Should I Let My Hamster Die Naturally?

It’s a wonderful experience to have hamsters as a pet. But it’s also true that you have to say goodbye to your loving friend. Hamsters have a shorter lifespan than other large pets. Imagine, once your lively hamster becomes lifeless. When it is they are close to the end moment, you may think should I let my hamster die naturally?

Generally, you should let your hamster die naturally if they are not in pain. You have to properly care for them and show affection in their final stage. And if they are in significant pain and they feel uncomfortable, you should consult with a veterinarian.

How Do You Know If Your Hamster Is Dying?

Hamsters have short lifespans compared to larger pets. Once they reach around two years of age, they are considered old and start to age rapidly. Their small bodies are not designed to sustain their biological processes for extended periods.

Hamsters can display signs of aging and nearing the end of their lives. Whenever you see the signs, you should take care of your pet and support them during this natural process. The most common signs of a dying hamster are:

  • A hamster that is close to the end of its life loses interest in food.
  • Dehydration can occur as the hamster’s biological processes begin to slow down and reduce water intake.
  • Look for physical changes such as swollen or discolored eyes, changes in the fur and skin (greasy or matted fur), and an inability to groom, which can result in an unpleasant smell.
  • Hamsters shiver as if attempting to stay warm, as their ability to regulate body temperature declines.
  • Keep an eye out for health issues such as blood in the urine or feces, seizures or tremors, and unexplained noises or behaviors.

While you can’t prolong a hamster’s life indefinitely, you can offer quality end-of-life care. You can support your hamster during this phase by providing a comfortable, peaceful environment, ensuring their comfort, and minimizing distress.

Euthanasia can be a way of their relief from suffering. This is a humane and compassionate choice to relieve their pain.

Should I Let My Hamster Die Naturally?

Should I Let My Hamster Die Naturally

The well-being of your beloved hamster is paramount, especially when they reach the end stages of their life. The decision on whether to allow a hamster to die naturally is a deeply personal one and should always prioritize the hamster’s comfort and well-being.

When a hamster gets sick, the first step is to ensure a suitable treatment for alleviating their suffering. A veterinarian can provide a thorough assessment and recommend treatment options.

Hamsters often display sudden and noticeable signs of illness, especially as they age. Their ability to hide symptoms is a survival instinct, and they may not show signs of illness until they are significantly unwell.

However, you can notice various signs as we discussed earlier. If the hamster is unable to eat, drink, or urinate, it may indicate that their body is shutting down. Difficulty breathing, especially if the hamster is in panicked distress.

If they are still able to eat, drink, and exhibit some normal behaviors, creating a warm and comfortable environment is a kind option. In their final phase of life, some hamsters seek closeness with their owners, while others may prefer solitude.

Whether you should allow a hamster to die naturally or not depends on the situation. Every hamster is unique. If they are comfortable in their life and not in pain, you need to ensure a cozy environment. Or you need to seek professional assistance.

What Should You Do When Your Hamster’s Dying Naturally?

When you decide to let your hamster die naturally, you need to focus on their comfort. Here are some tips you can follow:

1. Create a Comfortable Environment

Hamsters like quiet and peaceful surroundings during their last moments, as they tend to sleep for extended periods. They may sleep day and night and only take a few minutes of break to eat and drink.

Ensure that noise sources like TVs, radios, and computers are turned off, as hamsters have sensitive hearing. Limit the presence of other animals, such as dogs and cats, that cause disturbances. Dim the lights in the room and adjacent areas, as hamsters prefer low-light conditions.

2. Maintain Suitable Temperature

Old hamsters often shiver when dying. It is not only the signs of stress and anxiety but also speed up their death. Old hamsters cannot heat their bodies and they start to shiver. So you need to maintain a suitable temperature around their cage.

Keep your hamster’s cage or tank at a comfortable temperature, typically between 65-75°F. Ensure that the bedding depth allows for burrowing, especially in colder weather, and prevent drafts during the winter.

In hot weather, use fans or air conditioning to maintain a cooler environment. Move the cage away from direct sunlight, as a hamster lying flat on their tummy may indicate excessive heat.

3. Spend Quality Time Together

Spending time with your hamster during their final moments can provide comfort and companionship. If your hamster is receptive, offer gentle petting and speak soothingly to them. Your voice can be reassuring during these challenging times. However, some hamsters may prefer solitude, so respect their wishes if they show signs of repulsion to physical touch or voice.

4. Offer Favorite Foods

As hamsters lose their appetite when nearing the end of their life, providing their favorite foods can be a source of comfort. Offer healthy treats like fruits and vegetables, but be mindful not to overindulge in unhealthy foods to avoid worsening existing conditions, such as diabetes.

5. Consult a Veterinarian

If you suspect that your hamster is in pain, consult a veterinarian immediately. They can provide pain medication to ease your hamster’s symptoms and improve their comfort. Painkillers prescribed by a vet can be crucial during these challenging moments, and seeking professional guidance is essential.

Are Hamsters In Pain When They Are Dying?

Hamsters can develop various health conditions when they are aged as their bodies aren’t function properly. They may have malignant tumors or injuries which may cause significant discomfort or pain.

In such cases, medications like meloxicam are available to help manage pain. However, the decision to use pain medication should be made with the guidance of a veterinarian, as it depends on the specific condition and circumstances.

As hamsters approach the end of their lives, they may adjust their behavior to cope with their physical limitations. This can manifest as a general lack of interest in regular activities, such as grooming and feeding. These changes in behavior are often indicative of the hamster not feeling well.

Hamster owners have a responsibility to ensure their pets are as comfortable as possible during their final stages of life. This includes maintaining a warm and quiet environment within the cage, providing deep and soft bedding to promote a sense of security, and speaking softly and reassuringly to comfort the hamster. Letting the hamster know you are nearby can be a source of reassurance.


The decision of whether to allow your elderly hamster to pass away naturally or opt for euthanasia is undoubtedly a challenging one. It’s a heartbreaking decision as you make a good bond within the 2 years.

Allowing your elderly hamster to die naturally is a valid option unless they are experiencing constant, severe pain that significantly hinders their ability to eat, sleep, or lead a normal life. Euthanasia can be a compassionate option if your hamster’s pain becomes too overwhelming for them to endure.

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