Why Is My Hamster Losing Weight? (Solutions And Advices)

Last updated on January 22nd, 2023 at 07:07 pm

It’s nice to see the hamsters when they eat and play cheerfully and happily, which makes the day fun for us owners as well.

But sometimes hamsters make us think; for example when they lose weight, we wonder why our pet is losing weight, is sick, is it not like food or if something else is the reason.

Why do hamsters lose weight?

Hamsters lose weight due to various reasons such as stress, overgrown teeth, food stuck in cheek pouches, diseases and other reasons. Losing weight is not good for the health of hamsters and therefore it is very important to know the causes of this phenomenon and to help our furry friends.

In today’s article, we will find out all the possible reasons for our hamster’s weight loss and how to help it.

Why is my hamster losing weight?

It is very important to find out why your hamster is losing weight, whether it is a disease, because the more it loses weight, the more it will start to lose strength and get sick, and eventually it can die.

That’s why we’re going to share some reasons and tips why hamsters are losing weight and how best to help them yourself, or you’ll have to take them to the vet.

Cheek pouch problems

It can quickly happen that hamsters get bits of food stuck in their cheek pouches, and the hamsters lose weight trying to eat and expel the food.

When hamsters get food stuck in their cheeks, they get infections and abscesses.

When hamsters have full pouches in their cheeks, it can be noticed by the following signs:

  • they have too much saliva
  • they lose weight
  • the bags in the cheeks look full
  • swelling of the neck and head

In this situation, you should help the hamster to remove the food from the pouches by gently massaging the cheeks, put water in them with a syringe, or take the hamster to a veterinarian.

Lack of food

Lack of food is the reason why hamsters become weak. They need to eat often or more precisely every 2 hours because their metabolism works very fast, they process the food and need to eat again, that’s why hamsters poop often.

Hamsters eat about 10-15 grams of food pellets, seeds, vegetables and fruits per day to keep them healthy.

Although you give him the right food, if it is in a small amount it is not right, so you should consult a veterinarian to tell you which food and how much is needed on a daily basis.

The veterinarian will help you choose food, whether to mix it with vegetables and fruits and similar information about nutrition.

Because you should not give him too much and that is bad, it can make your pet sick, you should always give them the right amount of food, that is the best and healthiest for hamsters.


Hamsters lose weight and if they have diabetes, you must be careful if the food they eat is too rich in sugar; you may need to change their diet.

Diabetes is a dangerous disease that can cause other diseases besides weight loss, and can have fatal consequences and the death of the hamster.

Symptoms of diabetes are the following:

  • weight loss
  • drinking a lot of water
  • wetness around the genitals
  • vision impairment
  • urinary tract infections
  • frequent urination

All these symptoms are a sign that the hamster may have diabetes, if you notice them you should take your pet to the vet, who will suggest appropriate nutrition and therapy.

Poor food choices

Hamsters need to eat food rich in nutrients, vitamins and minerals to be healthy and at a normal weight.

If the hamster eats poor-quality food with insufficient nutrients, it will start to lose weight and get sick.

That’s why there should always be a variety of food starting from hay, pellets, seeds, vegetables and fruits in the right amounts to have a good balance of quantity and quality in the diet.

Hamsters need 16% protein daily in their diet, so it is important what they eat.

It is not good if hamsters eat only one type of food, which cannot provide them with all the nutrients they need, so variety in the diet is the most important

why is my hamster losing weight

Age is a cause of weight loss in hamsters

As hamsters get older, they will move less and less, eat less and normally start to lose weight.

Since this is a natural process, the only thing you can do is feed them nutrient-rich foods to prevent nutrient deficiencies.

Although you won’t be able to help them completely, with proper nutrition you will be able to slow down this natural process in your pets.

Lack of vitamins are the reason for the weight loss of hamsters

Vitamins are one of the most important in the nutrition of hamsters, any deficiency can be bad for their health and weight loss.

It’s not all about the amount of food you give them, it should also have enough vitamins for the hamsters.

Vitamin B is one of the most important when it comes to weight loss in hamsters, of course other vitamins are also important.

A lack of vitamin B causes our pets to become weak, and therefore you must ensure that your pet always receives the required amount of this vitamin.

Too much running and exercise

Hamsters enjoy their daily running and playing, it is good for their health, fitness and muscles.

For example, when they are in the wild they can run several miles daily, which takes a lot of energy.

When they are in the cage, they are constantly running in the wheel, which is good but can also cause weight loss.

If you notice that the hamsters are losing too much weight, you should limit their exercise on the wheel; although it will not be pleasant for them, but sometimes it has to be done to keep them healthy and not lose weight.

Wet tail

Wet tail is one of the most dangerous diseases in hamsters, characterized by diarrhea.

Hamsters with a wet tail lose weight and have many health problems.

This phenomenon mostly affects younger Syrian hamsters and older hamsters.

A wet tail appears for the following reasons:

  • unsanitary conditions
  • stress
  • diseases
  • poor diet
  • inflammation of the GI tract

A wet tail causes death in 90% of hamsters, so it is necessary to react promptly and take the hamster to a veterinarian.

Hamsters lose weight if they have dental problems

Hamsters’ teeth are important for proper chewing of food; if hamsters have a problem with their teeth, they will not eat properly and will lose weight.

Any pain in their teeth, overgrown teeth or if the teeth have grown too much can lead to problems and the hamsters refuse to eat, so they will start to lose weight.

Eating foods high in sugar can cause their teeth to decay and food aversions.

That’s why we have to take care of their teeth, give them solid food and toys and accessories so that they wear down their teeth and don’t grow too big.


Hibernation in hamsters occurs during the winter period, during which they stop eating, which causes them to lose weight.

If the hamster loses a lot of weight during hibernation, you should take it to the vet to check it and tell you what to do to reduce its weight loss.

why is my hamster losing weight


Constipation causes weight loss in hamsters.

This unpleasant phenomenon occurs in hamsters due to problems with bedding, intestinal parasites or intussusception, or rather a problem with the folding of the intestines in our pets.

If the hamster refuses to eat, constipation may be one of the reasons and you must take your pet to the doctor.

Worms are the reason for the weakening of hamsters

Sometimes hamsters, although they eat enough and have an excellent appetite, still lose weight, which can be caused by the appearance of worms.

Worms are dangerous for the health of hamsters because they absorb the food’s nutrients, causing them to lose weight.

The easiest sign to notice that hamsters have worms is if they start to chew their droppings.

This condition is dangerous for the hamster’s health and the hamster must be taken to a veterinarian immediately.


Mites are dangerous for the health of hamsters and cause them to lose weight.

When hamsters have mites, it can be noticed by the following symptoms:

  • lethargy
  • weight loss
  • loss of fur
  • scratching

Mites can make hamsters sick and if not treated in time can lead to the death of our furry friends.

A veterinary examination is necessary if you notice any of these symptoms.

Inflammation of the kidneys

If hamsters have kidney problems, they will lose weight and become emaciated.

Nephritis is the name for kidney inflammation, which occurs most often in older female hamsters.

When hamsters have this disease they drink too much water and urinate more than usual.

Inflammation of the kidneys occurs due to:

  • immune problems
  • high blood pressure in the kidneys
  • viral infection

To overcome this problem, timely use of antibiotics, vitamins and fluids is necessary.


Stress is as harmful to snorers as it is to humans, it can cause weight loss in our pets.

Hamsters are very timid by nature and are easily frightened and stressed.

The most common causes of stress in hamsters are the following:

  • fear of predators
  • loud noise
  • other pets around their cage
  • changes in temperature
  • change in the environment in which they live

Hamsters need a lot of attention and care so that they are not under stress.

So all these reasons we have listed should be considered and help them so that they are not under stress, so that they will lose less weight.

why is my hamster losing weight

What to do so that hamsters do not lose weight?

For hamsters not to lose weight, several solutions will help them not lose weight and be strong and healthy again at an average weight.

A proper and healthy diet

Nutrition is one of the most critical factors in hamster weight and health.

Hamsters need a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibers and other healthy ingredients.

Vegetables, fruits, and hay and pellets are suitable for their health.

Weight check

We should measure the hamsters every few days to know if everything is okay with them.

If you notice weight loss for a long period, then the hamsters have a problem that needs to be promptly solved and helped.

Take him to the vet so he can see what the problem is with the hamster and suggest a suitable solution or advice.

The cage should be according to the needs of the hamster

Hamsters need enough space in the cage to dig in the bedding, run on the wheel and play.

Their cage should be placed where there will be ventilation and fresh air, or open a window from time to time to allow new air flow.

Removing worms from the hamster

When hamsters have worms it is a huge problem that causes them to lose weight.

If you notice that the hamsters are losing weight for several days in a row and start eating their own feces, take them to the vet to help them.

When the hamsters expel the worms from their body, they will quickly and easily regain their weight and be healthy and strong.

How much is the average weight for hamsters?

According to the weight of the hamsters, you will know if there are health problems, and therefore you should weigh them at least once a week.

When you touch the hamsters, if you touch the bones of the back, shoulders and ribs, and you feel bones instead of meat, then the hamster is underweight.

The weight of hamsters depends on their diet, genetics and food quality.

These are the average weights of hamsters:

Syrian 120 -200 grams
Roborovski                              20 – 25 grams
Chinese                                    30 – 45 grams
Campbells                                30 – 45 grams
Winter whites  30 – 45 grams

Female hamsters are larger than males, and pedigree hamsters are larger than those we buy in hamster shops.

why is my hamster losing weight

Do hamsters lose weight before they die?

Yes, hamsters lose weight in the last days of their lives before they die.

They then have no appetite and lose weight rapidly, but nothing can be done here; it is an entirely normal process in all hamsters.

The only thing that can be done is to give them some decent dessert in the last few days.

Or, if the hamster has many problems you can decide on euthanasia to reduce the discomfort before it dies.

How much weight do hamsters usually lose each day?

If the hamsters lose 10 – 30 grams during the days it is completely normal and you should not worry.

Whereas if hamsters lose more than 60 grams of weight in a few days, then it is a sign of problems with our pet’s health.

Research shows that hamsters that lose more weight over several days have a higher mortality rate.

Therefore, if your pet loses more than 60 grams, you should take it to the vet.

Read more: Can Hamsters Die From Fear? (Stress, Wet Tail & More)

Do hamsters lose weight in winter or summer?

The seasons do not affect the weight of hamsters. Regardless of whether it is hot or cold, hamsters should have an average weight.

Sometimes hamsters look fatter in the winter, but it’s not because of their weight; it’s because of their fur.

In the summer, hamsters are just as hot as humans, but this should not be the reason for weight loss.

Read more: Can Hamsters Explode? (Find Out Now)


Weight loss in hamsters is a serious problem that can cause diseases and sometimes fatal consequences.

Hamsters lose weight from diseases, poor and improper nutrition, stress, dental problems and other factors.

The sooner you discover the reason for his weight loss, the easier and faster you can help your pet regain his average weight.

For any such and similar problems, you should consult a veterinarian who will help you solve the problems with their weight loss.

Read more: Why Do Hamsters Die So Easily? (How To Decrease)