Hamsters are very sensitive creatures and just like humans, temperatures also affect them. But can hamsters handle the cold? Do they even get cold at all?
Do Hamsters Get Cold?
The answer is a simple yes, hamsters do and can get cold. It happens if you are keeping your little pals for an extended period in a room that falls way lower than 68 degrees Fahrenheit or 20 degrees Celsius. In fact, even just a few hours may already be too much for your hamster.
It is because the ideal room temperature for keeping your hamster is between 20 and 23 degrees Celsius or 68 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit with no direct sunlight or drafts.
If your hamster is living in a room that always falls under these temperatures, it is very much possible that he will get cold. Leaving your hamsters for too long in a cold room may lead to the development of some health problems.
How Do You Know if Hamsters are Too Cold?
Now that Hamsters that are too cold may sleep more in an attempt to conserve energy and body heat, so don’t be surprised if you don’t see him running around inside the cage that much.
In extremely cold temperatures, hamsters might actually shake and shiver. If this happens, make sure you transfer your hamster somewhere warm right away.
Dangers of Keeping Hamsters in an Extremely Cold Room
Hibernation is one of the most common risks of letting hamsters stay in a room that is too cold for them. While these small animals can and do hibernate, the only time they need to do it is if they are out in the wild. Hamsters living in the wild will get lots of warnings from the weather about the approaching cold season, giving them enough time to get ready and survive.
Unfortunately, pet hamsters put in an extremely cold room don’t get any warnings or enough time to prepare. They need to act fast and fall into some kind of slumber that cannot keep them alive for a long time and dehydrate them as well. In worst-case scenarios, this slumber is a hypothermic shock that can be deadly.
One more issue that may pop up is the fact that hamsters can actually catch a cold. Just like humans and some other mammals, hamsters can also catch colds. These small animals will have runny noses and sneeze and feel the need to sleep for longer than usual.
How to Tell When Hamsters Have a Cold?
Are you suspecting that your hamster has caught a cold? To put an end to your speculations, here are several signs you should keep an eye out for:
- Hot to the touch when you pick up your hamster
- Loss of appetite and low energy
- Ruffled and mattered fur
- Discharge from the eyes or possibly sticky eyes
- Wet or runny nose. Just like the human nose, hamster noses also run, and the only difference is that they don’t have the luxury of using tissues.
- Sleeping for longer than usual
- Thirstier than normal
if you notice some or all of these signs in your hamster, you can almost be sure that your pet got a cold indeed. Make sure you take your small animal to the vet who can administer or prescribe a proper treatment. This treatment can be in the form of antibiotics or anything similar. It also depends on the severity of the cold and what the vet thinks is most suitable for your hamster.
How to Treat and Care for a Hamster with a Cold
Don’t panic just yet if you have confirmed that your hamster actually got a cold. These small animals can usually survive and handle a cold. However, they still need help.
The vet’s recommended treatment will work. However, you still need to remember that colds do go away by themselves in a week or so whether you treat them or not. The only thing you can do is alleviate the cold symptoms.
To make it easier for your hamster to go through his cold, you might want to change his bedding just one time and allow him to build a warm new nest.
Give your hamster lots of nesting material, preferably much more than what you think your pet needs. You can expect him to use everything and build him a tangly huge mess to hide away in and keep himself warm for several days.
you know that hamsters can actually get cold, it’s time to learn the different signs to watch out for to know whether or not your hamster is already too cold.
The first way to tell if your little pet is cold is when he draws most of his bedding to his hideout. This is something that hamsters do by nature even when their hideout is already stuffed with nesting material.
However, a hamster that finds his habitat too cold is going to go on an obsessive act of piling up his bedding. When this happens, your hamster may scrape and move all his bedding to the part where his hideout is located. They will do this on end no matter how many paper towels, cardboard, or toilet paper you give them.
Another telltale sign of a hamster that is too cold is when the animal becomes lethargic and loses his appetite. Make sure you keep the room of your hamster in the temperature range stated above. Never go beyond this range because a room that is too warm will only make the hamster too warm, making it harder for your pet to breathe.
See to it that the room is not drafty and is properly ventilated. In this respect, you also need to ensure that your hamster’s cage is not near a door or a window or on any external wall.
Lastly, see to it that you separate your sick hamster from the rest of your hamsters if you got several of them. You might also need to take your sick hamster to a different room.
If everything goes well, your sick hamster should recover and go back to normal in about a week.