Do Hamsters Dream?

Have you ever seen your hamster move around a little bit while they’re sleeping and wondered what they were doing?

It almost seems like they’re trying to do something while they’re asleep, so does that mean that hamsters dream?

Hamsters can move around a lot in their sleep and when they do, it usually means that they’re either dreaming, having a nightmare, or that the brain is keeping their body slightly active.

So if a hamster does dream then it would be about something that they like doing or possibly a bad experience that they’re thinking about.

Do Hamsters Dream?

If you’ve ever looked into your hamster’s cage while they’re sleeping and see their legs twitching around and it almost looks like they’re running, then that can lead you to wonder if they’re dreaming or not.

Most mammals are able to dream so it really wouldn’t be that much of a stretch to say that hamsters can dream too.

They think about and do different things throughout the day as they run around and play.

So sometimes the things that they get into can sometimes influence what they do when they’re sleeping.

When you see your hamster moving around a little while asleep then that could mean that they are actually dreaming, although their dreams wouldn’t be like ours.

But most of the time all of the little movements that a hamster makes while asleep is usually a way of keeping their brain slightly active.

One of the main reasons why that happens is that hamsters are prey animals.

So they’re still slightly alert while sleeping and always ready to leave a situation that seems dangerous to them.

Sometimes all of the twitching and moving that you see them do can mean that they’re dreaming but it can also mean that they’re still slightly alert as well.

What Do Hamsters Dream About?

So if hamsters actually do dream then naturally we would be curious as to what they’re dreaming about.

While it’s nearly impossible to fully know what hamsters dream about, it’s fair to say that if and when they do dream it probably wouldn’t be similar to how we dream.

The reason why is that the way that they get around throughout their life is different from how we would navigate life.

They don’t rely that much on their sense of sight as we do, but they rely more on their sense of smell to get them around.

So while our dreams can be very visual because we rely a lot on sight, their dreams would be different because they don’t see that well, so a hamster’s dream won’t be as visual.

With that being said, you can sometimes tell what they’re dreaming about by what they’re doing while they’re sleeping.

For example, if they have their hands close to their mouth and it looks like they’re trying to chew on something, then they may be dreaming about some of their favorite snacks that you regularly feed them.

So if a hamster does dream, then it would probably be about the positive and negative things that they experience that stick out to them.

Do Hamsters Have Bad Dreams?

When you see your hamster wake up terrified for some reason and then go back to sleep it can seem like they just had a bad dream, so does that mean that hamsters have nightmares?

A hamster may have had a nightmare if they experience a really traumatic event, and while their nightmare might not be very visual it can still really scare them.

As I said before, they’re prey animals so they’re almost always on high alert throughout the day and night and they can get scared easily.

That means that even if your hamster didn’t have a nightmare they can still wake up really scared and that can definitely look like they just had a bad dream.

This is especially the case if your hamster had a bad day where they were constantly scared for some reason and remained frightened until they fell asleep.

So if your hamster looks like they’re running while they’re sleeping then they may be having a nightmare about running away from something.

On the other hand, they may just be dreaming about one of their favorite activities like running on their wheel too.

Hamsters Just Might Have Dreams And Nightmares

Sometimes hamsters don’t seem all that complicated, but that doesn’t mean that they’re still not complex in their own way.

So hamsters may actually be able to do something like dream to some extent, it just wouldn’t look anything like how we would dream.

If anything, it’s their brain keeping their body slightly active while they’re sleeping.

That way they can easily wake up and try to escape a situation that scares them or a situation that they don’t like.

Too many bad or scary experiences can cause a hamster to be more cautious with everything that they do, and that includes when they sleep as well.

When a hamster has too many bad experiences before or after you’ve adopted them, then something like a nightmare can possibly happen.

So if you do see your hamster doing things in their sleep then they may be having a nightmare or they might just be dreaming in a way that’s unique to them.


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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