Why Is My Hamster Hunched Over? [Updated Guide]

It’s understandable to feel worried if you notice your hamster is in a hunched-over position. As a caring, responsible hamster owner you will feel compelled to understand why your hamster is displaying this behavior.

The main reason that hamsters hunch over is because they are experiencing some kind of physical pain. There are other reasons but physical pain is more often than not the cause of this behavior. Its very common for hamster owners to want to handle their hamsters and younger, less experienced owners tend to drop them, sometimes from significant heights causing physical trauma.

If you believe that your hamster is in pain due to some physical discomfort it might be worth taking your hamster to a vet or even consider talking to a vet online if that’s not practical.

Why Is My Hamster Hunched Over

Other Reasons Why Your Hamster Is Hunched Over

Anxiety or Fear

Hamsters have a tendency to hunch over when they feel scared or anxious. This happens especially if you have moved them to a new, unfamiliar environment. If you notice your hamster hunching over all the time then try make them feel more comfortable by providing a place where they can hide and feel safe.

Poor Nutrition

When a hamster has a diet which is low in protein and essential nutrients this can cause a hamster to take a fatigued hunched over posture in an effort to preserve energy. Its up to you as a responsible hamster owner to ensure that your hamster is getting the best possible nutrition. Try to research and buy foods which are high in quality and provide all the nutrients and vitamins your hamster needs.

See also  Signs of Old Age in Ferrets [A Complete Guide]

Hunger or thirst

Similar to a lack of nutrients, hunger and thirst also impact the way a hamster behaves including strange behaviors like hunching over. Hunching is thought to be a way of conserving energy so if your hamster is thirsty or hungry its possible they will act like this. That said its very rare of hamsters to behave in this way and its not commonly observed. You should always check that your hamster has enough food and water available at all times.

Environmental Stress

Hamsters are times will hunch over due to feeling stressed out. Sometimes a change in environment can cause this stress. Hamsters are prey animals by nature and if they feel unsafe or exposed to danger this will create a constant state of stress which in term will manifest into physical issues. Always make sure that your hamster has a place to hide and feel safe.


Time waits for no one and that includes hamsters too. Hamsters if they are lucky enough to reach old age lose significant muscle mass and bone desity as they age. Theres not much you can do to prevent this, all you can try to do is ensure that your hamster has a comfortable life by providing it will everything is needs.

Illness or Injury:

Illness or injury is the most common reason for hamsters to hunch. Their body is in pain because it has been impacted some how and to move naturally causes intense pain.

Its sometimes hard to identify injuries on hamsters because they tend to conceal the signs of injury pretty well.

See also  Do Rabbits Like Rain? : Fun Facts About Rabbit Behavior in the Rain

How Do You Tell if Your Hamster Has a Broken Back?

Diagnosing a broken back is an extremely hard thing to do without the aids of medical equipment. If you hamster is hunched over, walking in a strange way, or simply not moving at all, its could be a sign of a broken back. If you believe that your hamster has a broken back its important that you take them to see the vet as soon as possible.

Why Is My Hamster Hunched Over

A vet will be able to confirm if your hamster has a broken back via x-ray.

Why Is My Hamster Walking With a Hunched Back?

Like previously discussed there can be many reasons why a hamster walks with a hunched back. These reasons include: physical pain, fear and anxiety, malnoushiment and aging.

Can Hamsters Break Their Backs?

Yes, hamsters can break their backs. Hamsters are the same as any other animal in this regard. If anything they body is relively weak and they are prone to injuries.


If your hamster is behaving in a strange way where they seem to hunch their back all the time, check the list of reasons above and try determine the most likely cause. Once you have determined what is causing your hamsters hunched back you can move onto the next step of trying to treat it.

As always speak to a trained veterinarian if you are unsure and need help.