The winter months are finally here. This means we all need to get our cozy sweaters and warm blankets out for the chilly days and nights. While we get the heating in our houses up, our furry friends also need some extra TLC (tender loving care).
Winters can be quite harsh for hamsters in general. For some breeds, it can be particularly difficult. For instance, the Syrian hamster is acquainted with warmer climates.
So when the winter dawns on you and your pet hammy, you must start looking for ways to keep your pet warm, snug and comfortable.
Do hamsters get cold?
Hamsters have a tendency to feel cold. And within a few hours, the cold can get bothersome to them. If the room temperature falls below 20 C/68 F, this is too cold for your pet hamster. Generally, the ideal temperature to keep them comfortable is 20-23C-69-75F.
You need to get the room or hamsters cage warmed up because prolonged hours in the cold can lead to health problems in these little creatures.
Dangers of hamsters getting a cold
The main danger of a hamster getting too cold is hibernation. It is natural for hamsters to hibernate when they are in the wild. However, those hamsters prepare in time for the cold.
But when pet hamsters are suddenly struck with cold, they may fall into a potentially dangerous slumber. There is also a chance of dehydration.
There is always the risk of hamsters catching a cold the way we do. This results in sneezing, runny nose, and fatigue in the animal.
In some extreme cases, this could even result in a hypothermic shock. This can be a possibly fatal situation for the hamster.
Ways to Keep a Hamster Warm
There are lots of different ways you can ensure that your pet hamster feels warm. You can make a few simple changes to their environment and see a huge difference.
Here are some of our top tips for keeping your pet hammy warm and comfy:
Increase the Bedding
Hamsters are naturally wired to burrow and create their own sleeping space. They also like to create a nest for themselves to stay snug. If you add an extra level of bedding and nesting materials, your pet will be able to dig, pull, nest, and successfully keep itself warmer at night.
Simply add more amount of bedding in their cage to do so.
Plus, the type of bedding used can also help keep your hamster warmer. Rather than pellet or wood-shavings, recycled cardboard is a better material for hamsters’ bedding. Shredded tissue is also a good option as long as it’s soft.
Add a Blanket
Blankets are a must-have for all of us in winters. You can use a small blanket and drape it over your little hammy to make it feel warm and nice. But you must ensure that they don’t get suffocated in it.
We love fleece blankets which can be used for any pet like Rabbits. They are also machine washable and easy to remove and clean. Check out our review here.
Use a Heating Pad
If you still feel the need for warmer conditions for your hamster, we strongly recommend you to invest in a hamster heat pad. Alternatively, a heat lamp can also be used to radiate much-needed heat.
Many people wonder if regular heating pads made for humans can also be used for hamsters. These are not particularly advised and you should look for ones manufactured specifically for hamsters’ safety.
While attaching the heating pad, you should slightly raise the cage first. Also, it is better to place the heating pad on one side of the cage rather than the middle. This means the hamster can move to the cooler side too if required.
Another alternative is to use a hot water bottle and place it above or near their cage. Just be sure that it is closed tightly and won’t easily drip or get punctured.
Keep the cage indoors
We hope that you already know that the outdoors are simply not suitable for the hamster in winter. It is important to move the hamsters’ cage indoors in order to provide it the ideal habitat.
You should also choose a spot that is away from outside ventilation or windows.
You don’t want cold air peeping in and making it less comfortable for your little furry friend.
Move the cage to a warmer place
Even when indoors, it is best to set up your hamsters’ habitat in an area of your house that can be temperature-controlled. A room with a heater that stays warm mostly is your ideal option.
In case you are unable to heat the house, look for spaces like closets, bathrooms, or places that are easier to insulate.
Food & Activity
It’s common for animals to feel sluggish on cold days, just the way we do. You should make sure that your pet hamster is well-fed. This keeps their energy levels up and allows them to expel more energy to stay warm.
Another tip is to try and keep your hamsters’ energy levels high. You should add a hamster wheel in their cage as it excites them and running will also keep their body temperature regulated.
You can easily follow some or all of these tips and relax, knowing your pet hammy is nice and warm even if it is super cold outside. Remember to make the important arrangements before your hamsters’ health starts to deteriorate. After all, nothing is more precious than your pet and its’ health.