Jumping is one of the many possible forms of locomotion for humans and animals. But not all animals are able to jump. For example, can hamsters jump at all, and if so, how high and far?
Hamsters can jump, but not very well. They are not really talented jumpers. However, when it comes down to it, they can certainly jump 11-12 inches high. This is something to keep in mind if you want to limit your hamster’s run. Hamsters can easily break their bones if they fall from greater heights, such as off a table.
Hamsters are not natural jumpers. In their natural habitat, they simply don’t need to. That is why their body is not really designed for jumping.
In this article, we will go over all aspects of hamster jumping. We’ll tell you how high and how far hamsters can jump and what it means when your hamster jumps around in its cage. We also reveal if your hamster could jump out of its cage.
We then clarify whether hamsters can climb steps and tell you what happens when a hamster jumps or falls from a high place. Finally, we address whether hamsters can break their leg or other bones.
Can Hamsters Jump?
Hamsters are absolutely capable of jumping. They can jump both in height and in distance. However, they prefer other methods of locomotion.
Hamsters are incredibly fast and persistent. And, unlike guinea pigs, they are very talented climbers. In this way, they can not only cover long distances at a fast pace but also overcome many obstacles.
However, jumping in hamsters also exists as a natural behavior. For example, they jump when something scares them or when they romp around full of joy.
However, to climb an obstacle, a hamster will rather try to climb up. And they are pretty good at climbing up things. Many hamsters have escaped from their cages this way.
How High Can Hamsters Jump?
As we noted above, hamsters are not born jumpers. They only jump when it is really necessary or when they are positively or negatively excited for some reason.
However, when hamsters make an effort, they can jump up quite considerable heights – at least in relation to their body size. Hamsters can jump as high as 11 or 12 inches.
While that’s not really much in absolute terms, it’s quite a feat for a small hamster.
If they have the ability, however, they will pull themselves up rather than jump up anywhere. They are able to do this by holding on with their front legs and pulling themselves up.
Keep this in mind when you have items you don’t want your hamster to reach. He might also pull himself up on something to reach those items.
How Far Can Hamsters Jump?
Hamsters are also amazing for their body size when it comes to the distance of their jumps. They can cover up to 12 inches of distance in one jump. Of course, they need a bit of a run-up to do this; they can’t do it from a standing start.
But long jumps are not normally part of the hamsters’ usual exercise repertoire. They are rather known for their ability to run quite fast if they have to.
Hamsters manage to cover 8 ft in less than 2 seconds. That’s really fast! Converted, that equates to about 4 to 5 mp/h. There’s even a YouTube video where a hamster owner measured his hamster’s speed:
But they can also cover pretty long distances. Researchers at the University of Bern in Switzerland have studied how far hamsters run in a hamster wheel in one night.
They found that hamsters can make up to 30,000 revolutions of the hamster wheel in one night. That’s the equivalent of about 12 to 18 miles!
So running really is in the blood of hamsters! Not only are they fast, but they also have great endurance. But jumping is not their first choice for getting around.
What Does It Mean When My Hamster Jumps?
So hamsters don’t jump so much to overcome heights or distances. Nevertheless, hamster owners report again and again that their hamster jumps around wildly in the cage. What does this mean?
Hamsters like to jump around in the cage when they are frisky and happy. The hamster then romps around out of sheer joy and exuberance and also jumps up in the air.
Another reason for jumps in hamsters is that they are frightened. When a hamster is frightened, it usually jumps vertically into the air.
This is probably an escape reflex. He is trying to escape the surprise that startled him. After all, it could be a predator that snuck up on him.
By jumping, he buys himself time and avoids a potential attack. Personally, however, I prefer the exuberant jumping of hamsters out of joy.
Can Hamsters Jump Out of Their Cage?
You might think about leaving your hamster’s apartment open at the top. Is this a good idea? Could your hamster then perhaps escape?
Remember that hamsters can jump about 11 to 12 inches high when it counts. So the sides of their cage should definitely be higher.
However, hamsters can also pull themselves up. If they stand on their hind legs and reach up, they may be able to reach something with their front legs to grab onto. Then they could pull themselves upon it.
But there is also another danger. Hamsters are pretty smart. Your hamster might get the idea to build some sort of ramp out of the bedding to climb on. In this way, he could also overcome greater heights.
This is not just a theoretical possibility. Hamsters really do this kind of thing. They are very clever and resourceful when they want to reach a goal. Therefore, it may not be a good idea to leave your hamster cage open at the top.
If you do want to keep your hamster without a top cover, or you plan to have an exercise area, make sure the walls are at least 20 inches high. This way you can be sure that your hamster will not escape.
Can Hamsters Climb Stairs?
If hamsters are so adept at moving around, can they climb stairs up or down? Or maybe even jump on a stair step?
Hamsters can indeed climb stairs. They manage to climb stairs both up and down.
However, climbing up is easier for them because they can pull themselves up the stairs. When going down, there is a risk that they are more likely to fall down the stairs.
There are reports of hamster owners whose hamster has escaped from the cage. Some hamster owners have then found their hamsters on another floor in the house.
So it is quite possible that these skilled climbers can climb stairs.
Can Hamsters Jump Off a High Place?
Hamsters can also jump down from a certain height. But the height should not be too high. If they jump down from a greater height, there is a risk that they will injure themselves.
Therefore, you should always be careful when placing a hamster on a table, for example. He probably won’t jump down from the table voluntarily, but it can happen that your hamster falls down.
In such a case, your hamster will quite certainly injure himself.
You should also be careful when carrying your hamster. Always hold him tightly so he can’t escape and fall on the floor. Even if your hamster bites your hand, you must continue to hold him. A fall from that height will not end well for your hamster.
Can Hamsters Break Their Leg?
If your hamster falls from a greater height, the greatest danger is that it will break its legs. But that’s not the only way your hamster can get a fracture.
We mentioned above that you should always hold your hamster tightly when carrying him around. However, you should also not grip too tightly.
If you grab your hamster too tightly in an awkward grip, you could break his bones. Remember that hamsters’ bones are much thinner and more fragile than those of humans.
Another common cause of a broken leg in hamsters is that they get one leg trapped somewhere. Usually, this is the wire mesh of their cage or their exercise wheel.
The good news, however, is that broken bones in hamsters usually heal well.
Conclusion: Can Hamsters Jump?
Hamsters can jump, both in height and in distance. But they usually do not do it to move around. For this purpose, they rather use their persistent and fast running ability and their ability to climb.
When hamsters jump, it is usually either for joy or because they are frightened. You may observe your hamster jumping wildly around its cage. This is usually a sign that he is being exuberant.
Hamsters should not jump down from a great height or be dropped. This can cause serious injuries such as broken legs or even death.
So take good care of your hamster when you pick him up and carry him around. And admire him when he runs wildly in his wheel or jumps around with joy in his cage.