What Time Do Hamsters Wake Up?

Nowadays, you’ll find most houses in the United States with a pet in them. At least, that’s what the American Veterinary Medical Association states. However, the statistics aren’t that great when it comes to owning hamsters. It is mainly because of their odd routine.

Most pet owners also find it hard to maintain the environment according to a hamster’s needs. Indeed, they are pretty challenging to live with. So, what time do hamsters wake up? Keep reading to find out.

Their Routine Can Vary

Even though most hamsters are crepuscular, different breeds act differently. Most hamsters sleep during the day and stay active at night, particularly during dusk and dawn.

This is because most hamsters emerge from the wild. That is where they’re always at risk of coming across predators. Hence, they’ve become accustomed to hiding in bright light and coming out only when the sun goes down.

For decades, this is how they have chosen to survive. As a result, their bodies have also become accustomed to the same routine. Any abrupt changes in it can pose a significant risk to their health.

What Time Do Different Types of Hamsters Wake Up?

The hamster community isn’t always in alignment among themselves. Hence, the answer to the question “What time do hamsters wake up?” heavily relies on the type of hamster we’re talking about. Let’s dig deeper into the types and routines of different kinds of hamsters.


If you own this type of hamster, you’re in luck. Not only are they rare, but they are also known to nap during daylight hours. How great is that? However, finding the time to be with them isn’t always easy.

You may have to struggle a bit to fit into this little guy’s routine. The deal is simple. It’s a diurnal hamster’s world, and you’re just a side character in it.


A common misconception about nocturnal animals is that you’ll never really get to see them if you adopt them. While it is partially true, nocturnal hamsters are not asleep the whole time.

In fact, it is very common for them to wake up due to hunger and thirst throughout the day. However, if you’re still concerned about their routine, know that it isn’t entirely black and white.

You will get a fair chance to spend some good time with your cuddly little baby during the day. Nocturnal animals in the wild are very different from nocturnal animals as pets.


Fortunately or unfortunately, these hammies are exactly like the wild ones. They nap for a considerable chunk of the day and night and are only active at dawn and dusk.

However, even with this one, you’ll have enough opportunities to watch it be playful. The critical thing to note here is that hamsters don’t sleep for a long duration in one go. They have a habit of waking up often during their slumber to fill their cheeks with food.

Read: Can I Put My Hamster Cage on the Floor? [10 Reasons]

Can You Wake a Hamster Up Mid-Sleep?

No! Do not try to wake a hamster up while it’s sleeping. It’s important to note that even when we assume it to be asleep, a hamster isn’t fully relaxed.

No matter what breed they are, Hamsters always feel threatened by predators. Whether they’re inside a house or even in a cage, they keep waking up to ensure they’re safe.

Furthermore, they release a lot of pent-up energy during playtime. The gist of the argument is that your furry baby needs its sleep for more reasons than you’ve been able to comprehend.

It is never wise to wake this super sensitive animal up while it’s asleep. It’s up to you to ignore the advice, but if you pick it up suddenly, don’t complain about the ear-splitting screech and the bite that comes along.

It’s a terrible idea to get a hamster startled to the point of making it scream its lungs out. On the other hand, it isn’t entirely forbidden for you to wake a hamster up. Sometimes, there are valid reasons for you to do so.

If it is something that requires a visit to the vet, wake it up by all means. However, even then, be gentle. Start by sitting quietly next to the cage and blowing on the hamster instead of touching it directly.

If nothing works, use a weakness against them. Hamsters can’t resist food. As soon as they smell a treat, they come running towards it. Make sure to hold it close enough so they can smell it properly.

Let Your Hamster Sleep

That beauty sleep is as crucial for your furry friend as it is for you. Get to know the little guy and become familiar with their sleep schedule.

It is one of the best ways to form a bond with it. For a hamster, leading a healthy life is all about finding the right balance between sleeping, staying awake, munching on food, and running on wheels.

If you disrupt any part of it, it will have unwanted consequences. All these factors play a huge role in helping a hammie live its short life.

Eliminate Every Source of Noise

Let’s put it just the way it is. Your hammie hates noise. More precisely, it’s sensitive to it and gets scared easily.

Hence, if you have a huge, noisy family, you shouldn’t consider having hamsters as pets. If you can’t resist the idea, place the cage in a quiet, lonely corner where no sounds can seep in.

This means you can’t place the cage in the living room where the most activity happens.

Don’t Disturb It Too Much

Hamsters can smell danger from far away. This is why they are known to have a stronger sense of smell than sight.

It is the nose they rely on more than the eyes. This means that you can’t be trying to come near them every now and then. For one, they won’t appreciate the change in the scent of their environment.

Secondly, they’ll get startled. Scaring your hamster can have a detrimental impact on its health. It’s essential to help your furry friend feel safe at all times.

Hence, you want to leave them alone for most of the day. However, there can be days when you need to change the bedding or clean their mess. The key is to be gentle no matter what you plan to do with them.

Check out: Can I put a heating pad under my hamster’s cage?

Hamsters Hate Sunlight

While most hamsters have the tolerance to deal with a bit of sunlight, exposing them to it for prolonged periods isn’t recommended. A hammies body is accustomed to feeling at peace in the absence of the sun.

Sunlight can also discourage your little one from napping. What happens next is better left unaddressed. A hamster’s tendency to get violent isn’t unknown.

Unless you want to deal with an angry hamster, you’re better off without that experiment. This is why you want to place their cage in the darkest possible corner of the house during the day.

Make sure not to move the cage around too much. Hamsters don’t handle unnecessary movement well. You also want to be wary of the cage material, but hamsters often chew on wires and choke. Wherever you choose to place the cage, ensure proper ventilation.

What Happens If You Wake a Hamster Up Abruptly?

Let’s get it straight once and for all. Waking a hamster up abruptly is a bad idea. However, it doesn’t end there. Your furry buddy gets scared relatively quickly. This means that sudden scares can significantly impact their heart health.

A hamster’s organs aren’t as refined and robust as you would like them to be. The heart can suffer a massive blow if stressed for too long. Sometimes, a sudden heart attack is all it takes to kill a hamster out of the blue.

A terrified hamster is also pretty quick to defend itself by biting or scratching you or screaming its lungs out. This is why it’s imperative that you learn the little guy’s body language a little and create a healthy environment for it to thrive.

Final Words

So, the answer to the question “What time do hamsters wake up?” is pretty straightforward. They wake up when you sleep and sleep when you wake up. While the schedules can be a little hard to manage, your nocturnal pet will get accustomed to the environment and gel in reasonably quickly over time.

However, ensuring that your little guy sleeps well is extremely important. It ensures that it leads a healthy life, even though it lasts only 2-3 years. Avoid waking it up abruptly, and make sure not to force your lifestyle upon it.

Hamsters are susceptible to changes around them. In fact, too many of them can also cause it to die suddenly. Hence, maintaining a proper quality of lighting, food, temperature, and even cleanliness is crucial for its well-being. Unless you want your hamster in the grip of unnecessary stress and diseases, avoid disturbing its sleep.

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