Why Is My Hamster Lying Flat? All Reasons

Last updated on October 22nd, 2023 at 03:55 pm

Hamsters play and constantly run, moving non-stop, but sometimes we can see them lying flat. In such moments we wonder why our furry pet lay flat. Is everything okay with my hamster?

Why do hamsters lie flat?

Hamsters lie flat when their temperature is high, i.e., when they are hot. When they lie flat, they cool their body, especially if the temperature is high.

When hamsters lie flat also means that they exercise too much, and need to cool off.

In today’s article, we will find out why hamsters lie flat, all the reasons, and what to do in such situations to help them.

Why is my hamster lying flat?

The hamster lies flat because it is very hot and tries to cool down; that is the main reason, although there are other reasons for this phenomenon, such as fear, dehydration, and more.

Hamsters run and play daily, so they warm up and need cooling.

Even in nature, they run a few miles, and in the cage, they run on the wheel as if they were out in nature.

After all, we warm up when we exercise in the gym or run outside, so the same happens with our furry pets.

Hamsters lie flat if you hug them too much

Apart from running, there are other reasons they overheat and lie flat.

If you play too much and hug your pet, it will heat up more than usual and have to lie flat again, so do not overdo the hug.

Hug them for a few minutes and then leave them in the cage, so their body does not overheat.

why is my hamster lying flat

Hamster fur causes them to heat up and lie flat

When hamsters play and run, their fur helps keep them warm. The fur protects them when the temperature is colder, so they can keep warm, but they can be hot in the summer.

So do not be surprised when you see your pet lying flat on the floor to cool down.

The best solution in such moments is to allow the room temperature to be cooler, for example, with an air conditioner or open a window to let in the fresh air.

Be careful not to expose the cage to the sun because it will heat your pet even more in summer, despite the high temperatures.

Hamsters lie flat to sleep

Hamsters can also lie flat to sleep. They simply lie flat and sleep because that’s how they like it and feel comfortable.

This does not necessarily apply to all hamsters, but if you notice that your pet is also lying flat and sleeping, you should not worry.

Hamsters, just like us humans, need a comfortable way to sleep, and it’s obvious when they lie flat.

Hamsters lie flat when scared

If your hamster is in danger of predators or is scared of something else, it is lying flat.

When lying flat, hamsters have a good chance of escaping predators, so they know how to do it expertly.

Once the danger is over, you will see your hamster get up and keep moving as if nothing had happened.

Hamsters lie flat when dehydrated

Dehydration can cause your pet to lie flat. When hamsters do not get enough water, although this is usually rare, dehydration can still occur.

When dehydrated, the hamster has dry skin and is very tired, and then you will see him lying flat again.

Dehydration can be very dangerous for their health, even for their life.

When the hamster is dehydrated, it is best to give him water in a bowl, as they may not be able to get up and go for a drink from their bottle.

Foods high in water can also help hamsters stay hydrated, such as cucumbers and watermelons, so give them a piece of this vegetable or fruit for better hydration.

If he can not eat, drip cucumber juice into his mouth to get the necessary fluid.

When the hamster is dehydrated, do not place the cage in direct sunlight, especially in the summer. If the hamster is dehydrated and you cannot help it in any way, then take it to the vet.

why is my hamster lying flat

Hamsters lie flat if under stress

Hamsters are very sensitive pets that can easily get stressed, lying flat. Stress can have many causes, but it is very important what you do in such moments.

Allow the hamster to always have good living conditions, to eat, and the environment to be pleasant and quiet, which will reduce the chances of stress.

read more: Do Hamsters Play Dead? And Why They Do It

Pain and injury cause hamsters to lie flat

Hamsters have been taught that when they are injured or have a disease that makes it difficult for them to move, they can be targeted by predators.

Predators can take advantage of their current weakness and attack them.

That is why hamsters lie flat so as not to let others know that they actually have health problems.

If you notice that your furry pets lie flat and then have difficulty moving, and do not want to eat, then you should take them to a veterinarian to check if they have an injury or illness.

read more: What To Do When A Hamster Bites You?

What does it mean when hamsters lie flat on a wheel in a cage?

Sometimes hamsters know how to lie flat and on their wheel in the cage, they do not always have to lie on the floor.

The most common reasons for this can be various, as a comfortable place to rest or just love the wheel as their favorite place.

So if you see a hamster lying in its wheel, it does not necessarily mean that there is a problem.

Although it may be a little strange for the hamster to sleep on the exercise wheel, it is still comfortable for the hamsters and we should respect them in their decision.

In addition to sleeping flat on the exercise wheel, hamsters will sometimes store food and bedding.

For us owners, when we see a situation like this, all we have to do is clean the wheel more often and watch our pet when they are sleeping.

Read more: Why Does My Hamster Sleep Under His Wheel? Let’s Discover

Why do hamsters lie flat in the corner of their cage?

When you see a hamster lying flat in the corner of its cage there could be several reasons such as:

  • fear or discomfort
  • favorite place to lie down
  • disease

If the hamsters are afraid, they choose the corner of the cage as a place to take shelter because they feel safer there, this can especially happen when you buy a hamster and he is not used to the environment.

When hamsters are sick, they may choose a corner of the cage where they will lie flat because it makes them feel better.

Of course, when the hamster recovers, it will change its place and you will no longer see it lying in the corner.

The third reason is a favorite place to lie down because hamsters simply decide that way and you should not disturb their place to lie down.

Hamsters often change the place where they will lie, this is completely normal behavior.

If your hamster has been lying flat in the corner of the cage for a long time, then you should take it to the vet to see if everything is okay with its health.

read more: Why Does Hamster Bite Bars in a Cage – Here is the Answer

Why is the hamster lying flat like a pancake on my hand?

When hamsters lie flat like a pancake on your hand, it means that they have a lot of trust in you, at the same time they feel happy and relaxed.

It is not easy for hamsters to gain so much trust that they lie flat in your hand, it means that you take excellent care of your pet.

The hamster lies flat on your hand because it does not feel threatened by you, and even less from the environment because it sees protection in you.why is my hamster lying flat

Why do hamsters lie flat in the sand?

The most common reason why a hamster lies flat in the sand is if they are very warm.

They then lie in the sand to cool off especially this happens during the summer period and higher temperatures.

If your hamster often lies flat in the sand then give him something cold to eat or regulate the temperature in the room with the air conditioner or a fan.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the signs of a dying hamster?

Unfortunately, when hamsters die, some signs indicate this. These signs are shortness of breath uneven breathing and a gradual decrease in their pulse. When the hamster is dead it no longer breathes and does not move.

Why is my hamster lying on his stomach?

When hamsters lie on their stomachs, this is not a good sign at all. This position means that the hamster has an illness, or injury may be hot, or may be malnourished. So pay attention to all these things, provide him with healthy food, a cooler room, and the like.

Why is my hamster not moving?

The most common reason why hamsters do not move is when they are scared, they then freeze until the danger passes. For example, if they hear a loud noise or if another pet like a cat or a dog approaches their cage, they will freeze in fear.


Hamsters often lie flat, and the reasons can be various, from fatigue, high temperatures, fear, dehydration, stress, diseases, as well as from too much hugging.

We must watch our furry friends whenever they are lying flat, to recognize the cause of such a reaction, so that we know exactly what to do to help him.

If the hamster is lying flat from fatigue, then nothing terrible, but if this happens due to illness, stress, injury, and similar problems, then we should help him, or take him to the vet.

In any case, when the hamster is lying flat, we should pay attention to him and his behavior.

Read more: Why Does My Hamster Sleep Out Of His House? Let’s Discover