4 Possible Reasons Your Hamster Is Shaking (& What To Do)

Looking after a hamster is a doddle.

But what should you do if yours starts to shake?

Here are 4 possible reasons why your hamster is shaking.

  1. He is in shock
  2. He is suffering from an illness
  3. You changed his routine
  4. You bathed him

Are you ready to get to the root of the problem? Then make sure you check out the next section of this article.

Why Is My Hamster Shaking?

It is a worry when you come across your hamster shaking. As a proud hamster owner, you want your hamster to feel happy and comfortable all the time, so let’s quickly find out why little Hammy is shaking and what you can do about it.

#1 Shock

One of the most common reasons why hamsters shake is because of fear. Hamsters are naturally timid animals and when they are afraid of something, they show it.

But what has got him so scared that he is shaking?

Here are a couple of things that could have frightened him.

  • Sudden loud noises
  • Startling movements
  • Bright lights
  • Excessive stimulation
  • Fighting

If you see your hamster shaking out of fear, make sure his cage is in a quiet, low-traffic part of the home away from flashing lights. Handle him for the same amount of time every day and separate fighting mates.

#2 Illness

Is your hamster’s body shaking?

Then this could indicate your pet has an underlying medical condition. Here is a list of some of the ailments that will make him shake.

  • Skin parasites
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Wet tail
  • Respiratory infections
  • Nervous system issues
  • Old age

If you see your hamster shaking and you suspect it is the cause of an illness, take him straight to the vet. Always consult the vet if your pets begin breathing heavily, have breathing issues, have glazed-over eyes, or display other signs of a low-energy condition.

old hamster

#3 Environmental Changes

Hamsters are creatures of habit. They like to eat the same food, see the same people, and do the same things day in and day out.

If your pet is shaking, it might be a change in his environment that has him feeling worried. Here is a list of some changes your little guy might not be fond of.

  • New cage mate
  • Death of cage mate
  • Extreme cold
  • New bedding
  • New food
  • Early separation from his mother

Put a stop to shaking caused by routine changes by putting your hamster in a warm room and by keeping his bedding and food pellets the same. Do not separate baby hamsters from their mothers until they reach 3 weeks of age.

#4 Contact With Water

Most hamsters have a fear of water and are not keen on having a bath. If you have immersed your hamster in the water recently, he might begin to shake for one of the following reasons.

  • He is cold
  • The bath caused him some anxiety
  • He has a skin issue provoked by bathing

To prevent your hamster from shaking, do not immerse him in water.

wet hamster

Why Do Hamsters Shake? – Shock

If your hamster is shaking, it might be because he feels like he is in a frightening situation. When this happens, slowly approach your hamster and remove the anxiety trigger.

But what is it that has got your little Hammy shaking in his boots?

Here are some of the situations that will shock your hamster.

Sudden Disturbing Noises

Is your hamster’s cage near a booming TV or does it back onto a busy street? Hamsters do not like loud noises, these can startle them.

Startling Movements

Frightening movements also get your pet hamster shaking. If there are a lot of people going in and out of his room, he might feel scared.

Excessive Stimulation

You can train a hamster to get used to human contact, but they do not need human contact. Overhandling your pet hamster might make him feel stressed.


Another factor that may result in a shaking hamster is the stressful environment in his cage. If there is bullying going on between the hamsters in your cage, the weaker hamster may begin to shake.

Shaking Hamster – Illness

Your hamster may start to shake as a result of medical issues. If you suspect your pets have health issues, you must take them to the vet as soon as possible so they can receive the appropriate treatment.

It is normal for a hamster to suffer a temporary health issue like a cold and a runny nose, but you must still take them to the vet for treatment so these issues do not escalate.

Here are some more serious health issues a hamster can develop that will make his body shake.

Skin Parasites

Any kind of foreign body or a parasite on your pet will make him feel anxious and he will begin to shake. Always take a pet with parasites to the vet where they can receive treatment to eliminate them from their body.

Serious Illnesses

If your hamster has congestive heart failure, wet tail disease, or a respiratory infection he will also feel worried and start shaking. To determine correctly which illness your hamster has and treat him, you will need to take him to the vet immediately.

Nervous System Issues

If there is a problem with your hamster’s nervous system he will display unusual muscle motions. If this is the case with your pet, you will want to be extra gentle when you handle him so you don’t trigger unusual muscle motions.

Old Age

Shaking hamsters can also be a sign they are about to die. If your hamster is lethargic, shaking, and struggling to maintain his body temperature, he may be near the end of his life.

Why Your Hamster Is Shaking – Routine Changes

As humans, we like variety. The same old 9 to 5 week in and week out bores us stiff. We look forward to the weekends to break out of a monotonous routine and do something different.

Hamsters, however, don’t like change.

For them, every day is the weekend, and their normal routine is fun enough. They run on the same wheel, eat the same food, hang out in the same hiding places each day and never get bored.

When your hamster’s everyday routine changes, he will begin to feel nervous.

What kind of changes are hamsters especially sensitive to?

Here are some of them.

New Mate In Your Hamster’s Cage

The Dwarf hamster does well when sharing a cage with another Dwarf hamster. But he might not like it if you suddenly introduce a new mate into his cage.

Death of Cage Mate

The death of a cage mate can make your hamster start shaking.

Extreme Cold

Hamsters are low-maintenance animals, but they are very sensitive to changes in climates. In the wild, hamsters hibernate when the weather gets too cold.

If your pet is shaking, it could be because of the cold temperature in the room where he lives. The ambient temperature must be between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. If his room is too cold, move him to a warmer space and he should stop trembling.

New Bedding or Food

Hamsters are startled easily by a new environment or changes in their surroundings. A sudden change in his bedding or food may also be the root cause of his shaking.

Early Separation From His Mother

Baby hamsters should stay with their mothers until they are 3 weeks old. Common signs that you have separated them too soon are shaking and watery stools.

Why Is My Hamster Shaking – Contact With Water

Hamsters are not water bugs. They simply don’t like getting wet.

But the good news is hamsters are naturally clean animals that do all their own grooming. So, it’s not necessary for you to bathe them.

Awesome! That’s one chore to strike off of your to-do list!

If your hamster is shaking, it might be because of having contact with water. The following is a list of ways this could affect him.

He Is Cold

Never immerse a hamster in water. A hamster that was recently bathed might start shaking because he feels cold.

Transfer him to a warmer place while he dries off. It is important you do this so he doesn’t develop a respiratory infection, nasal discharge, or other medical conditions.

The Bath Caused Him Some Anxiety

Most hamsters have a fear of water. So, if your pet begins shaking, it might be because the bathing experience frightened him.

He Has a Skin Issue

Hamsters have essential oils on their fur that you will wash away if you bathe them. The absence of these oils can produce skin issues and irritations.

Any irritant on your hamster’s skin will make him feel afraid and could result in shaking.

Why Is My Hamster Shaking With Eyes Closed

Is your hamster shaking with his eyes closed?

Then you might feel concerned. Find out below the reasons why a hamster will behave like this.

  1. He feels frightened or stressed
  2. He is sick
  3. There was a change in his normal routine
  4. You gave him a bath
elderly hamster

What Every Hamster Owner Should Know

You’ve done everything you can think of but you still can’t get your hamster to calm down.

Why is my hamster shaking?

Thanks to this article, we’ve seen that hamsters are very timid animals that shake when they feel fear, fall ill, have a change in their routine, and have a bath. Maintaining a steady routine and protecting your hamster from scary sights and sounds will help to keep him happy and healthy.

At Oddly Cute Pets, we always strive to provide you with the best information to help you look after your small animals. So, check out our other articles for more intriguing tips.

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