Why is My Hamster Not Moving? 6 Reasons Why!

Having a pet hamster is like having a child. So, naturally, any odd behavior is really concerning. Especially when it comes to important things such as their mobility. Initially, this odd behavior might indicate death which often might not be the case.

So, let’s break down why pet hamsters don’t move at times.

So, why is my hamster not moving?

Hamsters often stop moving to gain a better understanding of their surroundings. This is one of the several reasons. Unlike humans, their eyesight is not their prime sense. Some of the other reasons can be fear, illness, aging, and pain. But infant hamsters do less movement initially.

Less worried now? We understand your concerns. Therefore, I have brought you a detailed discussion on it. So, why wait? Let’s know more. 

6 Reasons Why the Hamster is not Moving!

Reasons Why the Hamster is not Moving

Generally, hamsters are seen to be hyperactive. They engage in movement activities throughout their awake times. So, naturally, hamsters staying idle for a longer duration of time can raise eyebrows.

Here we will look into the reasons behind why hamsters stay idle at times

Reason 1: Enhancing Hearing Senses

Every hamster naturally has poor eyesight. They can not see as good as humans. So, naturally, the eye is not a reliable sense for them. To mitigate the inefficiency of poor eyesight, hamsters utilize alternative senses

In that case, they rely more on the vibration and their hearing abilities. When you get concerned, they tend to stop their movement in order to enhance their hearing abilities. For that reason, they might seem to stop their movement for a longer period of time.

Since hamsters generally tend to be very active, this abrupt stop in their movement can seem odd. But they are just being conscious of their surroundings. 

Reason 2: Sleeping

One of the primary reasons for hamsters not moving is their sleep. You need to keep in mind that hamsters are nocturnal and crepuscular animals. This essentially means that hamsters tend to stay awake at night and sleep through the daytime.

Since the sleeping schedule of hamsters is opposite to humans. It might be confusing.

Humans tend to stay awake in the daytime for the longest time. Meanwhile, the hamster sleeps in the daytime.

Therefore, having a sudden panic and skepticism is pretty common. But they are just getting their regular sleep. 

Reason 3: Illness

As we already know, hamsters are usually physically active animals. So, their sickness is easily identifiable. One of the common indications of hamster sickness is that your hamster will stop moving. Or move slowly.

In cases of sickness, you will fail to have them respond to their favorite treats or food. Also, another indication is hamsters having a greasy coat. This happens due to their inability to clean it on their sandbox.

If you’re thinking about buying a sandbox for your precious hamster. You can look through our recommended products. We have curated the best products for you. 

These are some of the really good sandboxes. Also, they are really durable. So they should last for a long time.

If your hamster is suffering from eye infection, it won’t die. They will do minor movements. Also, you will see them making frequent noises.

Through these indications, you can figure out that your hamster is sick. Immediate consultation with your vet in cases as such is essential. 

Reason 4: Heatstroke or Overheating

Hamsters generally prefer to be in colder environments. Warm weather is intolerable for them. Therefore, it’s better if you don’t keep them in warm places.

The preferred temperature for hamsters is below 78 degrees Fahrenheit or 25.5 degrees celsius.

Also, you will need to be cautious so that your hamster does not get too hot. Even the Slightest exposure to the sun causes them heatstroke. It can prove to be lethal for your hamster.

Your hamster will start to breathe faster if they are about to get a heatstroke. Also, you will see an abrupt reduction in their mobility. 

In situations like these, instant rehydrating procedure initiation is essential. Also, take them to a colder place in an instant.

Otherwise, it can be lethal for your little furry friend. 

Reason 5: Broken Limb

Any broken limb can affect the mobility of any animal including hamsters. You will find that your hamster’s leg is broken. This happens due to excessive running or playing.

Any unsuitable toy for them can cause them this injury. Having their legs stuck in the mesh wire or fabric can cause them to break their legs.

If you notice your hamster’s leg is broken, don’t try anything at home. Contact a vet as soon as you possibly can. 

Reason 6: Hibernation Or Torpor

Torpor is also one of the major reasons behind a hamster not moving. Torpor is relatively similar to hibernating. This procedure shuts the functions of the body of a hamster leaving only essentials moving.

This occurs when the temperature is below the hamster’s comfort zone. You will usually see this happening in the winter season. If the temperature drops below 70F, you will find your hamster going into hibernation mode.

Although hamsters have the capabilities to be torpid in uncomfortable situations, they are unlike polar bears. This essentially means once they are in hibernation, they can not wake up. Or even control their body temperature like the polar bears. At times, this procedure leads to death.

Therefore, it is essential to keep their cages warm in the winter season. Otherwise, the uncomfortably cold temperature can lead them into hibernation mode.

These are the key indicators of concern if your hamster is not moving. Obviously, there can be plenty of other reasons to be concerned as well. Do contact a vet immediately if you think you are in need of one. These are things that might help your furry friend more. 


Why is my hamster standing still but not moving?

A hamster may suffer a sudden freeze due to the fear of surprise. As they have poor eyesight, their hearing ability is their primary source of identification. A sudden surprise can take them into shock.

Why is my hamster breathing fast but not moving?

If your hamster is breathing fast but not moving, they are suffering from respiratory infections. This is a severe health concern and you should immediately consult a vet.

How to tell if a hamster is dying?

When a hamster is about to die, its breathing will be unregulated and agitated. Their pulse will start to diminish slowly until exhausted. Your hamster may also suffer from tremors or a still jaw.


That is everything you need to know about, Why is my hamster not moving?” Hopefully, that cleared up your confusion.

Always contact the vet if your hamster is not behaving normally. This might even save their lives from many dangerous situations.

Till then, have fun with your furry friend!

Ryan Dugan
Ryan Dugan
Ryan Dugan

Ryan Dugan is a dedicated pet care professional who offers top-notch services for a variety of pet species. He has a soft spot for my own feline companion, Sophie. He is passionate about animals He shares his knowledge and experience on his blog to help other pet owners understand and care for their own beloved companions. Whether you need a pet-sitting service or advice on pet care, He is the go-to expert.

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