Why Is My Hamster Rolling On His Back?

It would be a frightening sight for any hamster owner to see their beloved pet rolling on its back. I have no doubt that you’ll look into why they do that. You’d be so interested in finding out more about that. So, this article is all about why hamsters tend to roll on their back. To quickly explain, hamsters frequently roll on their backs to attract the attention of their owners.

In addition to that, skin parasites and mites could also be factors in this condition. Not only that, they would do that to mark their scent or regulate their body temperature as well. If you see your hamster rolling on his back, it’s because he’s trying to relax. In addition to these reasons, hamsters may tend to roll on their back due to stress, fear, and regular grooming too.

So, if you are uncertain as to why they would tend to do that, I suggest you take the hamsters to a veterinarian and follow their guidelines. So, this article will give you an insight into this behavioral pattern of the hamsters. It will help you determine the root cause for this strange behavior of the hamsters. Besides, we have covered the best solutions to handle this situation as well. So. Let’s get into it.

Why does my hamster keep going on its back?

As previously stated, if you notice your hamsters lying on their backs, it is for a variety of reasons. So these reasons would be either their normal behavioral patterns or some other concerns about which you may have to consult a veterinarian. So, to determine the root causes behind this condition, you must observe the hamster’s body language well. So, let’s have a closer look at each of these reasons.

Seeking to capture your interest.

Hamsters may tend to roll on their back to seek attention from their hamster owners. If you are particularly close to the hamsters or if they notice you from a distance, you may notice this behavioral pattern. It is quite normal for the hamsters to get excited when they see other hamsters around them. Chances are that they may get excited to discover what you are up to.

They may think that they are trying to give you a meal or that you are going to bribe them with their favorite meal. So, if you happen to ignore them or continue doing what you are doing, they will tend to roll on their back. So, if the hamsters do that when you are around, it means they are loving you or they want you to pet them.

Your hamster is scared.

Fear in hamsters is also involved here, and it could also be another reason why the hamsters tend to roll on their backs. Hamsters are prey animals, which means they don’t appreciate the presence of other pests such as cats, dogs, or birds around them. So, make sure that you place the hamster’s cage in a secure place where they will be safe. Don’t allow the other animals to reach the hamsters.

On another note, loud music and lighting could also make the hamsters scared. As such, refrain from playing loud music or watching movies too close when the hamsters are around.

Hamsters rolling in the sand bath would be a part of their grooming behavior.

Hamsters are clean pets, which means they tend to groom quite often. Hamsters cannot use water to do their cleaning. So, sand baths are the best type of bath they can have. It will ensure that they will clean the hamsters very well without posing a health risk to the hamster’s life.

So, hamsters would roll on their backs so that they could coat their fur with sand, and it is a quite normal behavioral type that you don’t need to worry about at all. If the hamsters tend to roll on your hands, it would help the hamsters distribute natural oil in their skin. Furthermore, it will also help them get rid of all the dirt particles remaining on their debris.

If the hamsters use the sand bath quite often, don’t forget to change the sand once every 4-5 days. If you skip this step, the sand’s quality will deteriorate, causing hamsters to develop skin allergies.

Hamsters scratching and rolling

Hamsters may tend to roll on their back due to some health problems. These health issues would cause the hamsters discomfort and force them to roll on their backs. If you spot the hamsters itching regularly while losing their fur drastically and continuously rolling on their back, they are likely suffering from a skin-related problem.

Parasite attacks or any other mite infestations could factor into the skin irritations of the hamsters. Ultimately, they will end up rolling on their back to make themselves a little more comfortable. Keep in mind that most of these skin-related issues may require the service of a professional. As such, avoid treating these conditions with homemade remedies. Instead, take them to a vet doctor and get their guidance on the proper treatments.

Maintain body temperature

If you spot your hamsters rolling on their back they would do that to maintain their body temperature, too. They would do that to keep a cool temperature in their body. Once they roll on their back it will make them feel good and relieve them from the excessive heat.

The optimal temperature that would suit them would vary from 68 degrees Fahrenheit to 74 degrees Fahrenheit ( 22 degrees Celsius to 24 degrees Celsius).

So if you live in a place where there are extreme conditions, you need to ensure that there are some alternatives that can maintain the temperature around the hamster’s cage. If there are frequent temperature changes, it would turn out to be hazardous for the hamsters. So, make sure that you locate the hamster’s cage in a secure place so that you don’t have to move it here and there.

Marking their scent

Hamsters are the kind of animal creatures that prefer to have their own living space. So they don’t want any intruders to approach them. So, they tend to roll on their back to mark their scent to avoid the intruders coming closer to them. Hamsters in general use scent as a way of communicating. Besides, they would use the scent glands to pass the messages.

So, if you happen to spot the hamsters rolling on their back in a certain place, it is very likely that they are trying to mark his scent there. What they are trying to communicate by doing this is that they have been in that particular place, and they don’t want any intruders to claim that spot. Once they do that, it will keep all the predators away from that spot.

Stress in hamsters

Stress could be one prominent reason why the hamsters may tend to roll on their back. Hamsters are a species of animal that would get stressed out quite quickly. Besides, they are prey animals, which means they would look out for predators around them. So, they would tend to roll on their backs if they came across any larger pets. If they happen to see any larger pets, they will become physically and mentally anxious.

A lot of factors could make the hamsters stressed. For example, sudden loud noises, sudden drastic changes to their day-to-day life, and a lack of floor time would result in stress for the hamsters. In addition to that, the presence of larger pets in their spots, too-small enclosures, and boredom could also make them suffer from stress.

On the other hand, if you make them travel or handle them excessively, they will become stressed. Last but not least, a lack of ventilation or inappropriate temperatures would stress the hamsters. Don’t ever ignore a stressed-out hamster, as chances are that they will get sick faster too. Stress could negatively impact the immune system of the hamsters too.

So, you must take precautionary measures to calm down a hamster who is stressed. Don’t ever try to console a stressed hamster by trying to pick them up. Instead, allow them to settle for some time. If the conditions are much worse, you can take them to a veterinarian.

Relaxing behavior

If you see your hamsters rolling on their back and staying quiet, calm and relaxed it means they are having the time of their life. In other words, they are happy and content. Besides they would also tend to do that if they felt secure. That said, there could also be chances where the hamsters would tend to roll on their backs for no particular reason as well. For example, sometimes hamsters may opt to roll on their backs on certain accessories. So, it could be a simple back rub.

So, in a nutshell, these are the reasons why hamsters may tend to roll on their backs. So, you must try to determine the root cause of this and act smartly to cope with this condition.

What To Do When Your Hamster Rolls on His Back?

If you presume that hamsters are rolling on their backs just for happiness and contentment, you can just ignore that. On the other hand, if you think hamsters would do that for some major concern, such as stress or fear, you need to address that issue as promptly as you could. For example, if a large pet is disturbing the peace of the hamsters, you need to remove those obstacles as soon as possible.

What is very important is to determine the root cause behind this. Once you figure out the reason for the hamsters to roll on their backs, you need to take the necessary steps to eliminate the cause. I suggest you calm the hamsters by talking to them or bringing them their favorite treat, etc. On another note, if the hamsters are sick and tend to roll on their backs, you need to take them to a vet as swiftly as you can. Don’t ever take those conditions for granted, as once you delay treating the hamsters who are sick, it will result in much worse consequences.


To conclude, you need to always ensure that your beloved hamsters are safe and sound in their respective homes. so that they would not tend to roll onto their backs due to stress or fear. However, if the hamsters do this as a result of an illness, you should take them to the vet as soon as possible. So, all you have to do is look for any other symptoms that they may depict while rolling on their back. Depending on those, you must take the necessary steps to avoid this condition. Keep in mind that if the hamsters tend to be happy while rolling on their backs, you can simply ignore that as it is not worrisome.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why is my hamster rolling around and itching?

Hamsters’ allergic reactions to things placed in their cages can occasionally cause their skin to become inflamed and uncomfortable. It can be a food item, a toxin in a homemade chew or toy, a chemical in the home environment, or something the hamster doesn’t like.

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