Obesity of Hamsters

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Causes

In their natural environment, Hamsters are known to run more than a mile or more a night in search of food or a mate. If a hamster is then taken out of its vast natural habitat and placed into a small hamster cage with few options for exercise, not only will the hamster go stir crazy, it will likely begin to gain weight. This weight gain is especially the case if a pet hamster owner provides plenty of food and tasty snacks for it to eat. Certain foods in the mix of your hamster’s food can be fattening and hamster’s just like humans, seem to be attracted to foods that are not the healthiest for them.

Signs and Symptoms

A fully grown golden hamster should weigh 5 to 7 ounces (150 to 200 grams) and dwarf hamster breed should weigh around 3/4 to 1 3/4 ounces (25-50g). If your hamster is heavier than that, it could be considered an obese hamster. In addition to its excessive weight problem, obese hamsters will be lethargic and not interested in exercise.

Hamster obesity can lead to other hamster illnesses including diabetes, heart problems and an overall shortened life expectancy.

Treat an Obese Hamster

The best way to avoid your hamster from becoming obese or overweight is to provide it with a large habitat with several exercise options that can including a hamster wheel or a maze of tubes and tunnels. It’s also important to eliminate fatty foods from the diet of your hamster; instead, try adding more greens.

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23 comments on “Obesity of Hamsters

  1. We have had our hamster for over a year and a half. The last couple of weeks we have noticed that she doesn’t run on her wheel much and when we put her in her exercise ball she mostly just sits there and not go roaming around. Also we noticed that she has put on quite a bit of weight and she has been drinking more water then normal. She is also breathing heavily. She can barely get through the tunnel tube to get to her home. I don’t know if she may be sick or what? Could you help me out. We don’t have the money to take her to the vet to get her checked out.

  2. Hi I have a little hamy named holly I got her a week ago she hasn’t been doing any exercise and all she does is eat and sleep she stored all her food in a tube (witch I can’t get to has anyone got advice on what to do ) I think she is obese

    • Put the hamster in a ball a hamster ball or a play pin if she still doesnโ€™t move holly should taken to a vet I hope this was helpful and your hamster is ok ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

  3. My hamster has not been running on the wheel and looks a little fat. He just sleeps at the corner upside down. There was this time after a sand bath he started squeaking a lot when i put him a
    back to his cage and he got edgy, like if i try to get close to him, he would squeak and ran really fast back to his home even though i just bathed it a couple of minutes ago. he would also dig the ground a lot even more than usual. i bought 2 new hamster and put their cage beside his could this be the problem? Iโ€™m reslly worried for him. Someone please help.

    • male dwarf hamsters are naturlly agressive towards on another, as long as they are even sizes. if the new hamsters are really big, then the smaller ones will run away from the bigger ones because fights between hamsters are normally to the death.

  4. I have two hamsters. One is very friendly and active and thin. The other is agressive and evry time i go near him he gets scared and bites me and he even makes this huzzing sound. He is overwight, i think, amd he holds his food in his mouth, but the other doesnt. I smt but him in a ball so thay he can run and exercise, and i also let them run in my hand or in the floor, ofc i watch them as they run. Somedays he is calm but he seems angry. These two hamster lived in one cage, but they started fighting so i just separated them, it was about 3 months ago maybe. They still dont get along. ( both are males)

    • You need to tame him then slowly start to bring him with the other hamster (search on YouTube how to tame hamster) a good way to tame them is to spend like 5 minutes in the bath with no water

  5. I went to check on my hamster and she was clinging to the wall of her cage. She moved slowly and was almost unresponsive when I opened the cage and pet her back. She met a new person allergic to hamsters the day before. Could that be a factor?

    • This is a late response, but someone else may also have this problem, so I’ll respond. Mind you, I am not a trained professional. These are based on my observations of having had two hamsters, hearing from other long-time hamster owners, and occasionally trained professionals.

      When you are handling a hamster, you MUST wash your hands before AND after. Washing your hands thoroughly before handling the hamster in your hands will help prevent the introduction of harmful bacteria or viruses to the hamster. Washing your hands after handling the hamster will prevent the same for bacteria/viruses that can harm you and those around you.

      If your hamster is almost unresponsive to touch accompanied by being lethargic, the first thing would be to check for any physical ailments. Wet tail seems to be pretty common in my experience, due to misinformation to the owner. Wet tail is linked to high levels of stress, and being handled for longer than usually 5-10 minutes can be detrimental. Not washing your hands can potentially open your pet to viruses, as well as a tank or cage with no lid. If this is not a sudden change in behavior, it could be that the habitat and/or diet is unsuitable. Ensure your hamster has a wheel that is not too small, that the water is reachable, the tank or cage is wide enough for the hamster to run around in, and that there is a structure the hamster can nest inside. It is highly recommended to provide your hamster things like tubes/tube mazes to run around in.

      If you return to the directory, you will find a section about wet tail, symptoms, and how it can be treated. If wet tail is suspected then you should act as swiftly as you can to find treatment, as diarrhea (a symptom) can quickly dehydrate and kill the hamster if left untreated.

      Ashley- I hope you and your hamster are well.

  6. My hamster is very calm and barely moves he just sits on my hand where as before he would walk and not stop , i bough him mealworms , he ate them and he was fine today as i said he just sits and doesnt want to run on his wheel could this be obesity or another illness

    • He could be obese or he could also be ill or maybe both , definitely google it answers maybe if it’s that bad you can take him to the vet , just consider giving it less food and maybe handle it less because I could be very ill x

  7. This doesn’t really help you or tell you what to do if your hamster is overweight. My Campbell dwarf should weigh 1-2 oz and she weighs 2.2 oz. I don’t know if I should be worried or not care because it is only 2.2 oz

  8. My hamster is willing to exercise but he’s still fat and he weighs 9oz Im guessing he’s naturally fat ๐Ÿน๐Ÿน๐Ÿน๐Ÿน๐Ÿน๐Ÿน๐Ÿน๐Ÿน๐Ÿน๐Ÿน

  9. I have a panda hamster I always kept his bowl full of food then I noticed his weight he is now obease won’t excersize just lays there in his filth I put him in a ball he won’t run or walk I have him on a diet table spoon a food every other day any suggestions?

    • NEVER put your hamster in a ball as they use their whiskers to navigate and if they are put is a ball they can not do this so try making a hamster safe place where you can keep an eye on him even a cardboard box. If your hamster can reach the other side of his wheel or if it bends his back then it is to small and is causing him pain also I no test you said “lies in a pile of his filth” try cleaning it up and changing it once a week or even tear up some clean unsented tissue for a diy bedding as this will make him more lively and also if it is a built in wheel it will be because of an odour more then likely so try getting something like a zoo zone cage, diy and if you want to make it begged you can always connect a cage onto a diy

    • You can put your hamster in a ball if you want , make sure you only put It in there for only 20minutes as the hamster could become very tired and maybe investigate and see which vegetables he likes and start giving him them , also you could put him and the floor and see what he does , just make sure your with him so he doesn’t escape , hamsters generally like exploring so he will definitely move around

    • Try making a maze with healthy treats and make sure to give him a little bit of carrots 1day and little tiny bit of lettuce and or clovers also try wiki how

  10. My dwarf hamster is acting strange by going in circles and she gets afraid and every time I touch her she try’s to bite me and she never dose that and has got really skinny and lazy.

    • behavior like circling can be a sign of mental illness or just not a big enough cage. It sounds like she is stressed and that is probably why she bites you. Does she eat and drink water? If not, you might want to call the vet now to find out what the issue might be.

  11. My dwarf hamster is acting strange by going in circles and she gets afraid and every time I touch her she try’s to bite me and she never dose that and has got really skinny and lazy.

    • Your hamster could start becoming old , definitely play with her less and give her some space , and maybe even give her a bigger caw advice she will probably want to spend time with her self other than with you , she could also start becoming mentally but ill , causes for this are , not sleeping well , cage is too small , strain from other hamsters , or other animals , or maybe your house it too loud for the hamsters liking

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