Can Hamsters Jump?

Hamsters; small, cute, fluffy, and jumpy? If you don’t own a hamster, you probably didn’t see this one coming, but hamsters do indeed jump, a lot. If you have one, you might have noticed that it will sometimes jump (or at least try to) jump out of your hand, regardless of their surroundings.

They are complicated animals in the sense that their personality plays a big role in how they will act, and how or why they will jump. They also require a lot of things in their surroundings to keep them busy, but they also want to do things at their own pace and without being interrupted; I know, difficult right? Keep reading to find out more about why your pet hamster might be jumping, how high can hamsters jump, does your hamster cage need a lid, and what if you drop your fluffy friend.

Can Hamsters Jump

Hamsters Jumping Out of Your Hands

The sad truth is, your hamster will most likely jump out of your hands because he’s had enough of your playing, fondling, teasing, and of you picking him up. You might have happened to have picked them up mid-activity, such as when they were eating or cleaning themselves, in which case they will want to resume to that quickly.

Even though it is normal for them to jump (and even climb) in their cage, when they jump out of your hand it is usually to go back into their cage, or to whatever they were doing. Don’t take it as an insult, it might just be your hamster settling in into his new home environment or settling in to you, if you got him quite recently.

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A possible way to lure them onto your hand and to make them more comfortable with you is to place a treat or food on your hand. If you’ve had him for a long time and he is still actively jumping off of your hand then there might be something bothering your pet. It is good to be aware of the fact that there is a chance your hamster will jump out of your hand, because in this case you can stay closer to their cage, keep your hand low, or make sure there is a soft surface to avoid them having a bad fall. 

Hamsters Jumping in Their Cage

Different hamsters have different interests; some are simply more sporty and active than others, as weird as that might sound. In the case of a more athletic hamster, they will enjoy jumping in the cage a lot, especially from a variety of levels and surfaces. On the other hand, if your hamster is bored or if they find the cage to be too small, they will start climbing the cage too, but now as a way for them to jump out. They might want to jump out because something in the cage is bothering them – for example the scent of droppings or of rotten food – or because there is a lack of toys and other things to keep them busy. Hamsters generally need a lot of stimulation and things in their environment to keep them occupied, so an empty cage with nothing to do will definitely leave them hanging from the ceiling (literally). 

What If I Drop My Hamster? 

Hamsters are not a very good judge of heights; they are unable to tell when they are on top of a very high surface, for example. They are also quite curious and want to investigate everything, and you can imagine these two personality traits don’t go that well together in these kind of situations. They shouldn’t fall off of a surface that’s higher than 10 inches, otherwise they might get seriously injured and break their limbs, which is a very difficult injury to deal with when it comes to such a tiny animal. Nevertheless, if you accidentally drop your hamster, or if they jump off of your hand and you are too late in catching them, they will most likely be in a state of shock for a few minutes. Give them some time to adjust again, but definitely keep observing them for the next 24 hours after the fall; if they show even the slightest sign of being in pain or if they start acting differently you should take your hamster to a vet because this could be an indication of a serious injury. 

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How High Can Hamsters Jump?

As was already mentioned before, hamsters can’t really judge heights too well and some of the athletic ones might get in the mood to just catapult themselves into the distance. This also means that there is no limit or answer to the question “how high can hamsters jump” because they might drop from a high place simply because they won’t be able to tell how high it really is. This is why putting the hamster cage in the right place is important. Aside from that, a jump from no more than 10 inches will most likely avoid any serious injuries. In any case, you should still always check on your hamster after he or she falls, especially if the distance which they fell from or the way in which they fell was out of the ordinary for him or for her. 

Do Hamster Cages Need a Lid?

Certain hamsters, like dwarf hamsters, will spend a lot of time in the cage jumping and launching themselves by making speed in order to jump even higher. In this case, it is the best to have a lid so that if they end up launching themselves a little too high, they won’t land next to their cage. Even if you don’t own a dwarf hamster, as discussed before, some hamsters are simply prone to climbing the walls and roof of the cage, and others are just bored. In either case, it is the best to have a lid on the cage and avoid any bad situations that involve any missing hamsters. 

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To summarize, hamsters are still small, cute, and fluffy, but definitely also jumpy. They have a mind of their own sometimes and will act out of impulse, no matter the circumstances. It is important to note that when hamsters jump out of your hand it is usually because they feel uncomfortable or they want to get back to what they were doing.

Also keep in mind that when you get a hamster, or when you are just getting to know your hamster, their personality will very much influence how often they jump, and the way in which they jump. A relaxed and somewhat lazy hamster will never jump as much, and as high, as an energetic and sporty one would. Then again, if your normally relaxed hamster all of a sudden start climbing his or her cage, something might be bothering them, and you should take a closer look at it. You should also monitor your hamster for a period of 10 minutes up to 24 hours after they made a fall that seems abnormal for their normal routine. Since hamsters have a very bad judgements of heights, they will easily jump off of the highest surfaces, or climb up them; because of this it would be your best bet to definitely get a lid for your hamster cage.