Why is My Hamster Breathing Fast While Sleeping?

Hamsters are both cute and entertaining. When you come back home and find that tiny animal is running on a wheel or sleeping, you must feel happy.

Though hamsters sleep a lot, and that even happens during the daytime. They are usually active at night. But if you see your hamster is sleeping and breathing fast, you may ask- why is my hamster breathing fast while sleeping?

This blog is going to answer the question and cover all other topics related to the breathing and sleeping of a hamster. So, let’s dive in.

Why is My Hamster Breathing Fast While Sleeping?

A hamster generally breathes faster than usual while sleeping. But there are some other health concerns too. If your hamster is feeling unwell or stressed, it may breathe faster than usual.

There are some certain things to check behind a hamster’s fast breathing. Stick with us to know more.

How Much Sleep A Hamster Does Need?

A hamster usually needs 12 to 14 hours of sleep a day. Hamsters are polyphasic sleepers. That means a hamster will sleep more than once a day. However, this is not right for every hamster. Some hamsters can sleep at a stretch. But whichever way they follow, they must sleep at least 12-14 hours. Otherwise, a hamster will not feel well and energetic.

Do Stressed Hamsters Breathe Heavy?

Yes, stressed hamsters may breathe heavier than usual. Generally, a hamster loves to stay inside of a cage and passes its own time. Bad odor, harsh noises, and extreme light can make a hamster stressed.

So, if you keep the cage of the hamster in such a place, it will feel stressed which will affect its sleep. It may breathe heavily as it has passed a tough time.

Respiratory Infection

Respiratory infection is common for hard breathing in hamsters. Many hamsters get pneumonia from bacteria and viruses. A new hamster from a pet store can have a respiratory infection, and if a hamster stays near to smoke and cold, it will develop a respiratory infection.

The respiratory infection creates a blockage in their breathing system. A hamster can not breathe easily if it has an infection.

Breathing Problems in Sleeping

Every animal in this world deserves a sound sleep. Hamsters are no different too. But there are some health issues that can create problems in their breathing system.


Temperature plays a vital role in a hamster’s sleep. Overheating or under-heating is not suitable for hamsters. You must keep a hamster’s cage in a calm, dry, cool place.


A hamster runs a lot during all night as they are nocturnal animals. So, this much running can make them tired a lot too. A tired hamster may breathe fast and heavily while sleeping.

Nasal Blocking

If your hamster’s nose is blocked by any health issues or any particles, then it may find breathing difficulty. Do check the hamster’s nose. Check if there is anything stuck or not inside the nose. If you see any blockage, try to remove it.

Cold and Fever

If your hamster is having a cold or fever, then it might breathe fast to get more oxygen. It’s the same process, just like we humans do. You may hear lower sounds from the breathing of a sick hamster. A hamster may sneeze too, if it has a cold or fever.

Uncomfortable Bedding

If your hamster doesn’t have a comfortable bedding, it will breathe fast and feel stressed. You should try to change the bedding and notice the change. A bedding of wood shavings, hay, paper towels, and pine shavings could be much more comfortable for your hamster.

These are the most probable reasons behind a fast breathing hamster while sleeping. If you notice any of these, you should take steps. If temperature disturbs a hamster’s breathing, try to balance it. If your hamster is tired of running the wheel, let it rest. If the hamster is feeling a problem while breathing for a cold or fever, take it to the vet or provide medicines as soon as possible.

Things to Consider

A hamster usually breathes fast for their basic instinct. Baby hamsters are claimed to breathe faster than adult hamsters. Generally, a hamster can breathe 35 to 120 breaths per minute. Babies can do more than 120.

But abnormal breathing would be more than this limit. Fast breathing is normal, but abnormal breathing can be alarming. It indicates that your hamster is not feeling well at all. You can check their breathing speed by placing your hand underneath the chest and belly. If you are not sure what to do, then visit the vet as soon as possible.

Wrap Up

Before closing the topic of why is my hamster breathing fast while sleeping, we should remember that a pet hamster is totally dependent on its owner to live happily. A hamster will never make a good bond if it can’t sleep or eat properly at your place. So, keep a caring eye on the hamster, and you two can hopefully make a good bond.

Leave a Comment