Why Does My Hamster Jump In His Cage?

Have you noticed your hamster jumping around in his cage? Perhaps you are wondering if this is normal behavior. Maybe you're wondering if they are trying to communicate something to you. They could be. Jumping is a behavior that brings up concerns or, at the very least, some questions for our owners. Every pet parent wants to keep their fur baby out of harm's way and ensure they live a safe and happy life. We have compiled our research to explain your hamster's habit of jumping and more to help you keep your hammie safe and cheerful.

Jumping in the cage is not necessarily a behavior to worry about. Active hamsters are known to have a jump around their home for the simple reason of wanting to. These active hamsters may jump on their way to do something, expelling a bit more energy. 

If you have a hamster that is typically more on the lazy side, jumping can be an attention-seeking behavior or an attempt to communicate that they are bored and trying to escape.

Jumping and climbing can be useful movements for your hamster's exercise and stimulation needs. After all, these are movements they would do in the wild. Read on as we discuss in more detail why your hamster is jumping and how to make them stop doing it in an unsafe way. 

An orange colored hamster trying to leap out his small metal cage, Why Does My Hamster Jump In His Cage?

Why Is My Hamster Jumping In Its Cage?

Being educated and familiar with hamster behavior is a great tool. Your observations will be the first step in knowing your hamster's individual wants, needs and knowing when something is off.  Jumping in their cage is a behavior that can mean nothing and bring about no concerns, or this can be your hamster's way of communicating with you. Knowing your hamster's personality can help you decide what this behavior means for them. Let's go into more detail on the reasons your hammie may be jumping around their home. 

A white hamster standing up and looking at his pink plastic wheel

You Have An Active Hamster

Have you caught your hamster randomly jumping in their cage? Maybe they did a front flip motion on their way to the food bowl or woke up with a bit of pep in their step. Like the Roborovski Dwarf hamster, small breed hamsters are known to have more energy than the larger Syrian hamster.  It is common for these small, energetic breeds to jump in their homes, and there isn't a solid reason behind it other than they want to. 

Attention Seeking

Wanting your attention is normal behavior for a hamster, especially if they feel bonded to you. If your hamster jumps and follows it by staring at you with erect ears, they are curious about what you are doing and probably want to be a part of it.

A gray hamster sitting on a white background 

Excessive jumping with teeth chattering or signs of aggression can indicate that your hammie wants your attention because something is wrong. If your hamster is attention-seeking due to stress, they may be showing other behaviors or symptoms as well. Monitor your pet for lack of appetite, changes in energy and observe if any new toys, foods, or other objects have recently entered their cage. 

A cute hamster standing up on a white background

Learn more on our blog post, My Hamster Always Wants Attention - Is This Okay?

Boredom or Attempted Escape

When a hamster is bored or doesn't get enough stimulation, they could respond by jumping around their cage. If there aren't enough toys, treats, food, or other items in your hammie's cage to keep them engaged, jumping can be part of them attempting to escape their home. 

A white hamster standing up and looking at his pink plastic wheel 

If your pet begins jumping seemingly out of nowhere and this isn't a common behavior for them, something must have changed. Take a look around their home to ensure there isn't something stressing your hamster. If all looks normal, consider adding some new toys or treats to your hammie's environment. 

Read more on our blog post, Can Hamsters Jump and Climb?

Do Hamsters Like To Jump Off Things?

The short answer: yes, hamsters enjoy exploring and are curious creatures. Therefore, they do enjoy jumping off things. 

The long answer: It is hard to say if a hamster likes to jump off things because he may not understand what they are doing.  Hamsters will jump out of your hands while handling, jump from cage bars and off platforms in their homes. We have to keep in mind that hamsters have poor depth perception. This brings up the question of if they understand what they are doing. 

How Do I Stop My Hamster From Jumping?

Are you worried your hamster will hurt themselves from jumping? You want them to stop jumping if this is the case. To get your hamster to stop jumping, ensure they have enough stimulation in their home. You can keep a rotating stock of toys, have proper tubes, ball time, and an exercise wheel in their home. These are just a few suggestions, as hamster stimulation can come in many forms. You can play around with ideas until you find what your hamster loves most. 

A brown colored hamster on a white background

Learn more: 9 Fun Things To Do With Your Hamster

If your hamster loves to jump, it is a good idea to create a safe environment for them to do so. You can add extra layers of bedding, create overlapping levels in their home, or avoid offering tall toys. These are some simple tricks to pad their home, so if they do jump, your hamster will find a soft, safe landing. 

Why Does My Hamster Climb The Cage And Fall?

Climbing is a natural instinct for our hammies. You may catch them climbing to the top of their cage multiple times a day. They'll reach the top, jump off, and will climb right back up. This behavior is sought out for a lot of the same reasons they jump. Hamsters will climb for fun due to boredom, or they're looking for a way to escape. 

Cute hamster climbing up on the side of his cage

When your hamster makes it to the top, they often fall or jump back down to the bottom. They may do this because they don't have the muscle memory to climb in a backward motion, or they don't have the strength to climb back down. Remember your hamster's lack of depth perception? They may fall because they don't appreciate the height they are at. 

Learn more on our blog post, How To Stop My Hamster From Chewing The Bars Of The Cage?

Is It Normal For Hamsters To Climb Their Cages?

Climbing the cage can be normal behavior for a hamster as it comes from instinct. Even though this is considered normal behavior in most cases, there are times this behavior is happening from an underlying issue. A brown hamster climbing on the side of his cage

Your hamster may be climbing their cage walls for one of the following reasons:

  • Boredom
  • Needed exercise or expelling energy
  • They are curious
  • Escaping a stressor in their home
  • Attempting to get your attention

A white hamster hanging on the side of his metal cage

Observe your hamster's other behaviors to find out what is going on with them. Are they acting out of their normal routine? Are they interacting with their toys? Do they seem to be eating and drinking normally? Knowing these habits will help you get to the bottom of what your hamster is experiencing. Knowing what they need and want will help every hamster owner provide the best possible life for their pet. 

Read more on our blog post, Is My Hamster Bored? (And What To Do About It)

Final Thoughts

A hamster who jumps in their cage isn't uncommon. This behavior could mean nothing at all, or it could mean your hamster is telling you they are bored and need more. Observing and noting your hamster's other habits and routines will help you determine what your hammie ultimately needs.

Keep an eye out for stressors in their home, abrupt changes in behavior, and the general mood of your pet. Stimulation is a key factor to keeping any hammie happy and healthy, with active hamsters needing a little more. We hope this article provided some insight into the hamster psyche. 

Looking to add to your knowledge of hamster behavior? Have a look at our blog post, Why Do Hamsters Fight  (And How To Keep Yours From Doing That).

Alyson Maticic
Alyson Maticic
Articles: 25

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