Do Hamsters Climb Their Cages – Why?

Hamsters are naturally active animals. So naturally, one of the questions that their owners usually have is, do hamsters climb their cages?

Hamsters do climb their cages mainly because it’s one of their natural instincts to want to climb things and explore. It’s an activity that they really enjoy because it allows them to expend some of their pent-up energy.

Hamsters will climb up their cage until they reach the top and they’ll even climb across it multiple times throughout their day as well.

Once they’re finished climbing their cage it’s usual to see them jump off or fall back down into their cage and then go right back to climbing it.

Why Do Hamsters Climb Their Cage?

It’s already been established that they usually do climb. But why do hamsters climb their cage and fall, and what does it mean when a hamster climbs their cage?

The reasons hamsters climb their cage are:

  • They’re trying to expend some energy.
  • It’s a natural behavior.
  • They’re just plain bored.
  • Out of curiosity.
  • Sometimes they’re trying to escape.

Hamsters have so much energy that sometimes running on their wheel is just not enough.

So that leads them to try other ways like climbing to let off some of their leftover energy.

It’s actually a great way for them to use some of their other muscles. Another reason why hamsters climb their cage is that it’s a natural behavior for them to feel the urge to climb something.

Hamsters in the wild will climb different things to get food and get to shelter, and naturally, domesticated hamsters will try to do the same thing.

Only instead of trying to get to shelter and food, domesticated hamsters will mostly do it to fulfill their natural urge. Hamsters can also climb their cage out of boredom.

When they get bored with their normal activities like after running on their wheel too much or bored with some of their toys, they’ll try to find something else to do to have their fun.

And that usually involves climbing all over their cage. Hamsters are also very curious animals.

So they love exploring new places and things as long as they feel comfortable enough to do it.

Their curiosity will lead them to explore other places that they hardly get to go to, which usually means they’ll climb to get to the different parts of their cage.

One more reason why hamsters climb their cage is that sometimes they’re actually trying to escape.

Most of the time that doesn’t mean that they don’t like you or their enclosure though, it’s just natural for them to try to move around and get away from things.

Is It Normal For Hamsters To Climb Their Cage?

Another thing pet owners that do keep hamsters wonder is, is it normal for hamsters to climb their cage.

It is actually very normal for hamsters to climb their cage because it’s one of their natural instincts to be able to use up their energy or escape from something they don’t like.

As long as your hamster is doing other things normally like eating and drinking and they don’t seem stressed out, then there’s not much to worry about when you see them climb their cage.

They’ll do it just for fun, and they’ll also do it because sometimes they just can’t resist that natural urge to climb something.

So when you see your hamster climbing their cage throughout their day, just know that it’s normal for them to do it and you shouldn’t be too worried as long as they’re not doing it out of stress.

How To Stop Your Hamster From Climbing The Cage

If for some reason you wanted to stop them from climbing or climbing their cage is becoming too troublesome for you, then you’ll want to know how to stop your hamster from climbing their cage.

The main ways to stop your hamster from climbing the cage are:

  • Getting a bigger cage for your hamster.
  • Providing more things like toys and puzzles.
  • Add more bedding for your hamster to burrow in.
  • Move your hamster to a different cage without bars like a tank.
  • Let your hamster play outside of their cage in a safe blocked off area.

Hamsters will spend most of their life inside of the cage that you get for them.

So as pet hamster owners, it’s our responsibility to make sure that the cage is big enough for them that way they don’t feel too boxed in and start climbing the cage.

The next thing that you can try is adding more puzzles and toys for them to play with.

Hamsters love to use their brain and simple puzzles are a great way for them to stimulate their mind.

Also adding more toys gives them other things to do to keep them from getting bored. Because when hamsters get bored, they start to climb.

Try adding more bedding to their enclosure to get them to stop climbing the cage. Generally, six inches or more is usually enough.

Hamsters naturally like to burrow so when you add more bedding that they can move around, that gives them another activity to do to keep them from climbing that often.

If you want to stop your hamster from climbing their cage entirely, then you’ll want to move them into an enclosure without bars.

A tank that is big enough for hamsters won’t allow them to climb up the sides and it’ll also allow you to be able to add more inches of bedding for them to dig through.

One more thing you can try to stop your hamster from climbing the cage is letting them safely play in a blocked off area outside of their cage under your supervision.

If you let them do this every now and then, it’ll help deal with their curiosity and need to explore.

As long as you’re watching them and the area that you let them play in is safe for your hamster and is blocked off so they can’t escape, it’ll be a great way to help stop them from climbing their cage all the time.

Can Climbing Their Cage Be Harmful To Hamsters?

Most hamsters spend their day either in the corner of their cage or climbing it, and sometimes when hamsters climb and fall off back into their cage it can seem like it might be harmful to them.

Generally, climbing in their cage isn’t all that harmful to hamsters even when they fall off though.

The times where it can become slightly dangerous is if they fall on a toy or a surface that’s very hard.

But if you have a good amount of bedding in their cage for them to land on when they fall off, then they’ll usually be just fine.

The bedding will help cushion their fall and they’ll get right back up and go back to climbing.

Hamsters love to climb their cage and will continue to do it throughout their life.

So in most cases, it’s perfectly fine to let your hamster climb their cage that way they’re able to burn off some of their excess energy and have some fun while they’re doing it.


Hi, I'm Mason, I've kept small animals as pets since I was 8 years old. I love to learn and talk about them basically every day. Over the years I've adopted small pets like hamsters, gerbils, and guinea pigs.

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