Hamster history tells us that some hamsters, such as the Syrian hamster, had a native habitat that was warm and dry. Other hamsters, such as the Djungarian, originated in a cold weather habitat such as Siberia. But domesticated, pet hamsters don’t really favor climates that are too hot or too cold.
Instead, hamsters prefer to live in a temperate environment. The fact is that your pet will suffer and be susceptible to sickness if placed in conditions that are too cold or too hot. The most appropriate climate for hamsters is 68 to 78° F (20 to 25 C).
Effects of Frigid Temperature
If your hamster starts to get too cold, your hamster tries to protect itself by going into hibernation. You can tell your hammy is in hibernation if you notice it’s staying in the same position for a long time, isn’t breathing very much, and looks like it’s dead. The danger is that your hamster won’t recover from hibernation.
Immediately attempt to bring it out of hibernation by taking it to a warm environment and rubbing it gently. It could take more than half an hour to get its normal bodily functions back. If you are concerned, take your pet to the vet
Avoiding Too Cold Temperatures
There are a number of ways to make sure your hamster doesn’t get too cold.
Always be careful about where you place your hamster’s cage. You never want to put a cage outside. Hamsters are indoor pets.
Also, you don’t want to put the cage on the floor of your basement because in the winter, the floor gets very cold. If you must keep a hamster in the basement, make sure it is raised up off the floor and has some way to get heat in the winter.
Even inside your house, remember that cold air is closest to the floor. So keep your cage on a flat surface that is well off the floor and has good ventilation.
In your room, don’t put your hamster cage in front of an air conditioner as the cold air can then blow directly on your hammy. And, yes, if it’s too cold your hamster can go into hibernation even in the summer.
If the hamster cage is near a window, as with air conditioning, make sure breezes don’t blow in the window and into your hamster cage.
Finally, make sure your hamster has plenty of bedding material in its cage. That way, your hamster can burrow down deep to help keep warm.
Effects of Too Much Heat
Just as it is important to keep your pet away from extreme cold, so is keeping it away from too much heat. When too hot, your hamster can get dehydrated or heatstroke, either of which is quite dangerous for your hamster’s health.
Avoiding Too Hot Temperatures
Again, putting your cage near a window can mean direct sunlight on your hamster. Direct sunlight provides too much heat, even for the normal wire cage. And if you’re using an aquarium or bin cage, there is usually even less air circulation. That means more heat can build up inside the cage
Even if you put your hamster cage on a piece of furniture that is away from the window and think it’s safe remember that the sun moves during the day moves (actually, it’s the Earth that’s moving, but that’s a different story). So check to be sure your cage doesn’t also get too much sunlight during the day when you may not be in the room with your hamster.
If you have central air conditioning, also check for the location of the vents that the hot and cool air come out of. Put your hand over the hamster cage to make sure, the hot and cold air from the vent is not blowing directly on your hamster.
Additionally, in the winter, you may want to move your hamster cage to where the rest of the family is, such as the living room. But here too, make sure your hamster cage doesn’t get put too close to a fireplace or space heater. You’d be surprised at how fast these can overheat a small creature such as a hamster. And that’s particularly true for dwarf hamsters that are even smaller than Syrians.
As a hamster owner, you want to make your pet’s environment as comfortable as possible. Temperatures that are too cold or too hot are both unhealthy for your hamster.
The bottom line is that your hamster needs to stay in a warm room and isn’t exposed to too much sunlight or air that’s too cold or too hot. In addition, you need to make sure your hamster has deep and comfortable bedding.
To avoid guessing what the temperature is, you could install a wall thermometer in the room so you will know if the temperature is in the right range to keep your hamster healthy and happy.