Hamsters are very active animals that like to constantly run, play and expend their energy.
Hamsters are crepuscular, meaning they are active between dawn and dusk, and at night while we sleep they cover several miles on their exercise wheel.
But sometimes hamsters become less active and lazy, which immediately makes us think that something is wrong with our pets.
Why is my hamster so lazy?
Hamsters are lazy when they are under stress when they get old when they are cold, but also when they have nutritional deficiencies.
Sometimes when hamsters are injured they cannot be active, or when they are sick they want to rest and cannot run and play as we are used to seeing them.
Watching hamsters being inactive and just sitting in the corner of the cage can make us misjudge why the hamster looks lazy, so we must pay attention to all the signs that our little friends show us.
Is my hamster lazy?
No, hamsters are not lazy, they constantly run and are very active, that’s why every night they spend several miles running.
When hamsters are in the wild they carry food in their tunnels all the time, they dig tunnels all the time and you can’t say they are lazy.
Even if they don’t want to be active, hamsters have to be active because when they are in the wild they are usually the prey of other predators. If hamsters are lazy they will easily be easy prey for their predators.
Hamsters that we keep at home are not in danger of predators, but they have the same natural instinct as their brothers in nature and therefore they are active and moving all the time.
When hamsters are in their cages, in addition to running on the exercise wheel, they are always collecting food in their cheeks and then carrying and storing it in the bedding or in the tunnels of the cage.
Hamsters that are kept at home do not know that we will give them food the next day, so they store it in the bedding in the cage.
Hamsters are most active between dusk and dawn when we can see them building holes in the bedding, which allows them to feel safer from predators.
What are the reasons for hamsters are lazy?
Since it is not right when the hamster is not active, we should better know the reasons why sometimes they are lazy.
Although when they are sick it is understandable, there are other reasons that affect the activity of hamsters and cause them to be inactive, so let’s read about all the possible reasons.
Stress causes hamsters to be lazy
Stress is one of the most common behaviors in hamsters mainly because they are very timid and gentle animals.
When hamsters are under stress, they become inactive, hide in the bedding or in the tunnels of the cage and we then mistakenly think that the hamster is lazy.
That is why it is most important to look at all possible causes of stress in hamsters before concluding why he is lazy or inactive.
Stress in hamsters is usually caused by too much noise, other pets near them, change in temperature in the room near the cage, too much sunlight, and unknown people around the cage.
So make sure you minimize all these stressors so your hamster can feel comfortable and safe and be active and happy again.
A change in the environment
When hamsters change their environment they do not want to be active and constantly hide in their cage, they may only come out to eat.
They are then scared and need time to adapt to the new environment that surrounds them, even after a certain time they will start running and playing around.
This is especially true for younger hamsters and those who are not used to human interaction before being brought into your home.
After a few days they will gradually start to come out of the shelter in their cage more and more and get used to the new environment, then be sure that they will not want to stop running and activities, and they will show you that they are not lazy.
When hamsters are bored they become lazy
Hamsters are very active, but if they don’t have enough fun in their cage, they become lazy because they have nothing to do.
That is why it is always necessary to enrich their lives in the cage with:
- new toys
- climbing stairs
- exercise wheel
- many tunnels
- scattering and hiding food
In addition to these enrichments in the cage, it is sometimes necessary to change the arrangement in the cage so that the hamster will have more interest to explore and not get bored.
In winter, hamsters are a bit lazy
When the weather gets colder, in the winter months hamsters reduce their activity level and become a bit lazy.
When it’s colder, they enter a state called torpor, and then they go into a deep sleep, breathing much more slowly and saving energy to keep them warmer.
If the hamster is in torpor and you want to wake it up you need to warm the room to a temperature of 65-75 F, slowly start touching them and it will wake up.
If you do not want the hamster to be in torpor, it is best to maintain a constant temperature all the time so that the hamster can be active and not show signs of laziness.
When a hamster is sick or injured it is lazy
When hamsters are sick or injured they become lazy and hide so we can’t see them. They hide because they fear an attack by predators who want to take advantage of their current weakness.
Hamsters are injured when they run on the exercise wheel or when they fall from a great distance and can suffer a fracture that will make them unable to be active.
Hamsters are very gentle and can very easily get sick from various diseases such as:
- wet tail
- Cushing’s disease
All these diseases influence hamsters to hide and give us the wrong impression of their inactivity or laziness.
When the hamsters recover from their injuries and illnesses, they will run and jump again like before.
Older hamsters are lazier
As hamsters age they become lazy and this is a completely natural process experienced by all hamsters regardless of their breed.
Hamsters live for about 3 years and therefore their aging process begins very quickly.
When you notice that after two years of their life, the hamster begins to sleep more and more and become lazy, there is no need to get angry with him because he is getting old and can no longer be as active as before.
Older hamsters go out to eat and drink water, maybe they will run a little on the wheel, but they will gradually stop doing that.
In such situations, we have no choice but to take care as best we can in the last days with our pets.
Poor nutrition leads to laziness in hamsters
When the hamster does not have an adequate and rich diet with many nutrients, it becomes lazy.
This happens due to a lack of certain vitamins, minerals, and proteins that they need to have enough energy to run and play all the time.
For example, proteins are an important part of their diet that allows them to be healthy and strong, the lack of them causes weakness and laziness.
Therefore, it is most important that hamsters have a varied diet that will provide them with enough energy and strength to be able to be active and run several miles every night.
Why is my hamster sleeping more than usual?
When your hamster sleeps more than usual it may be part of their natural behavior. Hamsters sleep when predators are around or when it’s very hot, and they wait to come out at dusk for food.
Why is my hamster not acting normally?
When hamsters do not behave normally, it can be a sign that they are sick or have an injury, this especially happens if they do not eat and drink enough water. When hamsters are sick, they can be aggressive toward everyone, including the owners.
What does a stressed hamster look like?
When hamsters are under stress, they behave completely opposite to what we are used to seeing, they become aggressive and nervous. They start biting the bars of the cage and are constantly looking for a way to escape from the cage.
Hamsters are not lazy by nature, they are very active and want to move and play all the time, but sometimes they can be lazy for certain reasons.
When hamsters are lazy, it is usually due to stress, change in their environment, poor nutrition, diseases, and injuries.
Hamsters are lazy and when they are bored and don’t have enough fun in their cage, that’s why we should always add new toys and enrichment with tunnels, climbing ladders, etc.
Finally, hamsters are not lazy, but for certain reasons, they can be lazy for a moment and then be active again, except when they are older than they naturally become lazier and less active.