Can hamsters swim? And do they like swimming?

Can hamsters swim? Technically, yes, like most mammals, hamster’s can swim… but they really don’t like it and it can be very bad for them!

In the wild, hamsters live in dry environments. They are not naturally inclined to get into water and they usually don’t like to get very wet.

Putting your hamster in water and forcing them to swim will put them under a lot of stress. This stress can weaken their immune system and make them susceptible to disease. If the water is cold or the hamster remains wet for a long period of time then they could even end up catching a lethal cold or pneumonia!

We recommend that you even avoid washing your hamster. They’re perfectly capable of keeping themselves clean, and even a small amount of water can cause problems.

Water can remove vital protective oils from your hamster’s coat. This can lead to your little friend catching a chill, which can be very dangerous and potentially fatal.

Hamster6-300You may see videos of hamsters swimming on YouTube but notice how many negative votes the video has – these are from people who know that it’s a cruel thing to do! – and notice how the hamsters seem panicked and swim towards the edges of the pool. They’re not having fun swimming around… they’re trying to escape from the water.

Just because some animals like certain activities, such as swimming, it’s not right to assume that other animals like those activities too. When keeping any pet, you should carefully research their needs and natural environment, and try to recreate those natural conditions as closely as possible within your own home.

So, to summarise, yes, hamsters can swim. But that doesn’t mean they should. It’s very bad for their physical and mental health and you should avoid putting your hamster in water whenever possible.