Why Is My Hamster Shaking

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By Oluwaseun Bamisile


Are you a hamster owner and worried about your pet’s shaking behavior? This article offers reasons behind this behavior and how to respond.

This article begins with a section that discusses several reasons your furry friend may be trembling. Following that, I will provide various tips on how to respond to such a situation.

Meanwhile, you will find answers to some of the most asked questions related to this topic in our FAQ section.

Reasons Your Hamster Might Be Shivering

A hamster shaking can be a cause for concern. Hence, it’s essential to understand the potential reasons behind this behavior to ensure the health and well-being of your pet.

Moreover, hamsters are known for their relatively calm and gentle nature. Thus, unusual shaking can indicate an underlying issue.

Here are several possible reasons why your hamster might be trembling.

1. Cold or Temperature Stress

According to mainwestvet.com, hamsters are highly sensitive to temperature fluctuations. This is mostly due to their small size and rapid metabolism.

Therefore, when exposed to cold environments, they may exhibit shaking as a physiological response to generate body heat. This shivering helps them maintain their core temperature within a survivable range.

It’s crucial to remember that hamsters, being small creatures, can lose heat quickly. As a result, temperature regulation is essential for their comfort and survival.

2. Fear or Anxiety

Hamsters are naturally cautious and easily startled animals. When they perceive a threat or feel anxious, they may display shaking as a visible sign of their distress, as suggested by petkeen.com.

This behavior is part of their survival instinct, as staying still and blending into their surroundings can help them avoid predators. Moreover, most hamsters often have very poor eyesight or shortsightedness, according to hartz.com

As a result, they rely on their sharp senses of smell and hearing to detect potential dangers. Therefore, they can become anxious in response to seemingly minor environmental disturbances.

3. Illness

Shaking can be a symptom of underlying health issues or discomfort in hamsters. When hamsters are unwell or in pain, they may begin trembling as a physical manifestation of their distress.

This is often the case when they experience health issues related to their respiratory or nervous system, as suggested by careah.com. These issues can cause discomfort and lead to visible signs of distress like shaking.

4. Stress

Stress is a common issue in hamsters, and it can manifest as shaking. Hamsters are habitual animals, according to oddlycutepets.com.

As a result, any changes in their environment or routine can induce stress. For instance, factors such as moving their cage, introducing new cage mates, or overcrowding can trigger this stress response.

The shaking is a physical expression of their unease and discomfort in response to these disruptions.

5. Dehydration

According to smallanimaladvice.com, dehydration can result in weakness and trembling in hamsters. These animals need an adequate water supply to maintain their bodily functions.

Therefore, any reduction in hydration levels can lead to physical distress. Hamsters may experience dehydration due to insufficient access to water or an inability to consume enough fluids.

How To Respond To Your Hamster Trembling

Responding to your hamster shaking is crucial to ensure their well-being and address potential issues or stressors. Here’s a detailed guide on how to respond.

1. Observe And Identify The Cause

When you notice your hamster shaking, it’s essential to begin by closely observing their behavior. Watch for the frequency, duration, and severity of the shaking.

Furthermore, take note of any other unusual behaviors, such as altered posture, vocalizations, or changes in activity levels. By carefully observing your hamster, you can gather important information that will aid in understanding the underlying cause of the shivering.

Speaking of which, identifying the potential cause of your hamster’s shaking is a critical step in responding effectively. Consider recent events or changes in their environment.

Have there been any alterations to their cage, new additions, or shifts in their surroundings? Understanding the context in which the trembling began can provide valuable clues as to what might be troubling your hamster.

2. Check Environmental Conditions

Your hamster’s environment plays a crucial role in their overall well-being. Hence, confirm that their cage is clean, well-maintained, and appropriately sized.

Additionally, ensure the room temperature is within the recommended range to prevent temperature-related stress. Careah.com suggests the recommended temperature for hamsters is 65 – 75°F or 18 – 24°C

Besides, inspect their water bottle and food supply to ensure they can access clean water and fresh, uncontaminated food. Furthermore, stick to a consistent daily schedule for feeding, providing water, and playtime.

Predictable routines help your hamster feel secure and reduce anxiety. So, avoid sudden changes to their schedule or environment whenever possible.

3. Provide Comfort And Care

Comfort is essential for reducing your hamster’s stress. Ensure their cage is well-equipped with suitable bedding materials, hideouts, and toys, as hinted by smallanimaladvice.com.

As a matter of fact, familiar objects with their scent can provide a sense of security. Make minimal changes to their cage layout during times of stress to maintain a sense of consistency and comfort.

It’s also important to handle your hamster with extreme care. Hamsters are easily frightened, and excessive handling can exacerbate their anxiety.

Therefore, allow your hamster to retreat to their hideout or nest if they wish, and avoid unnecessary interaction. When handling is necessary, move slowly and speak softly to minimize stress.

4. Reduce Stressors

Identify and remove potential stressors in your hamster’s environment. This can include reducing exposure to loud noises and limiting disturbances during their rest periods.

Moreover, hamsters love the dark and need plenty of dark spots to retreat to, as stated by katesk9petcare.com. Otherwise, they will be stressed out.

Due to this, ensure they have a dark, quiet space to retreat to when needed.

If you have other pets, keep them away from the hamster’s cage to avoid causing additional stress.

5. Consult A Veterinarian

If the shaking persists or is accompanied by concerning symptoms like lethargy, it is crucial to seek professional veterinary care. A veterinarian experienced in treating small rodents can conduct a comprehensive examination.

They may perform tests to diagnose any underlying health issues. Furthermore, they will recommend appropriate treatment, including medications or dietary adjustments.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Do I Know If My Hamster Is Cold?

If your hamster is cold, it may start to shiver and act lethargic, according to aspencommonsvet.com.

2. How Do You Tell If A Hamster Is Stressed?

Shaking is a common sign that your hamster is stressed. Also, excessive digging and other repetitive behaviors like rolling or scurrying in circles can all be signs of a stressed hamster.

3. Do Hamsters Prefer Hot Or Cold?

Hamsters are mostly comfortable in temperatures of about 65°F to 75°F.

4. Why Is My Hamster Cold But Alive?

If your hamster is cold but alive, it is most likely in hibernation. During hibernation, the temperature of the hamsters drops to match the environment.

5. Do Pet Hamsters Bite?

Yes, all hamsters can bite.


Understanding why your hamster is shaking is crucial for its well-being and overall health. Hamsters may shake for various reasons, and decoding the underlying cause requires careful observation of their environment, behavior, and health.

Common causes of hamster shaking include cold temperatures, fear, illness, stress, and dehydration. When faced with a shaking hamster, it’s essential to respond thoughtfully and responsibly.

This includes closely observing your hamster’s behavior, identifying potential causes, and ensuring proper environmental conditions. However, if the shaking persists, it’s best to consult a qualified veterinarian specializing in small rodents.

Timely veterinary care is essential for diagnosing and addressing any underlying health issues affecting your hamster. By addressing the cause of the shaking promptly, you can help your furry companion lead a happy and healthy life.

We trust that you’ve found this article informative and beneficial. If you’ve gained value from it, we kindly encourage you to share it with your friends on social media.

For additional articles on similar topics, please explore our Animal & Pets page.

References And Further Reading

  1. careah.com – Why Is My Hamster Shaking?
  2. petkeen.com – Why Is My Hamster Shaking? 4 Possible Reasons
  3. oddlycutepets.com – 4 Possible Reasons Your Hamster Is Shaking (& What To Do)
  4. pawtracks.com – Why is my hamster shaking? When pet parents should be worried
  5. hamsteropedia.com – Why Is My Hamster Shaking And What Does It Mean?
  6. thehamstercare.com – Why Is My Hamster Shaking
  7. katesk9petcare.com – Why is my hamster shaking? | 3 common reasons
  8. smallanimaladvice.com – Why Do Hamsters Shake [9 Reasons & Tips]

About the Author

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Oluwaseun Bamisile

Oluwaseun is the Lead Content Editor at Ilifeguides.com. He holds a National Diploma in Computer Science (currently studying part-time for his Higher National Diploma). An internet geek with a love for automobiles, he writes relationship articles, travel guides, and general life hacks on the site.

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