Do Hamsters Hibernate with their Mouth Open? Learn All the Possible Outcomes

Hamsters are cute little pet rodents who you may see sometimes hibernating. This is a way for them to conserve their energy for various purposes. 

Do Hamsters Hibernate with their Mouth Open

Now, do hamsters hibernate with their mouth open? Yes, they hibernate with their mouth open sometimes. The reasons behind it are cold, breathing problem, or even hunger too. 

In this article, we will discuss everything about why hamsters hibernate with their mouth open, how long they can hibernate with their mouth open, and many more.

Why is my hamsters mouth open?

There are several reasons why your hamster could be opening its mouth. One such reason is due to an underlying illness such as a respiratory illness.

This causes trouble breathing, forcing your pet hamster to breathe via its mouth to gasp for air. This is a serious case and you need to get your hamster to a vet as fast as possible to help save your little friend.

Dental issues are another reason why your hamster’s mouth could be open. These issues result in pain and discomfort that make the hamster’s mouth open involuntarily.

The most common dental issues include overgrowth front teeth (incisors), gum disease, or even a tooth abscess.

Why is my hamsters mouth open

Such health issues can also cause your hamster to stop eating. if you suspect your hamster has dental issues, take him to the vet for examination and proper treatment.

It could also be that your hamster is panting due to cold weather, just like the dogs do, in an attempt to regulate their body temperature.

If your hamster has its mouth open and at the same time its ears facing forward and its cheek pouches puffed up, your pet could be frightened. Try identifying any stressors causing it to behave this way and get rid of them.

In worst cases, your hamster’s mouth opening could be due to agonal breathing before it passes away. If your hamster opens and closes its mouth consistently, it will most likely pass in the next few minutes (Source).

Why Hamsters Hibernate with their Mouth Open

Hamsters can hibernate with their mouth open for various reasons. Here are some of the reasons why your cute little rodent may hibernate with its mouth open-

 Reasons Why Hamsters Hibernate With Their Mouth Open
  • Cold
  • Not breathing properly
  • Hunger


At the time of hibernation, hamsters’ body temperature gets lower than usual. At that time, you may see their mouth open. 

Hamsters Hibernating Because of Cold

This happens because they need a lot of cold wind to hibernate. There are other ways to keep the hibernation of these cute rodents going on, but making the body cold is one of the ways hamsters go for their hibernation.

If you see your hamsters hibernating with their mouth open, do not get freaked out. They are just going with the process. Sometimes, people questions like “Are hamsters related to rats and mice?” because their behavior is almost alike.

Unable to Breath

This is a normal issue that every animal may face in the world. While hibernating, if your pet rodent hamster can not breathe properly, they may keep its mouth open and breath. 

This may occur when they are hibernating but not in a good position. Or they are facing breathing issues. 

There are many reasons why a hamster can not breath properly. Sometimes, if anyone abuse your hamster, they may have breathing problem too. But do hamsters remember abuse? If they do so, it can result in your hamster being a great danger.


It is a normal thing for hamsters to go into hibernation when they are hungry. Because of starvation, they will go into hibernation. Sometimes, they will keep their mouth open while hibernating.

This happens because if there are food smells around, their hibernation will break. This is one of the reasons why your cheeky little hamster may hibernate while its mouth is open.

🐿️ You may wonder whether your hamster is getting proper nutrients or not. The same goes for a chipmunk too. What does a chipmunk eat for a living? They are also rodent animals whom people love to keep as a pet.

Do hamsters hibernate with their mouth open?

Hamsters usually don’t hibernate with their mouth open. During this time, the animal usually curls up into a tight ball and its mouth stays closed. The metabolic activity also significantly decreases.

However, sometimes the little animal may open its mouth when hibernating. And there are a few possible explanations behind it.

Firstly, if you notice your hamster hibernating with its mouth opening, it could be experiencing breathing difficulties. It can happen if your hamster isn’t in a good position or it’s just having difficulty breathing. This forces it to open its mouth to continue breathing properly.

Hunger is another likely explanation for your hamster keeping its mouth open. It’s not uncommon for hamsters to go into hibernation while starving. Thus, if during this period it smells food around, it may open its mouth.

Do hamsters hibernate with their mouth open

Another possible explanation for hamsters hibernating with their mouth open is due to their surrounding temperatures getting extremely low.

In this case, you don’t need to be concerned as the hamster is simply flowing with the hibernation process. Remember, extreme cold is the key reason why your turtle hibernates.

As we mentioned earlier, mouth opening could be a sign of agonal breathing before your hamster dies. As such, if your pet keeps its mouth open for a prolonged period of time, you’d want to check if your pet is dead or hibernating just to have some peace of mind.

Do hamsters die with their mouth open?

No, hamsters don’t usually die with their mouth open. However, some hamster owners have reported their pets dying with their mouths open.

One possible explanation for this occurrence is that during the death process, the body’s muscles expand and cause the mouth to open.

Your furry friend may have opened and then slightly closed its mouth during the death process. And after the process was complete, its mouth was left open. When the cells forming the muscles died, they were unable to hold the mouth in a closed position.

Open mouth alone isn’t enough proof that your hamster is dead. You should look for other tell-tale signs such as no heartbeat, lack of breathing, and lack of movement.

Try gently pulling your hamster’s legs. If there’s no slight stretch, your hamster could be dead. Also, holding a mirror on the hamster’s nose and checking it gets slight fog can help you determine if your hamster is breathing or dead.

You should feel whether the hamster’s check pouch temperature feels warmer than the body temperature.

In the case of a hibernating hamster, try raising the room temperature to about 66 degrees F or higher for up to 24 hours. If no movement is detected in your hamster, then it’s most likely dead.

How Long do Hamster Hibernate?

A hamster hibernates for a very short period of time. It can be around 10 to 12 hours up to 2 to 3 days. At this time, they will not do anything but sleep. In the starvation of warmth, food, water, or light, they can hibernate more than 2 days too.

Hibernating Time Duration of a Hamster

But there can be casualties for your tiny rodent too. They hibernate to show different symptoms like because of hunger, cold, or even in pain too. This is kind of a survival mechanism used by different types of species.

🐹 If you are wondering how to wake up a hibernating hamster, there are some proper ways to do so. You should maintain those procedures before waking them up. 

Casualties Because of Hibernation and Solution

The worst casualty of a hamster during hibernation can be death from a cold. Because when a hamster goes into hibernation, the heart rate goes way lower than usual. 

If they do not wake up even after two days, they may be in great danger. Now, why do they hibernate for this long time?

A normal hamster will hibernate for around a day or so because of the cold. But if you combine cold with a lack of food and nutrients, they will go into hibernation more than usual. And that can be a bad sign, even they can die.


In order to save them from the worst-case scenario, you need to act fast and go to a veterinarian if your little baby hamster does not wake up. Before going to the veterinarian, you can try to warm the little guy up and check whether they got their senses or not.

If they get their senses back, provide them food with nutrients. If not, then go immediately to the nearby vet.

If you’re interested in learning more about hamster behavior and comparisons with other pets, you might find our articles on whether an abscess can be fatal for hamsters and whether guinea pigs or hamsters are better pets helpful. Our article on whether an abscess can be fatal for hamsters explores the risks and complications associated with abscesses in hamsters, and what you can do to prevent and treat them. Meanwhile, our article on whether guinea pigs or hamsters are better pets provides a comparison of the two popular pets, including their behavior, care, and personality traits. Check out these articles to learn more about keeping your hamster healthy and happy, and to explore the different pet options available.

Final Words

Hamsters are cute when they hibernate in the place they like. But learning how they are hibernating is essential. Because there may be casualties too. 

Now, do hamsters hibernate with their mouth open? This can be a concerning matter and sometimes not. You should always take care of your pet rodent because this is your responsibility. 

Lisa G

Meet Lisa G, the founder and author of With over 3 years of experience studying and observing various species of rodents. Lisa has established herself as a credible expert in the field. Her passion for these often-overlooked animals shines through in her in-depth articles and engaging writing style. Follow her blog to learn fascinating facts and gain a new appreciation for the furry creatures that share our world.

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