why do hamsters rub against things

Why Do Hamsters Rub Against Things?

Hamsters are small and endearing animals with surprisingly complex behaviors, which can sometimes be mysterious to us as humans. One such behavior is when hamsters rub against objects or surfaces. While it may seem a little strange, it is perfectly natural for hamsters and can be an indicator of their wellbeing.

Display of Consent

One reason that hamsters will rub against objects or surfaces is as a display of consent. By rubbing against people, items, or furniture, a hamster is sending a signal of affection and approval. In a sense, they are marking things as their own, either out of comfort or as a way of creating a connection with them.

Exhibition of Scent

Hamsters have scent glands located around their bodies called “contact glands”. These glands secrete a unique scent that hamsters release by rubbing against objects, which can act a bit like a signature. When a hamster rubs against a particular surface, they are depositing their scent as a marker – signifying that this is their home or space.

Relief from Conditions

Another reason a hamster might rub against things is to help with an itch or to scratch an area of its body that has become dry or irritated. By doing this, it helps alleviate any itching and can also help to provide relief to its skin.

Create a Comfort Zone

Finally, hamsters may also rub against things in a bid to create a comfort zone. Doing this helps them feel secure and safe and can provide a sense of familiarity. It also acts as a way for the hamster to familiarize themselves with their surroundings in order to better understand them.


In summary, there are a few reasons why hamsters might rub against objects or surfaces. From marking items as their own to scratches an itch or provide relief from an irritation, rubbing can help to create a sense of comfort for these small and endearing animals.

The main reasons why Hamsters rub against things are:

  • Display of Consent
  • Exhibition of Scent
  • Relief from Conditions
  • Create a Comfort Zone

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