Skip to content
Home » Blog » Can My Hamster Play Dead?

Can My Hamster Play Dead?

  • by

Is It True That Hamsters Can Play Dead?

Can My Hamster Play Dead

Hey there, hamster enthusiasts! Are you curious about your adorable little furry friends and their amazing survival skills? Well, today, we’re diving into a fascinating topic: “Can My Hamster Play Dead?” Let’s uncover the secrets of this cool behavior and learn how to take care of our hamster buddies like pros!

Why Would Hamsters Play Dead?

So, why do these tiny fluffballs play dead? Imagine being a hamster in the wild, with predators lurking around. Yikes! When they feel scared or threatened, they’ve got a smart trick up their paws. It’s called “thanatosis,” but we can just call it “playing dead.” When faced with danger, they’ll pretend to be snoozing away forever. Sneaky, right?

Now, why would they do this? Well, it’s all part of a master plan. By pretending to be lifeless, hamsters trick their predators into thinking they’re not worth the effort of becoming a snack. Crafty move, hamsters! Plus, if the predator loses its grip or gets distracted, the hamster can make a daring escape. Talk about a great getaway plan!

But here’s a twist: not all predators are fooled by the act. Some just don’t care if the hamster’s faking it, while others actually prefer a ready-made meal. So, while playing dead is pretty cool, it’s not a guarantee for safety.

It’s Not Just About Avoiding Predators

Guess what? Playing dead isn’t just about avoiding predators. Hamsters might pull off this stunt when they’re feeling anxious or stressed out, too. Just like us, they can get nervous in new places or when they need more attention. Or maybe they’re trying to catch our attention – clever little attention seekers!

But how long can they keep up the act? Well, that varies from hamster to hamster. Some might play dead for just a few seconds, while others go full Oscar-worthy performance for minutes or even hours! And here’s a fun fact: some hamsters are so brave they won’t play dead at all. Instead, they’ll dash to their secret hiding spots in their cozy cages. Safe and sound!

How Can You Tell If Your Hamster Is Playing Dead

Now, let’s find out how to tell if your hamster’s playing possum or if something more serious is going on. First, check those cute little eyes. If your hamster’s playing dead, they’ll shut their eyes tight. But if they’re actually sleeping forever (let’s hope not!), their eyes will be open or half-open.

Next, feel their tiny body temperature. If they’re playing dead, they’ll still feel warm and cozy. But if they’re no longer with us, their little body will be cold.

You can also check for a heartbeat. Use your super detective skills by using a stethoscope or your ears to listen for any signs of life. A hamster playing dead will have a slow and faint heartbeat, while a hamster that’s truly passed on will have no heartbeat at all.

And last but not least, try to get a response from your furry friend. If they’re just playing pretend, they’ll react to your gentle touch, your voice, or even the smell of a tasty treat why not try them with some tasty snacks like banana or blackberries. See if you can get a response from them. If not, it’s time to take them to the vets.

Don’t Panic!

Okay, okay, don’t worry! If you find your hamster playing dead, don’t panic. Take a deep breath and give them some space. Try to figure out what’s stressing them out and remove any scary stuff from their environment. Let’s make their homes the coziest and safest places ever!

But if your little buddy is unwell or injured, it’s time to be a responsible pet owner and take them to a vet right away! Vets are like magic doctors for animals, and they’ll know how to help your hamster feel better. Follow their advice carefully and give your tiny pal all the love and care they need.

Can My Hamster Play Dead
A Hamster Playing Dead – He’s fine!


To sum it all up, hamsters are incredible creatures that can play dead when they feel threatened or anxious. But it’s not always a perfect escape plan, and sometimes they might need some extra TLC. So, let’s be awesome hamster caretakers, keep an eye on our tiny pals, and give them all the love they deserve!

Please be aware that allthough rare hamsters can pass on disease so ensure that your hamster is well looked after and kept healthy!

Remember, these little cuties depend on us for their happiness and well-being, so let’s be the best hamster heroes ever!


Here at Can My Hamster we help people learn all about their fury little friends. What foods they can eat, what things they can do and how to look after them. Please note though, we are not trained Vets we have just looked after Hamsters for many years. So if your hamster is showing any health concerns ensure you get them to a vet as soon as you can.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *