Hamster Huddled In Corner – What To Do?

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Is your hamster huddled in the corner of its cage? You may be wondering what is causing your hamster to hide there. Maybe you are concerned that something is wrong with your small furry friend.  An abrupt change in behavior or routine usually points to an underlying cause. However, we wanted to get to the bottom of this behavior too, so we researched and created this easy-to-read guide on the topic. 

When you find your hamster huddled in the corner of its cage, you should try to find out why. Hamsters can be huddled in the corner because they’re feeling scared or uncomfortable. This is a favorite hiding spot, they do not like something in their enclosure, or they are ill.

Determining what can be causing the behavior will help you decide what the next steps should be. Dealing with a huddled hamster in the corner can mean giving them space and time, checking for symptoms of disease, or accepting this as part of their behavior. 

Every hamster has a unique personality. Getting to know your hamster’s usual habits can help you notice when something is off. Keep reading as we discuss the details behind why your hamster is huddling in the corner and what to do about it. 

A cute little hamster lying on the wooden shavings, Hamster Huddled In Corner - What To Do?

Why Is My Hamster Huddling In A Corner?

When something changes with your hamster or their routine, questioning why is the best thing to do. A lot can change with these little creatures in a short time. Early detection of behavior change is key to helping your hamster live a high-quality life. 

A cute little hamster hiding on the side of the cage

 

A hamster huddled in the corner may be experiencing something you can fix, like a fear-based response or something in their environment causing them stress. On the other hand, your pet may be huddled here due to a disease or illness.

If your hamster is sick, you need to consider getting some help from your Veterinarian. But, first, let’s take a closer look at the reasons your hamster is hiding and what next steps are appropriate in each case.

Fear 

A scared hamster will often hide. Small things can scare hamsters, like a loud noise or sudden movement. New hammies tend to be suspicious of their environment at first and will resort to hiding until they are more comfortable. Being huddled in the corner with their ears laid back with narrowed eyes is a good indication they are experiencing fear. 

A small brown hamster finding a way out of his box

With fearful hamsters, you want to give them time to come out of the corner independently. However, forcing them to move or attempting to pick them up may add to their fear. To combat this,  you should practice trust-building exercises with your hamster. 

Read more on our blog post, How To Get A Hamster To Like You.

Their environment

When hamsters do not like something in their environment, they will try to get away from it. For example, some hamsters will huddle in the corner if other parts of their enclosure are dirty or an item they do not like, like a new toy.

A cute brown Syrian hamster huddled on the side of his cage

To rule out this possible reason, your hamster is huddled in the corner, ensure their home is clean and no new items are in their home.  Keep fresh water and schedule feeding at the same time every day to provide your furry friend with some routine. Meeting your hamster’s basic needs at all times is what makes them comfortable and trusting in their environment. 

Read more on our blog post, 8 Awesome Hamster Cage Cleaning Tips.

Illness

A hamster who is huddled in the corner may be sick. A huddled position can sometimes indicate pain in your pet. If you are concerned your hammie is ill, try to assess other symptoms. Are they eating or drinking? Does their fur look ruffled or wet? Other signs that your hamster may sick include the following:

  • Inactivity or loss of energy
  • Diarrhea
  • Wheezing, sneezing
  • Discharge from the eyes or nose
  • Hair loss

If there is reason to believe your hamster is sick, the next step would be to schedule a health check with your Veterinarian. A hamster’s health can change quickly. Early intervention can mean the difference between life and death. 

A cute little hamster smelling a stethoscope on a light blue background

Read more on our blog post, 7 Hamster Health Issues Every Owner Needs To Know About. 

Preferred hiding spot

In instances where your hamster is otherwise acting normal, and nothing has changed in the environment, there may be nothing to worry about. Some hammies take a liking to the corner of their cages. They will use these corners to dig, burrow or use the bathroom. Being huddled in the corner of their cage may make your hamster feel safe and comfortable. 

A cute little hamster huddled on the side his cage

Read more on our blog post, Why Does My Hamster Hide?

Why Is My Hamster Sleeping In The Corner Of His Cage?

Hamsters have a natural instinct to build a nest. These nests are safe zones for your hammie. If you find your hamster sleeping in the corner, they probably treat this area like their nest. You may find food or treats buried here or other material from around their home. 

A hamster hiding in his little hole made out of saw dust

It is normal for a hamster to sleep in the corner. These areas of their enclosures typically provide warmth, comfort, and security for your hammie. 

Can Hamsters Become Depressed?

Hamsters can become depressed. When you have a depressed hamster, you will see signs like lack of appetite, lethargy, and sulking. Ohio State University completed a study in 2005 that revealed hamsters suffer from depression and anxiety due to seasonal depression, similar to humans.

One way they observed depression in hamsters included the amount of sugar water a hamster drank over multiple days. Sugar water is a treat for a hamster, but those who are depressed will consume much less when offered or none at all. 

An old white hamster huddled on the side of his cage

Along with season depression, hamsters can experience these feelings due to needs not being met or an issue with their food. If you notice your hamster is experiencing depression, it is necessary to make adjustments. A happy hamster leads to a higher quality of life. 

Read more on our blog post, 25 Ways To Make Your Hamster Happy.

How Do You Know If Your Hamster Is Dying?

Spending time with your hamster daily and knowing their normal habits will help you detect when something is wrong. Early signs that your hamster is dying include a complete lack of appetite and an extreme decrease in energy. Other signs that your hamster may be dying include:

  • Labored or choppy breathing 
  • Noisy breathing
  • Diminishing pulse
  • Rapid weight loss

If you notice these symptoms, you need to get your pet to their veterinarian immediately. You will want to keep your hamster warm and comfortable while in transit. Getting treatment for your hammie immediately when you notice these symptoms is crucial. 

A low body temperature can be a sign that your hamster is dying, but it can also be a symptom of a hamster in a state of hibernation. For this reason, it is important to look for these other symptoms as well. 

The video below explains the signs of a dying hamster in more detail:

Read more on our blog post, Why Do Hamsters Die (And How To Help Them Live Longer!).

In Summary 

If your hamster is huddled in the corner, you should take the first action to figure out why. The reason why will help you determine if there is a need to worry and what to do next. In some cases, a huddled hamster in the corner is doing this for comfort. In the other extreme, this behavior can be suspicious of illness.

If you are ever concerned regarding your hamster’s health, consult your veterinarian or bring them in for a health check.  We hope you found the answers you were looking for within this article and a little more. 

Looking to dissect more on hamster behavior? Have a look at our article, Hamster’s Coat Looks Ruffled – What To Do?

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