Petkeen is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commision. Learn More

Why is My Hamster Losing Hair? 5 Common Reasons

Nicole Cosgrove

February 22, 2021

Hamsters are extremely cute and cuddly with their fluffy hair and distinct color patterns. This is why it can be extremely alarming if you notice your furry friend is losing his hair.

If your hamster starts losing his hair, it’s paramount that you determine why they’re getting bald spots.

Hair loss in hamsters can be a telling symptom of several health conditions—ranging from minor to major concern. In many cases, hair loss is caused by the things found in your pet hamster’s environment. In this article, we’ll discuss the five most common reasons why your hamster is losing hair and what you can do.

divider-hamster

1. Nutritional Deficiencies

One of the most common reasons for hamsters to lose their hair is due to nutritional deficiencies. If your hamster’s diet does not include the proper nutrition—particularly the right amount of B vitamins—it can cause hair loss.

A lack of protein in their diet can also cause problems with their fur. When consulting your veterinarian, one of the first things they’ll ask about is your hamster’s diet with regards to their hair loss.

What to do:

If this is the suspected cause of your hamster’s hair loss, your veterinarian may recommend changing their diet. Foods such as cheese, unsweetened cereal, cooked eggs, whole wheat pasta, veggies, and fruits are known to be beneficial in treating hair loss in hamsters. There are also water-soluble vitamins prescribed to small pets to help hair regrowth.


2. Parasites

The presence of parasites can cause a lot of health problems in your hamster. And one of the most common symptoms they cause is hair loss. If your hamster has fleas, ticks, ringworm, or mites, it can lead to incessant scratching. This will then damage their skin, which can wind up in hair loss accompanied by lesions.

What to do:

If you suspect your pet hamster has parasites, bring them to the vet immediately and ask for the best solution to help with the problem.

It’s also extremely important to not just treat your hamster for parasites, but also their surroundings and environment.

Parasites not only infest your pet, but they can also infest your hamster’s habitat and your home.

As you clear their environment of the parasites, you should simultaneously start the medication for your pet’s skin. And once your hamster’s skin is healed, their hair will likely grow back just as fluffy as it was before the infestation.


3. Friction

Friction can also cause hair loss in hamsters. If your hamster spends a lot of time rubbing its body against its toys or cage, the excessive friction might cause its hair to fall off. This is particularly common in hamsters with really small cages as they have very little space to move around.

What to do:

Make sure you get a large enough cage for your hamster. And if you have more than one hamster, it’s all the more imperative. This way your hamsters can have enough room to play and run around easily without damaging their coats.


4. Shedding

Yes, hamsters shed regularly. This phenomenon happens during the spring and tends to peak during the fall. When hamsters shed, you will notice their fur coat becoming thinner. However, they normally won’t acquire full-blown bald spots.

Certain breeds like Russian and Syrian hamsters tend to shed more than the Roborovski and Chinese dwarf types.

What to do:

It is completely normal for hamsters to shed. If this is the cause of your pet’s hair loss, don’t worry. After its shedding process, their hair will grow back, and your pet hamster will have its luscious coat once again.


5. Medical Conditions

Some medical conditions and diseases can cause hamsters to lose their fur. Kidney inflammations and T-cell lymphoma are two causes that are commonly associated with hair loss. Another medical condition that often coincides with hair loss in hamsters is hormonal imbalance.

What to do:

If you notice your hamster abnormally losing its fur, contact your vet immediately to schedule an appointment. They will assess your hamster’s situation to find out what’s really going on.

Hair loss from medical conditions can be very worrisome. However, it’s often a good indicator that something’s not right.

divider-hamster

Treating Hamster Hair Loss

Seeing your hamster slowly losing its hair can be quite alarming. But chances are that there is no huge need to worry. Most causes for hamster hair loss are extremely treatable and easily corrected.

Working together with your vet, you can give your hamster the best treatment possible. Just be sure to trust your vet and follow their instructions explicitly, and your little hamster will be furry again in no time.


Featured Image Credit: Olena Kurashova, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.