During the winter time it can get pretty cold for a hamster.
Often when they get cold they can resort to a type of hibernation where they retreat to their nests and don’t come out unless its for food.
This is a type of self preservation which is in built within their character which helped them to survive in the wild.
They are very sensitive to the cold and will try and protect themselves if they start getting uncomfortable.
But there are some things you can do to prevent them from resorting to hibernation and improve their quality of life during the winter time.
1. Avoid windowed areas
Having a hamster cage by a window is not such a good idea when it gets colder. Windowed areas are naturally colder and so your hamster will feel it as the temperature drops. Even if you have double glazed windows the cold will still affect your hamster although not as much as single glazed will.
2.Move the cage to a warmer and less drafty place
Consider moving the hamster cage to another part of your home or apartment away from windows. They will benefit from being in a warmer area of your home and won’t hide away so much trying to keep warm.
3. Get thicker curtains
As way to solve this is to get thicker curtains in the house to keep the area more insulated. Thicker curtains serve to keep the heat in better than most regular curtains plus there are all types you can purchase that will do the job well.
4. Put rolled up towels on the window sills
If your windows are a problem and it is not an option to move the cage then an option is to put rolled up towels on the window sills. This may help to keep a lot of the cold air from coming in and insulate the window a but more.
5. Get a hidey home or igloo for your hamster
As a matter of course, there should be a hidey home or igloo inside the cage where your hamster can retreat to. This is somewhere where they can also keep out of the cold and a place that is warm and snug for them.
Fill the hidey home or igloo with tissue. This can be kitchen roll or toilet paper. It can also be other tissue that is purchased from a pet store as well. Stuff the Hut full of it.
You can also leave it outside the hut for them to do what they like with it. They naturally move it around and take it where they like. They are very proactive and innovative creatures.
6. Use different bedding for your hamster
Other material they can use for bedding includes hemp wood chips. The great thing about hemp is that it is popular with hamsters, has little to no dust and looks good on the eye as well. It also tends to produce a more natural environment for them as well.
7. Use plenty of substrate
Talking of bedding, make sure you have plenty of substrate laid down for them to burrow and make nests in. This is one of their most favorite things to do and burrowing is a natural way for them to protect themselves from the cold.
A thick layer of four to five inches will be really beneficial for them, if a bit expensive and messy for you.
8. Get a space heater
Consider putting a space heater in the room where they are to keep it warm and comfortable for them. However, don’t let it get too hot otherwise they will suffer in silence.
9. Purchase a heat pad.
These can be brought from Amazon or any good pet store and are animal proof. You can purchase heat pads that can be warmed in a microwave and then be put on top of a cage or underneath it. Only use them sparingly though.
10. Use a hot water and put it on top of the cage
Take a hot water bottle, fill it up with hot water and put it on top of their cage. Make sure it is leak proof and cannot be touched by the hamster so they can chew through it. You can also put a cover on it to help them.