How Long Do Hamsters Hibernate? All You Need To Know?

If you are considering bringing home a pet hamster, you should learn everything you can about them. And thus – How long do Hamsters Hibernate is a frequently searched question. Hamsters and hibernation are two topics about which many people are unfamiliar.

Today, you’ll learn about hamster hibernation indications, how to prevent hamster hibernation, hamster sleeping signals, and other hamster-related topics.

How Long Do Hamsters Hibernate For?

A hamster will usually only hibernate for two to three days. If they do not receive enough water, food, warmth, or light, they may remain in the torpor hibernating condition for an extended period of time.

The longer they stay in hibernation, the riskier it becomes for them. When hamsters hibernate in the wild and are left to their own devices, they usually sleep for two to three days.

However, if the weather is really cold, they may hibernate for a week or even longer. It is not advisable to keep your hamster napping for longer than 24 hours if you find he is hibernating. You don’t want him to spend too long without food or drink, so rather do this.

Torpor is akin to hibernation, and however, for your hamster, it is a more temporary option. When hamsters are too chilly, they might go into torpor.

Torpor causes your hamster’s body temperature to rise and his metabolism to slow down. This allows him to preserve energy while also allowing him to warm up.

Because torpor only lasts a few hours, you might not notice if your hamster has gone into it. Torpor is neither hazardous nor harmful to hamsters, but it does indicate that their environment is excessively chilly.

Do hamsters hibernate?

When it comes to hibernating, certain hamster species seem to excel at it while others appear to suffer. When temperatures drop below four °C (65°F), the Syrian hamster has a hard time surviving.

how long do hamsters hibernate

Because of the cold, the hamster’s heart rate levels, and he goes to great lengths to preserve energy. In the worst-case situation, the mouse may succumb to dehydration due to being exposed to subzero temperatures.

On the other hand, Campbell Siberian or Russian hamsters are more acclimatized to subzero temperatures and do not require hibernation. If you’ve tamed a Syrian hamster, you need to make efforts to provide the right habitat for her, even if it’s really chilly outside.

In what season do hamsters hibernate?

Most hamsters fall into torpor if their habitat becomes too chilly or if they feel insecure in their existing home, as you’ve discovered. So, when do hamsters go into hibernation?

Only 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit should be the perfect temperature for your pet hamster’s surroundings.

Your hamster will hibernate if the temperature drops below 65 degrees Fahrenheit for more than 24 hours. There are, however, hamsters that can withstand the cold for a month or two before deciding to abandon it all and go into hibernation.

Hibernation can also be triggered by the amount of light, food, and water in your hamster’s cage. If your hamster is exposed to darkness for most of the day, they are more likely to go asleep. Inadequate food and water might also cause your hamster to go into hibernation.

Signs of hamster hibernation

When they find their hamster in a state of torpor, many pet parents worry that the animal is seriously ill. The signs might be disconcerting if you have never experienced this behavior before.

Hamster, Animal, Rodent, Cute, Hamster

Torpor causes hamsters to become drowsy, listless, or overly sleepy. If the hamster is in a very profound state of torpor, it may even be entirely limp. The hamster’s body is usually chilly to the touch, particularly in the extremities like the limbs, feet, and tail.

When the hamster enters or exits torpor, you may see it trembling or shivering. A hamster in torpor may usually be roused by stimulating it with mild stroking or rubbing or raising the habitat’s temperature.

The hamster may fall asleep again if left alone, especially if the ambient temperature is still too chilly. The hamster will have little activity, may not eat or drink, and may urinate and defecate less than usual while in this state of torpor.

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What is the difference Between Hibernation and Hypothermia?

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Hibernation

Hibernation allows many animals, including hamsters, butterflies, and bats, to survive the harsh, dark winters without seeking food or relocating to a warmer climate. To save energy, they slow down their metabolisms.

Aestivation is a type of hibernation that animals in hot areas go through. This functions in a similar way, allowing them to withstand high heat, drought, and food scarcity. Hibernation, on the other hand, involves much more than just sleeping.

It can range from prolonged, deep unconsciousness to brief periods of inactivity, depending on the species. Hibernation, however, has its drawbacks, as the dormant animal is vulnerable to predators and unpredictable weather.

Chipmunks, dormice, hamsters, hedgehogs, and bats are small mammals that hibernate. Many insects, amphibians, and reptiles are also present. Only one bird has been identified as a bonafide hibernator: the common poorwill of North America.

This brilliantly disguised nocturnal bird is a cousin of the British nightjar and hibernates among rocks throughout the winter. It can reduce its oxygen consumption by 90% while its body temperature drops to 5°C, scarcely registering signs of life.

Preventing Hibernation

Because cold is the most common cause of hibernation, there are several easy steps you may take to avoid it.

Moving the cage to draft-free locations, adding extra bedding, and making sure your hamster is well fed with fatty meals are all fool-proof strategies to keep your hamster warm while it’s chilly outdoors.

Because hamsters might suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, it’s important to make sure they get sufficient sunlight to avoid sadness or anxiety, which can lead to prolonged hibernation.

Take care of the following to prevent your hamster from hybernating –

Make sure your hamster has enough food and water at all times.

In order to preserve energy, hibernation is sometimes caused by a shortage of food or water. To prevent your furry little cavie friend from going into hibernation, make sure it has plenty of food and water.

Make sure there’s enough heated bedding.

Your hamster’s cage bedding will help insulate and protect it from the cold. To avoid hibernation, make sure your hamster has enough bedding.

If your hamster begins to hibernate, consider increasing the amount of bedding in the cage to prevent this from happening again.

Increase the fat content of your hamster’s food

Your hamster will not go into hibernation mode if they have greater body fat—feed fattening foods such as sunflower seeds, peanuts, or avocado to your hamster. However, with little hamsters, a little goes a long way when it comes to fatty meals.

During the winter, be proactive.

During the frigid winter months, pay closer attention to your hamster’s behavior and whether or not it appears to be warm enough.

During the winter, add some extra bedding to your hamster’s cage and feed more fatty meals than usual. During the winter season, keep a watch on your pet to ensure that it is safe and alert.

Hypothermia

When a hamster’s body temperature dips to dangerously low levels, it is called hypothermia. This commonly happens when hamsters have been exposed to cold for an extended length of time (over twenty-four hours).

Hypothermic shock is particularly deadly for hamsters since they have no resources in their body to survive. As a result, hypothermic hamsters often do not survive very long.

When temperatures dip below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, hamsters can get hypothermic (4 degrees Celsius).

Escaping from his cage and becoming lost outside (or inside a very cold room!) are two reasons your hamster might fall into hypothermic shock. Another reason is being exposed to a draught, such as an open window, for an extended period of time.

Hypothermia Prevention

Hypothermia is a dangerous condition. Therefore you should constantly take precautions to keep your hamster from succumbing to it.

If you suspect that your hamster’s hibernation was induced by exposure to cold weather, make sure he has plenty of bedding and that the space he resides in is warm enough.

If you suspect that your hamster’s hibernation was induced by exposure to cold weather, make sure he has plenty of bedding and that the space he resides in is warm enough.

This may include turning on the central heating or utilizing a portable heater in your hamster’s room, or moving him to a more generous space.

Never, ever, ever put your hamster or hamster’s cage close to a radiator or heater! Your hamster needs warmth, but you do not want him to become overheated, as this can be harmful.

Providing enough bedding for your hamster, especially if the weather turns cold, can ensure he doesn’t get too cold.

If you think a shortage of food or water caused your hamster’s hibernation, make sure he has plenty to eat and drink when he wakes up. To give your hamster some additional energy, try giving him some goodies that include healthy fats.

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Sunflower seeds and peanuts are good fatty snacks. If you don’t want your hamster to get overweight, don’t overfeed him with fatty foods.

To keep your hamster from becoming too chilly, make sure his home isn’t near any draughts or vents, especially when it’s cold outdoors. Draughts can enter via an open window in extremely cold weather, so keep them closed.

Use Temperature Monitor

You might use a temperature monitor to keep track of the temperature in the room where your hamster stays.

Using a temperature monitor will help you to immediately determine if your hamster is being exposed to low (or high) temperatures, allowing you to take action to prevent your hamster from hibernating or suffering hypothermia.

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Thermometers are affordable and might be useful for ensuring that your hamster’s room is within its ideal temperature range. Simply hang one on the wall or near your hamster’s enclosure.

Because most hamsters come from arid areas, they are unable to withstand extremely low temperatures. Maintain a 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit temperature for your hamster (or 18 to 24 degrees Celsius).

Your hamster will be considerably happier and more comfortable if the temperature is in this range. Because your hamster is susceptible to a variety of ailments when upset, you must avoid stressing him out as much as possible.

A healthy hamster is one who is happy!

Safe heating Devices

You may use a heating device like a heating pad or a heat mat to keep your hamster’s cage warm during cold weather. The same heating pads that are used for reptiles are safe for hamsters. You should be able to get them in the reptile area of your local pet store or online.

Heat mats for reptiles are safe and trustworthy since they are meant to be used on animal cages and tanks. They’re a fantastic item to buy (and not too costly! ), especially if you reside in a location where extreme cold is a regular occurrence.

Warmth may be provided by placing these heat mats beneath your hamster’s cage. Make sure there’s a part of the bottom of your hamster’s cage that isn’t touching the heat pad.

This is so that if your hamster gets too hot or needs to cool off, they have a place to relax in their cage. If your hamster is hibernating or in torpor, you can use heat mats to warm him up immediately.

Just make sure there’s a piece of cloth between your hamster and the mat. Make sure your mat’s heat setting isn’t set too high. Low or medium heat should be enough for your hamster.

Reptile heat mats provide slow and mild heat, so they’re unlikely to burn the bottom of your hamster’s cage. However, always keep an eye on the heat mat to ensure it doesn’t get too hot.

The heat mat emits heat gradually, so your hamster is not exposed to high temperatures all at once, which might shock him. Instead, it is gentle and gradual to provide extra comfort and warmth to your hamster throughout the winter months!

How to Care for a hibernating hamster?

Your hibernating hamster’s amount of care will be determined by a variety of circumstances. The most crucial question, though, is how long your pet has been in torpor. Rewarming them may be enough to resuscitate your pet if the time has been reasonably brief (less than a day).

Remember that your hamster’s most likely reason was being too chilly. If he has hypothermia rather than torpor, it can be fatal very quickly. Thus prompt attention and care are required! For at least 12 hours, rewarm the cage and keep it properly illuminated.

Hamster, Syrian Hamster, Golden Hamster

Make sure there’s enough food and water. The hamster’s cage can be relocated to a warmer location. You may also cover him with a warm towel or gently stroke his back while holding him against your body.

A gentle massage to both their torso and extremities can aid in the re-establishment of blood circulation. A massage will also help in your hamster’s thorough warm-up. Bringing your hamster out of torpor might take up to three hours.

Veterinarians do not recommend using artificial heating components on or around your hamster to boost their temperature fast and aggressively pull them out of hypothermia/hibernation.

This can be harmful and even dangerous, and it can lead to other health problems that will require treatment.

Rather, gradually boost the temperature in and around the habitat, or just use your own body heat to progressively elevate your hamster’s body temperature.

If you’re concerned about anything about your hamster’s behavior once he’s completely awake, you should take him to the doctor for a thorough examination.

What should you do, though, if your hamster has been hibernating for more than a few hours?

Preparation for a long period of hibernation

If your hamster has been in a state of torpor or hibernation for more than 24 hours, just warming up the region and massaging it won’t be enough to keep him healthy. Prolonged hibernation can lead to a number of serious health problems.

Hamster, Coconut, Sleep, Nest, Relax

Because hamsters don’t drink anything when hibernating, dehydration is prevalent. Malnutrition is another typical problem since hamsters lose weight before hibernation rather than storing fat stores to keep them going during the hibernation period.

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After a time of hibernation, both water and nutrients must be given with considerable caution and moderation. Both will be too much for your hamster to handle in huge doses. Water, in particular, should be provided using an eyedropper one or two drops at a time.

Taking your hamster to the doctor for a comprehensive exam is the safest and best course of action. They can provide fluids and nutrition if necessary and check for and treat any significant health issues.

They’ll also offer you tips on how to care for your hamster once you’re both back at home. The ideal thing for your pet is to avoid hibernating in the first place.

Keeping hamsters from hibernating

You’ve probably figured out that hibernation is entirely dependent on the surroundings you offer for your hamster. The most crucial measure is to keep your child’s environment at a constant temperature.

Make sure the temperature stays between 65°F (18.3°C) and 75°F (23.9°C), which is the optimal range. Changes in temperature (either up or down) induced by direct sunshine or closeness to air vents or open windows are one thing to keep an eye on.

In addition, hamsters should be exposed to strong light for at least 12 hours every day. Also, make sure they have adequate food, drink, and bedding at all times.

You can also follow these actions if you’ve been paying attention and believe your hamster is preparing for hibernation. Handling and playing with your pet regularly might also assist your pet in avoiding hibernation.

The simplest and safest strategy is to do everything you can to keep your hamster from having to hibernate. This list of ideas might assist you in getting started.

Warmth & Burrowing Hamster Bedding

The first step is to give lots of bedding material for your hamster to burrow in. A hamster in the wild would dig a tunnel protected with dirt, wood, and even rock. You must provide your hamster with the means to construct something similar in captivity.

Temperature Monitoring for Hamsters

The temperature within and surrounding your hamster’s environment may be monitored using a number of instruments. The majority are affordable and easily accessible over the internet.

Location of Hamster Habitat

Another obvious strategy to prevent your hamster from ever succumbing to hypothermia or hibernating in captivity is to select the habitat site carefully. Some places or rooms in most homes nowadays simply appear to stay a little warmer than the others.

Kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms are all wonderful examples. You should also carefully consider where the hamster habitat will be placed in the chosen room to minimize draughts or direct sunlight beams.

How long do pet hamsters live?

Cute, Small, Mammal, Animal, Hamster

A hamster’s lifetime is far shorter than that of most other common household creatures.

Any of the five species of domesticated hamster will survive for two to three years, any hamster above the age of a year and a half is considered elderly, and how much your hamster reveals their age depends on a variety of factors, including their personality and activity level. 

How long do dwarf hamsters live?

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A dwarf hamster’s lifetime ranges from one to two years. Each species and individual hamster, on the other hand, is distinct.

Dwarf hamsters appear in three different species: Russian, Chinese, and Roborovski. They grow to be 2 to 3 inches long and weigh up to 2 ounces.

Conclusion

If you’re still not sure if your hamster is hibernating or has died after reading all of this, visit your local physician for an expert assessment. Medical equipment will rapidly validate all of your suspicions and assist you in determining the best course of action!

FAQs

How do I get my hamster out of hibernation?

For 30-60 minutes, place your hamster on a warm heating pad set to around 90°F (32°C). This will assist your pet in swiftly warming up and emerging from its hibernating condition. If you don’t have a heating pad, place your hamster on top of a radiator with a towel.

How to know if your hamster is in hibernation?

Your hamster’s physique will seem dead during hibernation, remaining fully limp even when you handle him. If the hamster had died and rigor Mortis had set in, his body would be utterly rigid, particularly his limbs.

Can a hibernating hamster be awakened?

A hibernating hamster may be readily awoken by increasing the temperature. Allow your pet to wake up naturally rather than forcing it.

Do hamsters hibernate and look dead?

If it becomes too chilly, pet hamsters can go into hibernation mode. This might last anywhere from a few days to a week. Please don’t think your hamster is no longer alive. The hamster may at first glance seem dead.

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Gulshan
Hi, I am Gulshan, a pet blogger, and author. I've been working with the local pet groups for the past five years. I have been fascinated by our pets and am here to share that wonder with you.