How Smart Are Hamsters?

When we think of hamsters as pets we often think of their cute appearance and energetic personalities. These small pets are full of life and wonder. They have an inquisitive nature indicative of their intelligence. Believe it or not, hamsters are much smarter than we give them credit for.




For one thing, hamsters have great memory retention and are very quick learners. It’s important to remember that hamsters have very poor eyesight. They can remember their way around their home with ease. They can even recall previous places they’ve stored food. Studies have shown that hamster can remember specific locations for up to three days. Hamsters are also able to easily teach themselves how to use toys and equipment in their cage such as exercise wheels, seesaws, and hammocks.


Hamsters also possess impressive problem-solving skills and deductive reasoning. These pets are often called master escape artists for their ability to easily find their way out of confinement. A hamster can even figure out how to open its cage doors. Much like one would baby proof a home, you need to hamster proof your small pet's cage to make sure they stay safely inside. In lab tests hamsters have even been known to solve puzzles in order to get treats and rewards.




Hamsters are extremely social creatures and are able to recognize their owners. A hamster’s ability to remember who its owner is exhibits the true intelligence these small animals possess. Hamsters can even be trained to come when called. Because of this, hamsters are able to form close bonds with their owners and display affection. A hamster is also able to recognize other hamsters and can tell siblings apart from strangers.




In terms of communication hamsters have a variety of tools at their disposal. Hamsters are able to communicate via body language, squeaks, and chirps. Hamsters also have this neat ability called scent marking. Scent marking allows hamsters to communicate via smell. A hamster is even able to leave a scent trail that allows it to recall its tracks and mark its territory.




In addition to their impressive cognitive abilities, hamsters also possess immense kinesthetic intelligence. A hamster is able to squeeze its body through the tiniest of holes. They can run over five miles a night, this requires stamina and coordination in spades. This coupled with their ability to jump and climb means a hamster will find its way out of a cage if it is not properly secured.


Overall, hamsters are much smarter than people give them credit for. A hamster is able to remember locations, solve problems, recognize its owner, and communicate via a variety of methods. Additionally, hamsters are quite physically skilled. Their ability to form close relationships with their owners exhibits their capacity for emotional intelligence. If you have a pet hamster, make sure to provide them with a myriad of ways to stimulate themselves. By doing so, you will be able to fully appreciate just how smart these small pets are.


If you like this article, check out our blog post on the benefits of letting your hamster out of their cage.

Or, you can pick from one of are many other articles here.



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