What Temperature is Too Cold for Hamsters?

You might need to adjust the temperatures within your home depending on the kind of hamster you own. Some hamsters might prefer warmer temperatures, while others don’t like an environment that is too humid.

Conducting your research on what temperature is too cold for hamsters can give you a fair idea of the kind of temperature your hamster can adjust to. It is essential not to go off assumptions based on their origins.

What Temperature is Too Cold for Hamsters?

If you live in one of the colder states in the USA, you might be worried about your hamster’s health. One needs to define an ideal temperature for the species to understand what temperature is too cold for hamsters.

Most hamster species are comfortable living in a temperature of 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This includes 40 to 70 percent humidity to avoid a state of torpor. It is vital to understand that hamsters are generally comfortable with low temperatures. However, how cold is too cold?

A hamster will go into a state of hibernation if the temperature drops below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature is extremely cold for them, and an induced hibernation stage can prove dangerous.

Why Can’t Hamsters Handle the Cold?

Most of the pets we bring home adapt to our environments easily. We don’t need to coax them into it; they quickly get used to the temperatures and nutrition. However, pets don’t speak and will never tell you they feel too cold.

Whenever we feel cold, we might make a cup of hot chocolate to keep warm or light a fire. Pets can’t do that. They can only rely on their coats or the energy they receive from food. This is probably why pets get cold pretty fast.

Hamsters are some of the smallest pets you can keep in your home. Due to their size, it is harder for them to bear colder temperatures. Keep them protected from cold drafts and tamper with the temperature of the cage to provide them with a comfortable environment.

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How to Know if My Hamster is Cold?

You can figure out how cold your hamster is feeling by their bedding. The bedding you provide to your hamster might not be enough. They will use extra bedding you might have provided and add it to their house.

Conversely, hotter temperatures might force them to attempt to let some air into the house by removing extra bedding. When regulating the temperature of your hamster cage, try to maintain a balance. Higher temperatures can cause them to overheat, quite like we do. Note the following signs according to Hamsteropedia;

  • Your hamster is shivering
  • Your hamster seems lazy and doesn’t move around much
  • Your hamster is cold to the touch
  • Your hamster refuses to consume food
  • Your hamster has entered hibernation

How to Make Your Hamster Comfortable?

You can attempt to add comfort to a hamster cage by mimicking their living conditions in the wild. A great way is to translate a hamster’s needs from their ancestors’ activities.

A Hamster in the Wild

A hamster is likely to be more active in the wild during nighttime. The colder the atmosphere, the more they would run out to regular their body temperature. Hamsters might be nocturnal for this very reason.

Since their tiny bodies can’t handle extremes, they need mechanisms that allow them to warm up or cool down. If it is too cold during the day, a hamster will typically live within burrows where they can use different items to keep themself warm.

A Hamster in Your Home

Hamsters within homes don’t have the advantage of running around to keep warm. They don’t even have caves that they can hide within. Thus, temperature regulation is necessary.

Apart from regulating temperatures, if you live in a colder state in the USA, perhaps it is best to provide them with some insulation through shredded toilet paper, wood shavings, or anything else that a hamster can use to keep warm.

Cover the floor of your hamster’s cage with enough bedding that they can keep using whenever they feel cold. Ensure that the bedding doesn’t contain anything toxic, is unscented, and is rid of any materials that can get stuck in a hamster’s mouth.

Insulation from the Outside

In order to provide a hamster with similar conditions to save them from the cold, you need to give them a house that feels like a burrow. Since burrows are made underground, they provide insulated protection against drafts.

Avoid giving your hamster a home that it might not be used to. This includes homes made from non-biodegradable materials. This can lead to better air circulation and doesn’t store moisture, which prevents illness.

The Dangers of Hibernation

Unlike what most hamster owners might think, it can be fatal if your hamster enters a state of hibernation. It is essential to understand that hamsters only enter hibernation due to harsher conditions in the wild. However, nature provides them with enough support for rejuvenation.

A pet hamster will only enter torpor. This isn’t hibernation as this state isn’t prepared for in advance. It comes about suddenly due to extreme cold and is short-lived. If extended, it might be fatal for the hamster.

Hamsters will only enter a long sleep if they need to conserve energy. Colder temperatures can increase their metabolic rates and allow them to consume more energy. This is simply a response.

If the hamster enters torpor, they don’t have the fat required to get through this hibernation state. In case it doesn’t wake up, low food intake can cause death.

However, it doesn’t have to get to that stage if you follow a few simple rules.;

1. Invest in a Room Thermometer

If you constantly worry about the cold, you can buy a room thermometer and add it to your hamster’s cage. In the colder months, you can check the readings multiple times a day to ensure the comfort of your little friend.

2. Help them Stay Warm

You can help your hamster stay warm in multiple ways. Besides regulating room temperature, the bedding you provide your hamster can provide insulation. Hamsters tend to create their own burrows. In this case, their homes will be their burrows.

Provide deep bedding that they can use to add to their homes and snuggle within during the colder days. It is also vital to ensure that their cage is warm. This includes avoidance of colder corners or places in the house that receive a cold draft regularly. 

3. Boost their Metabolism

Hamsters use most of their energy to keep themselves warm. The more nutrition they take in, the more energy they can produce. Your hamster should have enough fat to get through the colder days. It should not have to run around to keep warm.

The following FAQs are a great guide to what temperature is too cold for hamsters;

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If you are looking for some FAQs that can help you decide how to provide your hamster with the ideal living conditions, keep reading!

1. What temperature is too hot for hamsters?

Hamsters have an inbuilt mechanism that allows them to handle colder temperatures for some time. This is the state of torpor or hibernation. However, hamsters tend to use up their food supply in hotter temperatures faster than usual. Since they can’t sweat in excess heat, it can be fatal.
Ensure your hamster’s cage doesn’t experience temperatures above 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Can I use a heater for my hamster?

Never use a heater for your hamster. Hamsters aren’t used to direct heat and will probably overheat if exposed to a heater. Try to slowly increase the temperature of the hamster cage by adding bedding and adjusting room temperature.

3. Can I add a fan to my hamster cage?

Never use a fan to cool down a hamster cage. Direct air can cause a hamster to get the flu or go into its burrow and never come out. A hamster is a small creature that might not be used to the loud sounds of a fan. However, you can use the fan to air out your room and thus provide a safe atmosphere for the hamster cage.

Final Thoughts

A hamster is a big responsibility. Being prepared to handle everything that comes with owning a hamster is best. Understanding what temperature is too cold for hamsters is the first step toward a bigger list of questions that should come to mind.

Understand everything a hamster needs to feel comfortable before investing in one. If you live in an area that might not be best for a hamster, perhaps getting another pet is better.

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