Do hamsters hibernate? Wild ones do in cold temperatures, yet hibernation deserve to be a authorize of a housing problem for your pet hamster


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Do hamsters hibernate? The answer is more complex than it might seem! new hamster owner are periodically shocked to discover their previously healthy and balanced hamster unexpectedly not moving or sleeping excessively. Back this abrupt change in actions may watch scary, there’s a great chance the your hamster is suffering torpor, a condition comparable to hibernation. This can occur if her hamster is kept in cold temperatures or bad housing conditions. Before you acquisition your first hamster, make sure you are familiar with these 5 facts around torpor and also hibernation habits so you have the right to ensure your brand-new friend remains healthy and also active.

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1. Many hamsters room not true hibernators

Hibernation is a lengthy period of minimal activity that occurs in certain types of animals as a solution to low temperatures and minimal food supplies. Throughout hibernation the body’s metabolic procedures slow down, reducing power expenditure and causing the pet to get in a state similar to a deep sleep. For animal varieties that are true hibernators, this period allows them to survive through the harsh winter conditions by reducing their bodies’ requirements for food and water intake. Many wild hamster species live in areas that execute not have an especially harsh winters, therefore they do not naturally hibernate.

However, many varieties that sleep in cold conditions are not experiencing true hibernation. Instead, animals like hamsters suffer a process called torpor. Torpor is a prolonged response to low temperatures similar to hibernation, however typically lasts for shorter periods the time. If your hamster is sleeping for hrs or days in ~ a time, specifically in chillier temperatures, then he is most most likely experiencing torpor. Due to the fact that torpor and also hibernation are comparable processes, some professionals will use these state interchangeably.

2. Hibernation behaviours vary depending upon the species of hamster

Interestingly, no all types of hamster display the same types of hibernation behavior. In the wild, european hamsters space true hibernators and will spend the winter in an extensive periods that hibernation. Dwarf hamsters are less likely to hibernate. Syrian hamsters room permissive or facultative hibernators, meaning that they perform not hibernate under usual conditions yet they are capable of hibernating if environmental problems require it. Woman hamsters likewise tend to hibernate for much shorter periods that time 보다 male hamsters do. Discovering the usual hibernation fads for her hamster’s breed and sex can assist you identify periods that torpor or hibernation at home.


3. Environmental problems for hibernation in hamsters

To assist you recognize whether or no your hamster is in a state that torpor, you’ll first need to take a near look at his environment. The biggest aspect contributing come hibernation behavior in hamsters is temperature. The appropriate temperature because that hamsters is around 65-75 levels Fahrenheit. Listed below this range, her hamster may come to be too cold and may enter torpor. Be sure to keep your hamster’s cage in a heat – but not hot! – room and provide plenty the fresh, dried bedding. Her hamster should additionally be retained in a well-ventilated area, however be careful to protect against cold drafts from home windows or waiting conditioning devices which may additionally make the eco-friendly temperature as well cold for her hamster.


In addition to temperature, other factors such together food supply and the day-to-day cycle that light and also darkness in her hamster’s setting can also affect torpor behaviors. One study uncovered that hamsters through a limited food supply were more likely to endure deep torpor, while those with ample food shop experienced much shorter bouts that torpor and generally maintained higher body temperatures. If you doubt your hamster has gotten in torpor, addressing this environmental components may assist him return to his normal active state.



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4. Indications of hibernation in hamsters

Many pet owners problem that your hamster is severely ill as soon as they discover the animal in a state of torpor. Admittedly, if you have actually never viewed this behavior prior to the symptoms deserve to be alarming. Hamsters in torpor often act lethargic, listless, or excessively sleepy. The hamster may even be fully limp if they are in a particularly deep state the torpor. The hamster’s human body will frequently feel cool come the touch, particularly in the extremities such together the limbs, feet, and also tail. Occasionally, friend may notice the hamster shiver or shivering as it goes right into or comes the end of the state the torpor. In many cases, a hamster in torpor have the right to be rouse with stimulation, such as gentle managing or rubbing, or by raising the temperature in the environment. However, the hamster may loss asleep again if left undisturbed, specifically if the eco-friendly temperature is still too cold. When in this state of torpor the hamster will have minimal activity, might not eat or drink, and may urinate and defecate much less than usual.

5. Consult your veterinarian around torpor that is an extensive or frequent

If you suspect your hamster is in a state the torpor, you may be able to resolve the problem by enhancing the temperature and ensuring adequate access to food. Never apply heat to her hamster directly, such similar to a heating pad or hair dryer, as this can easily reason severe burns. Instead, move your hamster’s cage to a warmth dry area or host your hamster inside your shirt against your skin wherein he will have the ability to benefit from your body heat. Once your hamster is an ext active, offer him some food. If your hamster is not quickly roused with stimulation and also a warmer temperature, seek veterinary care. Your veterinarian might treat her hamster through fluids or medication, if necessary. The or she can also help you troubleshoot her husbandry to stop future illustration of torpor.

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Hibernation in hamsters deserve to be a husbandry problem

Although torpor occurs as a natural an answer to cold temperature, the is no something your hamster have to be experiencing under appropriate husbandry conditions. If your hamster is hibernating, this is a sign that you may need come reassess his diet and also housing conditions to ensure all his or her demands are being met!



Since obtaining she doctorate in vet medicine, Dr. Racine has worked exclusively in small animal basic practice. She work has actually been featured in blog posts, articles, newsletters, journals, and also even video scripts.