Despite its diminutive size, the hamster you keep as a pet leads a highly active lifestyle while confined to its cage. Your little pal might be able to keep themselves busy with all the various wheels and tunnels.
But how can he maintain his composure? Have you given any thought to the level of warmth that your hamster is exposed to? Your hamster needs a warm, dry environment in addition to the food and water that it consumes daily.
However, an excessively heated setting is not ideal. Originally, hamsters were creatures capable of independent movement and loved arid conditions.
Ideal Temperature to Keep Hamsters Cool in Summers
Hamsters still construct complex mazes of tunnels for themselves to live in when they are out in the wild. Inside the tunnels, the temperature is comfortable sixty degrees Fahrenheit, despite the desert outside being quite heated during the day.
To maintain a constant temperature inside their tunnels, the hamsters will collect things that can be used as insulation and then store them there. As pets, hamsters require little maintenance.
They can subsist on a simple diet and do not require frequent bathing as a hygiene practice. It is generally agreed that they represent the pinnacle of low-maintenance pet perfection.
Even though these creatures don’t require a great deal of attention from you, there are a few things you should be aware of to give them the most pleasant environment possible.
Effect of Temperature on Hamsters
The temperature at which hamsters feel the most at ease is comparable to the temperature most humans find most agreeable. Most hamsters perform best at temperatures between 65- and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 24 degrees Celsius).
Your hamster will not be immediately harmed or killed if the temperature falls below or rises over that by a small amount; nevertheless, exposure to excessive heat or cold for an extended period is detrimental to their health.
Your hamster may begin hibernating if the temperature is too low, while temperatures that are too high may lead your hamster to suffer from a heat stroke, which is potentially fatal.
Humidity is yet another factor that closely connects to temperature. To feel most at ease, hamsters require a humidity level of approximately 40%.
Keeping Your Hamster Cool
While temperatures over 75 degrees F are less likely to be deadly than below 65 degrees F, heatstroke may occur at temperatures above 80 degrees F. In case of heatstroke, take your hamster to the vet as soon as possible.
It shouldn’t be too difficult to prevent hamsters from overheating and keep them cool when the temperature outside is high.
The condition known as hyperthermia, in which the body experiences an abnormally high rise in temperature due to the production or absorption of more heat than it can release, poses a greater threat to animals than humans.
They are more susceptible to the negative effects of high temperatures and humidity than people because they are covered in fur, and humans can better dissipate heat from their bodies.
Sweating allows for the loss of body heat to be released. Hamsters have such a limited number of sweat glands that furry animals cannot accomplish this task.
Hamsters are highly susceptible to overheating and have a low threshold for heat. It is up to you to ensure that your hamsters are comfortable all summer long, given that they cannot sweat.
Signs Your Hamster Might be Running Hot in Summers
Hamsters are sensitive creatures that will let you know if they aren’t feeling well by giving you several indications. Keep an eye out for these symptoms, and if necessary, make an appointment with your veterinarian.
Suppose your hamster seems to be acting quite lethargic and is consuming significantly more water than usual. In that case, it might be one of the early indicators that Your little furry friend is experiencing heat stress.
Your first order of business ought to be to get your hamster’s temperature down. If, after ten minutes, your hamster has not shown any signs of improvement, you should take it to the veterinarian as soon as you can.
If you observe your hamster acting listless, this is an indication that the animal is overheating and needs to be cooled down.
Behavior that is sluggish and slow, as well as an increase in the amount of drinking that takes place, are common symptoms of mild heat stress. The inability or desire to eat and fast weight loss are common symptoms of heat stress in the early stages.
In addition to sleeping or resting in open places as opposed to its house, damp or greasy seeming fur is another common symptom of an imminent heat overload, as does the animal’s behavior.
If you come home to find your hamster lying on its front with a limp body, it should immediately raise serious concerns for you. To soothe your hamster’s body, blow on it.
If your hamster is shaking or jerking but is not moving or standing, it most likely suffers from heatstroke.
Ways to Keep Your Hamster Cool
- Put a tile made of ceramic or marble in the cage after it has had time to cool down. Tiles made of marble, stone, or ceramic should be chilled in the refrigerator for half an hour.
- Put the tile inside the cage that houses your hamster. If your hamster overheats, you can help it cool off by letting it rest on the tile.
- Another option is to place the ice in a tiny dish made of glass or ceramic. Put the cover on the dish, then place it inside the hamster’s cage together with the dish. If your hamster overheats, it can relieve its discomfort by lying down next to the dish.
- It is recommended that the hamster consume cool water rather than warm water. Keep an eye on the temperature of the water that your hamster drinks.
- Switch it out for cold drinking water when it reaches a warmer temperature. Putting a few ice cubes in the water bottle will allow it to maintain its chilly temperature for longer.
- Use hay and paper tissue in the cage, both breathable materials that will not cause your hamster’s body temperature to rise excessively when resting.
- Wrap a frozen cloth around the cage or drape it over the top of it. Wet a towel, then place it in the freezer for a few hours. Ensure the towel does not obstruct airflow from the hamster’s cage.
Avoiding Overheating Hamsters in Summers
To avoid experiencing heat stress in the future, several different measures can be utilized.
There are a variety of various precautions that may be taken if you wish to stay safe from the effects of heat stress in the future.
It is best to keep the hamster’s cage away from any windows. It is important to keep the hamster’s cage away from windows, especially if it is made of glass or plastic and resembles an aquarium.
Instead, locate the cage in a shaded part of the house at least 80 percent of the time during the day. Make sure there is a distance of at least 1.2 to 1.5 meters (about 4 to 5 feet) between its cage and a window and consider increasing this distance if the window is exposed to direct sunlight.
Make sure the cage has adequate ventilation. Regardless of whether the temperatures are high, your hamster will be more comfortable inside a cage that has sufficient ventilation.
Aquarium-style cages made of plastic or glass are not nearly as well-ventilated as their wire counterparts. If you have a cage made of plastic or glass, you should ensure that the top has adequate ventilation.
Keep a thermometer within proximity to the enclosure. The optimal temperature range for hamsters is between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius (68- and 77 degrees Fahrenheit). Fasten to the cage’s exterior or lay against it.
Dial Down the Temperature after Overheating
Suppose the temperature inside the cage rises over this limit. In that case, you should either crank up the air conditioner’s temperature or relocate the cage to a more temperate home region.
If housed in an area with adequate ventilation, hamsters can tolerate temperatures as high as 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius). If not, the temperatures at this point are hazardous.
Give your hamster some water to drink. You will need to begin the process of rehydrating your hamster as soon as its symptoms start to show signs of improvement.
You could try feeding it foods high in water content, such as little pieces of cucumber or seedless watermelon. You also have the option of making use of a water dropper to rehydrate it.
Put some cold water in the dropper and shake it up. Place the tip of the dropper into the hamster’s mouth while you are holding it in an upright position. The liquid should be poured out in increments.
Spray water on the hamster to cool it down. To use as a spray, fill a bottle with water at room temperature. Adjust the settings so that it mists up.
To bring down the internal temperature of your hamster, lightly spritz its fur, ears, and feet with water. Avoid using cold water. Your hamster’s body temperature could drop too quickly if exposed to cold water, leading to other potentially fatal problems.
Our Final Thoughts
On a warm day, providing your hamster with a frozen version of his favorite food is an excellent method to keep him from overheating. Be sure to give your hamster goodies that have been approved for their diet.
Limit playing during hot days. Hamsters are at a greater risk than mammals of dehydration due to their rapid metabolism. During the warmer months, it is essential to restrict the amount of time spent playing with your hamster to prevent it from overheating.
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My name is Everly. I am a Milwaukee-based mom of 2 and have been a proud owner of many hamsters throughout my life. Like many of us, my introduction to hamsters happened when I was very young. My family saw several hamsters come and go through the years, and I enjoyed playing with them, but I never fully appreciated them until I grew up and my own children decided to jump on the hamster bandwagon. At that point, I was determined to learn all I could about caring for these adorable pets. Read more