Hamsters have proven to be great pets for most households. They are cuddly animals that are relatively easy to care for.
If you’re thinking about the perfect pet for your family, you should definitely consider getting a hamster.
Hamsters are known to be natural lovers of heat, and a little cold can make them sick. This is why, as a hamster owner, you need to understand how to keep hamsters warm in a cold house.
In today’s article, we will be exploring many ways to protect your hamsters in cold season as well as other information that might help safeguard your hamster.
Let’s get started!
Why Do Hamsters Need to Be Kept Warm?
As we have said earlier, hamsters are natural heat-loving animals. Just like humans are susceptible to cold, hamsters are no different – extremely cold weather can be quite challenging for a pet hamster.
Once cold gets into our system, it suppresses our immune system and makes them prone to viral and bacterial infection, the same also goes for your hamster.
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How to Keep Hamsters Warm in Cold House
Leaving your pet hamster in a cold-weather for long can drastically increase his stress level.
Therefore, it becomes pertinent that you find a way to keep your hamster’s cage warm in a cold house. Most houses are usually cold during this winter season, and as such, you should find ways to keep your hamster warm.
To keep your hamster warm in a cold house, place a heating mat under your hamster’s cage.
And buy a small room heater to warm up a cold house. More blankets and nest should also be added to your hamster’s cage to give him the maximum warmth.
That said, below are some other steps you should take to keep your hamster’s cage warm during the winter season.
1. Get a Heating Mat for Your Hamster’s Cage
This is one of the most efficient ways of keeping your hamster’s cage warm throughout the season. These mats can be gotten in most pet shops and are specially made for small cages like a hamster cage.
Make sure to get a high-quality heating mat; most met owners get low-quality mats that don’t produce adequate heat for their hamster after a while.
Position the mat under the cage. The mat helps with the fluctuating temperature inside the room. It will ensure that your hamster’s cage stays warm throughout the season.
Set the heating mat to the perfect temperature for your hamster, and always check the mat regularly to make sure it is at the right temperature.
2. Keep the Cage in a Warmer Room
As mentioned above, most houses are usually colder in the winter season. But you can take practical steps to get your room warmer during the cold season.
You can install a heater in your room to make it warmer for you and your hamster. This solution can be an expensive one as it will require you to get a good house heater.
For a cost-free solution, you can transfer your hamster’s cage to a warmer room in the house and move the hamster cage back to where it was once the weather gets a bit warmer.
In a bid to make your hamster’s cage warmer, please don’t place the cage directly under the sun; this will agitate him and also increase his stress level.
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3. Buy a Small Nest for Your Hamster’s Cage
A nest is also one of the ways to keep your hamster warm during the cold seasons. The nest will allow your hamster to burrow itself inside when the weather/room is cold.
Getting a nest for your hamster’s cage is not a permanent solution but will give you time to either get a heating mat for the cage or even a small heater for your room.
With a nest inside your hamster’s cage, you are sure that your hamster is warm both at night and in the day time. While hamster bedding is essential for your hamster, the nest has more advantages.
The hamster can always burrow inside the nest and generate enough body heat to keep him warm. Note that getting a nest is not a long-term solution to keeping your hamster warm. We recommend that you invest in a small heating mat or find ways to make your room warmer.
4. Buy A Small Heater for The Room the Hamster’s Cage Is Placed
A small heater can help regulate the room temperature if you don’t have any other means of warming the room.
The main goal is to keep your hamster warm and avoid a situation of him catching a cold.
It’s best to position the heater is beside your hamster’s cage. This will ensure that the hamster’s cage is always warm even if the heat doesn’t reach other parts of the room.
If you can afford a bigger and stronger heater, there is no need to place it beside the hamster’s cage since you are sure that the warmth will permeate all parts of the room.
5. Get Your Hamster to Exercise
If your hamster engages in physical activities, it will increase his body temperature and generate more heat for him. This is similar to when a human’s workout in cold weather.
How do you get your hamster to engage in physical activities? One way is by getting a hamster ball for him. Your hamster will be interested in playing with the ball, and this will increase his heart rate and body temperature.
A hamster wheel is another way of getting your hamster to exercise. Set up a hamster wheel inside the cage to get the hamster exercising. This will increase their heart rate and body temperature naturally. This activity will end up generating adequate heat for your hamster.
Getting toys for your hamster is not a permanent solution because it’s not all the time your hamster will feel like playing with these toys.
But you can get these toys while you source for more permanent solutions like getting a heater mat or a small heater for your room.
What Happens When You Leave Your Hamster in A Cold Room?
If your hamster exhibits any of the symptoms listed above, please take him to a warmer room as soon as possible.
Wild hamsters, like most mammals, hibernate during winter. They get notified of the cold season’s possible occurrence. They have time to prepare to survive and adapt to the cold season.
A pet hamster in a cage doesn’t notice a change in weather and won’t have time to prepare for the weather. Your hamster will have to act quickly and fall into a long slumber, which might be dangerous to him.
If your hamster is left too long in a cold room, he can catch a cold, which will make him sneeze and have a runny nose. The cold will weaken him, and he will feel the need to sleep longer than usual.
Can Hamsters Hibernate Because Of Cold?
Hamsters can hibernate when the temperature in their cage is over 20 degrees Celsius.
Wild hamsters are known to hibernate during winter. They usually sense the impending weather and look for alternative ways to survive.
But for your pet hamster that’s no use to the wild, he doesn’t notice the change in weather and prepares for it. Therefore, it is pertinent to keep your hamster warm all time.
How Can I Tell If My Hamster Has A Cold?
We have already established that hamsters can get cold. How can you tell if your hamster has a cold? Below are some symptoms when your hamster exhibits mean he has a cold:
Hamsters, just like humans, get a runny nose when they are cold.
- Sticky eyes
- Matted fur
- Lethargy and loss of appetite
- Sleeping longer than usual
- Thirstier than usual
- Running a temperature.
If you notice any of these signs, please consult your veterinarian, who will prescribe a treatment.
What to Do If Your Hamster Has A Cold
The surest bet is to consult a veterinarian who will probably prescribe some antibiotics for your hamster. Colds usually go away on their own, whether treated or not; the antibiotics will only hasten it up.
Change his bedding once, and then leave him alone to build a new, warm nest.
Get the hamster more nests he can burrow inside.
Keep the room warm that is 20-23 C/68-75 F. Don’t go over this range. You don’t want your hamster uncomfortable with the heat.
Keep the room airy, but don’t place the cage close to the door or window.
If you have more than one hamster, please separate the sick ones from the healthy ones.
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To cap it up, you know that hamsters can get cold. While a wild hamster can prepare for the cold weather by hibernation, a pet hamster doesn’t have such luxury.
A wild hamster will prepare for hibernation after he takes note of the potential change in weather but a pet climate bundled up in his cage can’t do that.
It’s essential you keep your hamster warm at all times especially during the cold season.
When your hamster starts to exhibits any of the cold symptoms mentioned in the article, take the steps provided in this post to fix the problem right away. It’s also necessary for you to take your hamster to the veterinarian.
A safe, warm, and comfortable atmosphere for your hamster will keep him healthy and happy.