How To Save A Choking Hamster? All Answers You need To Know

Keeping hamsters brings us a lot of fun and happy moments, but sometimes some unwanted things like choking also happen.

No matter how much we try to take care of our pets, choking can still happen to our pet.

How to help a choking hamster?

If the hamster is choking you should immediately turn it upside down and use chest compressions to dislodge the stuck object from its throat. If that doesn’t help, use a Q-tip to remove the object, or take the hamster to a vet if it’s still breathing.

In today’s article, you will find out what to do if the hamster is choking, what are the reasons for choking and how dangerous choking is for its life.

How To Save A Choking Hamster?

It is very dangerous if the hamster begins to choke when you are not at home and there is no one to help it. It is also very bad if you are at home and the hamster begins to choke and you do not know what to do to help your pet.

That’s why it’s best to know how to help your pet avoid choking. When hamsters choke they have an object stuck in their airways and they begin to suffocate.

Hamsters can also dislodge a stuck object or piece of food from their throat by themselves, but sometimes they need help.

To help a choking hamster you need to turn them upside down and then give them chest compressions, or you can use a Q-tip to remove the object stuck in its throat.

If you are unable to remove what is stuck in their throat a vet will have to do surgery to remove the object.

You must know that when a hamster chokes it is painful for him and you need to do everything you can to quickly remove the food or object from his throat.

How to help a hamster when it is choking?

If you notice that your hamster is choking, a quick reaction is necessary to save your pet’s life. First, check if it is still breathing.

If your hamster is breathing, you can wait a while to see if it expels the choking object or food on its own.

The most important thing is to pay attention to whether the hamster is breathing, if it is breathing, take it to the vet immediately, and if it is not breathing, then you will have to help your hamster yourself because you will not have time to take it to the vet.

Here’s what you can do yourself to save your pet’s life.

Flipping the hamster upside down

If you turn the hamster upside down, then this can help the hamster throw the object more easily due to gravity.

Of course, hold your pet tightly, so that it does not let go of your hand, which would be even worse.

While holding the hamster facing down, you should compress its chest, which will make it easier for the object stuck in the hamster’s throat to come out.

Remove the object with a Q-tip

As we said first try turning the hamster upside down, and if that doesn’t work the next thing is to use a Q-tip to remove the object from its throat.

To do this, you will probably need to have someone else help you because you will need to hold the hamster’s mouth open. While someone is holding the mouth open, you should use a Q-tip to try to remove the object stuck in your pet’s throat.

If you fail or you further injure the hamster’s throat or mouth then you will need to take your hamster to the vet immediately.

Removal at the vet

If you are unable to remove the object that is choking your hamster on your own, then you will need to take the hamster to a veterinarian to perform surgery to remove the stuck object.

The veterinarian will decide if an operation can be performed to remove the object, because if it is too risky, he may not perform an operation.

It all depends on where the stuck object is located and whether it can be successfully performed surgically.

Can my hamster choke on bedding?

Yes, hamsters can suffocate from bedding in their cage. Bedding is more or less taken into their mouths every day when they eat food, and sometimes hamsters can choke on it.

When hamsters put food in their pouches on their cheeks, they can also bring any piece of bedding, which, in addition to suffocation, can also cause injuries to the hamsters’ mouths or cheeks.

Soft bedding is the most dangerous, hamsters often suffocate from it, so be careful what bedding you use for your pet.

Soft bed linens are usually made with cotton, but they can also be made from other accessories such as kapok.

Soft bedding is easy to stuff in the mouth and cheeks of hamsters, but it is dangerous and can cause to save a choking hamster

Hamsters can also choke on food

Hamsters can sometimes choke on food, although this doesn’t happen that often because they grind the food very well before it goes down their throat.

However, it can happen that the wrong food or too large pieces cause your pet to choke. Hamsters can choke on food if the food itself is very difficult to chew.

Indeed, hamsters can eat a wide variety of food, starting from seeds, vegetables, fruits, and pellets, but some of these foods can be dangerous and cause choking.

Here are some foods that can cause choking:


The hamsters often like to eat seeds, but there are some types of seeds that can cause choking. Larger hamsters such as Syrian hamsters can handle larger and smaller seeds more easily, but smaller dwarf hamsters have more of a problem and may choke.

The biggest danger comes from apple and watermelon seeds, which, due to their size, can cause hamsters to suffocate.

Watermelon seeds

Watermelon seeds are one of the most problematic foods for hamsters to eat because when swallowed, they can get stuck and cause choking. Watermelon seeds can also cause a blockage in their intestines, preventing hamsters from being able to process food properly.

Apple seeds

Apple seeds are just as dangerous as watermelon seeds and can choke your pet. Apart from choking, these seeds can also cause cyanide poisoning because they contain traces of this toxic ingredient.

Although apple seeds are not dangerous to humans, they are a great danger to hamsters.

As a hamster owner, you should judge for yourself whether some seeds are too large and could choke your pet.

Hamsters can choke on celery

Celery can be very dangerous and cause suffocation in hamsters, so avoid giving it to them. Indeed, celery has excellent nutrients, but the danger to hamsters is too great.

Celery stalks have stringy fibers that are difficult for hamsters to chew and can easily get stuck in their throats, blocking their respiratory organs and causing choking.

What objects can cause a hamster to choke?

Hamsters usually choke on food or bedding, but they can also choke on objects in their environment.

The most common objects that a hamster can choke on are:

  • a coin
  • toy parts
  • pieces of wood

How do I know my hamster is choking?

When hamsters suffocate, it can be noticed only by their strange behavior. Hamsters do not speak and cannot give us any sign that they are suffocating or that they are in some danger.

So you just have to be careful if they behave differently from their normal behavior.

Symptoms when hamsters choking

When a hamster is choking, it can be recognized by certain symptoms that indicate that something is wrong with it.

Here are some of them:

  • breathing problems
  • they put their paw on their face or neck
  • they lower their head toward their chest
  • they bring their ears closer to the floor
  • they wipe the mouth of the cage bars

If you have noticed a good part of the symptoms, they show that the hamster wants to help himself when he is suffocating with some movements, but without our help, it will be more difficult for him to succeed.

Sometimes with these movements, hamsters can handle throwing out the object or food when they are choking, but still, it is even better if you also help them.

Hamsters can choke and still breathe, but not like normal breathing, it all depends on the size of the object and the blockage of the throat and airways.

Does the suffocation of hamsters happen again?

Yes, suffocation in hamsters can happen again if you do not pay attention to their diet and bedding.

Hamsters that have survived choking once may have weaker immunity in the future, which is not good if suffocation happens again.

If the first time an operation was done to save him from choking, he will hardly survive the second time with weaker immunity.

That’s why when a goop happens once, you have to be careful that it doesn’t happen again, because it may not be able to survive.

Soft and semi-solid food, and taking care of bedding are the main measures to prevent choking from happening again.

When you let him play in the room, be careful not to leave small objects that can choke the hamsters.

Can hamsters die from choking?

Yes, hamsters can die of choking if their airways are completely blocked.

In this situation, the hamsters will run out of air very quickly and will die in a short time if you do not help them quickly. If the hamsters are breathing, even if it is very little, it can be crucial for them to survive by quickly taking them to a veterinarian.

Soft bedding is very dangerous because it can get stuck and not allow airflow and the hamsters will die very quickly.

in any case, the most important thing is to immediately try to remove the object that is stuck in their throat and save the hamster.


Hamsters can very easily suffocate on food, bedding, or objects.

To help a choking hamster, you should use chest compressions after turning it face down, you can also use a Q-tip, as a last resort, vet surgery.

Hamsters can die from choking, but they can also survive if they breathe at least a little.

The most important thing is to pay attention to the food, bedding, and small objects to prevent the hamsters from choking.

Read more: 

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