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Our hamster’s health is very important for us. We want our furry friends to stay alive and happy for as long as possible so that we can treasure every second with them! However, hamster health is a lot more complex than we think. Their behaviours can be complex and it can be hard to figure out whether they are comfortable or not. A lot of people ask ‘why is my hamster shaking’ due to this. We don’t know whether it’s because they are in danger or not!

In this article, we hope to go through all of the reasons why your hamster may be shaking. We will identify the dangerous situations, and explain how they can be rectified. Enjoy!

Why Is My Hamster Shaking? Is it normal?

Both yes and no. Hamsters, in the wild, are a prey animal. This means that it is fairly constant for them to stop, freeze, and sometimes shake. This is due to built-in fear mechanisms which makes them very careful and mistrustful of foreign objects, smells, or animals. It can be very common to see your hamster shake during the first few weeks of owning one as they get used to the cage. They are getting used to their environment and still don’t fully trust you. Even when they are used to you, your hamster may still get scared and shake.

However, there are many reasons why hamster shaking can be abnormal. There can be certain situations where a hamster may be in genuine danger and their shaking is a way to show this. It is therefore very important to examine your hamster to see if they are ill, or to examine the environment to see if there is anything that could cause the shaking to occur. We’ll be going into this next.

Reasons for why your hamster is shaking.

As we have stated, a hamster shaking can be both normal and abnormal. It really does depend on the situation that they are in. A hamster shaking can just be a sign of it being nervous or a sign that they are in genuine danger. We will now look at some of the reasons why your hamster may be shaking, and how to fix the situation.


One of the most problematic reasons why your hamster may be shaking is due to the temperature in the room. Hamsters find it hard to regulate their own temperature and therefore require the environment to be fairly stable in terms of how hot or cold it is. A cold room can cause serious problems for a hamster. You may think that a hamster having a lovely coat is enough to shield them from the cold, but they still need a warm temperature.

We go through the ideal hamster temperature in this article, but they need a habitat around 70 degrees Fahrenheit to stay safe. Anything below this and you could see your hamster shaking due to being too cold, which could seriously damage their health.


The ideal solution to stopping your hamster shaking due to the poor temperature is simply to improve it! You should always make sure that they have clean bedding, and places to burrow to keep themselves warm. You should ensure that the room is correctly heated to a safe temperature for your hamster. If you are feeling uncomfortable due to the cold, then your hamster will be as well! Finally, make sure that the room doesn’t get too hot either as this can cause its own set of problems.


Another problematic cause of your hamster shaking is that they could be ill. The primary cause of your hamster being ill and shaking is most likely a cold or an infection. These may seem easy to solve for humans but hamsters are a lot weaker than us. Even a cold can be deadly for them. Check to see if they have other symptoms, such as a runny rose or wet eyes, to confirm that they have a cold. You should also see if they are sneezing or coughing as this can be another sign of something going wrong.


You should clean your hamster’s cage and use alternative bedding to make sure that your hamster isn’t suffering from an allergic reaction. We have our own article on how to deal with a hamster’s cold here. If the cold gets any worse, and your hamster starts to have problems breathing or moving, then take them to the vet immediately. Not doing so could cost them their life.


A natural reason why your hamster could be shaking is that they could be quite fearful of their surroundings. This is quite natural when you first get them. After all, they have been taken from their home and placed in a completely foreign place! They are natural prey animals and are therefore quite scared of most things. This means that they may shake, or freeze, when they encounter something that worries them. This should stop after a month as they get used to their surroundings.

However, they may still freeze and shake if they are scared after they have settled in. This could happen if there is a loud noise, or if another human or animal tries to interact with them. It’s natural for humans to get scared, and it is natural for hamsters to get scared as well!


The best way to help your hamster to be less fearful is by protecting them from any of the problems stated above. If there are likely to be loud noises, move the cage away from the source of these noises. In the event that your hamster is scared by other animals, take the cage somewhere that the animals cannot get to the hamster. If you figure out the source of why they are so scared then it can be very easy to get rid of it. If your hamster still acts scared then give them some space as you could be the reason that they are frightened. Take your time and let them get used to you.

Their Habitat

Your hamster’s habitat can cause some problems with your hamster that make your hamster shake. One of the key problems is if your hamster’s cage is smaller than it should be. This can stress out your hamster and cause other problems as well as shaking. Other problems could include that your hamster’s cage doesn’t have any digging room, or if it hasn’t been recently cleaned out. An improper living environment can severely stress out your hamster.


The solution to this problem is to fix your hamster’s habitat. This can be very easy, but the difficult part is figuring out exactly which part of the habitat is the wrong.

The size of your hamster’s cage is often a stressful point for your hamster. If it is too small, you may want to get a bigger one. We have reviews of two good hamster cages here and here.

Another issue could be the amount of digging space in your hamster’s cage. Hamsters need a decent amount of room to dig and the floor should be quite deep to allow them to build tunnels. The best way to solve this problem is to add more bedding which should give your hamster the freedom to dig.

Finally, an easily solved problem is the cleanliness of your hamster’s cage. You should make sure that the cage is cleaned every two weeks maximum, less if it is a smaller cage. If you don’t then your hamster could suffer from various health problems and this could cause serious problems.

Should you take your shaking hamster to the vet?

You may be asking whether the shaking could be a problem that can only be solved by a vet. This could indeed be the case. If the solutions above have not fixed the problem for you then you may want to consider taking them to the vet. Furthermore, you should take your hamster to the vet if they are suffering from other symptoms as well as shaking. Check to see if your hamster is also:

  • Sneezing
  • Sleeping a lot
  • Refusing to eat or drink

These symptoms could mean that there is something else going on which your vet needs to fix. Take them and explain the symptoms!

Conclusion – Why Is My Hamster Shaking?

We know that a lot of people google asking why their hamster is shaking. It is a common condition but it is not a condition that is necessarily dangerous. However, it can be a warning sign that your hamster is giving. It could be showing that their cage is wrong, that they are cold, that they are ill, or simply that they are scared. Our hamsters cannot talk to us so we need to read these signs to see if they are in danger or not! Make sure to always take your hamster to the vet if you are worried about their health though.

Has your hamster been shaking? What do you suggest? Let us know in the comments!

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