Why Is My Hamster Drinking So Much Water?

Dr. Joe Alcorn, M.S., D.V.M.

Dr. Joe Alcorn is founder of Care Animal Hospital in Temecula, California. He has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and his advice has been featured in large publications like Bustle and Martha Stewart.

Home » Blog » Why Is My Hamster Drinking So Much Water?

Why is my hamster drinking so much water? Hamsters need water to survive, yet you may be observing them drinking more than usual at times. For this guide, we’re listing the reasons why your pet may be drinking too much and what you can do to solve their excessive thirst.

Why Is My Hamster Drinking So Much Water?

If your hamster is drinking too much water, it may be because of dehydration, a hot environment, or increased activity. It may also be due to the body overheating or lacking mental stimulation. Factors such as medical conditions, pregnancy, and diet plans can also cause hamsters to drink more water. 

There are medical and non-health-related reasons why your hamster is drinking more water than average. If you understand these reasons, you would also know how to best react to the situation and ensure your pet’s safety.

Hamster in his cage

Body Overheating Due to Hot Living Conditions

If you live in a hot place, your hamster will drink more cool water to lower internal body temperature.

The ideal temperature for your hamster’s comfort ranges from 68 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit. Most hamsters can’t stand the heat in the summer, with some even dying because their bodies are overheating due to their thick fur.


A hamster can stay in a cage without you monitoring it all the time. However, some owners overlook caring for their pets, forgetting that their hamsters may be thirsty or feeling overheated. When it takes long before you refill the bottle, your hamster drinks too much to compensate.

Increased Activity

Hamsters are nocturnal animals. They like to stay awake at night, running or playing. 

As they exercise or move around, they may feel thirsty during the night. Extended periods of activity may cause them to drink excessively.

Medical Conditions

Water is an essential element to care for your hamster’s health. However, drinking excessively may also be a sign of a medical issue.

  • Urinary tract infection: Hamsters that drink too much may be suffering from a urinary tract infection. Your pet will try to drink more to ease the discomfort and effects of bladder stones.
  • Diabetes: Hamsters can get mild to severe cases of diabetes. A study shows that Chinese hamsters with diabetes can excrete up to one fluid ounce of urine per day. This can cause them to drink more to make up for that water loss.
  • Digestive issues: If your hamster has a digestive problem like bloating or diarrhea, it will quickly lose electrolytes, causing energy depletion. Your pet will try to solve this by drinking more water.
  • Pregnancy: A pregnant hamster will consume more water and food to regulate body temperature and mood. Your female hamster would continue drinking more than usual after giving birth as it nurses her babies.
Hamster resting on his cage

Dry Food Diet

If your hamster mainly eats dry foods like pellets, seeds, and grains, it would drink more water than hamsters with a vegetable diet. This is because hamsters who eat plant food can consume some of their water from fruits and vegetables.

In contrast, some dry foods come with excessive sodium. This may cause your hamster to drink more to wash the salt away. Salt can remove water from the cells, making your hamster feel thirstier than normal.

Lack of Mental Stimulation

Hamsters are energetic pets who need mental nourishment. A lack of activity may cause some hamsters to fall into depression.

Unfortunately, some hamsters form an unusual drinking habit due to boredom. This typically occurs during winter, as the cold temperature limits their mental and physical activities.

How Much Water Should My Hamster Drink Every Day?

As a general rule for daily water consumption, hamsters should drink 0.33 fluid ounces of water per 3.5 ounces of body weight.

Syrian hamsters, who are among the largest hamster breeds, usually weigh one ounce per inch. This means a six-inch male Syrian hamster may drink about a half-ounce of water every day.

You don’t have to measure the volume religiously. However, if you notice that the water in the bottle or bowl is decreasing drastically, your pet may be drinking more than normal due to various reasons.

How Can I Stop My Hamster From Drinking Too Much?

Your hamster may be drinking too much due to medical conditions or environmental factors. The good thing is that there are simple ways to ensure your pet is drinking just the right amount of water.

  • Place a chilled bottle wrapped in a towel inside the clean cage to make the environment cooler and not smell bad.
  • Hamsters can drink tap water, although distilled would be better to avoid contamination.
  • Use water bottles designed for hamsters so your pet would drink the right amount per day.
  • Put the drinking bottle away from direct sunlight to prevent it from becoming too warm.
  • Fill the drinking bottle with cold water so your pet will feel refreshed right away.
  • Consult with a veterinarian about the best diet meal plan consisting of dry food, Timothy hay, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Place your hamster’s enclosure in a cooler spot in your home.

If you notice other issues alongside excessive drinking, take your hamster to our clinic right away so I can perform lab tests and potential treatment.

Do Hamsters Enjoy Swimming in the Water?

Hamsters come from a lineage of desert animals. While hamsters can swim, they generally don’t enjoy it because they are naturally inclined to stay in dry environments. Some may attempt to play in the water dish, although they won’t wholly soak themselves or do it for a long time.

What Are Common Health Issues in Hamsters?

Cuts and scrapes, abscesses, colds, dehydration, eye infections, and shaking are common health issues in hamsters. They may also suffer from mammary gland lumps, testicular lumps, respiratory problems, and parasitic infections. This is why it’s essential that you schedule a wellness exam for your hamster at least once a year.


Hamsters that drink so much water may be suffering from medical conditions, including dehydration and overheating. Factors like diet change, high activity levels, and a hot environment can also cause hamsters to drink excessively. Bring your hamster to our clinic so we can check your pet’s well-being and prescribe the proper nutrition.