Do Hamsters Hibernate? A Guide To Hamster Hibernation

Do hamsters hibernate or is there another excuse for his or her sleepy state? Hamsters can hibernate within the winter months if the temperature drops low sufficient. But not all hamsters that look like hibernating are literally deeply asleep. Today we’ll take a look at if and why your hamster is hibernating. How inform inform if they’re in hibernation, asleep, unwell and even lifeless.


Today we share our information to hamster hibernation. Do hamsters hibernate? When do hamsters hibernate? Signs of hamster hibernation and the right way to hold your hamster protected. You’ll be taught that there are several types of hibernation and that pet hamsters don’t really hibernate as we normally perceive it. That’s why folks typically describe the fright they’d with their hamster enjoying lifeless.

When hamsters enter a state of hibernation it could possibly be life-threatening. We’ll take a look at how one can decide whether or not you may have a sleeping hamster or a hamster hibernating – or lifeless. But additionally, most significantly, the right way to forestall hamster hibernation. First, we have to make clear what precisely it means to hibernate, biologically talking.

What is Hibernation?

Hibernation is a survival technique. It retains animals alive when it’s chilly and when meals and different sources are typically scarce. They save power by changing into inactive and turning their methods proper down – their temperature drops and their coronary heart charge and respiratory grow to be so much slower.

Scientists have been finding out hibernation as a result of it might have many advantages in medication if the state could possibly be induced in people, for instance throughout coronary heart surgical procedure or after critical damage. They have now even discovered that there are main chemical adjustments in animal’s brains once they hibernate.

There are two fundamental varieties of hibernation. The kind that normally involves thoughts is called compulsory hibernation – these animals who fatten themselves up throughout the summer season, create a protected house, and hibernate all winter. Examples are bears, bats and squirrels.

Do Hamsters Hibernate in Summer?

Hamsters fall within the second class, referred to as permissive hibernation. These animals hibernate at any time, winter or summer season, when excessive environmental situations want them to preserve power. This normally occurs when it’s chilly, but additionally when it’s too scorching or there’s a lack of meals or water.

In this second class the animals normally solely go into state referred to as torpor. It’s extra like a deep sleep than true hibernation and lasts for a shorter time. From a couple of hours to some days, till situations enhance.

Permissive hibernators don’t put together for the torpor and the hazard is available in when the situations that induced it go on for too lengthy. They can die from hypothermia or dehydration.

So the reply to the query “Do hamsters hibernate?” is that they do. But not just like the animals that hibernate in keeping with a pure seasonal rhythm. For hamsters it’s not a needed or an excellent state.

Pet animals, together with pet hamsters, ought to by no means must face the kind of situations that might induce a state of hibernation.

When Do Hamsters Hibernate?

The normal cause why hamsters enter a state of hibernation is when it’s too chilly. Ideally the temperature in a hamster’s surroundings ought to vary between 65 °F (18.3 °C) and 75°F (23.9 °C).

When chilly situations proceed for a minimum of 24 hours it might induce a state of torpor. It might even take a month or two of chilly temperatures earlier than hamsters begin hibernating.

Do Hamsters Hibernate If It’s Warm?

Hamsters solely hibernate once they get too chilly. Unlike true hibernators, permissive hibernators drop pounds as situations get colder fairly than increase fats shops. So hamsters aren’t superb hibernators.

Do Hamsters Hibernate Differently Depending on Breed?

Depending on the species and particular person traits, some will hibernate and a few won’t ever hibernate. Others will hibernate however achieve this ineffectively and fall sufferer to hypothermia.

Syrian, or golden hamsters, originated from a desert local weather and a state of stupor for brief durations was important to outlive chilly nights. These hamsters usually tend to hibernate than different hamster species.

Dwarf hamsters and Russian Dwarf hamsters originated from chilly climates and are much less prone to hibernate in any respect.

A actual hazard is when the temperature drops in a short time and unexpectedly, leaving the hamster with no time to correctly put together their physique methods for torpor. When this occurs they’ll simply fall sufferer to deadly hypothermia.

Light additionally performs a job in hamster hibernation. Hamsters stored in chilly and darkish situations usually tend to hibernate than these uncovered to sturdy gentle for a minimum of 12 hours a day.

Hamsters may also enter right into a state of torpor when meals and/or water are briefly provide. So how are you aware if in case you have a sleeping hamster, a hamster hibernating – or lifeless

Hamster Hibernation or Sleeping?

Ever thought you’d misplaced your hamster solely to grasp he was unbelievably soundly asleep? Getting to know the indicators of hamster hibernation is a crucial a part of accountable pet hamster possession. Hamsters sleep, cozily burrowed into their bedding – round 6 – 8 hours a day. They normally sleep throughout the day and are extra lively as soon as the solar begins happening.

You know what your pet’s regular sleep-wake sample is. When your hamster appears to be much less lively and sleeping greater than 12 hours a day you must begin conserving an eye fixed. Your pet may be shivering and shaking.

How Much Do Hamsters Cost

While transferring right into a stupor state your hamster would possibly nonetheless get up briefly and eat and drink in between. If the surroundings stays too chilly, the durations the hamster stays asleep grow to be longer and longer.

You may discover that they’ve constructed a much bigger nest than normal and are burrowing deeper in a extra protected space of their habitat.

When you see these indicators ask your self if it’s been colder or whether or not there’s been a draft or much less gentle. Maybe you moved your pet’s field to a distinct location.

So if the temperature vary in your hamster’s residing quarters has dropped under 65 °F (18.3 °C), and also you discover the above adjustments in behaviour you’ll be able to act to stop hibernation.

Otherwise it’s possible that he’ll progress to full torpor and also you’re might find yourself questioning in case your hamster is hibernating or lifeless.

Signs of Hamster Hibernation

Hopefully you’ll by no means have to have a look at your pet hamster and surprise “is my hamster hibernating or dead?” Unfortunately you can also’t management completely each side of your hamster’s life or what others round you could do.

Should your pet enter hamster hibernation, it’s vital to have the ability to acknowledge the indicators rapidly. Then you can provide your hamster the suitable care fairly than ready and questioning – and risking a worsening state of affairs. The most typical indicators of a hibernating hamster embody (however will not be restricted to):

  • At first they’re are limp, and later stiff, if you choose them up.
  • They might look like in a coma.
  • You can’t detect a heartbeat.
  • You see no respiration, or respiration is sporadic.
  • There is not any signal that your pet has eaten or drunk something or eradicated not too long ago.
  • You might imagine your hamster is lifeless.

So is there a solution to inform whether or not your hamster is hibernating or lifeless?

Hamster Hibernating or Dead?

When hamsters enter a state of torpor their methods can decelerate to such an extent that they seem lifeless. They really feel chilly to the contact. It’s troublesome to identify indicators of life as a result of they might breathe solely as soon as each 2 minutes and their coronary heart charge could possibly be as gradual as simply 4 beats a minute.

You can do the next checks to seek out out in case your hamster remains to be alive. These could possibly be indicators of both hibernation or of hypothermia.

  • Hold a mirror or a spoon in entrance of your hamster’s face. If it fogs even barely, there could also be respiration. If you watch rigorously for a couple of minutes you could even discover your pet taking a breath.
  • Stroke your hamster gently and watch to see if their whiskers twitch in any respect. This is the best signal to identify.
  • Feel if the temperature of the hamster’s cheek pouch is barely hotter that the remainder of their physique.
  • Gently stretch your hamster’s limbs. While they could really feel stiffer than regular, they’ll nonetheless be stretched a bit of bit by pulling.

Do Hamsters Hibernate with their Eyes Open?

Open eyes will not be essentially an indication that your hamster is lifeless. They can hibernate with their eyes open, half closed or utterly closed.

If your hamster’s physique is stiff like a board and also you’re unable to bend the limbs that is normally rigor mortis – an indication that your pet has died. Especially should you’re sure that the surroundings hasn’t been chilly.

Another solution to examine in case your hamster is actually lifeless is that if your pet doesn’t get up or present any signal of life after elevating the temperature of his surroundings to above 66 °F (20 °C) for twenty-four hours.

Once you’ve found that your hamster is hibernating you’ll have to take motion rapidly.

Hibernating Hamster Care

The degree of care your hibernating hamster will want can hinge on any variety of components. But a very powerful query is for the way lengthy your pet has been in torpor.

If the period up to now has been comparatively brief (lower than a day), rewarming them could also be adequate to revive your pet.

Remember that the more than likely trigger was that your hamster was too chilly. If he has hypothermia, fairly that having entered a state of torpor, it will possibly grow to be lethal very quickly. Immediate intervention and care is important!

Rewarm the enclosure and hold it effectively lit for a minimum of 12 hours. Make certain there may be sufficient meals and water as effectively.

The hamster’s enclosure may be moved to a hotter room. You may even wrap him in a heat fabric or maintain him in opposition to your physique and gently rub his again.

A light therapeutic massage to each their physique and extremities may help get the blood circulation transferring once more. A therapeutic massage can even assist heat your hamster up extra totally. It can take as much as three hours to carry you hamster out of turpor.

Warming Your Hamster

Veterinarians do NOT advise utilizing synthetic heating parts on or close to your hamster to quickly increase the their temperature and forcibly pull them out of hypothermia/hibernation. This may be unhealthy and even unsafe, and will immediate different undesirable well being situations that may require remedy.

Can Hamsters Drink Milk - Your Safety Guide

Rather, attempt to increase the temperature in and close to the habitat very progressively and gently, or simply use your individual physique warmth to slowly increase your hamster’s physique temperature.

Once your hamster is totally awake and there’s something in his behaviour you’re nonetheless apprehensive about, it’s greatest to take your toddler to the vet for a correct check-up.

But what must you do in case your hamster has been in hibernation for longer than a couple of hours?

Care for Extended Hibernation

If your hamster has been in a interval of torpor or hibernation for longer than 24 hours, it’s unlikely that merely warming up the world plus therapeutic massage shall be sufficient to make sure continued good well being.

There are a number of crucial well being points that may happen in extended hibernation. Dehydration is widespread, since hamsters don’t drink something whereas hibernating.

Another widespread subject is malnutrition, since hamsters drop pounds earlier than hibernation fairly than increase fats reserves to tide them over throughout a hibernation state.

Both water and nourishment should be provided with nice care and restraint after a interval of hibernation. Your hamster gained’t be capable of tolerate giant portions of both. Water specifically ought to be administered just one or two drops at a time with an eyedropper.

The most secure and greatest plan of action is to take your hamster to your vet for a full checkup. They can administer fluids and nourishment if wanted and examine for and deal with any crucial well being wants. They’ll additionally advise you on caring to your hamster as soon as you’re each again at residence once more.

The greatest to your pet is clearly to stop hibernation within the first place.

Preventing Hamster Hibernation

By now you in all probability realise that hibernation has the whole lot to do with the surroundings you present to your hamster. The most vital step is strict temperature management of your toddler’s habitat. Make certain that the temperature stays within the supreme vary of 65 °F (18.3 °C) to 75°F (23.9 °C).

One factor specifically to look at our for intently is adjustments in temperature (both up or down) brought on by direct daylight or proximity to air vents or open home windows.

Additionally, hamsters ought to get a minimum of 12 hours a day of vibrant gentle. And guarantee that they all the time have sufficient meals, water and bedding.

You may also take these steps should you’ve been observant and suspect that your hamster is displaying indicators of preparing for hibernation. Handling and enjoying along with your pet extra typically additionally helps to stop hibernation.

The best and most secure method is to do the whole lot attainable to stop the necessity to your hamster to hibernate. This listing of ideas may help you get began.

Hamster Bedding for Warmth & Burrowing

The first step you’ll be able to take is to offer your hamster with loads of bedding materials to burrow in. In the wild, a hamster would create a burrow that’s insulated with soil, wooden and even rock. In captivity, you should provide your hamster the instruments to create one thing related.

Here are some bedding choices that your hamster will possible love:

Healthy Pet Natural Bedding

Healthy Pet HPCC Natural Bedding* is economical, all-natural, cardboard-based bedding is compostable and almost dust-free. Customers say their hamsters discover it fairly cozy.

Kaytee Aspen Bedding

Kaytee Aspen Bedding for Pets* is one other sensible choice. You can select between 4 completely different sizes relying on what number of habitats you want bedding for.

This product is all-natural and incorporates no oils or inks. Customers describe the scent as “like the forest” and say it does an excellent job overlaying up different habitat smells.

Colored Pet Bedding

Healthy Pet Bedding in Colors* is economical and utterly biodegradable. The inks are protected and non-toxic and won’t bleed or stain. The fibers lure moisture to maintain it away out of your hamster. It additionally absorbs habitat odors fairly effectively.

For an much more economical method, provide shredded rest room paper or facial tissue to your hamster to make use of as bedding. This is heat, absorbent and cozy and your hamster will possible adore it.

Hamster Temperature Monitoring – 24/7

There are quite a lot of useful instruments to watch the temperature inside and close to to your hamster’s habitat. Most are fairly cheap and available on-line. Here are a couple of of our favorites:

Zoo Med ReptiTemp

Zoo Med ReptiTemp Digital Infrared Thermometer* is designed to be used in reptile habitats, however you’ll be able to simply as simply use it along with your pet hamster. Just level on the space of the habitat the place you need to take a temperature studying and immediately the thermometer will show the temperature for you. You can select between Celsius and Fahrenheit.

Zoo Med Digital

Zoo Med Digital Terrarium Thermometer* is an easy-to-read in-habitat digital thermometer that may frequently show the temperature so you’ll be able to examine it everytime you need to. Now you’ll be able to know at a look if the temperature could also be approaching the acute at both finish.

Zoo Med Economy

Zoo Med Economy Analog Dual Thermometer and Humidity Gauge*. While you could not essentially want the humidity aspect of this outdated fashion analog gauge, the thermometer could be very simple to learn at a look and you should utilize the Velcro-mount backing to put it inside your hamster’s habitat.

Hamster Habitat Location

Another logical solution to hold your hamster from ever affected by hypothermia or going into hibernation in captivity is to decide on the habitat location with nice care.

Can Hamsters Live Together - Can Two Hamsters Share A Cage?

In most houses in the present day, there are some areas or rooms that merely appear to remain a bit hotter than the remaining. Bathrooms, laundry rooms and kitchens may be good examples.

You also needs to select the position of the hamster habitat within the chosen room rigorously to keep away from drafts or direct daylight beams.

Keeping a Hamster in a Cold Climate

Finally, should you reside in a local weather identified to get fairly chilly, you could need to take into account including some kind of heating component to the room the place your hamster resides. Here, security is of the utmost significance each for you and your loved ones and to your hamster. If you do resolve to make use of a heating component of some variety, all the time comply with these security precautions:

  • Choose a product with an computerized security shut-off change if the tools occurs to get turned over or begins to overheat.
  • Choose a product with a self-regulating heating component. This retains the temperature inside a sure vary.
  • If you select an under-case heating mat, make certain it’s safety-rated for the habitat kind (some solely work with glass or plastic, for instance). Place it in just one space of the habitat so your hamster can get away if the mat will get too scorching.
  • For security causes (since hamsters like to chew), don’t put any kind of heater or heating component, even a scorching water bottle, contained in the habitat itself.
  • Instead of draping a blanket or fabric over the habitat to maintain drafts out, take into account a Blizzard or Alpine fleece hammock or pocket. This gained’t trigger any inside blockage if ingested.
  • A ceramic warmth lamp could also be a greater choice to warmth a portion of the habitat, particularly in case your hamster is a confirmed chew-a-holic.

Hamster Safe Heaters

Here are a couple of choices for hamster-safe heating in or close to the habitat itself.

Motina Pet Mat

Motina Pet Mat Under Tank Warmer with Temperature Control* is designed for reptile enclosures. This pet mat is available in two choices: 7-W and 14-W. It is waterproof and easy to wash and it gained’t hurt different surfaces. The temperature management gauge permits you to set a variety between 0 and 35 levels.

Pet Heat Light

Pet Heat gentle*, Reptile Heat Emitter, Ceramic Infrared no Light Safe Heater. You will want a bulb housing like this one* in addition to an exterior (away from habitat) solution to droop or mount it in a approach that your hamster can’t entry it.

Alfie Pet Hammock

Alfie Pet by Petoga Couture* is tremendous cute. You can select between two patterns: Owl or Animal. The fleece-based hammock is straightforward to safe to your hamster’s habitat and may be hand or machine-washed as wanted.

Do Hamsters Hibernate?

While hamsters of all breeds are typically thought-about to make for hardy, pleasant, wholesome pets, there are a couple of areas the place they’ll grow to be fairly susceptible in a short time.

Extremes of temperature current one of many best well being dangers for any pet hamster. Keeping your hamster’s surroundings strictly temperature-regulated is a key to creating certain your pet hamster enjoys the longest and healthiest attainable life with you.

We’ve supplied solutions to the complicated query “Do hamsters hibernate?” The suggestions provided on this article defined the early warning indicators that your hamster could also be too chilly or that he has gone into torpor. Also the motion you must take instantly to save lots of your pet.

Even if you’ll be able to revive your hamster your self, you must nonetheless make a follow-up veterinary appointment to make sure there aren’t any well being points forming.

By taking the time to study hamsters and hibernation, you could have simply discovered one thing that might save your pet hamster’s life someday. While we hope this can by no means happen, if it does, now you recognize precisely what to look out for and what to do!

Affiliate hyperlink disclosure: Links on this article marked with an * are affiliate hyperlinks, and we might obtain a small fee if you buy these merchandise. However, we chosen them for inclusion independently, and the entire views expressed on this article are our personal.

Learning More About Hamsters


  • Chayama, Y. et Al. 2016. Decreases in physique temperature and physique mass represent pre-hibernation remodelling within the Syrian golden hamster, a facultative mammalian hibernator. Royal Society Open Science.
  • Davis, J. 2016 What does a hamster appear like when it’s about to hibernate? Pets On
  • Forrest, G. Hibernation in Syrian Hamsters. British Hamster Association.
  • Gonzalez-Riano, C. et Al. 2019. Metabolomic Study of Hibernating Syrian Hamster Brains: In Search of Neuroprotective Agents. Journal of Proteome Research.
  • Price, J. What is hibernation? Hibernation, aestivation, torpor and denning defined.Discover Wildlife.

Recent Posts

© 2024 Copyright Tiny Pets Tube