tells you that this behavior is not normal.
Here your feeling is not wrong, because trembling indicates both in humans and in animals that something is wrong. The task now is to find out where the reasons for trembling lie.
The exact causes for the trembling in your hamster can be very different. However, it can be said with absolute certainty that the trembling is merely a symptom. Shaking is 100% associated with great stress – this can be both physical and psychological.
Examples of physical stress are various diseases, such as diabetes, constipation or other severe pain.
Psychological stress, on the other hand, can be caused by a move, a noisy environment, great anxiety, etc.
Don’t worry – we will deal with this in great detail later in this article!
By the way, in the wild hamsters also shiver when they go into hibernation. Since this possibility is rather absent at your home, you can be sure that your hamster is not well at the moment.
So if you observe your hamster shivering and the little hamster body is really shaken by adrenaline, you should definitely do some research and help your hamster to relax and get well again as soon as possible.
Can hamsters freeze?
Are you wondering if it’s possible that your hamster is shivering because he’s cold?
Then let me tell you: Hamsters can’t freeze!
Since hamsters are hibernators, their organism simply shuts down in cold temperatures and allows the hamster to fall into a deep sleep. So you can be absolutely sure that freezing is not a cause of your hamster’s shivering!
What can I do about my hamster’s shivering?
As mentioned earlier, the most important instance is to investigate the cause.
If you can’t clearly identify the cause of the shaking, you can’t fix the problem – logically.
In order to help you with the cause research, you will now be given a step-by-step guide on how to identify the core of the trembling problem.
- research the cause of physical stress
Take a few minutes and observe your hamster carefully. Ask yourself the following questions:
How is the animal behaving? Does your hamster have balance problems?
Is he sitting apathetically and being shaken repeatedly?
Is he taking in water or food?
Is your hamster drinking more than usual?
How long do the trembling attacks last – or do they perhaps not even stop?
Does he defecate and urinate?
Are the eyes clear?
Is the fur shiny or rather dull or even sticky?
All of these questions are important to better assess your hamster’s general condition.
If you notice that your hamster shows other physical symptoms in addition to trembling, then you should be alert. In this case it is very obvious that your hamster is sick.
Do not hesitate for long, but pack up your hamster and take it to an expert veterinarian. He will give you a diagnosis and – if necessary – immediately start treating your pet.
Keep in mind that the earlier the treatment is started, the better the chances of recovery.
Hamsters in particular are very susceptible to disease.
Quick action on your part is absolutely necessary to offer your hamster the possibility of a full recovery.
If you are not sure whether your hamster could be ill, it is recommended to go to the vet in any case. This way you can ease your conscience and reassure yourself that there are no physical causes underlying the trembling.
Keep in mind: No diagnosis is the best diagnosis you can get and the visit to the vet in case of doubt is by no means a waste of life time!
- cause research regarding psychological stress
If a physical cause for the trembling of your hamster can be excluded, it is now necessary to look for psychological causes.
Here you will find a list of possible factors that bring a high stress potential for your hamster.
1: Noisy environment
Your hamster is a nocturnal animal that needs a lot of rest and sleep during the day.
If the enclosure is in a loud or noisy environment, so that your hamster’s sleep is often disturbed, this circumstance will bring some stress to the animal.
However, this problem can usually be easily solved.
Simply move the enclosure to a room where there is little – or ideally no – commotion during the day. If moving is not possible, you should be more considerate of your animal and be quieter in the future.
2: No species-appropriate
Hamsters are very active and easily get stressed if their home does not allow them to move around.
Perhaps the enclosure is simply too small, doesn’t include a hamster wheel, or is so crowded that there is hardly any room left for the hamster itself.
In addition, gnawing and digging tunnels are among your hamster’s main activities. So make sure your pet can fulfill his basic needs at all times.
3: Wrong feeding
Have you ever been affected by an iron deficiency yourself?
If so, you already know the serious effects a nutrient deficiency can have on the entire organism. Therefore, always make sure to provide your hamster with a species-appropriate and balanced diet to prevent nutrient deficiencies.
In addition, you should inform yourself extensively before feeding, which foods are unsuitable for your hamster! Otherwise, poisoning can occur, which is also noticeable by trembling, among other things!
4: Anxiety or even fear
If your hamster has just moved in with you, it may well need to settle in a little first.
In those first days or weeks of settling in, it’s not uncommon for your hamster to have various fears – after all, everything is foreign to him! He doesn’t know you or his environment and needs some time to trust that he will be okay and that nothing will happen to him.
Help your hamster overcome his fear by talking to him and giving him the time he needs.
5: Temperature fluctuations
Temperature fluctuations can not only be hard on us humans, but also on our animals. For this reason, you should make sure that the room in which the hamster cage is located is not subject to strong temperature fluctuations.
Especially in winter, the temperature difference between inside and outside is particularly large – shock ventilation is therefore allowed, but should – if possible – only be done once or twice a day.
6: Lack of hygiene
Hygiene is important both in the cage and on the animal itself.
Hamsters are very clean animals and therefore definitely need a sand bath for daily grooming. While they also lick themselves several times a day, this grooming is not enough to meet your hamster’s hygiene needs.
Tip: Ideally, you fill the sand bath of your hamster with chinchilla sand – this is particularly fine-grained and therefore ideal for fur care!
The bedding in your hamster’s enclosure should be changed once a week.
7: Unwanted company
While guinea pigs, rabbits, chinchillas and Co. absolutely need at least one conspecific at their side to be happy and content, this game behaves contrary with the hamster.
Hamsters are loners and do not get along as adult animals even with mother, father or the own brothers and sisters!
Single keeping is therefore mandatory to minimize the stress for the animals.
My name is Mark and the senior editor
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I have spent a lifetime learning about pets and animals, and have worked in the pet and vet industry for over 20 years now!
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