During the winter months, there are some people who love it while others who despise it. With the two sides at polarizing ends, it may leave us wondering which side do our Hamsters fall? Do Hamsters enjoy the cool winter weather or suffer during those chilled and frozen days? Also, How to keep your Hamsters warm in winters?
So, I decided to do some research on the same and also consulted a few experts, and here is what I have learned!
Hamsters enjoy a moderate and stable environment, and there is no need for you to worry in those winter days till the temperature is above 60°F(15°C). However, if it goes anything below that, then you might need to take additional measures to keep your little ones warm and cozy.
So, now that you know how much is too cold for your Hamsters, the next thing you need to understand is if the temperature in your regions goes below a certain point, your Hamster can enter into a state of hibernation. This can be dangerous for your Hamsters.
We need to keep our Hamsters warm during winters, but how warm is the question which no one thinks about? So, let us begin by understanding that first.
How Warm Do Hamsters Need To Be?
The ideal temperature for Hamsters ranges from 68°F-74°F (22°C- 24°C). If you live in a place where winters are extreme, then you might need to look into some heat source or some other alternative method to keep them warm in their enclosure.
If the temperature drops below 60°F(15°F), then your Hamster might suffer from various health complications and may even freeze to death in some extreme cases. So, maintaining an ideal range of temperature in their enclosure is a must.
What Happens If My Hamster Gets Too Cold?
If the temperature around your Hamsters falls below 60°F (15°C), your Hamster can enter into a state of hibernation.
If your Hamster hibernates there is always a life threat. Hibernation can also make your Hamster dehydrated.
If you suspect your Hamster is hibernating or is on the verge of hibernation, then you should check for some of the signs listed below:
- Your Hamster has not moved from past 14 hours or more.
- Shallow breaths with fall in heart rate
- Ignorance of food and water
- They start burrowing deeper for extra warmth
If you not an experience Hamster owner, it is advised not to try to rouse them by yourself. Take them to a vet for proper care and guidance. While travelling, try to keep your Hamster warm.
How Cold Is Too Cold For Hamsters?
As already mentioned above, the ideal temperature for Hamsters to live is 68°F-74°F (22°C- 24°C). If the temperature falls below 60°F (15°C), your Hamster can enter into the state of hibernation.
If you live in an area where the mercury dips below this point, then consider taking proper precautions to keep your Hamster warm and cozy.
Also, do not leave your Hamster’s enclosure outside your house in such cold weathers. Keeping your Hamster’s enclosure outside in those cold days can easily put your Hamster’s life at risk.
Ways To Keep My Hamsters Warm!
It can be a challenging task for you to keep your Hamsters warm, especially if you live in an area where temperatures can fall below freezing point.
So, I have collected some of the best tips up my sleeves to share with you all so that you can take care of your little ones in those cold days.
Avoid Opening/Closing Doors Frequently
You should avoid opening and closing the doors of your home frequently. Also, try to avoid keeping your Hamster’s enclosure near the main door of your house.
Frequent opening and closing of doors can lead to cold air getting into your home. This will cause the temperature inside your home to drop rapidly.
Also, keep the windows closed of the room in which your Hamster is housed. Especially, during night when the temperature is even lower.
Frequent fluctuation in temperature is adverse for our Hamster’s health. Therefore, try to minimize the use of doors and windows so that the temperature inside the room remains stable.
Block Any Drafts Or Ventilation
If you live in your ancestral house or an old house, there are high chances that your house would be having several windows and ventilation areas.
Even the slightest openings can let the cold air pass through, which can affect your Hamsters.
It is advised to use towels or thicker curtains, during these cold days. This will prevent excess air circulation.
These small opening and drafts can make the room cool preety quickly. Therefore, it is important to do something to block them especially in the room where your Hamsters are placed.
Heating The Home
Getting yourself a room heater would a great option for you as well as your Hamsters. You can also opt for central heating, if possible. It will help to keep the temperature of your home stable.
You could either choose an electric heater or any other suitable alternative. Also, there are varieties of models available for the electric heaters. It is suggested to pick the one that has a facility of automatic temperature control.
Never place the heater directly pointing at your Hamsters cage, it could overheat the cage (especially metal ones).
Also, whenever you switch on the heater, keep an eye on the temperature as overheating could put your Hamster’s life at risk.
Provide Your Hamster With Lots Of Hiding Places
It is very important to provide your Hamster with adequate hiding space, especially during cold days.
Hamsters love to snuggle into hiding spaces as it helps them to maintain their body temperature and themselves warm.
You can also prepare hideouts at your home for your little ones just by following the necessary measure:
Cut slash a small opening out of a cardboard box to make an opening. Make sure that you do not leave any sharp edges, or your Hamsters might hurt themselves. Your Hamster can use this place to relax.
Keep some hay (preferably timothy hay) inside the box so that your Hamsters have something to chew on.
Consider Moving Your Hamsters To A Warm And Cozy Place
I would be ideal to keep your Hamster at the central part of your home. You should avoid keep them in a porch or garage during those cold days.
The drafts or the cracks will allow the cold swift air to enter your house. This can easily drop the temperature around that area.
Therefore, it would be best to place your Hamsters at the center part of your house or to any cozy corner of your house.
This will also make sure that your Hamster doesn’t feel much cold and won’t hide inside the bedding.
Also, if possible add a heating lamp in the room, this will make the room warm and comfortable.
Provide Extra Bedding
Bedding plays a crucial part to keep your Hamsters warm. During the cold days, you need to ensure that your litter remains dry and maintain the body heat.
A good quality bedding will help to absorb the Hamster pee and keep the enclosure dry. Wet beddings can easily make your Hamsters sick.
You can consider using good quality cage liners or paper bedding for the bottom layer if you have a C&C or Midwest cage. You can top it up with some hay or shredded paper bedding creating a 2-3 inch deep layer where Hamsters can burrow into.
Hay and paper are excellent heat absorbers. They can help our Hamsters to maintain their body temperature.
Also, Hamsters love to burrow therefore having some bedding material where they can burrow and protect themselves from the cold is essential.
Avoid using wood shavings and cedar or pine beddings as they are not one of the best insulators. Also, these can also lead to several respiratory diseases among Hamsters.
Blankets And Hammocks
But it is important to be careful of the fabric you use. As Hamsters chew on anything they have a reach on, your Hamsters will probably also try to chew on the fabric as well.
Also, look for hammocks that are easy to clean and to attach to your Hamster’s enclosure.
Consider Giving Your Hamsters A Heating Pad
You can also consider adding some heating pad in your Hamster’s enclosure. However, I would recommend you not to use the heating pads, which are advertised for human use.
Heating pads usually need a microwave to heat up, which can then be placed in the cage. It will remain hot for approximately 8-9 hours and are a great source of heat for your Hamsters.
You can attach the heating pad under one side of your Hamster’s enclosure. This will allow your Hamster to move to a cooler side if they wish.
Cover The Water Bottle To Avoid Freezing
During cold days, water bottles often freeze. If not taken care of, it can leave your Hamster dehydrated.
You should cover the water bottle with a cover to prevent it from freezing. As the mercury level drops, the water bottle tip may get frozen, restricting the flow of water.
You should check the tip of the bottle by tapping it every few hours if the weather is too cold. It is often advised to use both the water bottle as well as the water bowl, during cold days.
Even if the bottle gets frozen, your little one will have an another option. But, you must be careful with the bowls as well.
If your Hamsters tips off the bowl, then the entire bedding would get soaked up with water. If this happens, your Hamster might get cold pretty quickly.
Increase Their Floor Time
Hamsters need to exercise, even in cold days to keep themselves fit and healthy. Therefore, it is advised to increase their floor time during these days.
Just let them out in a open and spacious room with closed drafts and ventilations, so that your little friend does not escape.
If possible let them out for at least 60 minutes each day. This will also help you to bond with your Hamster.
Lack of exercise can lead to various health complications in Hamsters. It can also make your Hamster obese.
Exercise also helps your Hamsters to keep their bodies warm, which is excellent for those cold days.
Use Warm Water Bags
You can also keep the enclosure of your Hamster warm by placing a warm water bag on top of their enclosure. You can also place them inside at one corner of the cage.
Wrap the water bag with a thick cloth or towel before using it. Do not use it without the cloth or the towel.
Also, make sure that the water bag does not leak, it could be dangerous for your Hamsters.
Providing Fresh Food And Water To Your Hamsters Daily
Hamster needs to expel a lot of energy to keep themselves warm. Therefore, the should be fed with bigger proportions of food as compared to in summers, so that their energy level is kept up.
Also, you will notice that the appetite of your Hamsters increases during cold days. So, it is essential to provide them with fresh food and water daily.
Changing the water daily is a must. Also, never provide your Hamsters with warm due as they might just ignore and not drink it. This may lead to dehydration in them.
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Hamsters are sensitive to frequent temperature fluctuations, so it is important for us to take proper care of them.
It is our responsibility to ensure that our Hamsters live a healthy and a happy life.
Having a suitable enclosure with all the essential supplies and following some primary care we discussed earlier could help your Hamsters pass through those cold days pretty comfortably.