Why is My Hamster Running Around Like Crazy: The Main Reasons

Hamsters are active creatures, but there may be times when their behavior is more extreme than usual. 

So you’re wondering why is my hamster running around like crazy? This can happen for various reasons, such as stress, boredom, fear, anxiety, having too much energy, or hormonal changes (for female hamsters).

However, that’s not all! Today, we will explore all the possible reasons why your hamster is running around like crazy. So you can identify any underlying issues and take care of them. Let’s get started!

Why is My Hamster Running Around Like Crazy?

Hamsters are known to engage in periods of intensive activity that can last up to two hours. The hamster would be moving around aimlessly throughout this period, sprinting and leaping.

Why is My Hamster Running Around Like Crazy

Your hamster may have fleas or mange if he or she suddenly gets hyperactive for brief periods of time. The hamster’s body may become irritated and itchy due to these illnesses. 

Therefore, the hamster may go through a series of acute or hyperactive activities to stop itching. 

The 5 Common Reasons Why Your Hamster Running Around Like Crazy

As we have said earlier, hamsters may behave unusually. Without further ado, let’s quickly see the reasons for this.

Common Reasons Why Your Hamster Running Around Like Crazy

1. They are stressed

Stress is one of the main reasons why hamsters may act abnormally. When hamsters are exposed to too much noise, bright lights, sudden movements, or even too much handling, they can become easily stressed out. This can cause them to run around and act erratically.

To avoid stressing out your hamster, you need to handle it gently. Provide a safe environment with patience. And avoid making loud noises or sudden movements. Try to give them extra time and attention when your hamster is stressed out.

2. They are bored

A bored hamster may seem to be running around like crazy, even if they have plenty of room to explore. Signs of boredom in a hamster may include,

Hamster are bored
  • Racing around their cage
  • Digging at the walls
  • Chewing on the cage bars

Keep your hamster busy to prevent boredom. Make sure they have a variety of toys to play with in their cage, including tunnels, ladders, and balls. You can also give them an exercise wheel to run on

Additionally, you can set up “hamster-safe” obstacle courses around the house or outside. While providing your hamster with some much-needed physical activity, you will give them something to do.

Perhaps, you can watch the following video and gather some ideas.  

3. They are anxious

Hamsters can become anxious when they face overwhelming situations. This can manifest as increased energy and hyperactivity. This usually occurs in stressful situations such as when,

  • The hamster is exposed to a new environment
  • The hamster is handled by a new person
  • The hamster is startled by loud noises
  • The cage is crowded

So, try to identify signs of anxiety in your hamster so that you can address the problem appropriately. The best way to do this is to ensure the hamster is kept in a calm and secure environment. Additionally, avoid situations that may cause stress for your pet.

4. They have too much energy

If your hamster is particularly young, it may be running around like crazy because it has too much energy. Hamsters are naturally active and curious creatures. Therefore, keeping them engaged with toys and activities that allow them to express their natural behavior is important.

Hamsters have too much energy

Additionally, a diet with plenty of protein will provide them with the fuel they need to be active and healthy. To channel this energy productively, consider getting them a larger cage with various stimulating objects. This will allow them to explore and expend their energy level.

5. They have hormonal issues

Due to the estrus cycle, female hamsters may go through a phase of being excessively active. As Animal Behavior stated, female hamsters become more active throughout their estrus and proestrus days, which could last between two and four days.

There is a chance the hyperactivity is hormonal. Female hamsters become more open to mating during this period. Thus, they could be scouting the area for a partner. As a result, hormones are probably to blame if you find your hamster is more active at different times of the month.

Why Is My Hamster Running Around Like Crazy During The Day?

Crepuscular animals like hamsters are most active during dawn and twilight. If you are often home throughout the day, this does not exclude a hamster from adapting to your routine.

Your hamster will become accustomed to your schedule if you spend more than a week at home. Then, it will become the center of its activity levels.

Why Is My Hamster Running Around Like Crazy During The Day

The little guy will tend to be active throughout the day. If, for instance, you play with them and offer them exercise while you are home during the day. As a result, they may become less active at night as they have already spent all their energy during the day.

On the other hand, if your hamster isn’t used to being active throughout the day, it could get highly energized and run around crazily. Keep a regular schedule and give your hamster plenty of exercise each day, despite the hour. This will help you prevent this from happening.

If you’re interested in learning more about hamster behavior and physiology, you may want to check out our articles on whether hamsters have a good memory and whether hamsters sleep with their eyes open. Our article on whether hamsters have a good memory discusses the current scientific understanding of hamster memory and learning abilities. Meanwhile, our article on whether hamsters sleep with their eyes open explores this unusual behavior and what it might mean for your pet’s health.


Talking about the hamster’s activities, there is a lot to learn. In that context, we have answered a few questions related to hamsters.

Q: My hamster runs a lot; is this normal?

Yes, it is normal for hamsters to run a lot. In fact, they can continuously run more than 8 km, regardless of their type. They are very active creatures. 

Hence, they need to exercise to stay healthy. If your hamster seems to be running around too much, make sure that it has plenty of stimulation to keep it occupied.

Q: What causes my hamster to run so quickly on the wheel?

Your hamster will keep running on a wheel because it is fun to do. The level of excitement is similar when they are running on a waterslide. Based on the journal Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, any kind of simulation helps drive their brains and keeps them active.

Q: Why is my hamster pacing back and forth within its cage?

This can be due to anxiety or stress, as well as boredom. Additionally, this can happen due to a small cage. The usual size of a hamster’s cage is 24 by 12 inches. So, make sure that its cage is not too small or cramped.

Bottom Line

Hamsters can become extremely active for a variety of reasons, including the ones that we have discussed today. If your hamster’s activity level increases drastically, it could be due to a hormonal issue or another health-related issue.

If you notice that your hamster is running around like crazy, observe them closely and provide them with a stimulating environment to reduce their stress. Consult your veterinarian if you can’t detect the reason for this craziness or if your hamster’s health is severe.

Lisa G

Meet Lisa G, the founder and author of RodentsFact.com. 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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