What Happens If I Drop My Hamster?

by Hamster Care

What happens if i drop my hamster? Will it die?

No, it is very rare for a hamster to die simply by falling from its cage floor, a sofa, a bed, or someone’s hands, but such a fall can break, dislocate, or paralyze a leg. Fatal falls are typically caused by objects on which the hamster falls, or by a great height or a head first fall.

My hamster just fell off my hands, what should I do?

If your hamster falls out of your hands, do not rush and follow these steps:

  1. Leave it, don’t touch your hamster, even if you feel guilty and want to make sure it’s OK, because if it’s injured, you can make it worse, and even if it’s just a small fracture, you’ll make it more serious, not to mention the additional pain you’ll cause your hamster.
  1. Give him one or two minutes to recover while keeping a close eye on him.

There will be two scenarios here:

  1. In most cases, the hamster will freeze for a few seconds, but don’t worry, he will quickly resume his patrol as if nothing had happened.

You must always monitor him for the next 48 hours, and in general, nothing serious, your hamster hides no internal injury, fracture, or bleeding.

This is what usually happens, more fear than harm, so try to be more attentive in the future, and I’ll return later to give you some advice to avoid it happening again.

  1. Your hamster shows one of these symptoms right after the fall or in the 48 hours that follow:
  • He can’t move right after the fall (totally paralyzed)
  • He pulls with his front legs and drags his back legs (partial paralysis), probably a problem in his spine!
  • He walks but very slowly, just numb or more serious problem.
  • He tries to walk but he limps, a fracture or just a temporary pain.
  • He walks but he turns in a small circle (loss of orientation)
  • He walks on three legs (broken leg or just hurts again)
  • He drags his hind leg.
  • He lies on his side.
  • One of his paws seems to be broken and a bone has pierced the skin (sorry for saying it but I should!!)

In any of these situations, your hamster must be taken to a veterinarian so that he can examine him more closely, treat a possible broken leg or rib, and relieve your hamster’s pain.

He will then be given antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and pain relievers.

When he has a broken leg, he will also be wearing a bandage.

If he fell from a great height or on a dangerous object, I’m afraid your hamster is in trouble, especially if he’s old, but who knows! These little Fellas are tough!

What happens if your hamster slips from your grasp?

A hamster that falls from a dangerous height onto a hard surface or a contending object faces a number of problems, including:

  • Fracture of one or more legs (fall on a single leg or fall uncontrolled on an object or just have the leg stuck in the wire wheel)
  • Fracture of the neck (fall on the head)
  • Partial paralysis of the hind legs or total paralysis by fracturing the spine (fall on the back)
  • Having a fractured rib or an internal organ damaged (bad fall on the side or on a dangerous or pointed object)
  • Internal hemorrhage, when your hamster falls from a great height like from your hands when you are standing and at the edge of the stairs.

Is there any other situation that can break my hamsters leg?

Yes, unfortunately, hamsters can break a leg simply by playing on a wheel made of iron wire; hamster balls are also dangerous when they fall from the stairs while your hamster is still inside.

Hamsters can also break their legs in a fight with another hamster or with a cat, a clumsy child, or a simple fall from your sofa or bed.

Hamsters who escape from cages at night frequently break a leg because they can’t see well at night and fall out of the cage after they’ve escaped, breaking a leg if the cage is set high!

How high can a hamster fall from and be ok?

Hamsters usually fall from the height of a chair, or even a little more (3 feet) and nothing happens to them. There are some who say that the allowed height is only 10 inches!

However, the answer to this question will depend on several factors, the first of which is the height of the fall; the higher the height, the greater the risk that your hamster will die or break a leg.

  • The higher the hamster falls, the softer the surface on which it must land; otherwise, it will suffer a fracture or worse. Thus, a hamster can survive a fall from a balcony if it is cushioned by a large pillow full of soft down, but the same hamster can break a leg or even die if it falls 3 feet, head first, on concrete or tiles!
  • A hamster that falls on its four legs, even from a height of 3 feet, is generally safe; these little monsters have strong bones!
  • A hamster that falls on its head risks twisting its neck even if the fall is only 1 or 2 feet high!
  • The larger the hamster, the more severe the consequences of its fall.
  • Dwarf hamsters handle falls better than Syrians.
  • Because older hamsters’ bones are weaker, they are more likely to be injured in a fall than younger hamsters.
  • Pregnant hamsters should never have access to high places because if they fall, they risk losing the young in their belly!

How can I keep my hamster from falling or injuring itself by falling?

Do you have any idea? Hamsters fall all the time, and their clumsiness adds to their charm.

But you must do everything possible to keep your hamster from falling out of your hands or from a height, especially on a hard object or surface.

Here are some pointers to help you save your hamster’s life:

  • Avoid cages with bars and floors; instead, put your hamster in an Ikea Detolf or an enclosure with at least 800 square inches of ground space and no floor, especially if your hamster is young.
  • Also, check to see if your hamster is capable of climbing; if not, remove the ladders or leave only substrate beneath them and no other toys in case your hamster falls.
  • If you have a tiered cage, remove any object that could injure your hamster if he falls on it, and prefer paper-based bedding because it cushions falls better.
  • Do not pick up your hamster while standing. Sit on the floor or on a bed, with your hands on the bed, pillow, or anything else that will break your hamster’s fall if it decides to jump.
  • Never hold your hamster in your hands or put it in the hands of another person if it is not completely tame or shows signs of stress and agitation.
  • Children must learn to handle the hamster before picking it up, and they must never do so alone.
  • Secure your hamster’s enclosure so that it cannot escape at night and risk falling from a height or stairs; keep in mind that a hamster can escape if its head gets through a hole.

When hamsters fall out of your hands, they can become unconscious

If your hamster hits its head on something or falls head first, it can quickly lose consciousness.

Don’t panic; leave your hamster if it’s still breathing, give it a few moments to regain consciousness, and then monitor the symptoms I mentioned above to ensure it’s all right.

My hamster fell off my hands, he seems fine but how do I know if he is hurt?

If your hamster falls from your hands and gets back up, keep an eye on him for two more days to ensure that there are no symptoms that will require veterinary intervention.

  • Your hamster becomes inactive and stops feeding.
  • He huddles in a corner of the enclosure and does not move even when you ask him to.
  • Your hamster has a badly cleaned fur (it could not groom properly and take its sand baths, probably because of an injury)
  • Your hamster does not let you touch him, shows teeth and aggressiveness and cries when you approach your hand.
  • Your hamster cries out in pain and has noisy breathing that seems difficult.

I also mentioned other signs of injury at the start of this article.

How long does it take for my hamster’s broken leg to heal after a fall?

When treated and cared for properly, hamsters can regain use of their broken paw after only 2 weeks if the fracture is minor.

When the fracture is severe, it takes about a month for the hamster to heal.

Can a broken hamster’s leg heal on its own?

Yes, absolutely, leg fractures heal the fastest in the hamster, especially if it is a light fracture; it will not take more than two weeks if you follow the instructions in this article and those of your veterinarian, of course.

In fact, the veterinarian will only proscribe to your hamster if it breaks a leg:

  • Painkillers (anti-pain) so that your hamster does not suffer too much.
  • An anti-inflammatory and antibiotics to avoid infections.

You must also ensure that the cage is kept clean and that your injured hamster is groomed.

The vet will also bandage your hamster’s broken leg or simply bandage the leg with the entire front of your hamster to prevent the broken leg from moving and allow the bone to heal on its own.

Your hamster will then heal on its own.

But you must take him to the vet; you have no choice. Painkillers and antibiotics are very important; otherwise, your hamster’s broken leg will become infected, and if there is internal bleeding, your hamster may lose his leg or even his life.

How to take care of a hamster that has been injured by a fall?

  • Simply follow the veterinarian’s instructions.
  • Remove all potentially dangerous objects and obstacles from the hamster’s cage.
  • Take out the hamster wheel.
  • Make it simple for your hamster to reach the food.
  • Remove the water bottle and replace it with a water bowl because a hamster with a broken leg will be unable to use its bottle.
  • During the first week, avoid taking your hamster.
  • Take out the tunnels.
  • Remove your hamster’s bandage only when instructed to do so by the veterinarian.
  • To pet your hamster, simply put your hand in the cage and stroke it on the head without applying too much pressure.

Will my hamster die from leg injury?

No, your hamster will not die as a result of a broken leg.

You simply need to take him to a veterinarian as soon as possible to stabilize the fractured leg and prevent it from moving, as well as to administer a pain reliever and antibiotics to the hamster.

Your hamster’s leg will heal on its own; if the fracture is severe and the leg will not heal, your hamster will gnaw on it and get rid of it to save its life.

When hamsters break a leg during a fight or chase with a predator, it is not uncommon for them to gnaw that leg off, leaving them with only three legs.

But, as I previously stated, it is very rare for a fracture to result in the death of a hamster; they are tough little guys; just take him quickly to the vet and facilitate his life in his enclosure, remove the mud, install a bowl of water instead of the bottle and help him to make his toilet, give him plain yogurt or probiotics before the antibiotics, and your hamster will heal in one or two weeks.

What is the breed of hamster that falls the most?

Roborovski hamsters are very dynamic creatures that are difficult to tame and then hold in your hands.

They are extremely fast, and children will never be able to keep up with them, and accidents frequently occur as a result.

Roborovskis frequently fall from your hands, but they are not injured because they have strong bones that are not too large, so the fall is usually without consequences.

Falling Syrian hamsters are usually the most serious, especially if the hamster is obese.

Will my hamster survive a fall?

There is no simple answer to this question, and your hamster’s survival after a fall will be determined by several factors:

  • Its age 
  • Its weight
  • The height of the fall
  • On what it fell, the surface? Is there a cushion or not?
  • On which side it fell? Head, legs, back,…
  • Does he have a wound from a previous fall?

But its survival will also be determined by your reaction and the first aid that you can provide.

But let’s be optimistic and let me tell you that even if I don’t advise you to lower your guard and know that you have to watch your hamster for 48 hours if there are no after-effects, but hamsters are robust and they survive even falls of more than 5 feet, the forums are full of this kind of testimonies

The moment of the fall is a determining factor

I also want to emphasize an important point: never play with your hamster as soon as it wakes up and leaves its nest.

Allow your hamster a little time, say an hour, so he can groom, take a sand bath, and especially walk and run a little on the wheel; in short, give him time to do his twilight gymnastics; this will prevent injuries if he falls from your arms.

He will warm up his muscles and be able to take the hard knocks when he falls, and his chances of surviving these falls will only improve if you allow him to do some light exercise after waking up.


Although hamsters fall all the time, thankfully, serious consequences such as fractures and death are very rare.

So, instead of panicking every time your hamster falls, keep an eye on it for the next 48 hours.

Hamsters are prey and hide their injuries very well until it is serious.

A broken leg will swell up quickly, and this is one of the most common symptoms of hamster fractures.

If you suspect something after a fall, it is best to gently pick up your hamster, put it in its carrier and take it to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

If you want more helpful advice on looking after your hamster, including tips on food, toys, accessories and accommodation, add a comment below to let us know!

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By HamsterCareTip.Com.

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