Why Is My Hamster Breathing Fast?

If you’ve just noticed that your hamster is breathing fast, don’t panic! In most cases, it’s nothing to worry about. However, there are a few things you need to know about their rapid breathing to ensure your furry little ball is safe, healthy, and happy. 

why is my hamster breathing so fast

There are various reasons why hamsters breathe so fast, but respiratory disease is the most common cause. If your hamster is sneezing and has watery eyes and some mucus coming from its nose, it might have a cold.

Stress and anxiety can also be caused by rapid breathing, so it’s essential to ensure that your hamster is in a calm and relaxed environment. If you think that your hamster is stressed, try to provide them with more hiding places and toys to keep them occupied.

In this article, we will be discussing the various reasons why your hamster may be breathing fast and what you can do to help them. So, if you’re worried about your little one’s rapid breathing, keep reading!

Symptoms of Rapid Breathing in Hamsters

Ever wonder what the symptoms of rapid breathing are in hamsters? If your hamster is having difficulty breathing, it may exhibit the following symptoms:

  •  Your hamster’s chest is moving up and down more rapidly than expected.
  • You see your hamster’s sides moving in and out as they breathe.
  • Your hamster is taking more breaths than normal.
  • Your hamster is making a lot of noise when they breathe, such as wheezing or gasping.
  • Your hamster is drooling or has saliva coming from its mouth.
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When you see any of these indicators, it may be a good idea to observe more closely your hamster to see if there’s a need to bring him to your veterinarian.

What Are the Causes of Rapid Breathing in Hamsters?

There are many potential causes of fast breathing in hamsters. Here are some of the most common reasons:

Your Hamster Is Overheated and Extremely Thirsty

Sometimes, your hamster may feel too hot and thirsty. A common sign of overheating in hamsters is also rapid breathing. 

reasons why your hamster is breathing heavily

If your hamster is breathing quickly because it’s overheated, the temperature is too high for your hamster to handle. Give your hamster enough water supply to drink to keep their bodies cool and to prevent dehydration.

You can also help cool it down by spraying it with water or giving it a cold bath and transferring it to a cooler place.

Your Hamster May Have a Heart Disease

A hamster with heart disease will have difficulty breathing because its heart isn’t pumping blood as efficiently as it should. If you think your hamster has heart disease, immediately take him to the vet.

Other symptoms to watch out for include weight loss, lethargy, and exercise intolerance.

Your Hamster Is in Pain and Sick

Hamsters who are in pain or sick will also have difficulty breathing. Like other animals, their heart rate increases when they’re in pain, and they start to breathe faster.

Moreover, if your hamster is sick, it will likely have an infection or other medical condition that makes it difficult to breathe.

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Your Hamster Has Eaten Something Poisonous

Poisonous substances can also cause your hamster to have difficulty breathing. Some common signs that your hamster has eaten something toxic include vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive drooling. You need to make sure that your hamster’s environment is safe and free from harmful substances.

Something May Be Blocking Your Hamster’s Airway

If something is blocking your hamster’s airway, it will start breathing quickly to get more oxygen. Some everyday things that can block a hamster’s airway include food, bedding, and toys. 

Check for any blockages and remove them immediately. If you can’t find anything, it’s time to take your hamster to the vet.

Your Hamster Is Excited or Scared

Believe it or not, your hamster’s emotions can also affect their breathing. If your hamster is excited or scared, their heart rate will increase, and they’ll start to breathe more rapidly.

Try to keep your hamster calm and relaxed by providing them with hiding places and toys. You should also avoid handling them too much as this can be stressful for them.

Your Hamster Is Pregnant

If your hamster is pregnant, it will start breathing quickly to provide enough oxygen for its babies. Common signs that a hamster is pregnant include a swollen belly and enlarged nipples. 

Your Hamster’s Cage Is Too Small

A small cage can be one of the reasons why your hamster is breathing quickly. A cramped space can make it difficult for your hamster to move around and breathe properly.

Make sure that your hamster has enough space to move around freely. You may want to consider upgrading to a giant cage if necessary.

why is my hamster breathing so fast

As you can see, there are many potential causes of rapid breathing in hamsters. If you’re not sure what’s causing your hamster’s fast breathing, it’s best to take him to the vet for a check-up. 

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Moreover, suppose your hamster is displaying any of the symptoms listed above. In that case, it is crucial to seek veterinary help as soon as possible so you can take the necessary steps to help them breathe easier.  


With all this said, we hope you now understand why your hamster is breathing quickly and what you can do to help. By knowing the most common reasons hamsters breathe quickly, you can better help your hamster breathe more easily. If your hamster is exhibiting any other symptoms or breathing rapidly for no apparent reason, take it to a veterinarian as soon as possible. 

They will be able to give you a more accurate diagnosis and help you take the necessary steps to improve your hamster’s breathing. 

We hope this article was helpful and informative. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us in the comments below. We would be happy to help!