Hamster Itching: Causes, Treatment and Prevention

If you spot your hamster itching like never before, it might be something to worry about. Hamsters would itch due multiple reasons. For example, if they are suffering from stress, or if they are experiencing a parasite attack chances are that they would itch unusually. Apart from the allergic reactions, mange or dry skin could be some other reasons for hamsters’ itch.

Hamsters get stressed out quite fast. Besides, they are prone to anxiety as well. Due to these, they would develop many illnesses from time to time. So, if you are a responsible hamster owner it is always best to keep monitoring them closely if they happen to scratch unusually.

If you are a hamster breeder, it is crucial that you are well aware of the difference between normal itching and unusual itching so that you can avoid any upcoming adverse outcomes. So, keep reading this article to learn about hamster itching in detail as I am going to elaborate on these factors much more deeply.

Is it normal for hamsters to itch?

Yes, it is normal for the hamsters to scratch. In fact, it is a part of their normal grooming. You could spot these hamsters scratching and licking them with the purpose of removing the dirt. They would sometimes tend to scratch their surroundings to move their bedding from one place to another place. That being said, if you spot your precious hamsters tend to itch at an alarming speed, you need to realize that it could be a sign of a problem.

Why is my hamster scratching the bottom of the cage?

If your hamsters are allergic to something in the enclosure, it would make them tempted to scratch the bottom of the cage. The allergic material could be either toxic or a chemical that they have contacted from a homemade chew or a toy.

Do hamsters scratch themselves a lot?

Hamsters in general don’t scratch themselves a lot. However, if they happen to have any dry, irritated skin chances are that they would scratch themselves a lot. Apart from this, factors such as mange, mites infestation, fleas or any other allergic reaction could also contribute to this condition.

Why is my hamster itching?

There are various reasons which would factor into the hamster’s itching.

Dirty Fur

If your hamsters are unclean, they would tend to itch a lot. So, you need to be mindful of the hygiene of the hamsters. At the same time keep checking whether your beloved hamsters are going through weight also. Usually, the small made animals would stay trim since they don’t feed on a lot. If the hamsters are aging and eating in excess it is very likely that they are gaining weight.

If the hamsters you own are overweight, it is very unlikely that they can groom properly. Ultimately they would go through frustration if there is dirt clinging to the fur. What you can ideally do is, provide them a sand bath so that it would help them to remove the dirt from their skin. It is more like a soak in the tub for the hamsters. Many people opt to go ahead with chinchilla bathing sand to do this task. You can easily obtain these from pet stores.

Dry Skin

When you pet the hamsters check whether the hamster’s skin is dry. Check whether you could spot any trail of dandruff That comes out from the hamster’s fur. If you find any dandruff it is very likely that your precious hamsters are having dry skin. A number of reasons could factor into the dry skin of the hamsters.

For example, if the hamsters are exposed to inappropriate temperatures it could result in dry skin of the hamsters. Once the hamsters have dry skin, it would avoid them from gaining the necessary moisture levels. A temperature range around 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit would be the most ideal temperature for the hamsters.

Apart from unhealthy temperatures, poor diets could be another reason why the hamsters may suffer from dry skin. You could commonly spot this among older hamsters. Keep in mind that the daily food intake of the food of the hamsters should contain at least 16 % protein. In addition to that, I suggest you feed the hamsters with fresh fruits and vegetables as well.

Check whether they are grooming themselves. If the hamsters tend to skip taking care of their needs or don’t show any interest in grooming them, it literally means something is wrong with the hamsters. The best remedy you could practice here is to treat them with extra virgin olive oil. You simply have to take a soft cotton swab and dab it in olive oil and then apply it on the dry skin of the hamsters. Keep the oil on the hamster’s skin for about four minutes and allow them to have a sand bath.


If the hamsters are suffering from any allergy, chances are that they may end up itching their skin. In addition to that, allergy-infected hamsters would tend to wheeze and find it difficult to respirate. Apart from that, they may also tend to develop wet and leaky eyes along with a runny nose. Furthermore, if you spot any swelling around the feet and paws chances are that they are suffering from allergies.

Hamsters may develop allergic reactions to anything they find in their environment. For example,i f you have recently adjusted their substrate food bowls and toys chances are that they may tend to develop allergic reactions. Besides, if they get in contact with any ambient chemicals or any other cleaning chemical, it is very likely that they will get allergies due to those.


Generally speaking, hamsters can resist parasite infestations that could arise from common fleas. That said, hamsters would happen to have mites attacks which would not create a major problem. Some of the commonly spotted mites are Demodex aurati and Demodex criceti. These mites would tend to multiply if the hamsters are going through stress or if they live in an unsanitary environment.

If the mites keep spreading, chances are that mange would also spread after that. So, if the hamsters suffer from mites infections, it is very likely that you could spot the hamsters tend to itch the skin. Besides, you could see them carrying large patches of fur as well. So, if you suspect your hamsters are suffering from a mite infestation, I urge you to consult a doctor as soon as possible. They may probably prescribe a treatment that would treat these conditions quite effectively.


If you spot the hamsters itching their scent glands, they would do that to express that they are excited. You could commonly spot this among male hamsters. The scent glands would form in different locations depending on the hamster breed. You could call them flank glands. Once a male hamster gets excited these glands would get prominent. Ultimately they would lick the glands and engorge them. At last, they would start scratching them. So, if you think the hamsters are itching due to their excitement you will need to let them run free and feed them either with cheese or cucumber.

Do hamsters scratch when stressed?

Yes, hamsters would tend to scratch when they go through stress. If the hamsters are going through stress it could also result in dry skin. Ultimately it would tempt the hamsters to itch. There could be some hamsters that really don’t love to grow in domesticated areas. So, ensure that you attend to the hamster’s requirements properly and ensure that they are safe and happy when you breed them. Boredom could be another reason why the hamsters may get stressed too. So, ensure that you try some tactics to keep them occupied and entertained all the time.

For instance, consider giving them a running wheel and climbing apparatus. Further, consider repositioning the bedding to the liking of the hamsters. Clean the cage of the hamsters and try providing them with more hiding places for them. Make sure there is sufficient substrate so that they can dig and get underground. I suggest you provide chew toys also for them so that they can chew them using their teeth.

On another note, I recommend you turn off the lights in the room where you have kept the cage. It is noteworthy that you don’t allow other pets to access the cages. That way the hamsters can remain calm and will not get stressed due to the other pest presence. Once you follow these guidelines it would help the hamsters to not go through stress which would make them itch.

How to stop my hamster from scratching

First and foremost, I suggest you feed the hamsters with complete and balanced nutrition to stop the hamsters from scratching. Once the hamsters take the right food intake it would allow them to maintain a healthy metabolism and a healthy weight as well. It would be quite beneficial for boosting the immunity of the hamsters as well.

Further, try enriching the environment of the hamsters so that the hamsters would not go through stress. Try providing equipment such as wheels, toys etc. Once you provide toys for them, it would make the hamsters curious and enhance their cognitive ability too. Further, there could be some substances that would give a vibe of amusement to the hamster’s cages.

Spend some quality time with the hamsters so that they will feel good and secure. Best is to spend at least 30 minutes or 60 minutes with them.

In addition to that, maintaining the hygiene of the hamsters is also crucial when it comes to stopping them from scratching. Moreover, if you have hamsters at home, always try to use pet-friendly products so that it would result in any allergic reactions in the hamsters. There could be certain products that contain irritants or corrosive substances which would create trouble for your beloved hamsters. Furthermore, make sure that there is proper ventilation and some natural light around the hamster’s cages.

In addition to aforesaid facts, if you have other pets at home make sure that you vaccinate them on time too. Consider paying visits to the doctor periodically. Once you adhere to this guiltiness it would allow you to stop the hamsters itching.

Why is my hamster rubbing against things?

Hamsters would tend to rub against things when they go through any excitement.

How do you calm a scared hamster?

First and foremost allow some time for them to settle. If you freshly brought a hamster to your home, give them some time to adjust to the new conditions. Secondly, if the hamsters are sleeping do not ever wake them up. It would make them scared and stressed.

Furthermore, always try to talk to the hamsters calmly and quietly too. Always try to be soft-spoken to the hamsters. That will make the hamsters comfy and relaxed. Allow the hamsters to smell your hands. You simply have to open your palm and allow them to smell your hands. That will make the hamsters familiar with your scent.

Try giving a treat to the hamsters and pet them as much as you can. A bit of apple or lettuce would make them happy. Once you feed the hamsters with these food items it would build a trust bond between the hamsters and you. When you hold the hamsters ensure that you do it gently without holding on to them roughly. Always be gentle towards them so that they will not be scared.

How often do hamsters scratch themselves?

There is no correct answer to this question. This totally depends on the situation. If they have a disease condition such as a parasite they scratch more often. But if they are just excited they only scratch once or twice.

Hamster itching and losing fur

If your hamsters itch and lose their fur it could be most probably due to parasite infection in them. In fact, parasite infection could lead to various health-related problems. Therefore you need to consult a doctor as soon as possible.


To conclude, it is quite normal for hamsters to itch. However, it is not normal to itch and scratch continuously. It literally means something is wrong with the hamsters. So, you need to closely look at the hamsters and identify what made them itch. Upon determining the root cause you need to act swiftly to overcome it. So, once you follow the above tactics It would make them stop itching.

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