What Do Hamsters Use Their Tails For? All You Need To Know

Last updated on January 22nd, 2023 at 06:55 pm

Hamsters and their bodies are very interesting, especially their tail, which is not much visible.

Or if you look at Syrian hamsters with long hair, you will have a difficult time even noticing their tail, but they still have a tail.

What do hamsters use their tails for?

All hamsters have a tail that has its own purpose to help them in a certain situation.

The tail helps hamsters to be more stable when they are on bumpy ground, it also protects their back especially when they fall from a height. Female hamsters raise their tails as a sign that they are ready to mate.

In today’s article, you will find out what is the purpose of the tail in hamsters, why their tails are very small, whether they can live without a tail, and other questions related to this topic.

Why do hamsters have tails?

Hamsters have a tail to help them have better back protection, communication with other hamsters, and better balance when climbing.

When we first see hamsters, their tail is not as noticeable as in other animals, but it still helps them quite enough in life situations.

Let’s read in detail about the benefit of their tail.

For communication and mating

Hamsters cannot speak, but they use parts of their bodies such as their tails for better communication with other hamsters.

An example of their communication through the tail is female hamsters who when ready to mate raise their tails to signal the male hamsters.

When female hamsters are ready to mate they raise their tails up and straight. This is a sign that male hamsters can approach her and start mating.

For clean up dirt

A hamster’s tail is small, but it can help hamsters clean up dirt and earth, especially for those who live in the wild.

In nature, hamsters usually live underground and through tunnels, so their tails will be useful for cleaning the ground.

Protection of the back of the body

The main purpose of hamster tails is to help protect their hindquarters. When hamsters climb to a higher place, they can easily fall and injure themselves.

That’s why the tail plays an important role here because it absorbs the shock of the hamster when they fall.

However, this does not mean that hamsters can freely fall from any height. Hamster tails can absorb shock up to a certain height, but not from every height.


A height of about 25 cm is considered safe, while any higher height is already dangerous and may cause injury to your pet.

The tail of hamsters also helps them when entering narrow tunnels, holes, and similar places where they go forward with their head, while the tail protects their rear.

Better balance and stability

The tail helps hamsters when climbing or navigating rough terrain.

The tail, because is small, does not offer much stability, but it can still help hamsters to some extent.

When in the wild hamsters often face predators when they have to run for their lives, then the tail can help them a lot to stay alive.

Do all hamsters have tails?

Yes, all hamsters regardless of their breed have a tail that varies in size. For example, dwarf hamsters have more prominent tails that are proportional to their bodies.

Chinese hamsters have long tail that resembles the tail of a mouse or rat. Although Syrian hamsters are the largest breed, their tails are the least visible, usually half an inch in size.

In Syrian hamsters, in order to see the tail, you will have to remove a little of their fur, otherwise, you may not see it.what do hamsters use their tails for

Why are hamsters’ tails small?

Hamsters have small tails because they are part of their spine, so they can’t be seen much.

For example, in Syrian hamsters out of their 44 vertebrae, 14 are located in their tail, which makes it very little visible.

Another reason why their tail is small could be evolution itself because they don’t climb much, they dig more holes, and don’t need a big tail.

The small tail in hamsters also brings them certain benefits when they are in the wild because predators will not be able to easily spot them.

The more visible their tail, the easier prey hamsters will be for their predators, so it is better that they have a small tail.

hamster breed hamster tail size
Syrian hamsters half inch
Russian hamsters quarter inch
Winter white hamsters quarter inch
Roborovski hamsters an eighth of an inch
Chinese Hamsters one Inch

Can hamsters live without a tail?

Yes, hamsters can live without a tail, but it will not be the same, because it has its own purpose.

No matter how small it is and it seems that it does not have any function, the tail improves the life of the hamsters.

If it is necessary to amputate the tail or if their tail is broken, the hamsters will certainly have some problems, especially in their movement.

Does the hamster’s tail keep growing?

A hamster’s tail grows along with its body.

They grow until the hamsters reach maturity and then it stops growing.

Hamsters, unlike other animals that can move a part of their tail, this is not possible with them, they only have one tail and in case of injury, we must take hamsters to the vet.

A wet tail is dangerous for hamsters

The tail of hamsters should be healthy so that it can perform its function and purpose.

Hamsters sometimes have diarrhea or a wet tail caused by a bacterial infection.

At the same time, the tail of the hamsters becomes wet and it is very dangerous for their health and their life.

Almost half of the hamsters with a wet tail can recover without proper treatment, while many hamsters can die within two days from a wet tail.

The first moment when you notice a wet tail in a hamster, you should not wait, you should immediately take the hamster to a veterinarian to examine it and determine the appropriate therapy.

Read more: Why Is My Hamster Awake During The Day? (Let’s Discover)

Does a hamster’s tail indicate its health?

Yes, the tail of the hamster can show the health condition of your pet.

When the hamster’s tail is clean and dry, it means that the hamster is in good health.

When his tail smells bad, looks bad, or is wet it is not a good sign and means problems and possible diseases in your furry pet.

Read more: Can Hamsters Wear Diapers? All You Need To Know


Hamster tails are small but very important for their health and life. They help them with communication, better movement, and rescue from predators.

The tail in hamsters makes it easier for the hamster to fall from a certain height and softens the impact.

In any case, the tails of hamsters have their own purpose, although they are small, they are still important for our furry friends.