You’ve been noticing strange behavioral changes in your furry friend. Maybe you’re trying to change their sleeping schedule and meddle in their routine too much. Hamsters aren’t accustomed to living in stressful situations. Hence, if you’re wondering how to put a hamster to sleep, you’ve come to the right place.
Can You Change a Hamster’s Sleep Cycle?
Yes, you can, but the real question is, should you? Changing a hamster’s routine isn’t easy. In many cases, it isn’t even recommended.
It’s stressful for both parties and requires a lot of consistency, patience, knowledge, and skills. Hamsters haven’t come a long way from living in the wild. They still look out for the same dangers they do now.
They’ve always been on the lookout for predators. This is precisely why they choose to hide during the day and come out at night.
Since your pet is habitual in following a particular sleep pattern, it isn’t wise to implement sudden changes. You might start noticing an increase in their aggression, and you might have no choice but to take your pet to a veterinarian.
All in all, you reap poor behavior, poor eating habits, and aggression from making abrupt changes in your routine.
What Are Hamster Hideouts Like?
Hamsters usually have a ceramic or a plastic hideout. The biggest drawback of these materials is that they do not support ventilation.
As a result, your hamster may suffer from cold, pneumonia, and even hypothermia. Hence, if you must create a hideout, choose wood as it supports ventilation and retains its scent.
Does Changing a Hamster’s Hideout Help?
It isn’t recommended to change a hamster’s hideout abruptly. These nocturnal animals can undergo extreme stress and anxiety. This is because they rely heavily on their scent to navigate well.
Avoid implementing such changes on them too often. It leads to deterioration in their sense of navigation.
Furthermore, you also want to ensure that there is enough space and bedding for your pet to conceal themselves or move around. Determine whether your hamster is a runner or a digger and prepare for their bedding needs accordingly.
Hamsters are also terrible at dealing with temperature changes. Too often, they panic and undergo various illnesses as a result. Extreme stress due to temperature changes can also kill a hamster in the worst-case scenario.
Will Changing The Cage Location Help?
Ensuring your hamster sleeps well is imperative to allow it to thrive and stay healthy. You can attempt to place the cage in a quieter spot to help it sleep peacefully.
However, make sure not to have any other pets around it. Hamsters get scared quickly, especially if dogs or cats are around.
Generally, it is recommended that you place your hamster’s cage in a lonely and dark corner. This is when they will feel safe and go to sleep easily as opposed to staying in a bright and noisy environment and suffering from stress.
Changing your hamster’s location isn’t only crucial for them but also for you. Their constant wheel-running, scratching, and digging won’t bother you. Furthermore, it’s best if you try to adjust to their schedule instead of attempting to change it.
Check out, Why Is My Hamster Fat All of a Sudden?
Is It Possible to Make Adjustments to a Hamster’s Sleeping Schedule?
While it is possible to adjust their sleeping schedule, you cannot achieve it overnight. Hamsters are crepuscular, which means they are always active during dusk and dawn.
Hence, if you’ve ever owned a hamster as a pet, you’d know how active things get at night. However, there are subtle changes you can incorporate into their routine to make them more accustomed to staying up during the day. Here are some of them.
Stay Active with Them throughout the Early Evening
It’s alright if your furry buddy wants to sleep. However, the moment they wake up, you must keep creating opportunities to play with them.
This way, they may feel slightly more inclined towards the idea of staying awake during the day. The more they enjoy, the greater the chances of them getting exhausted and sleeping blissfully at night.
Try doing it consistently for a few days or weeks until you notice your hamster waking up earlier to play. However, don’t expect them to be inactive at night.
Make Minor Changes to Their Feeding Schedule
Instead of feeding your furry baby at night, push the schedule back a little bit. Feed them a bit after early evening, so it’s neither too early nor too late for their standards.
Hamsters have a hard time resisting food, so they will have no choice but to play along. They may even be more inclined to stay up because of food.
However, make sure not to meddle too much with this part of their daily routine. Food should neither be too much nor too little. Sudden changes in their eating schedule can also expose them to gastrointestinal issues.
Consider Replacing their Toys Every Now And Then
Hamsters can get bored easily. Boredom is much more detrimental to their health than physical sickness.
What Breed Is Your Hamster?
When it comes to adjusting your hamster’s routine, make sure to keep their breed in mind. Here’s why it’s crucial.
Different hamsters have different reactions to sleep routine adjustments. For instance, Syrian hamsters are much more inflexible than any other breed. They like staying active during the night and sleeping during the day.
On the other hand, Chinese and dwarf hamsters are much more flexible. They get accustomed to new routines reasonably quickly and also begin responding to changes in a short period.
Allow Your Hamster to Trust You
While hamsters respond well to the human touch, they may not be quick to trust you. Hence, do not make abrupt movements in the first few days of having them.
Be patient and let them sniff you. Use the cupping technique to pick them up. The more they trust you, the more likely they will respond to your efforts to change their sleeping pattern.
Introduce Them to Your Touch
Hamsters are sensitive to touch, light, and sounds. Hence, you want to make sure that you’re holding them right.
The more responsive they are to your touch, the more their chances of sleeping in your hand improve. Avoid trapping or squeezing them in your hands as it makes them uncomfortable.
Don’t force yourself on them. If you find them agitated, calm them down and put them back in the cage. However, do not under any circumstances attempt to hold them forcefully or pick them up suddenly.
Respect Your Hamster’s Schedule
The first step to attempting to change their schedule requires you to respect the schedule in the first place. Let your hamster sleep and wake up when it wants to.
Let it play, and don’t be too impatient. Irritated hamsters do not blink twice before biting you. Sleepy hamsters are also very hesitant to form a bond with you, especially when they notice you meddling too much with their natural cycle.
When Are Hamsters Put to Sleep Permanently?
Unfortunately, in some cases, professionals can also put hamsters to sleep permanently. Euthanizing a hamster is widely practiced across the United States and the world owing to the painful deterioration of the animal’s health.
It isn’t easy to figure out if a hamster is sick. They’re good at hiding their symptoms for the longest time. Hence, you should take any change in their typical behavior into account. Some signs include hair loss, wet tail, extreme inactivity, and no appetite.
High-stress levels and old age are the main culprits behind a sick hamster. Furthermore, rapid and abrupt diet changes can make their health worse.
This is when the option of euthanasia comes in. If there is no way to save a hamster, professionals will bring forth the option of euthanizing or putting your hamster to sleep permanently.
Medically induced death may not seem like an ideal choice. However, seeing your hamster suffer is even worse.
Under any circumstances, do not try to carry the procedure out at home. Only professional veterinarians should take care of the process since it requires a carefully administered medicine dosage and strict supervision.
Hamsters are extremely sensitive animals and often do not respond well to environmental changes. They’re accustomed to living in the wild. Hence, adopting a human routine isn’t always in their best interests.
If done too quickly, these changes may even induce physical sickness in them. It might even come to a point where you’ll have to put them to sleep permanently. If you’re still wondering how to put a hamster to sleep peacefully, start by respecting its original schedule first.
Try to adjust to their schedule instead of making them adjust to yours. However, if you have to, start by implementing small but consistent changes in their routine. Monitor them throughout the process. If you don’t see them responding well, step back and let them be.
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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