Why Is My Hamster Hunched Over? Let’s Find Out

Hamsters can sometimes be seen to be hunched over, which can be a cause for concern. So I did some research on the causes of this phenomenon in hamsters and this is what I discovered.

Why is my hamster hunched over?

Hamsters are hunched over when they have problems with their teeth, when they have back pain, but also when they have respiratory infections.

When your hamster is hunched over for a long time, you should take it to a veterinarian to examine it and see what the cause is and help it.

In today’s article, you will learn the reasons why hamsters are hunched over, as well as similar questions related to their backs.

Why is my hamster hunched over?

A hamster can sometimes be hunched over more than other hamsters and this may be part of its posture, but a constant hunched posture is not okay.

The reasons for hunching in hamsters are as follows:

  • disease
  • an injury
  • wet tail
  • old age
  • fear
  • anxiety

All these reasons can affect the hamster being hunched over, so we will look at them all in more detail.


When hamsters are hunched over it may be due to illness or health problems. If the hamster is not eating enough or there is not enough food in its plate it will start to walk hunched over.

Problems with the digestive system or respiratory infections can also be the reason for the hamster to be hunched over for a long time.

When hamsters have problems with their abdomen it can be another reason for them to be hunched over.

An injury

Hamsters can be hunched over if they have an injury or fracture, especially in the spine.

In case of such injuries, hamsters will have other symptoms, such as:

  • limping
  • pain to the touch on the back
  • problems with urination
  • problems moving the hind legs

Such unwanted injuries usually occur if your pet falls from a great height or hits objects.

Whenever you notice that your hamster is hunched over and additionally has some of the above-mentioned signs of injury, you should immediately take it to the vet.why is my hamster hunched over

Wet tail

When hamsters have a wet tail, they walk with a hunchback and an unpleasant smell is felt.

Wet tail is one of the most dangerous diseases or health problems of hamsters because it can lead to death if not noticed in time.

A wet tail is manifested by diarrhea, but also by the following symptoms:

  • weight loss
  • no appetite to eat
  • lethargy
  • movement problems
  • hunchback
  • unpleasant smell

When hamsters walk hunched over and have wet tails, they need to be immediately taken to a veterinarian who will prescribe antibiotics, as well as proper nutrition.

A wet tail in hamsters is most often caused by a bacterial infection or stress, because stress reduces immunity and makes them susceptible to diseases and health problems.

Old age

As hamsters age they will begin to hunch back and this is completely normal as their bodies begin to change with age.

Older hamsters often have arthritis which further causes hunchback. Arthritis causes back pain and then hamsters are forced to walk hunched over.

A solution to this situation is the prescription of drugs by a veterinarian that can temporarily relieve the hamster’s pain, but if the hamster is old, it will again walk hunched over.

Butterfly Vertebrae

Butterfly Vertebrae is a deformity of the hamster spine and is a congenital disorder that results in hamsters being hunched over.

In addition to being hunched over, hamsters also have pain.

As this condition is genetic it means that hamsters are born with this problem although it may not be immediately visible when they are born.

As hamsters get older, they will have visible hunching and pain that will make it difficult for them to move normally and climb objects, toys and similar activities.


Fear causes hamsters to instantly arch their backs and hunch over. This happens because when hamsters are scared they instinctively hunch over to look smaller and not be very noticeable.

Hamsters are afraid of different things such as other pets in your home, unknown people, but also fear of their owners if they haven’t known them long enough.

However, you should know that when the hamster is hunched over from fear, it will be short-lived, that is, until the fear passes.


Anxiety is a condition when hamsters hide from potential threats and hunch over to appear smaller, that is, not to be noticed by predators.

When hamsters are anxious they are stressed and have no choice but to hunker down until the danger passes.

Other pets in the room where the hamster is, or an unfamiliar environment are reasons enough for hamsters to curl up and be hunched over for a certain amount of time.

What else causes hunchback in hamsters?

Humpback in hamsters can also be caused by other causes such as benign cysts.

In this situation, the hamster has a hump on its back, which makes it hunched over.

Other conditions that cause hunching in hamsters include cancer, genetic diseases, and skin-related diseases and reactions.why is my hamster hunched over

How do I prevent hunching in my hamster?

To prevent hunching in hamsters, you need to take good care of them, of course if it is a genetic problem then nothing can be changed, and when they are hunched due to old age, nothing can be done.

Here are some tips to prevent hunching in hamsters:

Without stress and fear

Stress is a great enemy of hamsters, causing diseases and health problems that then result in hunchback.

The more stress-free the hamster is, the better its health will be and the less likely it will be hunched over.

For example, stress causes a wet tail, which will then cause hunchback in hamsters, so be careful and take care of your pet.

Pay attention to his environment in which he lives

You have to pay attention to the environment that surrounds the hamster, because injuries can contribute to him being hunched over.

Falling from a height, hitting hard and sharp objects can cause fractures and then the hamster has problems with the spine and appearance of hunchback.

That’s why you should be aware of what objects are in the cage of the hamsters, be careful when you let them out of the cage so that they don’t fall and get injured from heights.

Read more: Can Hamsters Recover from Wet Tail? (Treatment And Cure)

Why do hamsters sit hunched over?

If you notice that hamsters sit hunched over, it does not necessarily mean that they have a problem, it is a completely normal behavior of your pet.

When hamsters sit hunched over it sometimes helps them to rest and feel comfortable in that position.

When the hamsters sit hunched over, and when they stand up and walk they are in a normal position, then there is no need to worry.

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

Why are hamsters hunched over and shaking?

If the hamster is hunched over and shaking, then that is not right, it means that there are neurological problems.

But this condition can also be related to stress, so if you notice shaking and hunching over, it is best to take the hamster to the vet immediately.

When the hamsters are shaking and walking hunched over it can also mean that they are simply cold and you will need to increase the temperature in the room which should be from 65 – 75 F.

Read more: Why Do Hamsters Stand On Their Back Legs? Let’s Find Out

Why is my hamster hunched over and not eating?

When hamsters refuse to eat and are hunched over then it is because of pain.

When hamsters are in pain, they don’t want to eat, and they usually hide and retreat to the corner of the cage.

The fact that the hamster is hunched over means that there is a problem, maybe it is an injury or an illness, which is a problem for him and then he has no appetite to eat.

If you notice such a situation, you must immediately take the hamster to a veterinarian, because if the hamster does not eat, its condition and health may further deteriorate.

Read more: Why Do Hamsters Roll On Their Back? Let’s Find Out


Hamsters are hunched over for various reasons, such as diseases, injuries, genetic problems, as well as stress and fear.

If your pet is hunched over, it can also mean that he is cold, but also when there is danger near him, during which he deliberately curls up so that he is not exposed to attacks from predators.

Whenever you notice that your hamster is hunched over for a long time, you should immediately take it to the vet because it could be a dangerous disease that causes hunching in hamsters.

Only in older hamsters, hunchback is a completely normal occurrence due to age, and then nothing can be done to change this condition.

Read more: Can A Hamster Break Its Back? Let’s Find Out