Why Does My Hamster Keep Yawning? {6 Reasons Why Hamsters Yawn}

Are you wondering why your hamster yawns when you are around? Is this a positive sign or something concerning? Why does my hamster keep yawning?

In this article, we will explore 6 possible reasons why your hamster is yawning. We will also talk about some of their body language cues and what they mean. Is your hamster trying to tell you something?

Let’s find out!

Why Does My Hamster Keep Yawning?

Why Does My Hamster Yawn? Most of the time, when a hamster yawns, they are simply content and comfortable with their world. They might be stretching out and saying good morning to you.

If a hamster yawns in front of you, you are no threat to them. Other times, yawning could mean that your hamster is bored or stressed because of it. Entertain or exercise your hamster with chew toys and running wheels.

Supervise safe play time outside of the cage for a few minutes and this will allow your hamster to feel refreshed and ready for another day in their life with you.

6 Reasons Why Hamsters Yawn

1. Good Morning

Hamsters yawn often when they wake up. It releases endorphins and helps them oxygenate their bodies while they stretch out.

2. Simply Relaxed

A relaxed and comfortable hamster is more likely to yawn than one who is fearful and threatened. Safe and secure feelings around their human companions means that hamster can stretch out, take deep breath and yawn at will. There is trust and the bond is secure.

3. Grooming

Yawning is sometimes accompanied by some mild grooming. Since hamsters like to clean themselves in sand or dust baths, it may be the start of a grooming session.

Aggressive grooming would include biting of the tail which goes opposite the direction of a stressed out hamster. Cleaning, grooming and yawning go hand in hand with a comfortable hamster living their best life.

4. Exhausted

You can search for “hamster yawning meaning” online and you may find that hamsters do this because they are simply tired.

A hamster who has spent a large portion of the day running on an exercise wheel, may need to yawn to inhale a large amount of oxygen at once.

A hamster outside of the cage will expel a lot of energy and may slow down at the end and let out a nice big yawn.

5. Bored

Have you ever yawned when you are bored? Hamsters can be doing the same thing. Are they copying you? Most likely, they are inherently bored and yawning is a natural response, the same way as it is for us.

Your hamster might be seeking activities or could be bored of the same old chew toys. Look to switch things up and alternate new chew items for your hamster to explore.

Hamster Toys:

  • Cardboard tubes
  • Chew toys
  • Shredding items to destroy (paper, cardboard)
  • Salt licks
  • Stairs, blocks, ramps
  • Toilet rolls
  • Hidden treats

Take a stroll in the pocket pet aisle at your local pet store or big box chain and see what they have in stock for chew toys and playful activities besides the regular hamster wheel.

6. Stressed Out

This hamster might not be ok. Yawning rarely signifies that stress is around your hamster’s life, but it could mean that as well. Is your hamster really yawning or just showing their teeth out of a fear response?

Do you hear a hiss sound? If you do, this hamster is asking for space right now and doesn’t feel comfortable. Getting too close runs the risk of being bitten.

Create a calmer, quieter and stress free space for your hamster to hopefully feel more relaxed and yawn naturally out of comfort instead.

YouTube video

How To Make A Hamster Yawn

We should not make our hamsters perform tricks for us, but a simple yawn can occur if you try the following:

  1. Place your hands together and let your hamster climb aboard.
  2. Trace your finger over the top of your hamster’s head and follow it down to the tail.
  3. Apply light pressure over the back.
  4. Try this a couple of times.
  5. Your hamster might yawn or close their eyes out of pleasure.

What Does It Mean When a Hamster Is Yawning?

A yawn is out of comfort or stress. Most likely it is a positive reaction. Aggressive hamsters may show yawning as a way of exposing their teeth and warning others to back off.

times, your hamster is bored, tired and needs some time alone after a long day of active play or exercise.

How Do You Tell if a Hamster Is Stressed?

A stressed hamster could bite at bars of the cage or tear up their bedding. They could be gnawing on the plastic around the cage walls and this shows that they are stressed out.  They will also appear more aggressive at this time.

Other responses to stress include:

  • aggression
  • biting
  • excessive digging
  • rolling
  • scratching
  • biting their tail
  • self mutilation
  • scurrying in circles
  • excessive licking

If your hamster continues to perform these actions, you might need to change things up around the enclosure, add more hiding spaces or visit the vet.

Hamster Body Language

Hamsters show their body language in many ways. They can do it to express emotions. A threatened hamster may look different than a happy one. Here are some examples of hamster body language:

1. Stretching and yawning

This body language usually means your hamster is comfortable or waking up after a short nap. Yawning and relaxing are closely related.

2. Freezing

A frozen hamster is motionless and still out of fear or surprise. They pause to listen to their surroundings or remain still to hope that a perceived threat moves along and leaves them alone.

3. Standing up on back legs

A hamster on hind legs might be trying to see or hear what is going on. Something has sparked their attention.

4. Grooming

Hamsters are meticulously clean rodents and grooming is a sign that all is well and they are carrying on with their day. A hamster grooming is a safe and comfortable one.

5. Chewing

If your hamster is excessively chewing on bars or their own body, they are stressed. Chewing on items might mean they are bored or trying to work down their ever-growing teeth.

6. Biting

A hamster bites when scared or stressed. A confused hamster may do the same. Hamsters in pain might also bite to warn you to back off. It will be hard to touch your hamster this time.

Another reason could be because they are bruxing, Read more about that here

We hope these body language cues help you understand your hamster better to strengthen the bond between you. The trust and comfort from your hamster is the most important thing in developing a long lasting relationship to together.


Thank you for visiting PocketPetCentral.com for the best information to help you enjoy the life of your pocket pet companion in a fun, safe & healthy way.


My name is Anna and I work full time in my local pet shop where we sell many animals that I write about on this site. I love all animals and love writing about them.