why do hamsters freeze

Why Do Hamsters Freeze?

Hamsters are some of the most popular and vast pet animals, due to their furry appeal and small sizes. Nevertheless, you may have noticed that when startled, your hamster has a tendency to freeze into place. Here are some reasons why hamsters freeze:

Natural Instinct

One of the reasons why hamsters freeze is that it’s simply their natural instinct. Hamsters freeze when they sense danger, as a defence and avoidance tactic. Even if the source of danger has already passed by, the hamster may stay frozen, as it is uncertain if the danger is still present.

Surrounded by Unfamiliarity

If it is your first time introducing a new hamster to its cage, it may freeze due to unfamiliarity. This is especially true if you attempt to touch or hold it in your hands. As a result, hamsters often freeze in order to prepare itself for the new environment.

Irritated or Scared

In addition, hamsters may freeze if they are irritated or scared. If you handle your hamster roughly or disturb its external environment, it is likely to become scared or irritated and freeze onto place. In this case, it is necessary to be gentle and careful when interacting with your hamster.

Ways to Encourage Relaxation

When your hamster is frozen, here are some tips to encourage relaxation:

  • Speak softly and gently – Usually, hamsters appreciate soft and mellow environment. Thus, speaking to your hamster in a soft and gentle manner is likely to create a more relaxed atmosphere.
  • Avoid quick movement – Quick movement is likely to scare your hamster. Regardless of your purpose, try to be leisurely in your movement with your hamster.
  • Offer treats – Sometimes, offering treats encourage your hamster to become relaxed, especially if they are food they like. Offering treats also helps develop your connection with your hamster and serve as a reward for good behaviour.
  • Give it space and time – Above all, it is important to give your hamster some time to be comfortable with its environment on its own. Respect its independence and give it the room it needs to feel comfortable.

All in all, hamsters may freeze due to various reasons, such as as natural instinct, unfamiliarity or fear/irritation. In this case, it is necessary to create a relaxed environment for your hamster and provide it with the space and time it needs.

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