Hot & Cold Room Temperature

  • In the Winter it’s important to make sure the room doesn’t get too cold, and if it does protect your hamster from the cold or their body can enter a dangerous survival state that seems like hibernation called Torpor.

 

  • In the Summer make sure your hamster doesn’t get too hot or they can get heat stress.

 

Either situation could be life threatening and you may need a life saving trip to the vet. Tips to avoid this and advice on how to help are below:

Do Hamsters Hibernate? No, but if the room is cold they can go into Torpor

 

Domestic hamsters do not hibernate as they have no indication on what season it is. If their enclosure gets too cold or they have lack of food/water, they can go into a hibernated like state this is called torpor. When a hamster goes into torpor, they will start to reduce their body temp, breathing rate and heart rate to try to help them survive. Torpor is a quick solution and they can still wake up to forage for food unlike an animal that is hibernating.

 

 

How can I tell if my hamster has gone into torpor?

 

  • Hamster is cold and not responsive
  • Hamster is breathing/movement in body
  • Hamster is limp

 

How can I help my hamster if in torpor?

 

You need to slowly warm up the hamster. If you warm a hamster up too quickly you can warm the blood before the heart is ready and this can cause heart failure.

 

  • Syringe feed electrolyte (to make it mix 1 cup warm water, ½ cup sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt) this can be one 1-2minutes for 30minutes.
  • Wrap the hamster up in something warm, making sure not to cover the face.
  • Put them near something warm e.g., a hot water bottle.
  • Put hamster on your chest and have a blanket covering both you and the hamster.
  • Call vets

 

How to keep Your Hamster Warm in the Winter

Cold weather hamster care

Keep Your Hamster Cool in the Summer

 

When it gets hot a hamster like us can feel the heat, they do not have the luxury of going into a dip in the pool (as water is dangerous for them, don’t ever wet your hamster) and they can’t take off their cute little coat. So it is very important to try to keep them nice and cool so they do not get heat stress that could make them unwell.

Signs of heat stress

 

  • Lethargy/weakness
  • Loss of appetite (because of this will have weight loss)
  • Increased thrust
  • Sleeping in open spaces
  • Wet looking coat
  • Confusion & disorientation
  • Reddening of the skin
  • Unresponsive and floppy

 

If you feel like your hamster is showing signs of extreme heat stress it is very important to get an emergency vet appointment.

 

How can I prevent heat stress?

 

  • Keeping the room cool
  • Not having the cage in direct sunlight
  • Having cool hides (cups that have been cooled in the fridge, tiles etc.)
  • Putting cool water in the cage
  • Having a fan near the cage
  • Use aspen/hemp bedding they don’t hold as much heat in as paper bedding (do not get rid of the depth.)
  • Putting sand in the fridge
  • If possible, have the cage on the lowest level of the house
  • Shut blinds/ curtains
  • Feed little bits of safe water-based food such as cucumber.