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How to Tell If a Hamster is Dead

The first thing you will want to do is check for signs of life. If your hamster is not moving, has no heartbeat, and is not breathing, then it is most likely dead. You can also check for rigidity in the body.

If the hamster’s body is stiff and does not move when you try to pet it or pick it up, then it has likely passed away.

  • There are a few steps you can take to determine if your hamster is dead
  • First, check for signs of life such as breathing or a heartbeat
  • Next, look for physical signs of injury or illness
  • Finally, contact your veterinarian for confirmation
How to Tell If a Hamster is Dead


Is My Hamster Dead Or Hibernating?

If your hamster is lying on its side, not moving and doesn’t respond to you, then it is most likely dead. However, if your hamster is curled up in a ball and appears to be sleeping soundly, it may just be hibernating. To determine if your hamster is truly hibernating or already dead, gently pick it up and see if it stirs.

If there is no response whatsoever, then unfortunately your hamster has passed away. However, if your hamster wakes up and slowly starts to move around, then it was simply taking a long winter’s nap!

Is My Hamster Dead Or Playing Dead?

It can be difficult to tell if your hamster is dead or just playing dead. If you’re not sure, there are a few things you can do to check. First, check for signs of life, such as breathing or a heartbeat.

You may need to gently touch or hold your hamster to feel for these things. If you don’t feel either of these, your hamster is likely dead. Another way to check is by looking for rigor mortis.

This is when the body stiffens after death and usually happens within 3-6 hours after passing away. If you notice your hamster’s body is stiff and rigid, it’s probably dead. If you’re still unsure, you can try touching or moving your hamster’s cage or bedding.

A living hamster will usually react in some way, even if it’s just moving its head or feet. If there’s no response at all, then your hamster is most likely deceased. Ultimately, the best way to know for sure if your hamster is dead is by taking it to a veterinarian.

They will be able to determine definitively whether your pet has passed away.

How Long Does It Take for a Dead Hamster to Go Stiff?

It takes about 12-24 hours for a hamster to go stiff after it has died. This is caused by rigor mortis, which is the stiffening of muscles after death.

What Do Hamsters Do before They Die?

It’s a little-known fact, but hamsters actually do quite a bit of preparing before they die. In the wild, they will build themselves a little nest in which to die, using soft materials like fur and grass. They will also stockpile food near their nest so that they have something to eat in their final days.

Domestic hamsters don’t usually have access to these things, but they will still often try to create a little nest before they die. If you find your hamster doing this, it’s best to leave them be and not disturb them. It can be upsetting to see, but it’s really just their way of getting ready for the end.

Is My Hamster Dying Or Hibernating

As the weather starts to cool down, many animals begin preparing for winter. For some animals, this means finding a warm place to sleep and slowing their metabolism until spring arrives. This process is called hibernation.

But what about hamsters? Hamsters are small rodents that originate from cold climates, so you might think they would be good candidates for hibernation. Unfortunately, hamsters do not hibernate.

So if you notice your hamster sleeping more during the winter months, it’s likely just because they are trying to stay warm. However, there are some other things that can make a hamster sleepy during the winter months, such as illness or old age.

What Does a Dead Hamster Smell Like

When a hamster dies, it will often emit a strong, unpleasant odor. This scent is the result of the decomposition process beginning to take place within the hamster’s body. The smell of death can be very overwhelming and may cause those nearby to feel nauseous.

If you think your hamster may have died, it is best to check for signs of life before you approach the cage to investigate further.

Hamster Dead But Not Stiff

If your hamster has recently died, you may be wondering why it’s not stiff. Hamsters are small animals and their bodies tend to go into rigor mortis very quickly after death. However, there are a few things that can cause a delay in rigor mortis setting in.

One possibility is that the hamster was not quite dead when you found it. Animals that are only partially dead can sometimes appear to be stiff, but this is due to muscle spasms and not rigor mortis. If you’re unsure whether or not your hamster is truly deceased, it’s best to err on the side of caution and contact a veterinarian for confirmation.

Another possibility is that the temperature in the room where the hamster died was too warm. Rigor mortis generally sets in more slowly at higher temperatures. If you think this might be the case, try moving the body to a cooler location and see if stiffness develops over time.

Finally, some breeds of hamsters (particularly Syrian hamsters) are known for taking longer to enter rigor mortis than others. If your hamster falls into this category, there’s no need to worry – rigor mortis will eventually set in and the body will become stiff.

Hamster Died With Eyes Open

It’s always heartbreaking when a beloved pet dies. And it can be even more upsetting when they die with their eyes open. While it may seem like your hamster is staring at you in their final moments, there are actually a few possible explanations for why this happens.

One reason may be that hamsters simply don’t have the ability to close their eyes when they die. This is due to the fact that they have very little control over their eyelids. So, if your hamster dies suddenly, their eyelids may not have time to close.

Another possibility is that your hamster’s brain is still active for a short time after they die and is sending signals to the muscles to keep the eyes open. This theory is supported by the fact that many animals’ brains continue to function for several minutes after death. Whatever the reason, finding your hamster with their eyes open can be quite disturbing.

If you’d like, you can try gently closing their eyelids yourself. Or, you can simply leave them as they are and know that eventually rigor mortis will set in and their eyelids will naturally close on their own.


If you’re not sure whether your hamster is dead or just sleeping, there are a few things you can do to check. First, see if the hamster is breathing. If it’s not moving at all and doesn’t seem to be breathing, it’s probably dead.

Another thing you can do is touch the hamster gently to see if it responds. If there’s no response and the hamster feels cold to the touch, it’s likely dead. Finally, check for rigidity.

If the hamster’s body is stiff and its limbs are rigid, it’s probably deceased.

John Thompson

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