Do you notice that your Hamster is feeling cold? Is there anything you can do to keep it warm? In this article, I’ll teach you all that you need to know.
The best way to keep your hamsters warm is by bringing them indoors during cold weather, covering their hutch with tarp or blanket, providing them with extra bedding hay, and keep a heating pad under their bedding.
Do hamsters get cold easily?
Hamsters do get cold easily once the environment temperature falls below their required temperature. They are very sensitive creatures and react quickly to change in environmental temperature. Therefore, Keeping Hamsters a bit longer at a low temperature will make them feel cold.
Hamsters are not very good when it comes to handling low temperatures. Thus, exposing them to too much cold for a few hours might make them fall sick.
As a pet owner, you should keep a close eye on your pet, especially during winter or when the room temperature is too low, perhaps due to the air conditioner you use in the room. They can also get cold if you travel with them in your car with a cold temperature.
Unlike Chinchillas, wolf dogs, and domesticated foxes, Hamsters body is not designed in a way that it can handle a cold temperature. They have soft fur that is highly sensitive to temperature; thus, a drop in room temperature will easily be felt on their skin, causing them to feel cold.
What temperature is too cold for hamsters?
Temperature below 20 C/68 F is too cold for hamsters. Therefore, the ideal temperature to keep the pet is between 20-23 C/68-75 F; anything far below this is considered too cold for them.
Most types of hamsters are made to reside in the desert, where they burrow during the day to avoid the high heat. The fact that they belong to the desert climate is evident that they can’t withstand a low temperature. Therefore, you’ll be punishing your pet if you keep it in a room with temperature below 20 C.
Humans can withstand cold temperature than Hamsters. Thus, the fact that you feel comfortable in a low temperature environment doesn’t mean your pet feels the same. Humans can withstand temperatures below 20 C, but hamsters can’t.
Like they Hibernate in extremely high desert temperatures, low temperature also force Hammie to go into false hibernation. If you keep your pet at a temperature below 20 C for long, it can trigger pneumonia.
More so, in extreme cases, if your Hamster Hibernate due to low temperatures, there are chances that it might not wake any more, especially if it is older.
Do hamsters need to be kept warm?
Hamsters need to be kept warm at all times. Just like humans, if your Hamster gets too cold, they tend to have a suppressed immunity, and with that, they’re exposed to various illnesses.
A suppressed immunity means your Hammie is prone to having a bacterial or viral infection. If it is too young or old, it may suffer from hypothermia. Like other members of the mammals family, hamsters can catch a cold. If they do, they may begin to sneeze, have a runny nose, and sleep more than normal.
Your pet can also become unconscious if the temperature becomes extremely cold. They may go into hibernation, which is life-threatening. However, you can avoid this by keeping the pet warm at all times.
How can I tell if my hamster is cold?
You will know your Hamster is cold if it has a runny nose or sleep more than usual. Your little pet may also become thirstier than usual, sneeze often, or have an increased body temperature.
It is not very difficult to tell if your pet is cold. They often display symptoms similar to that of humans. Therefore, as a pet owner, you must be observant and check out for the following symptoms:
- A runny or wet nose
- Ruffled fur
- Loss of appetite
- A rise in body temperature
- Thirstier than usual
Continuous sneezing is a sign of cold and may also indicate infection. Hence, when your pet continues to sneeze, it may be cold. Since exposing them to cold temperatures for long can affect their immunity and expose them to the risk of infection, continuous sneezing may also be that they already have an infection.
2. A runny or wet nose
Hamsters may begin to have a runny or wet nose if they are exposed to cold for long.
3. Ruffled fur
Your pet may have ruffled fur if they’re cold. This is a sign that they’re trying to source more heat from their internal environment.
4. Loss of Appetite
Like humans, your pet needs to be comfortable and in the right state of mind to enjoy its meal. When they’re cold, they feel uncomfortable, can’t enjoy their meal; hence, they lose appetite. Therefore, if your pet is unwilling to eat and it’s unusual, you may want to check the surrounding temperature.
5. A rise in body temperature
The little animal tries to stabilize its body temperature when the surrounding temperature is very low. Hence, its fur might begin to get hotter.
6. Thirstier than usual
During winter, the atmosphere’s humidity drops, causing your Hamster to become dehydrated and crave more water.
Acting sluggishly is a sign that your little pet is cold. It may also have difficulty breathing.
Hamsters Hibernate to prevent harsh temperatures, including extremely high temperatures and low temperatures. However, sometimes, you might think your beautiful pet is Hibernating when it is dead. The difference is that a dead hamster will be stiff, while a Hibernating one will limp.
Can I cover my hamster cage with a blanket?
It is not recommended to cover your hamster cage with a blanket. The little pet might urinate on it and pollute the environment with foul smell. They may also eat the blanket, which may choke them to death.
The pet can also get the blanket wrapped around its limbs or neck, resulting in strangulation and causing serious injuries to the neck and the brain. However, if you will be very observant and assure that none of these will happen, you can cover your pet’s cage, especially if you feel it needs some solitude.
For instance, if you travel with them in a car, perhaps while going to see the vet, you can cover its enclosure to calm it down. It would be best if you do this with a soft and lightweight material to allow air circulation.
On the other hand, if you aim to keep your pet warm, there are other better options you can opt for. They are:
- Bring them indoors during cold weather
- Provide extra bedding
- Give them a heating pad
- Engage them in outdoor exercise
1. Bring them indoors during cold weather
Keeping your beautiful pet outdoors during winter won’t help. Therefore, if the temperature drops, you should bring them indoor. You can keep them on a porch or conservatory, so they also don’t get too hot.
2. Provide extra bedding
You should give them plenty of bedding hay they can snuggle into. It’ll keep them warmer.
3. Give them a heating pad
Keeping a heating pad under your pet’s bedding will help to keep them warmer.
4. Engage them in outdoor exercise
Like in humans, exercise is a highly effective way to get rid of cold in Hamsters.
Should you cover a hamster cage at night?
You don’t have to keep your Hamster’s cage covered at night. Perhaps by covering at night, you aim to help it sleep. Hamsters are nocturnal animals and won’t sleep even when their cage is covered at night.
Like mice, badgers, foxes, and other nocturnal animals, hamsters don’t usually sleep at night. Instead, they are usually awake and sleep during the day. The pets are also more active after the sun goes down.
Therefore, if you try to make your pet sleep at night by covering its cage, whether to keep it warmer or make the cage darker, you may not be doing the right thing. Rather than making it fall asleep, darkness makes this little rodent more active.
Can I give my hamster a blanket?
You don’t have to buy your Hamster a blanket because it doesn’t need it. If you need a soft nesting, you should rather opt for toilet paper. Most hamsters like it, and it is safer and better.
If you get your Hamster a blanket, it can do more harm than good. The pet can suffocate, perhaps by having the blanket wrapped over its nose or by wrapping it around its neck.
There are better and safer ways to make your pet feel cozier and more comfortable. Thus, instead of getting a blanket, you can get extra bedding, keep a heating pad under their bed, and keep them indoors during winter.