13 Reasons Why Your Hamster Running In Circles!

You may sometimes notice that your little hamster is doing some awkward movements, like running in circles. Well, as a beginner, you must be worried about this behavior. 

Many people ask, why is my hamster running in circles? That’s because your friend might need your attention or maybe it is stressed or suffocated in its cage. Besides, it can be a new playing style as it feels boring. Or it may be injured and running in pain. 

However, if it is due to any neurotic disorder or infection, that could create a serious situation. That’s not the end. In this article, you can find a detailed discussion of the problems. Also, you can get precautionary and preventive ways.

Why Is My Hamster Running in Circles?

The reasons can be serious due to some neurogenic disease or infection. We have provided 13 reasons behind your hamster running in circles. 

You may also watch this video to know the reason behind this behavior. 

Reason 1: If It Is Bored

If your little hamster is following the daily routine with nothing new, it can get bored. Daily playing with the same instrument can make it feel less active. 

In that case, to make fun of itself, it can run continuously in circles. It is nothing serious but to enjoy a new game.

Reason 2: If It Gains a Lot Of Energy Or Exercise

Daily inputting a lot of energy can cause illnesses like cardiovascular problems and obesity. So, the hamster itself consumes energy by frequently running in circles. 

It will not have this kind of behavior if it is provided with enough toys or hamster wheels. Sometimes they love to exercise in this manner.

Hamster Running In Circles

Reason 3: If It Needs Owner’s Attention

Any kind of animal is fond of the owner’s affection. The hamsters also love their owners’ company. If you are not playing with it for a few days or you are not holding it, it wants the owner’s attention like this. Hamsters, especially male ones, enjoy playing with their owner.

Reason 4: Heat

The female hamster heats every four days. They become more aggressive when they heat and also increase the secretion of hormones. So, at that time, they can run in circles for a short time.

Hamster Running In Circles

Reason 5: If It Wants Food

Hamsters often rampage beside their feeding tray or run in circles if they are hungry. This behavior is mainly seen when you forget to give the food or you are delaying. So, it mainly reminds you that you have forgotten to give it the food.

Reason 6: If It Gets Less Playtime or Freedom

Your hamster will be happy if you give him both playtime and freedom daily. It means it needs at least 15 minutes of playing time with new toys or exercise and also a ride out of the cage. 

It enjoys running in your house and outside. That makes him more cheerful. Otherwise, it will be less active and run in circles inside the cage.

Reason 7: If It Feels Suffocated In Cage

If the cage is too small for your hamster, he will perform this kind of movement frequently. Little places can bother him and give him a feeling of suffocation. It needs proper space for normal movement.

My Hamster Running in Circles

Reason 8: Stress And Restlessness

If you keep your hamster in a place where it has to face a lot of noise and chaos, it will be stressed. Then it will run in circles restlessly. Also, if he feels the place is dangerous for him, it will run in that manner.

Reason 9: If It Is Sick

Pets can not express their sickness like humans. So, while they feel sick, they start behaving awkwardly. They might behave hectic or silent or may run in circles. Sickness can be a major cause behind this.

Reason 10: Hamster Circling Disorder

This is a neurogenic disorder that results from seizures or stargazing. In that case, your hamster will run in circles continuously. In most cases, this type of disorder is incurable and it is better to give your pet a painless death.

Hamster Circling Disorder

Reason 11: If It is In Pain

Your hamster may hurt at any part of the body. In that case, it can run in pain in a circular motion.

Reason 12: If It Is Suffering From Inner Ear Infection

Hamsters easily get infected by bacteria in the ear. For example, listeria causes listeriosis which is also an infection. Ear helps to maintain their balance. While the middle ear and inner ear get infected, the hamster can not balance itself and make this type of movement.

Reason 13: If It Is Affected By Ear Mites

Animals like hamsters are easily attracted to mites. It occurs when the cage is not cleaned for a long time. Or the hamster gets affected while moving outside from home. When the mites bite, that irritates and makes them uncomfortable. In that case, they can run in circles.

These all are the possible reasons behind the situation. You can also prevent this situation.

How To Stop Hamsters Running In circles?

Now you know the reasons behind hamsters running in circles. To prevent them from doing so, you can follow these tips. 

How To Stop Hamsters Running In circles
  • Find out the main problem
  • Give it a new instrument to play. You can also make DIY toys or buy them at a cheap price
  • Take care of their daily exercise
  • Spend quality time with your pet
  • Hamsters love to stay in a group or with their partner. So, allow a partner
  • Give the food timely
  • Give a tour to your pet in your house or outside
  • The cage should be a minimum of 24×12×12 inches
  • Let the cage away from the noise in a calm environment. If you have other pets like dogs or cats, let them away from the cage
  • Find out if any part of the body is injured or bleeding
  • Maintain regular cleanliness of the cage and the pet
  • Check the ears carefully if any discharge or scratch is present. Prescribed antibiotics can treat the inner ear infection. Separate the infected one
  • Regular check-up

If you still can not handle the situation, immediately go to the vet.

If you’re interested in learning more about small animals, you may want to check out our article on rabbit vs hamster, as well as our article on types of hamster breeds. Our article on rabbit vs hamster compares these two popular pets in terms of their characteristics, care requirements, and suitability as pets. Meanwhile, our article on types of hamster breeds provides an in-depth look at the different species of hamsters, their characteristics, and their care requirements.


Take a look at the questions commonly asked by people about hamsters running in circles.

Q: Why does my hamster keep running around in circles and won’t stop?

Your hamster keeps running around in circles and won’t stop due to head tilt. It means it may be suffering from a bacterial infection like listeria.

Q: Why does my hamster keep running around my feet?

Your hamster keeps running around your feet because it needs your attention or it wants to play with you. It could be a sign of going outside for a tour as well.

Why does my hamster keep running around my feet

Q: Is running in circles of my hamster safe?

Yes. Running in circles of your hamster is safe until it stops after some time. If it is doing that repeatedly, falling and repeating or any discharge present in its ear, it is not safe.


Running in circles of hamsters is not always a serious situation. It can be due to giving less care to them or they need food, more space, or a calm environment. Also, it could be a part of their exercise to lose extra calories and become fit.

So, give it freedom and a group to play. Infected ones should be isolated till it is cured. Regular check-ups and cleanliness will reduce half of its problem.  But if it is suffering from a neurogenic disorder or brain damage, there is less chance of a cure. Be careful of your pet before any unwanted occurrence.

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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