How to Keep Hamster Warm During the Cold Season

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Hamsters are rodents and are very popular small pets. They are good pets for children because they are easy to take care of. However, you have to take extra care of them during the cold season. Hamsters originate from Syria and Greece which are dry and arid places. That is why hamsters are comfortable in warm and cozy temperatures.

Hamsters cannot bear excessive cold temperatures. So, it is important to keep them warm during cold temperatures. From 65 °F (18.33 °C) to 75 °F (23.89 °C) is the best temperature for hamsters. If the temperature is below 65 °F (18.33 °C) then, that can create a problem for your hamster. If it goes below 50 °F (10 °C) then, your hamster can even die.

Symptoms of cold in hamsters could be sneezing. They might also have runny noses. They become more lethargic. There is a decrease in hamsters’ physical activity due to cold. They might stay indoors too long and choose to stay in bed.

7 Tips on how to keep Hamster warm

A few hours of cold temperature can also be dangerous for hamsters. So it is important to maintain a warm environment for them. Here are some suggestions to keep your room temperature warm to keep hamsters cozy and happy.

Space Heaters

The most common answer to the question ‘how to keep hamsters warm?’ is space heaters. If your house is usually below 65 °F (18.33 °C), then you should invest in a space heater. It will help to maintain the temperature of the room. It will also ensure a warm environment for hamsters. Invest in such a space heater that keeps your room warm as required, so your hamster can move freely.

You can place that heater in the room of your hamster’s cage. Do not place the space heater too close to the hamster as it is dangerous for them. Do not leave your space heater on, when you are not around. Keep it several feet away from your hamster’s cage. Keep it in a safe space where it is out of the reach of hamsters.

You can buy a heater with automatic temperature control to ensure that the room doesn’t get very hot. It also helps to maintain a stable warm environment. You can even get a space heater with timer settings. Make sure you do not point the heater directly towards your hamster’s cage, it can overheat their cage. Overheating can further cause burns and injuries to hamsters.

Nesting

For the initial period of cold winters, you can invest in a nest for your hamster. You can place the nest inside their cage. You should have a well-insulated nest. Making the nest with either heavy wood, ceramic or thick plastic is suitable for hamsters. You can even provide them with extra safety nesting materials such as unscented shredded paper towels and tissues. Hamsters tend to burrow themselves in the nest. So it keeps them warm, even if you are not around. Nesting is not a permanent solution for hamsters. But for starters, you can do this and keep looking for other good long-term options for keeping your pet warm.

Heating Pads

If your house is very cold then, a space heater might not be enough for you. You need to invest in a heating pad.

People always ask this question ‘if we can use human heat pads for hamsters? The answer to this is ‘No’. Human heat pads are not suitable for hamsters. They offer a lot of heat which is dangerous for hamsters.

There are heating pads available that are specially designed for small pets. Use self-regulation heat pads, so it will be working only when a hamster is using them. Heating pads are safe and perfect for hamsters.

Make sure when you are placing the heat pads, you raise your hamster’s cage 1 inches (2.54 cm) to 2 inches (ca. 5 cm) above. This will make sure that there is a proper placement of the heat pad. You have to place the heat pad only on one side of the cage. So, the other side can stay cooler and hamsters can go to a colder place whenever required. Never place heat pads in the middle of your hamster’s cage. Placing the heat pads in the middle will provide heat to the entire cage and there will be no cool space for hamsters.

Small Room

Most people suggest keeping the cage of hamsters in a smaller room during cold seasons. Smaller rooms are warmer as compared to larger rooms. It is always easier to heat and create a warm environment in a small room than in a larger room.

You might have another room that is warmer than your hamster’s previous place. Then, you can keep your hamster there for colder seasons. And when the warm seasons arrive you can place the cage back to its previous place. Check the temperature of the rooms in your house before changing the position of the cage. It might be possible, that the new room where you have placed your hamster’s cage is even cooler than the previous room. So you have to check the temperature of all rooms in your house. You can check the temperature by standing there for a few minutes. Compare the temperature of all the rooms and find the perfect small and warm room for your hamster.

Make sure you place your hamster’s cage in a safe spot in the room. Also, small rooms tend to have less ventilation. So you have to make sure that there is adequate ventilation for your hamster.

Proper Bedding

Proper bedding during the cold winter is nothing but an increase in bedding. During winters, you can have extra bedding for hamsters. Hamsters usually like to burrow in their beds and make their own space for sleeping. They even make a nest out of their bed. They pull their bed around them to feel warm and cozy. So it is important to have extra bedding for them to pull, burrow, and feel cozy. This will also keep hamsters warm, especially at night.

For bedding, recycled cardboard is a better material for hamsters. Extra bedding might be expensive sometimes. So there is an alternative for it, which is shredded tissues. You can use shredded tissues, but make sure it is soft for hamsters. Make sure you change their beds regularly, to keep the beds fresh for hamsters.

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Increase their Physical Activity

Here is another short-term solution for colder temperatures. When the temperature is cold only for a few days, then you can try this. Even in cold temperatures, hamsters need constant and regular exercise. Increasing physical activity means letting your hamster exercise even in cold temperatures. These activities make your hamsters active, and they don’t stay for long in bed or stay idle because they might hibernate.

To increase their physical activity you can set up a hamster wheel inside their cage. This will help them to exercise. Exercising will further increase your hamster’s body temperature and make them feel warm. It is a good option but not long-term. You can invest in accessories for hamsters. You can even take them out of their cage but this is not advisable for extremely cold conditions.

Placement of their Cage

During winters, you should keep their cage indoors. Keeping their cage outdoors in cold temperatures is not suitable for hamsters. You should keep their cage in a warm place. If hamsters are outdoors even in a hutch, nest, or cage, they still might have the chance of getting cold. And you don’t have to take that risk.

Choose a spot for their cage where there is adequate ventilation. But keep their cage a little far from windows and doors. The cold air might come inside the room through the windows and doors. That cold air might make hamsters uncomfortable, and they might get sick. If your place is hard to heat, then you can place their cage in the bathroom or closet.

Other tips on how to keep Hamster warm

  • You can invest in a good cage heater. But make sure it is safe for hamsters.
  • You can keep a hot water bottle outside their cage. You have to close the hot water bottle tightly and water should not drop off.
  • Keep a microwavable rice sock outside their cage. It is not a reliable option as it might lose heat after a few hours.
  • You can even use a heat lamp. It will provide the much-needed heat.
  • Invest in a heating mat and place it under their cage. It helps to keep the environment warm.

Things you should keep in mind

Do not let them Hibernate

Hibernation is a process where hamsters stay still for a long period. They stay in bed for days or even for weeks. During hibernation, their physical activity decreases. And they become more lethargic and prone to sickness. They even eat less and do not get essential nutrients. It can make them prone to various diseases or even lead to the death of your hamster. Hamsters do not keep extra calories or water during hibernation. And that makes it difficult for them to survive hibernation.

If you see them hibernating, take them to a warm room. Gently rub your hamster’s body to make it warm. Rubbing their body will stimulate blood flow. After your hamster is awake, hydrate them. Keep your hamster in a warm place after that and take extra care. If your hamster is not waking up even after 30 minutes from when you have discovered hibernation. It is better to take your hamster to the veterinarian immediately.

Keep the temperature warm and not hot

It is also important to make sure that the temperature doesn’t get too hot. You have to maintain a warm temperature and not a hot temperature. If the temperature is more than 90 °F (ca. 32 °C) then, it is problematic for hamsters. Excessive heat can be harmful to hamsters.

Provide them with Essential Nutrients

During cold weather, they tend to stay in bed and eat less. To warm up their body they need energy. To get that energy they should eat essential nutrients. You have to make sure that hamsters get all essential nutrients required by them. Less eating can make them sick or even less active. Especially during hibernation, they tend to eat less which is not good for their health.

No Blankets

Many people use a blanket to drape their hamster’s cage. But it might be harmful to them. Blankets of certain fabrics are harmful to hamsters because they might chew the blankets draped over. They even might feel suffocated inside their cage due to the blanket. So it is better to not use a blanket.

Final thoughts on how to keep Hamster warm

‘How to keep hamster warm?’ The answers to this question are the tips that are provided above. Try to follow the reliable options and keep your hamster warm during cold winters. You can use the short-term options while you are traveling or you are experiencing cold temperatures for a few days. Make all possible arrangements before the cold season to maintain the warmth for your hamster. And it is also important to keep your hamster safe as a lot of heating devices are near them. Try to keep them warm and cozy.

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