The Omlet Blog

How to cool down a hamster

Boy feeding his hamster in pull out tray of Omlet Qute hamster cage

Hamsters don’t appreciate the warmer weather as much as we do. Whilst great family pets, something these small pets aren’t so good at is regulating their body temperature, making them highly sensitive to changes in weather. But with a few tips and tricks, you can learn how to beat the heat this summer with these tips on how to cool down a hamster.

Too hot for Hammy to handle?

Hamsters originate from all over the world, but mainly in European and Asian grasslands and deserts. The diverse habitat of their environment means that extreme fluctuations in temperature are not uncommon for hamsters in the wild. Despite this, domesticated hamsters are not accustomed to such climates. In fact, they actually live comfortably at a temperature consistently between 65 – 75°F. When temperatures rise above this, the effects can, at worst, be fatal.

Unlike us, hamsters are unable to sweat or pant to cool themselves down. In the wild, hamsters are naturally shielded from direct sunlight when they burrow. But, as domesticated pets, they need the help of their owners to stay safe. Fortunately, it’s easy to keep them cool with the correct setup.

Signs of hamster heat stroke

It’s important not to wait until your hamster is already showing signs of distress to take measures. But, should you find your hamster in an unexpected situation when temperatures rise rapidly, watch out for the following signs of heat stroke:

  • Constant thirst 
  • Open mouth breathing
  • Loss of coordination
  • Loss of appetite
  • Drooling
  • Running in circles
  • Collapse

If your hamster is showing any of these symptoms or you have any concerns about heat stroke, contact your vet immediately.

6 tips for keeping your hamster cool

Prevention beats cure every time, so taking these steps will ensure a summer of safety for your furry friend.

  • Avoid sunlight

You might enjoy basking in the sun, but your hamster won’t. Choose a location for their cage that’s out of direct sunlight to keep them as cool as possible. You should also avoid any areas close to fireplaces or radiators. Omlet’s Qute hamster cage is ideal for your hamster’s summer setup, with optional wheels to make relocating easier than ever. For more information on where to put your hamster’s cage, read our hamster guide.

  • Fan their cage

Now that you’ve picked the perfect spot for your hamster’s cage, keep temperatures cooler with a fan for those especially hot days. Never place a fan directly on a hamster as this will cause them stress and for temperatures to drop too low. Don’t forget – a temperature between 65 – 75°F is ideal. Instead, keep an electric fan at a distance, simply pointing it in the direction of the cage to circulate cool air around the room.

  • Summer snacking

Nothing beats a refreshing treat to cool down over the summer. Your hamster will appreciate a refreshing snack in the warmer weather too. Try freezing a few of their favorite fruits and veg – think of it as a hamster ice pop! A few popular options include watermelon, carrot and pear but this isn’t an exhaustive list. Find a few more suggestions on our hamster food list.

  • Frozen accessories

If temperatures get too high, use a frozen towel for your hamster to keep cool. Simply wet a towel and place it in the freezer for a few hours. Wait until the towel gets cold before removing and draping over your hamster’s cage. To ensure you don’t block any airflow, only cover half of the cage with a towel if you try this.

If you have a Qute cage, your hamsters will benefit from the draft-free ventilation system. Designed to keep hamsters cool in summer and warm in winter, the cage has been crafted with your hamster’s safety at the forefront.

  • Limit playtime

It might not sound like too fun of a tip, but it’ll keep your hamster safe. Hamsters love to play – it’s great for physical and mental stimulation, as well as creating a bond between pet and owner. But, handling your hamster too much can quickly increase their body temperature, making them uncomfortable. Using frozen treats, however, is a great alternative to keep them mentally stimulated during this short period of time when playtime may have to be cut short. 

  • Stay hydrated

Hydration is key! Hamsters should always be provided with fresh water throughout the year but it’s especially important to keep their supply topped up in summer. During this season, just like us, you’ll find that hamsters drink a little more than usual to stay cool. On average, they’ll drink 0.33 fl oz per 3.5 ounces of hamster. If you do notice this amount increase excessively, though, they could be dehydrated.

Omlet and your hamster

Omlet supports the needs of pets all year round. From the scorching summer to the freezing winter, our ingenious products have been designed to keep your furry and feathered friends happy and healthy. Shop hamster cages and hamster cage accessories to build your hamster’s perfect setup and a wondrous connection with your pet.

Hamster with paw up against Omlet Qute Hamster Cage

This entry was posted in Hamsters

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