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Home > Hamsters > How to Calm Your Hamster During Thunderstorms: 6 Effective Tips

How to Calm Your Hamster During Thunderstorms: 6 Effective Tips

syrian hamster playing

Hamsters aren’t only delicate pets due to their size, but they also require a gentle touch when it comes to loud noises. While some hamsters might be okay during a storm, others may be stressed out by the thunder.

We can’t explain to our hamsters that thunder won’t hurt them, but we can provide comfort with our presence or by moving the cage to a quieter room. Here are a few tips for calming your hamster during a thunderstorm.

divider-hamster How to Calm Your Hamster During a Thunderstorm

1. Dim the Lights

When they’re scared, most prey animals try to hide. The same goes for your hamster. Dimming the lights in the room with their cage can help them feel more secure. To them, the darker it is in the room, the less likely they are to be seen by a predator.

This goes for blocking out lightning too. If it’s nighttime, keep the curtains or blinds shut, or move the cage to a dark room so your hamster can feel more secure in their hideaway.

Hamster sleeping on fleece blanket
Image by: Alex Milan, Shutterstock

2. Distraction

Depending on how close the storm is, you might be able to distract your hamster with their favorite treats or toys. If your pet is more skittish, you might not have much success, but you can still try to distract them.

Giving your hamster something to chew on, play with, or even a new tunnel to explore or hide in might keep their mind off the thunder. They’ll also associate their favorite things with positive feelings, and it can help ease their nerves if they’re feeling fractious.


3. Music

You need to be careful about what music you play — too loud or energetic music can have the opposite effect — but music is a good way for both humans and hamsters to relax. Play calm music at a low volume in the room where your hamster’s cage is. The idea is to help them relax with the aid of music without scaring them with your attempt to calm them down.

Louder, more energetic music might be more fun to listen to, but the drums and vocals might startle your hamster more than the thunder. Choose a gentle, classical playlist or soft music instead.

Syrian hamster peeking
Image by: Mary Swift, Shutterstock

4. Provide Hideouts

Providing plenty of hideouts in your hamster’s cage can help them deal with stress. Things in which your hamster can hide, like boxes or enclosed beds and tunnels, can give your hamster places to go when they feel uncertain.

Once they can hide somewhere out of sight, your hamster is more likely to be able to calm themselves down. They’ll feel less exposed and safe from predators, even if the threat is only a few cracks of thunder.


5. Quiet Space

Most hamsters will be fine during a thunderstorm if they’re inside the house. However, it might be helpful to move them away from rooms that are close to the outside walls or windows. Find a quiet space to place the cage for a few hours until the storm passes or somewhere in the house that naturally blocks out most of the sound from outside.

Keeping your hamster away from the windows can also help hide them away from any flashes of lightning. While they might still hear the thunder, the flashes of light won’t be able to make them feel exposed.

Syrian hamster sleeping in a sawdust
Image by: Alex Milan, Shutterstock

6. Stay Calm

Perhaps one of the biggest ways to help your stressed hamster is by staying calm and reassuring them with a gentle voice. It’s important not to let their fearful behavior panic you, even if their trembling and hiding is the opposite of their usual personality.

Your hamster is more likely to calm down when they realize that you’re not worried. They might not want to cuddle with you, but you can still reassure them with your calm voice and steady presence near their cage.

divider-hamster

Are Hamsters Scared of Loud Noises?

As prey animals, hamsters trust their senses to let them know when they’re in danger or something’s wrong. Their hearing, in particular, is much stronger than their eyesight and enables them to hear sounds that we might not.

This sensitivity keeps them safe from predators, but it also has a downside. Noises that we find loud are more likely to be almost deafening to your hamster. Since each noise can contain pitches that we can’t hear while our hamsters can, it’s understandable that they’re a little warier about loud noises.

Thunder or fireworks might sound like a simple bang to us, but a hamster’s ability to hear at a different frequency can make these noises sound different. While they might not react to a more gentle, slow roll of distant thunder, a sudden violent crack can startle them.

wild hamster
Image by: Michal Pesata, Shutterstock

Can Thunder Kill Hamsters?

While thunder might not be able to physically harm your hamster, it can still cause a great deal of damage. Hamsters can be prone to heart attacks that can be set off by sudden, loud noises, like thunder cracking directly overhead. Syrian hamsters in particular are known to be cardiomyopathic, which means they’re especially vulnerable to heart attacks.

Other hamsters might be less prone to heart attacks when they hear loud noises, but their sensitive hearing can lead to acoustic trauma, like tinnitus.

How to Know If Your Hamster Is Stressed

Thunder isn’t the only loud noise that can stress out your hamster. Vacuum cleaners, fireworks, or too loud music can make them nervous too. They can also get stressed out if there’s a new pet in the house that keeps pestering them or even if you’ve simply added something new to their cage.

To make sure your hamster stays as healthy and relaxed as possible, keep an eye out for any of these signs of stress:

  • Aggression
  • Hiding
  • Hyperactivity
  • Lack of or no appetite
  • Panting
  • Tremors
  • Vocalization

divider-hamster Conclusion

Being prey animals, hamsters are naturally wary about things that they’re unsure of. This can be anything from a new object in their cage to a new pet in the house or loud noises like thunder. Unfortunately, many hamsters can suffer from heart attacks if they’re startled too badly by a thunderstorm directly overhead.

Ease their panic by reassuring them with a calm voice, giving them plenty of places to hide, providing distractions, and placing the cage in a quiet room.


Featured Image Credit: _Johannes Menge, Shutterstock

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