Hamsters’ natural habitats are temperate and arid climates. In countries like Syria, Greece and Pakistan, there aren’t huge fluctuations in temperatures. The winters aren’t too cold and the summers aren’t too hot.
Ideally, hamsters should live in conditions above 60 degrees and below 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything outside of this range is uncomfortable, stressful and potentially dangerous for your hamster.
Below, we’ll discuss why cool temperatures are important, as well as different solutions for cooling down hamster cages during the summer.
- Why Should You Keep Your Hamster Cool?
- Barriers to Keeping Your Hamster Cool in Summer
- Ways to Keep a Hamster Cool in Summer
Why Should You Keep Your Hamster Cool?
Hamsters, like many other animals with fur, don’t cool down the same way humans do. They don’t sweat, and they are extra-sensitive to what humans would consider small changes in temperature.
Hamsters that are exposed to high temperatures risk overheating and developing heatstroke, a serious and potentially fatal condition.
Barriers to Keeping Your Hamster Cool in Summer
In climates where summers are very hot, it can be a challenge to keep your house cool and comfortable. You may experience circumstance such as:
- Poor insulation in walls or windows that lets a lot of heat in
- No air conditioning in the house
- Balancing a cool enough home with expensive energy costs
Keeping your hamster cool doesn’t have to be a bank buster. Let’s explore some options for maintaining comfortable temperature levels for your furry friend this summer.
Ways to Keep a Hamster Cool in Summer
In the summer, air conditioning is the obvious and best choice for keeping your home cool. However, if you do have AC in your house, make sure your hamster’s cage isn’t near a vent. No matter the time of year, it’s important for your hammy to avoid drafts and breezes.
If AC isn’t available in your home, combine a few of the following solutions to keep your hamster cool and comfortable this summer.
Avoid Direct Sunlight
If your hamster’s cage is in direct sunlight, it reduces your ability to control the temperature. Your hamster will be unable to escape the hot sun in order to cool down.
Use a Cooling Plate
Cooling plates, such as this one on Amazon, are a great option to give your hamster a chilled surface in its cage. Purchasing several means you can swap them out and refreeze the ones that have warmed.
Keep the Cage in a Cool Room with Good Airflow
Air circulation helps to lower the overall temperature in a room. Use a fan near the hamster cage to help with airflow. Just be sure to point the fan away from the cage, so your hamster doesn’t have to endure any direct breeze.
You can also move the cage to a cooler part of the house. If it’s located on the top floor, for example, moving it to ground level or to the basement will help keep the overall temperature down.
Keep the Cage Low to the Ground
Heat rises. Your hamster will be in much better shape if its cage is on a bottom shelf, rather than a top shelf.
If you have a room with hard flooring like wood, stone or tile, placing the cage on the floor will also help keep it cool. Just be sure it’s in a safe place, away from any other house pets and away from potential foot traffic.
Provide As Much Water As Your Hamster Wants
Water is life! Your hamster will surely want to drink more in the summertime. Check its water levels at least once every day.
Sanitize your hamster’s water bottles often, refill them with fresh water daily and make sure they’re always free of debris and clogs.
Give your hamster a cool treat by putting an ice cube or two in its water bottle!
Give Your Hamster Frozen Treats
Fresh fruits and vegetables contain water (among other health benefits) and are great for hamsters as an occasional treat. Freeze or refrigerate them for a few minutes to provide an extra-cool snack.
Be aware of how much fresh food you feed your hammy. Don’t overdo it, and only feed food that is safe for your hamster.
Cool Off Your Hamster’s Cage Components
You can place a number of your hamster’s cage items in the freezer for a few minutes. Items like ceramic tiles, a small terracotta pot or a ceramic hamster hideout can provide a cool spot after they spend 10 or 15 minutes in the freezer.
If you give your hamster sand baths, chill the sand before you give it to your hamster.
Create Your Own Cooling Spot
Fill a bottle half or three-quarters full with water and freezing it overnight. Then, place it on the outside of the cage (never inside; it’s too cold). Your hamster will sidle up next to it to cool off!
Lastly, we wanted to mention that if you’re wondering how to keep a hamster warm in the winter time we’ve got you covered!