Can Hamsters Swim & Do They like it?

hamster swim

Have you ever thought about plunking your hamster into the bathtub but don’t know if they can swim?

It is important to get the facts before trying this. A lot of rodents and other animals can swim but don’t necessarily like to.

This article will help you be a better owner of your hamster.

Hamsters and Water

The first thing that you need to know about hamsters when it comes to swimming is that most of them don’t like water. This is pretty common among rodents in general, and these ones are no exception.

Some hamsters might like water, as they all have different personalities. There is really no telling how yours will respond to getting wet until it happens. When a hamster gets wet, it will usually desperately try to get dry again immediately.

Are Hamsters Capable of Swimming?

The average hamster is actually capable of swimming, but it’s probably far from their favorite thing in the world. Some of these rodents might struggle more than others to keep their head above water.

There is no evolutionary reason why hamsters would enjoy swimming or even be very good at it. These animals come from regions that are dry and arid where there isn’t much water around. They are therefore not used to being wet and don’t have any reason to enjoy the sensation.

 Most of these animals will be able to swim just well enough to keep from drowning. They also probably won’t be able to keep swimming for very long before going under.

Putting Your Hamster in the Bathtub

If you ever need to wash your hamster because its fur is dirty, you’ll want to avoid putting in the bathtub. Instead you’ll want to just hold it firmly but gently while rubbing its coat with a damp soft cloth and soapy water.

Keep in mind that a sand bath is the preferred way to clean your hamster if they just have some dust or other particulate matter on their fur. If there is anything sticky on them, you will need to use water.

Putting your hamster in the tub isn’t something they are likely to enjoy, and it will most likely cause them a lot of anxiety. This can actually harm the bond that you have formed with your pet, which is the last thing you want.

hamster in grass

Drawbacks of Getting Your Hamster Wet

There are actually a number of reasons why you should not get your hamster wet. It is important that you keep all of these things in mind before putting your hamster in the bathtub or a pool.

1. It will Cause Anxiety

The anxiety that your hamster will likely experience from getting wet can take a heavy toll on their mental and physical health. This is especially true when you get your hamster wet on a regular basis.

The fact is that the more stressed your hamster is, the more likely it is that their life will be cut short. An animal’s mental health can have a tremendous effect on their physical wellbeing.

2. It is not good for their Coat

Submerging your hamster in water strips their skin and coat of its natural oils. These animals need the oil buildup in their fur to regulate their temperature on a daily basis. Getting them wet can also make their coat appear much more dull than usual.

3. It makes them more likely to get sick

Getting your hamster wet can also take a toll on their immune system. This means that they are more likely to become ill and even die. It is crucial that you do everything possible to maintain your pet’s immune system so they stay healthy for as long as possible.

Alternative Activities for Your Hamster

The fact is that swimming is not an activity that your hamster is likely to enjoy. You will therefore want to consider some alternative activities that they will like.

1. Tunnels

Hamsters love crawling through tunnels, so you should therefore get them a habitat with some. This will help to keep your pet stimulated both physically and mentally, which is important for their overall health.

2. Exercise Wheel

It is also a good idea for you to put an exercise wheel in your hamster’s cage or habitat. This will provide them with an easy and convenient way of getting exercise on a daily basis. You might be surprised at just how long these animals can go on a wheel in one session.

3. Toys

There are tons of different toys that you can get for your hamster to play with in its cage. These toys will also provide mental and physical stimulation that is essential to good health. 

Keep in mind that these animals love things they can roll around. You should be able to find a good selection of hamster toys at your local pet store.

4. Exploring the House

If you want your hamster to get some exercise and let them explore the house, you can put them in an exercise ball. These plastic balls will keep your pet safe as they roll around from room to room exploring their environment.


  • Hamsters do not naturally like to get wet or be submerged in water, as they originally come from dry regions.
  • Most hamsters are capable of swimming just well enough to keep from drowning.
  • The average hamster won’t be able to swim for every long before going under the water.
  • If you need to clean your hamster, you should do so with a damp soft cloth and soapy water. Do not put them in the bathtub.
  • It is also not a good idea to put your hamster in the pool.
  • Forcing your hamster to swim will only cause them anxiety, which is not good for their mental or physical health.
  • Getting your hamster wet can also weaken its immune system.
  • There are lots of alternative activities to swimming that hamsters enjoy, such as being in an exercise ball or playing with toys.
Was this article helpful?