How Fast Does a Hamster Heartbeat

How Fast Does a Hamster Heartbeat?

Depending on its size, a hamster’s heart beats about a hundred to three hundred times a minute. A small-sized hamster would have a heart rate of around one thousand beats per minute. If the heartbeat speeds up temporarily, the Hamster may display rapid breathing and increased activity symptoms.

When a hamster’s heartbeat reduces, their pulse can be detected by placing your hand on the fur or checking their breathing or skin color. Decreased heart rates and vibrations may indicate that the hamster is in danger, so you should seek medical attention.

Factors Affecting the Hamster’s Heartbeat

The main factors that affect hamster heartbeat are as follows:

Stressful events 

Hamsters are more sensitive than other rodents to solid stressors. They generally show heart rate increases of about 30% during stressful events.

The percentage is not a lot of expansion, but it is still more than ten beats per minute.

Mating and Lactation 

Both mating and lactation cause stress. Mating causes a decrease in heart rate for about one hour and then causes an increase of 10 minutes afterward.

Lactation does not cause much change to the heartbeat but does cause blood pressure to increase because hamsters have tiny mammary glands.


Moderate exercise creates a slew of beneficial changes in the body, increasing heart rate by only 5-8 beats per minute. Heavy exercise can cause a 20 beat per minute increase.


Cold temperatures can cause a drop-in heart rate of 5-10 beats per minute. Since hamsters are ectothermic, low temperatures cool them off.


A good dose of vitamins will help boost your hamster’s heartbeat.

Humidity levels in the air

Humid air is denser than dry air. The air density will create a difference in the pressure, and since a hamster’s heart is directly affected by blood pressure, it can be affected by the air’s density.

A hamster breathes very heavily while running on his wheel. As he lives in, he takes in oxygen and expels carbon dioxide.

During this process, his blood gets oxygenated, and his heart increases its rate to distribute that oxygen throughout the hamster’s body.

Types of food the hamster eats

Dietary food alters the heartbeats of hamsters by an average of ten beats per minute.


The male hamsters have shorter heartbeats than the females because males generally have higher testosterone levels and thus stronger muscles than females, which reduces their heart rate.

Why Do Hamster Hearts Beat So Fast?

Hamster hearts beat so fast because hamsters are tiny and have a high metabolism; thus, their hearts pump the blood for a much smaller body.

Their body weight is about one-quarter to one-eighth of an average human’s weight, which means that the hamster’s heart needs to pump blood more often because there’s not as much blood in the hamster’s system.

How To Take Hamsters’ Pulse Rate

You can take hamsters’ pulse rate by running your thumb across their rib cage. A hamster’s pulse rate usually ranges from 70 to 230 beats per minute.

If you anesthetize a hamster, you can take its pulse by placing your finger over its femoral artery and counting the number of heartbeats for 30 seconds

Symptoms Of Low Heartbeat in Hamsters

The symptoms include

  • Drooling at the mouth 
  • Breathing rapidly and shallowly 
  • Shutting down to a sleep position 
  • Rapid and irregular pulse rates may result in death without immediate medical help being sought. 
  • Lack of control over limbs (ataxia) is caused by loss of balance, coordination, and problems with sensory perception, like proprioception (the brain’s ability to feel the limbs). When this happens, the hamster cannot find its way around without assistance.
  • Lack of coordination can include troubles with the hind limbs and feet, resulting in a loss of balance. 
  • Disorientation or inability to orientate in the direction of the hamster’s head (alopecia)
  • Paralysis is caused by swelling of the brain. 
  • Eye paralysis and sudden blindness 
  • Trouble breathing due to brain swelling, resulting in respiratory arrest or sudden death. The cause could be a rapid build-up of fluid insufficiently cushioned around the brain structures or pressure on small blood vessels near the brain (brain herniation). 

Hamster’s heart beat FAQs

Why does a hamster’s heart beat fast when it is small?

Hamsters’ heart beat fast when they are small because their heart has to work harder to pump oxygenated blood around their body. The hamster’s heart rate drops when it is significant because the hamster’s size reduces the effort needed to pump blood around its body.

But how does a hamster’s heart rate drop as they grow older? Well, two primary mechanisms control the process:

  • As the animal grows, its heart muscle cells grow in size and number, making it easier for the muscle fibers to contract and relax.
  • As the animal grows, the number of capillaries supplying blood to the muscle cells increases. It allows a greater blood flow, meaning that the heart needs to pump blood around the body far less frequently.

Why do hamsters’ hearts beat fast?

Hamster hearts beat fast because they are in a constant state of excitement due to the hamster’s natural high-speed wheel and wheel-running behavior and quick metabolism. They also have rapid breathing, which allows them to stay relaxed and active and maintain body temperature.

Hamsters often die shortly after birth because their hearts cannot stand the strain of being able to pump blood through such a small body for very long.

Does a hamster’s heart beat fast?

Yes, a hamster’s heart beats faster, and it is more than twice the size of its head to accommodate. Hamsters have tiny lungs and cannot hold their breath for long, so they constantly’ gasp.’

When resting, a hamster’s heart rate is over 400 bpm, much higher than a human. They can potentially survive with only one lung; if one loses the other, it depends mainly on the type of hamster.

Sometimes the heart will beat so much that the hamster cannot move its body because it has to push blood through its body twice as quickly. Other times they will not have any problems, although they may need more exercise and activity due to their rapid heartbeat.

The difference in a heartbeat can be so significant that the hamster may need to be monitored closely by a veterinarian.

How do I know if my hamster has heart disease?

You can tell if your hamster has heart disease by looking out for the following symptoms:

  • Increased lethargy
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling in the legs and paws
  • Restlessness or shakiness due to muscle spasms

To avoid your hamster contracting heart disease, you should have a vet check-up on it twice a year. If you notice any of these symptoms, then visit an animal hospital for immediate help.

Final Thoughts

Hamster’s hearts are almost twice as fast as the average humans. The fast flow provides oxygenated blood to its cells, enabling it to run around on all fours quickly.

Because hamsters have such a high heart rate during exercise and when frightened, their blood pressure increases significantly and can cause harm to their organs. 

Hopefully, you found this helpful article. If you follow the tips I gave above, you will be able to know how fast a hamster heartbeat.