Why Does my Hamster Hide?

Hamsters display all sorts of strange behaviors that don’t seem to make a lot of sense at times.

If your hamster is hiding in its cage, there is a reason.

It is important for you to determine why this is happening, as it could be an indication of a more significant issue.

1. Burrowing Behavior

Hiding among hamsters is often a sign of their natural burrowing behavior. This is just your adorable pet’s way of exploring. This isn’t something that you should try to discourage in your pet, as it is perfectly harmless.

Hamsters naturally want to hide away, so it is important that you provide them with a habitat where they can do that. Otherwise, your hamster’s mental health could be negatively affected. You can think about this as one of the primary ways that your hamster plays.

2. They are Stressed

It is possible that your hamster is hiding because it is stressed for some reason. If you have noticed them hiding more than usual, this could be the case. Any dramatic change in your pet’s routine is cause for concern.

There are many different things that could be stressing your hamster out, such as another pet in the house. If you have a nosey cat or dog at home, they could be making your hamster anxious by coming a little too close to their cage.

Hamsters easily become anxious, especially with sudden movements. Just coming into the room a little too fast can spook these animals. It doesn’t take much to get a hamster stressed out. You will, however, need to do everything possible to keep them calm. The less stressed your hamster is on a daily basis, the longer they are likely to live.

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hamster hide

3. They are Resting

You need to keep in mind that hamsters are nocturnal creatures. It is possible that your hamster is hiding away because it is going to sleep for a while. You should avoid disturbing your hamster while it is sleeping. 

This will only serve to aggravate them and harm the bond you have with your pet. If you want your pet to stay healthy, it is important that you allow it to get enough rest on a daily basis. If you absolutely need to wake them up, you will need to do so gradually.

4. There is Conflict Between Your Hamsters

If you have more than one hamster in the same cage, hiding away can be a sign of conflict. It is important that you closely monitor how your hamsters interact with each other. If it seems like one is bullying another, you’ll want to remove the one that is causing trouble.

A hamster will sometimes hide away in its habitat if it feels threatened in some way by another hamster. It is generally not a good idea to keep these animals together, especially certain species. For instance, Siberian hamsters should definitely not be kept together under any circumstances. Even dwarf hamsters don’t always get along with each other.

5. A Change in Temperature

Another reason that your hamster might hide out in its habitat is because you recently lowered the temperature in your home. These animals are fairly sensitive to ambient temperature, so you don’t want to keep your house too cool.

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It is possible that your hamster is just trying to stay warm. If you want to keep your pet cozy without adjusting your house’s temperature, a heat lamp is a good investment. These lamps can help maintain a comfortable temperature in your hamster’s cage.

6. Their Cage is not Adequate

A hamster that is kept in a cage that is too small and doesn’t have any tubes to climb through or things to play with might spend a lot of time hiding. It is crucial that you provide your pet will plenty of things to keep it stimulated, both physically and mentally.

There are lots of different hamster cages on the market, so you will want to take the time to find the right one for yours. These animals need plenty of room to run, burrow and play. An inadequate cage can take a toll on your hamster’s overall health, shortening its life.

hamster hide in log

7. They are Still Adjusting

It’s also possible that your hamster is hiding in its cage because it’s still getting used to their new environment. It might take a couple of weeks before they become familiar and comfortable with their surroundings. This is especially true for hamsters that are purchased from a pet store.

You’ll need to be patient with your hamster as it adjusts to its environment. This is not the kind of thing that you can rush. Once they become more comfortable with their surroundings, they will start coming out more.

8. They are Sick

A hamster that is ill might spend an unusual amount of time hiding in its cage. It is important that you recognize the signs of illness in your pet as soon as possible.

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Some of the common symptoms of a sick hamster include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargic behavior
  • Curling up in corner of cage
  • Wet tail
  • Ruffled coat

If you notice any of these signs, you should take your hamster to the vet right away.

Conclusion

  • Hamsters naturally hide away, as it is part of their burrowing behavior.
  • You can think of your hamster’s hiding as a form of play, which it is.
  • Your hamster might be hiding because it feels stressed.
  • A hamster can become stressed or anxious when a cat, dog or some other pet comes near its cage too often or closely.
  • These animals are very easily startled, so you’ll want to keep that in mind.
  • If you have more than one hamster in the same cage, one of them could be hiding away because they are being bullied.
  • Make sure that you keep a close eye on how your hamsters get along together.
  • It is possible that your hamster is hiding away because it is still adjusting to its new environment. This can take up to a couple of weeks.
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