How Smart Are Hamsters? – They’re Smarter Than You Think!

Hamsters are animals with a decent cognitive capacity which they share with other rodents.

Aside from having fully developed sensory organs, like the sense of smell and sound, they can acquire knowledge regarding tricks and exercises.

How smart are hamsters?

They use positive reinforcement to benefit their actions, which allows them to associate some events with ease. But the question many of us ask is; how smart are hamsters?

This article seeks to answer the primary question; below are qualities that measure how smart hamsters are:

Capacity To Interact With Humans

Hamsters are clever creatures. They have the capability to relate with humans. Once they spend a certain period around their owners, they get to adapt fast and can even recognize them.

Not just that, if you get to spend more time around these smart little creatures, a bond will be formed relatively quickly.

Hamsters may be more comfortable and playful around your family and friends while the particular connection is formed with only you and maybe any other person.

You will understand hamsters better when you spend more time with them. After some time, they start answering when you call them by name. They may even show off friends. They do all these to familiarize themselves.

They also do it to stay alert if they are threatened by any unusual sound or movement. While some of them socialize with other hamsters, most of them prefer to socialize with humans.

Watching them interact with us helps you judge how smart hamsters are.

Sense Of Smell

Hamsters are generally born blind, and they must distinguish people based on scent and sound. To achieve a stronger bond with hamsters, make sure they are familiar with your smell and voice.

Begin by placing your hands on their cage so they can sniff in your scent. At the same time, keep talking to them so they can get used to both your smell and voice.

On the first trial, the hamster may not crawl into your hand. Do not be discouraged. Keep repeating this process, and you will surely be amazed when you realize how familiar they will be with you.

You’ll notice that hamsters will start yearning for you and suddenly become attention seekers once they become familiar with you. Whenever you pass through their cage, and you notice that they stood on their hind limbs so you can notice them and probably communicate.

A general piece of advice is to ensure that your hands are clean and neat, probably wash before handling them. This is necessary in order not to make them confused with different scents.

They have a heightened sense of hearing in an extraordinary manner such that they can communicate at frequencies that even humans cannot hear! With this special trait, they are capable of finding and identifying area markings.

Hamsters are smart animals

The well-developed sense of smell is probably the hamster’s most crucial sensory performance that makes them so smart.

Hamsters can detect even the finest traces of scents in the air. This not only helps them with orientation and the food search but also when choosing a partner. Hamsters have special glands through which they release scent marks.

These scent glands are located on the flanks of golden hamsters. Dwarf hamsters only have one such gland – it is located on the stomach.

Based on the smell, they can determine whether there is a friend or an enemy in their surrounding. This really shows the smartness of hamsters.

Heightened Sense Of Hearing

Both golden hamsters and dwarf hamsters have excellent hearing, which indicates how smart they are. They even perceive sounds in the ultrasonic range, i.e., noises that are particularly high-pitched and inaudible to humans. You can also communicate using ultrasound noises.

Even hamster babies utter beep tones in this frequency range so that their mom can then respond. But even during a fight and when mating, noises are emitted in the ultrasonic range.

Hamsters are able to capture even the weakest sound sources from their environment. They stand on their back legs and turn their heads and ears in all directions to better locate the noises.

Problem Solving Abilities

With well-developed problem-solving skills such as figuring out a maze, hamsters are smart enough to solve basic problems. The intellectual quotient of a hamster can be tested at home.

It can be done by using a maze that is meant for hamsters. This will enable you to discover various ways the creature reacts in the face of a challenging situation. The test could be made by keeping food at strategic places in the maze and watch the little smart one find his way around!

This fun discovery activity helps the hamster exercise, too, as it runs around the maze. Indeed hamsters are really smart!

Highly Retentive Memory

Hamsters have a good memory. These creatures can recall how things were arranged and placed in their cage. They can recognize their names and even their best meal. They can also recall who owns them and other people that are around.

A scientist once stated that one amusing thing about hamsters is the capability to figure out the different times and seasons. Also, they know the time to breed and hibernate. They can decode the quantity of sunlight necessary for their breeding.

They start hibernating once sunlight reduces. Researches have also found out that these creatures have long-term memory, and they can recall things in months and even years!

Ease Of Training

Just like every other animal, hamsters can undergo certain training. As a result of their smartness training them is way less stressful in comparison with some of their contemporaries. However, repetition, consistency remains the key to achieving good results.

The level of training a hamster is a factor of time spent and the extent of effort expended on the pet. The fact that all breeds can be trained is worthy of note. However, the ease of training varies across the breeds of hamsters.

Another awesome thing about training these creatures is that they can be instructed on the use of litter boxes. These boxes can be used to store animal droppings and waste.

In turn, it keeps the surroundings neat, clean, and safe. A hamster can be trained to use this! This training helps reduce the stress of having to clean up every spill or dropping of the animal.

What Can A Hamster Learn?

Hamsters have the ability to understand various things when they are taught, including things that can make their daily lives easier.

Since they can learn and retain information, your work only lies in ensuring that they grasp whatever you teach them. For instance, you can take advantage of proven training tactics when you want to change their sleeping time.

There are some opinions that changing their sleeping routine is somehow unhealthy, but this has not yet been proven. Some methods also exist for training hamsters in the use of harness. In this way, it will be less stressful to take your pet out for a walk.

Most of these kinds of training are usually tricky and require a significant amount of effort and time. Hence, patience and dedication are necessary.


Hamsters are really great pets! With their abilities and level of smartness, they make pet life fun! Indeed with their abilities, you can evaluate how smart they are.

It’s worth remembering that a good diet and regular training can help you realize your hamster’s full potential! I hope this article answered your question on how smart hamsters are!