Most of you will think of bears and other wild animals when the word hibernation comes into play, but what most people don’t know is that small little critters like hamsters hibernate too. The call of nature is undeniable, and as much as we want to think that hamsters are household pets, we must always remember that before being in their little cages, they were in the wild. All kids of animals develop behaviours in their environment that are passed down to their litters in lieu of instinct of self preservation.
Now, it is important for every hamster owner to know what hibernation means and understand why hamsters do it. Although some domestic owned hamsters never have the need to hibernate, some do. Hibernation is nothing but a deep slumber that animals put themselves in through winter so that they can save energy and withstand the harsh cold. If the winter strikes your toothy fluff the wrong way, he may hibernate, and you need to be prepared for that. If you live in a warm place and it isn’t so cold during the winter and your hamster’s cage is warm and secure, it is possible that your hamster doesn’t go into hibernation, but this isn’t always guaranteed, as some breeds can go into the deep slumber even when it’s warm out of pure impulse to respond to their nature.
If you see your hamster eating less and they’re not as playful as they usually are, you might want to check for the temperature of its feet, nose and ears. If they are cold to the touch, this might mean your hamster is too cold and hamsters that are cold go into hibernation mode very quickly. These are warning signs that should let you know that your hamster’s cage is too harsh for them. Try adding more bedding or setting them in a room that is warmer so that they can cope with the cold of winter a little easier without it being harmful to their health.
Hamsters hibernate like any other animal. They cozy up in their little beds and they burrow to make a warm environment around them that will help them through the winter time. In the occasion that your hamster goes into hibernation, you will need to leave a lot of fresh water available to them and a full bowl of food. They might wake up during their slumber to fuel up and go back to bed. Hamsters will hibernate for as long as it is cold, so if you want to kick your little fluff out of his slumber, you might want to try increasing the temperature of his cage slowly until it reaches average body temperature. Please keep in mind that smoke and some natural heat sources like fireplaces can be harmful to your pet’s health.
If your hamster is not waking up after you’ve increased the temperature of their cage; or they start showing signs of discomfort like constant shivers, reluctant to eat, sluggish behaviour, etc. Please contact your vet immediately to make sure that your pet is in good health.
If you want to celebrate this winter along with your hamster, you might be interested in learning what types of Christmas Presents you can get for them!
If you enjoyed this article you might also like to read about Hamster Body Language.