We all want our hamsters to be as comfortable as possible; a logical question that comes from this want is what the ideal room temperature for a hamster is? Can a room be too cold for your hamster? Or perhaps too hot? And after doing extensive research on the perfect climates for hamsters, I’ve come up with an answer.
Keeping a hamster’s room at 69 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit provides the best range for keeping your little buddy happy and warm. If the temperature gets under 69 degrees, the colder temperature can chill your hamster and cause false hibernation, which can lead to death; if it gets above 72 degrees, the hotter air could cause your little fur ball to suffer from heatstroke.
This information is a little undetailed regarding the reason why hamster needs the room to stay within this temperature range. Which is why I will further elaborate on it later in the post. So please, read on and learn more about why your hamster needs their room between this ideal temperature range.
Why Does Your Hamster’s Room Needs To Stay Within the Ideal Temperature Range?
A room temperature outside the ideal range referenced above can cause a myriad of issues for your hamster. I thought it’d be wise to split these problems into two parts for convenience purposes:
- Why You Don’t Want the Room too Cold
- Why You Don’t Want the Room too Hot
Why You Don’t Want The Room too Cold
Most hamsters, specifically Syrians, come from desert climates, which means they aren’t equipped to deal with colder temperatures. You might find this weird given they do have fur, which theoretically should keep them warm.
But the colder temperatures can cause your hamster’s body to go into something called “a state of torpor”, which is basically hibernation. This process isn’t something you want to happen as a hamster owner. This torpor slows down the heart rate to a state of rest, which older hamsters typically can’t handle and end up never waking up.
If you find your hamster in a state of hibernation, there are ways to help them snap out of it:
- Hold them in your hands and rub their bodies, which will stimulate their muscles.
- Put a heating pad inside their cage
- Feed them vegetables such as romaine lettuce or cucumbers and keep them hydrated
- Put them in a quiet room without distractions such as people walking by.
- Remove the cage from any direct sunlight or contact with drafts
- Check on them frequently until they’re back to normal. Then you can start feeding them the regular harder food.
Hibernation isn’t the only issue that comes with colder than ideal temperatures. Just like with humans, colds are a frequent problem for hamsters stuck in colder climates. But these colds are much more severe for hamsters and quickly can develop into pneumonia.
The symptoms of which are downright terrifying for a hamster owner to witness:
- Weight loss and refusal to eat
- Sneezing and/or coughing
- Respiratory distress
- Mucus discharge from the nose and eyes
If you see any of these symptoms, it’s best you contact your vet immediately. Pneumonia isn’t something you should play around with; it’s best you get it dealt with by professional as quickly as possible.
There are some hamster breeds such as winter whites, that are a bit of an exception to these rules. Winter whites originate from a colder climate and have an ideal temperature range starting at a chilly 65 degrees to about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This information showcases why it’s always important you research your hamster’s breed before setting up their habitat.
We must also note that hamsters tend to have a little bit of higher body temperature than we do at 99.7 Fahrenheit. This higher body temperature explains why they might like it a little cooler than we typically would.
Why You Don’t Want the Room Temperature too Warm
Even though most hamsters come from desert climates, these little creatures aren’t too fond of the heat. Syrian Hamsters would often burrow during the day to just hide from the heat. It was because high temperatures coupled with high humidity could cause them some serious issues.
The most obvious issue would be heatstroke, which could kill a hamster quickly. These become common in temperatures above 80 degrees, but they can occur in the temperatures in the high 70s as well.
A hamsters proclivity for contracting heatstroke makes knowing what symptoms look like an essential part of being a hamster owner:
- Excessive saliva around the mouth
- Moving slowly
- Bright red tongue
If you see any of these symptoms, you must act quickly. Try and cool them down immediately by splashing them with cold water along with providing them with a cool drink. Doing so could stop the heatstroke in its tracks, but if there’s no immediate sign of recovery, contact a vet.
It’s important to not confuse heatstroke with a condition called sleeper disease, which is also caused by elevated temperatures. A hamster suffering from sleeper disease will appear lifeless and floppy, but if you look close enough, you’ll be able to see their whiskers twitching.
If this happens to your hamster, gently pick them up. Hold them for a few minutes, and they should awake rather suddenly after five or so minutes. If they don’t come around within five or so minutes, you should assume they’re suffering a heat stroke and treat them as such.
As you can see, these issues aren’t something you should take lightly. I mean, something as little as being in direct sunlight for an extended period can lead to heatstroke. So please, be aware of any scenario where the temperature could rise above that 72-degree mark.
How to Ensure Your Hamster’s Room Stays Within The Ideal Temperature Range
I’m sure the previous section scared you: it should. These issues aren’t something you should mess around with or be ignorant of as a hamster owner. But thankfully, there are ways to make sure these potential problems never become an issue.
And I’ll provide them to you in two different parts as I did in the section above for convenience purposes:
- How To Keep Your Hamster’s Cage From Becoming too Cold
- How To Keep Your Hamster’s Cage From Becoming too Hot
But before I provide these ways to you, there’s little thing called a thermometer that’ll make this whole process easier. I’d recommend getting this one an incredible keeping you informed of the exact temperature of your hamster’s cage.
How To Keep Your Hamster’s Cage From Becoming too Cold
The easiest way to keep your hamster warm during the winter months is using a space heater or a heating pad. If you end up using a space heater, you must always keep an eye on the temperature in the room.
These devices can heat a room rather quickly and create a precarious situation for your hamster. It’s a similar situation with heating pads, which is why you’ll want to keep it on one side of your hamster’s cage; it will allow them to move away from it when they become too warm.
If you can’t seem to find a heating pad online, you could even make your own. All you need to do is take some fabric and sew into a bag, which you must keep open on one end. Fill the bag with some uncooked rice and sew it shut.
Proceed to microwave the bag for two or three minutes, and it will stay warm for hours. And now you have a DIY heating pad that’ll help keep your hamster warm during those harsh winter months. Pretty cool, right?
You should also have thick curtains in your hamster’s room and rolled up towels on the window sills. The rolled up towels will keep cold air from coming in and you want to avoid all drafts regardless of the temperature.
Another good idea is getting the warmest bedding you can find and filling their cage up with it: a simple solution, but a necessary one to note regardless.
How To Keep Your Hamster’s Cage From Becoming too Hot
The simplest way to make sure the temperature doesn’t get too hot is by keeping them away from direct sunlight; don’t ever place your hamster’s cage near a window. A lack of access to direct sun will reduce the risk of the temperature reaching heatstroke levels.
Aside from avoiding direct sunlight, you could also try turn on a fan. But if you use a fan, avoid all direct drafts and make sure the ventilation is good all around your hamster’s cage. Direct drafts could cause some of the issues we discussed above such as hibernation or colds.
On incredible hot days, you could try freezing water bottles and sticking them inside the cage. These water bottles will give your hamster somewhere to chill out and cool down during the hotter parts of the day.
Frozen fruits and vegetables are also an excellent way for cooling down your hamster. And your hamster will like them too because they’re yummy treats: kind of like the hamster equivalent of ice cream.
If you’re feeling creative, you could go out to the hardwood store and get a tile. Then, put the tile in the freezer for a while and place it into the cage. It will give your hamster a cool place to relax and lay during a hot, humid day.
With all this new information, I’m quite positive you’ll have no issues keeping your hamster’s cage within the ideal temperature range. But if you do, don’t hesitate to call a vet as these issues are serious and sometimes need professional attention.