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Home > Hamsters > What Is the Ideal Temperature for Hamsters? Vet-Approved Care Tips

What Is the Ideal Temperature for Hamsters? Vet-Approved Care Tips

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Dr. Luqman Javed

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The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Hamsters are fun animals to keep as pets, especially for children. They don’t require nearly the level of care that a dog or cat does, and they don’t require as much space. These little furry creatures spend most of their time in an enclosed habitat indoors, where temperatures are typically controlled. Still, it’s important to know what the ideal temperature for hamsters is and how you can ensure that your hamster is always comfortable — never too hot or too cold. So, what temperatures do hamsters do the best in? Find out here!


Normal Hamster Temperature Levels

In general, hamsters should be housed in temperatures between 64 – 79°F (17 – 26°C). Hamsters may start to hibernate if temperatures fall below 41°F (5°C). Hibernation can be dangerous for hamsters, as hamsters do not fatten up before hibernating.

Hamsters also have poor reproductive performance in low temperatures. Females may cannibalize and eat their young if ambient temperatures drop below 50°F (10°C).

Safe Hamster Temperatures During Winter

Hamsters should not spend a prolonged period of time in temperatures below 64 °F (17 °C). If temperatures dip lower, you could find them hiding in a corner, barely moving, as they try to protect themselves from developing hypothermia. There are ways to keep your hamster warm when it’s colder than should be in their environment.

Djungarian hamster eating food in the cage
Image Credit: atewi, Shutterstock

Safe Hamster Temperatures During Summer

When temperatures start to rise as summer approaches, your hamster may feel the effects. They can handle temperatures up to about 80 °F (26°C), but prolonged exposure to temperatures above this limit may cause overheating, heatstroke, and even death. Signs of an overheating include the following:

Signs Your Hamster Is Overheating
  • Panting, with a bright red tongue
  • Slobbering (producing saliva from the mouth)
  • Appearing disoriented
  • Weakness
  • Not moving, or appearing lethargic
  • Convulsing

What Causes Temperature Changes in a Hamster’s Environment?

The biggest factor that causes temperature changes in a hamster’s environment is anything that changes the ambient temperature in the place your hamster is housed. The colder it gets outside, for example, the colder it gets inside, especially near windows. Another factor to consider is your home’s thermostat. Just because you’re comfortable hanging out in a sweater and/or under a blanket does not mean your hamster is comfortable. Things like portable air conditioners and fans, heaters, and bright lights that are too close to your hamster’s habitat can also affect the temperature inside their habitat.

How to Improve Temperature Levels in and Around Your Hamster’s Habitat

The easiest way to improve temperature levels in and around your hamster’s cage or habitat is to adjust the thermostat in your home. However, if you don’t have an HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system, you may not have the luxury of doing this. Here is what you can do instead to help improve temperature levels in and around your hamster’s habitat.

Image By: Olena Kurashova, Shutterstock
To Beat the Cold
  • Utilize a Blanket: An easy way to warm things up for your hamster is to place a thermal blanket over their habitat to function as an insulator. Depending on how cold it is, you may have to use more than one blanket to achieve the desired results. An alternative to a thermal blanket is a heated blanket, but you must be careful that the habitat does not become too warm.
  • Introduce Portable Devices: You can help warm things up for your hamster by introducing a portable device or two near their enclosure (but not inside it). A small heater or a heat lamp can make a big difference. Place a thermostat near your hamster’s habitat so you can determine how the devices are affecting the temperature in there. This will enable you to figure out how close or far away the devices should be to maintain a comfortable temperature. You should not place a thermostat inside your pet’s enclosure. Hamsters can easily chew through plastic thermometer probes and glass.
  • Move the Habitat to a Warmer Area: If you have a fireplace or other heating system that is used to keep your home warm, consider moving your hamster’s habitat closer to that heating source to increase the temperatures in the habitat. Even a fireplace that’s recently been put out can help keep your hamster from going too cold.
To Beat the Heat
  • Invest in a Portable Air Conditioner and Close the Door: You can maintain control over the space where your hamster lives by installing a window or rollable air conditioner in the space and keeping the door closed. If you want to also enjoy the benefit of the cool air, set up the air conditioner in a room where you spend most of your time, and then move your hamster into that space until temperatures cool down outside. However, hamsters do not like drafts, so the air conditioner shouldn’t directly blow air at your hamster.
  • Avoid Windows and Sunlight: Make sure your hamster’s habitat is in a place where no direct sunlight is hitting it, as the sun will make things even warmer. It is also a good idea to keep your hamster away from the windows even if the blinds or curtains are closed, as these are the least insulated areas of a house.
  • Utilize a Breeze: Create a breeze in your house by opening windows, doors, etc. that allow for air circulation without exposing your hamster to a draft.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If Wild Hamsters Live in Rigid Temperatures, Why Can’t My Pet?

Wild hamsters do live in harsh climates; however, they can dig tunnels underground where they can create insulated nests to hang out in when the temperature is just too hot or cold to deal with above ground. If temperatures do get too hot or cold, even in their underground nests, they will hibernate out of necessity.

There’s also no study which checks the survival rates of hamsters through harsh conditions. Though some do survive, there’s no quantitative study which inspects their mortality rate in such conditions.

Would Hamster Clothes Help Keep My Pet Warm?

Clothing may be cute and help keep your hamster a little warmer, but it is more likely that the clothing will do more harm than good. Hamsters don’t wear clothes in nature, and the clothing that you put on them will stress them out and make them uncomfortable. Your hamster will, in all likelihood, bite and try to remove the clothing. Ingesting pieces of fabric can be very dangerous for hamsters.

Image By: Attila Bódis, Pixabay

What Should I Do If My Hamster’s Behavior Changes While Trying to Control Temperature Levels?

If you are trying to increase or decrease temperature levels yet your hamster seems to be reacting poorly to their environment or their behavior changes, it is important to contact a veterinarian as soon as possible. Don’t wait to see what might happen, as it could be too late by the time that you get professional help.



A hamster enjoys comfortable temperature levels as much as we do. Any serious fluctuations must be addressed to ensure that your hamster stays cool (but not cold!) and comfortable throughout the year. Hopefully, you now have a clear understanding of what the temperature levels should be like for your hamster and how to improve them when necessary.

Featured Image Credit: Akkalak Aiempradit, Shutterstock

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