Is It Normal for My Hamster to Breathe too Fast? Let’s Discover

Hamsters are known to be experts when it comes to hiding an illness or health problem.

They do this to protect themselves from a possible attack from predators who could take advantage of their current weaknesses and attack them.

I noticed that the Decamoy hamster sometimes breathes too fast, and I immediately worried that something was wrong with him.

So I did some research to find out if a hamster breathing too fast is a bad sign of health problems.

Is it normal for my hamster to breathe too fast?

No, hamsters breathing too fast is not normal, and it means they have a health problem. The most common reason for the rapid breathing of hamsters is a problem with the respiratory system, which is associated with the occurrence of stress and diseases in hamsters.

In today’s article, you will find out what it means when hamsters breathe too fast, what health problems they may have and similar questions related to the topic.

Is it normal for my hamster to breathe too fast?

No, when hamsters breathe too fast, it means they have problems with their health and respiratory organs.

Just a small change in the temperature in the room where the hamster is or a little draft is enough for your pet to get respiratory problems and rapid breathing.

Certain types of bedding such as cedar and pine can cause hamsters to have respiratory problems and rapid breathing.

Respiratory problems are the most common cause of hamsters breathing too fast, so you must do everything you can to reduce these problems.

Stress can affect the immune system in hamsters, which, by weakening it, makes it easier for the hamster to get respiratory problems and too fast breathing.

What causes hamsters to breathe too fast?

Since hamsters are very gentle animals, a slight weakening of immunity or other health problems can very quickly make the hamster’s respiratory system sick and start breathing too fast.

The problem with respiratory diseases is that they can be transferable and spread from one hamster to another.

If you buy a hamster from a pet store where other hamsters have had respiratory problems and have been sick, then your pet will likely have respiratory problems too.

Hamsters get very fast breathing or respiratory problems for the following reasons:

  • when there is a container in their cage that keeps leaking
  • when the hamster is wet for a long time
  • if the hamster is in a cold or dark room for a long time

Obviously, the humidity and cold temperature can quickly make a hamster sick and start breathing too fast.

Hamsters can also breathe too fast when they have respiratory tumors. If the hamster has a tumor right on the chest then it will have a problem with normal breathing.

Sometimes hamsters can breathe too fast when they are fat. Obesity affects hamsters and makes it difficult for them to breathe, so it is important that they always have enough activities and maintain good conditions and optimal weight.

What are the signs of respiratory problems in my hamster?

When hamsters have respiratory problems it can be noticed by the following symptoms and signs:

  • shortness of breath
  • sneezing
  • runny nose
  • lethargy
  • loss of appetite

When hamsters have a respiratory infection, they have less energy and it can easily happen that the hamster collapses due to not having enough energy and strength.

If the respiratory problem is not treated in time, it further leads to the occurrence of pneumonia. Pneumonia is already a condition that can threaten the hamster’s life and cause fatal consequences.

If you notice that the hamster is breathing too fast, and there is no special activity, then you should immediately take it to a veterinarian to examine it and prescribe the appropriate therapy.

How do I know what is normal breathing for my hamster?

Normal hamster breathing is considered between 34 and 114 beats per minute.

But when the hamster breathes too fast, you can’t wait for its breathing to normalize, you should immediately take your pet to the vet.

When hamsters breathe too fast you can see their chest expand and contract very quickly. Crackling sounds can even be heard when your pet breathes.Is it normal for my hamster to breathe too fast

Do hamsters breathe at the same rate even when they sleep?

When hamsters sleep they breathe a little harder and a little slower.

This is completely normal breathing when your pet is sleeping, of course, the sleeping position itself can play a role in the way and intensity of his breathing.

Other things that affect their breathing when they sleep include:

  • the humidity of the air in the room
  • the temperature
  • the health of hamsters

If you notice that your hamster breathes fast when it sleeps, then this is a sign that something may be wrong with it and you should take it to the vet.

Your vet may task you with counting the number of times your hamster breathes in one minute in your home every day so that it is easier to know if everything is okay with your pet.

It is best that the hamster always breathes at the same interval because if there is a deviation often, it can be a sign of problems with the health and respiratory system.

If you notice that the hamster’s breathing is constantly increasing and does not return to normal, then take it to the vet.

Why does it sound when my hamster is struggling to breathe?

When your hamster has breathing problems and cannot breathe it can be seen in the following symptoms:

  • coughing
  • wheezing
  • sneezing
  • runny nose or eyes
  • difficulty breathing

All these symptoms indicate a respiratory infection, and it is necessary to take the hamster to a veterinarian immediately.

Such problems must not be ignored because the hamster will struggle to breathe and will not be able to breathe properly.

Why is my hamster not moving and breathing heavily?

When the hamster does not move and breathes hard, then it is probably in the form of hibernation.

When hamsters hibernate, they reduce their breathing and heart rate to just a few beats per minute.

To know if the hamster is hibernating or dead, you need to put it in front of a mirror, and if you notice a foggy mirror, then it is breathing and is not dead.

Read more: Can Hamsters Breathe Under Bedding? All You Need To Know


When hamsters breathe too fast, it is not normal breathing and means that they have a health problem. The most common and main reason for rapid breathing in hamsters is problems with the respiratory system.

Normal hamster breathing is somewhere between 34 and 114 beats per minute.

When hamsters breathe too fast they don’t want to eat, become lethargic, and constantly have breathing problems.

Hamsters are very delicate and easily fall ill and get respiratory infections, so we need to pay close attention to their environment, especially the temperature and humidity in their room.

Read more: Should We Wake Up The Hamster When It Hibernates?