Hamsters are small and delicate animals that can fall easily. That’s why it’s essential to be careful when holding a hamster. When holding your hamster, ensure you have a firm grip and are not standing at a height. The closer you are to the ground, the better.
Wondering how far can a hamster fall without getting hurt? Hamsters can fall from a height of approximately ten inches before they get injured. However, this is also dependent on the surface your hamster lands, the impact of the fall, and your hamster’s health. But hamsters are usually tiny, so they are good at surviving terminal velocity.
This means they have a higher chance of surviving when they fall than many other mammals. Even though hamsters look fragile, they are pretty sturdy. There is a high chance your hamster will remain unharmed after a fall.
However, the hamster can hurt itself if it falls from quite a height. Never leave your hamster unattended after a fall. After the hamster has landed, pick it up and place it safely in its cage.
Observe the little creature for at least a day after the fall. If there are telltale signs of pain, take it to the veterinary doctor immediately.
Distance of the Fall
Hamsters implement the fight or flight theory, thus tending to jump when they feel threatened. Therefore It’s not uncommon for hamsters to fall. As hamsters can get preyed upon easily, they are likely to run and jump to escape danger.
Also, as they have strong survival instincts, they don’t consider how high the jump is or where they’ll land. Their only objective is to get away from danger.
The distance of the fall determines whether the hamster gets hurt or not. If your hamster falls a few inches, it will probably land safely. If it falls from several feet, it can get injured. The surface it lands on also determines the level of hurt. The fall can break if it lands on a carpeted or soft surface.
Dwarf hamsters also tend to jump in their cages, too, sometimes. By jumping, they try to propel themselves forward. That’s why keeping your hamster in a deep cage where it can’t jump out is ideal. It would be suitable if the cage also had a lid.
What To Do if Your Hamster Falls?
If you are holding your hamster and it falls, resist picking it up straight away. After your hamster lands, it is possible to go into shock. Therefore it will freeze in place before trying to run away.
Observe your hamster’s behavior for a few minutes. This will give you an idea of whether the hamster is hurt.
If your hamster starts moving around quickly and begins scurrying off, chances are it’s not severely hurt. Now you can pick your hamster up. Gently hold it close to you then return it to its cage where it feels secure.
Keep a close eye on your hamster for the next 24 hours if it shows pain or injury.
If your hamster has fallen from a high place, there will be some telltale symptoms you should look out for. These symptoms may include a display of aggression, loud squeaking, limping or dragging a foot along as they walk, difficulty breathing, lethargy, and inactivity.
If you notice any of these symptoms, see the veterinary doctor immediately. Don’t waste time trying DIY remedies by yourself. Please explain how your hamster fell and how long ago it fell. The vet will do a thorough examination and determine the problem.
Also, after the fall, avoid touching or holding your hamster. Holding the hamster when it’s hurt will likely worsen the issue. It can also cause pain. If you must move the hamster, try wearing gloves and pick it up. If it bites, you won’t get startled and drop it again.
If your hamster is hurt and you are waiting for a veterinary appointment, keep the hamster as comfortable as possible. Provide it with water and food and maintain its bedding as ample and cozy.
Keep the room where the hamster is placed devoid of children and quiet. This is because your hamster’s stress levels will be high due to discomfort and fear of being preyed upon.
Hamsters love exploring and are natural risk-takers. Therefore it’s not uncommon for hamster owners to drop their hamsters as they hold them. Chances are your hamster might escape your grip and leap forward suddenly.
Also, if someone is not that confident holding a hamster, it can quickly run and jump. However, as a hamster owner, it’s your job to keep your hamster safe.
Take the following precautionary steps to ensure your hamster remains safe and injury free.
Stay Close to the Ground
When handling your hamster, stay as close to the ground as possible. This is because even if the hamster escapes your grip and falls, it can land unharmed on its feet. If you are at a height and your hamster falls, it can get seriously injured.
Hamsters can squirm and be jittery when you carry them. If they get too excited, they can also nip you. That’s why it’s vital to hold them firmly, but don’t hold them too tightly.
Sitting on a bed or the floor is always best when holding hamsters. This way, even if they escape your grip and jump, they won’t get injured.
Keep Children Under Supervision
Always keep your children under supervision when interacting with the hamster. Make sure the child sits on the bed or floor when they pick it up. Teach the child to be gentle and confident when holding the little pet.
Keep the Hamster Safe
If you have other pets in the house, make sure they don’t harm the hamster. For example, it’s best to keep the cat and hamster in two different rooms if you have a cat. Ensure the cat doesn’t scare the hamster by lurking around the cage.
Also, when you take the hamster out of its cage, close the door and double-check the cat is not in the room. Hamsters are sensitive creatures with tiny hearts. Even the presence of a predator around their cage is enough to stress out and frighten the hamster.
Double Check for Cage Injuries
At times, hamsters can also get injured in their cages due to a mishap. If your hamster cage has a drop-down door, make sure it closes gently. A cage that slams down can hurt an inquisitive hamster. Fix the cage by installing a rod or spring that prevents it from shutting down too hard.
Also, ensure the hamster wheel is safe for your hamster. As hamsters tend to run on their wheels a lot, if the wheel design is not safe, they can injure their feet. Never place a wire wheel in your hamster cage.
Wire wheels injure a hamster’s legs and feet by causing sprains. Always choose to keep a solid exercise wheel in your hamster cage so there are fewer chances of injuries.
Using Hamster Balls
When hamsters are enclosed in a cage all day and night, they can get bored. Taking them out of the cage for a few hours daily is essential. However, let them loose in an enclosed or limited space when you do so.
This will prevent them from getting lost or hurting themselves. Also, as stated earlier, if you have other pets, keep the room door closed.
Using a hamster ball is an excellent way to let your hamster exercise. A hamster ball is a plastic ball where you can place your hamster. The ball closes, and your hamster can roam freely as the ball rolls.
Keep the ball inside the room and let the hamster explore the space while inside it. Make sure the ball does not go out through the door, especially if you are upstairs. This is because the ball can roll down the stairs and severely injure your hamster.
Even though hamsters are adorable creatures, they are also quick to run and fearless by nature. As a hamster owner, you should always handle your hamster with care. You should also always be confident whenever you hold your hamster and never let anyone inexperienced hold the hamster without your supervision.
When holding your hamster, always try to cup it instead of holding it around the middle. Holding your hamster down to the center can also frighten it causing it to jump off.
Also, remember, if your hamster does try to jump and fall, don’t panic. Instead, assess how your hamster reacts after the fall. Suppose it is eating, drinking, and running around; it’s not injured. If it’s being lethargic and is not moving around or is limping, visit your veterinary doctor immediately.
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My name is Everly. I am a Milwaukee-based mom of 2 and have been a proud owner of many hamsters throughout my life. Like many of us, my introduction to hamsters happened when I was very young. My family saw several hamsters come and go through the years, and I enjoyed playing with them, but I never fully appreciated them until I grew up and my own children decided to jump on the hamster bandwagon. At that point, I was determined to learn all I could about caring for these adorable pets. Read more