Do Hamsters Bury Themselves Before They Die?

It’s a question that has plagued hamster owners since the beginning of time: do hamsters bury themselves before they die? Some people swear by it, while others are convinced it’s nothing more than an old wives’ tale. But what does the science say? Surprisingly, there isn’t much research on the subject.

However, we know that hamsters tend to dig holes and may use them to bury themselves before they die. So if you’re worried about your hamster’s well-being, keep an eye out for any signs of digging behavior, and be prepared to comfort your furry friend in its time of need.

Things to Consider

Hamsters are known to bury themselves for several reasons. Some hamsters do it to create a cozy nest in winter, while others may do it to escape the light or noise. Additionally, some hamsters may bury themselves to cope with stress or illness.


One of the first things to consider is whether or not your hamster is exhibiting any signs of illness. If your hamster is sick, they may bury itself in an attempt to hide its symptoms from you. If you notice that your hamster is not acting like their usual self, has lost interest in food or water, or seems to be in pain, it is essential to take them to the vet as soon as possible.


Another thing to consider is the time of year. If it is wintertime, your hamster may bury itself in an attempt to stay warm. This is especially true if they are living in an outdoor enclosure. If you notice that your hamster has been spending more time in their nest box or burrowing more than usual, it may be due to the cold weather.


Another reason your hamster might be burying itself is to escape the light or noise. If your hamster’s cage is in a busy area of your home, it may be trying to find a quiet place to relax. Additionally, if your hamster’s cage is in a bright room, it may be trying to avoid the light.

Hamster’s Nature

Finally, consider your hamster’s personality. Some hamsters are naturally shy, while others are very active and outgoing. If your hamster is usually nervous, it may bury itself out of fear or anxiety.

On the other hand, if your hamster is generally very active and outgoing, it may bury itself simply because they are bored and are looking for something to do.

If you are concerned that your hamster may bury it before dying, the best thing to do is to take them to the vet as soon as possible. Your vet will be able to determine if your hamster is sick and, if so, what is causing its illness.

Additionally, your vet can advise on how to care for your hamster and ensure they are comfortable during their final days.

How to Keep Your Hamster Away from Burying Itself?

If you’re worried about your hamster burying itself, you can do a few things to help keep it safe. Let’s discuss in detail:

  1. First, ensure your hamster’s cage is escape-proof. If there are any gaps or holes in the cage, your hamster may be able to squeeze through and get lost. Inspect the cage regularly to ensure that it is secure.
  2. Next, provide your hamster with plenty of hiding places and tunnels. This will give it a place to go if it feels scared or threatened. Hamsters like to burrow, so providing them with soft bedding material (such as shredded paper) will also help keep them happy and safe.
  3. Finally, handle your hamster regularly to become used to human interaction. This will help reduce its stress levels and make it less likely to want to bury itself.

If you follow these tips, you should be able to keep your hamster safe and happy.

Check out, Why Is My Hamster Eating His Bedding?

Common Symptoms that Your Hamster is Dying

It’s never easy to lose a pet, and it’s even harder when you’re not sure what happened. If your hamster shows any of the following symptoms, they are likely to be close to death.

Lack of Appetite

One of the most common symptoms of a hamster approaching death is a drastic loss of appetite. This is because the hamster’s body is slowly shutting down and can no longer process food properly. Lack of appetite is often a sign that the hamster is in pain and is not expected to live much longer.

If your hamster has stopped eating, he will likely also have lost a significant amount of weight. He may appear thin and frail, and his fur may be dull and unkempt.

Weight Loss

Weight loss is a common symptom of many health problems in hamsters. It can be caused by a simple lack of appetite to more severe issues like cancer or organ failure. Weight loss in hamsters is often the first sign that something is wrong.

If your hamster is losing weight, even if they are still eating and drinking, it’s essential to take them to the vet for a check-up so that any underlying health problems can be diagnosed and treated. Weight loss can be caused by many health problems, some of which may be serious.


Lethargy is defined as a state of low energy and activity. In hamsters, this can manifest as sleeping more than usual, not being interested in play or exercise, and having a general weakness.

Lethargy can be caused by many different things, including infection, dehydration, stress, and nutritional deficiencies. It can also be a symptom of more severe illnesses, like cancer or kidney disease.

If your hamster is displaying signs of lethargy, it is something you should be worried about. Many treatable conditions can cause lethargy, but some fatal diseases are not reversible, resulting in losing your lovely hammy.

Respiratory Distress

If your hamster is having difficulty breathing, it is a sign that they are in respiratory distress. There are several reasons for this, including pneumonia or a heart condition.

If your hamster has difficulty breathing, you need to take immediate action. There is no cure for respiratory distress, but the vet may be able to provide some relief for your hamster.

If your hamster shows any of these symptoms, it is best to take them to the vet to check. While there is no guarantee that your hamster will survive, it is always best to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Often, there is not much that can be done to save a hamster who is not eating, but the vet may be able to provide some pain relief to make your hamster more comfortable.

What to Do When a Hamster Died?

There’s no easy answer regarding what to do with your hamster’s body after it has passed away. However, you can do a few things to ensure that your hamster is treated with respect and dignity in death.

Bury in Backyard

One option is to bury your hamster in a particular spot in your backyard. This can be an excellent way to create a lasting memorial for your pet.

You’ll need to dig a big hole into fitting your hamster’s body comfortably, and you’ll want to line the bottom of the hole with some soft fabric or tissue paper. Once your hamster is buried, you can cover the grave with a small marker or stone.

Cremate Your Hamster

Another option is to cremate your hamster. You can do this by taking the body to a pet cremation facility or doing it yourself at home. If you choose to cremate your hamster at home, you’ll need to build a small fire in a metal container.

Once the fire is hot, place your hamster’s body on the flames and let it burn until nothing is left but ashes. You can then scatter the ashes in a special place for your hamster, such as their favorite spot in the yard.

Dispose of The Body

Finally, you can dispose of your hamster’s body in the trash. This is probably the easiest option, but it’s not the most respectful. If you trash your hamster, wrap the body in a heavy-duty garbage bag and tie it closed so no one has to see it.

No matter what you decide to do with your hamster’s body, make sure you take time to grieve their loss. They were a particular part of your life and deserved to be honored in death just as they were in life.

Wrapping Up

As it turns out, the answer to this question is a bit more complicated than a simple yes or no. While some hamsters will bury themselves before they die, others may curl up in a ball and remain still.

Some experts believe that the behavior of burying oneself is an instinctual act meant to protect the body from scavengers, while others suggest that it could be a sign of distress.

No matter what the reason for burial may be, it’s clear that this behavior indicates something important going on inside the mind of a hamster in its final moments!

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