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Old 11-07-2019, 10:08 AM   #1
Creampuff
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Default Do Hamsters Hibernate for Winter?

Hi guys,

I'm sorry if this is a stupid/silly question, but I am curious as to if hamster hibernate for the winter. I know they can hibernate if the temp drops, but the temp in my house is around 71 degrees Fahrenheit I think.
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:22 AM   #2
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Default Re: Do Hamsters Hibernate for Winter?

No. Hamsters would go into torpor if anything, and their bodies can't really handle that so they often die as a result if things aren't resolved right away! This is an important reason why people must have reliable temperature control when they have pet hamsters.
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:34 AM   #3
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Default Re: Do Hamsters Hibernate for Winter?

Okay, thank you!
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:20 AM   #4
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Default Re: Do Hamsters Hibernate for Winter?

It’s all been said . If they do go into torpor because they have got too cold, they very rarely come out of it and if they do (by gradually being warmed up gently) they rarely survive. I am not sure where the idea came from that hamsters hibernate. But dormice do Although I saw a programme recently about dormice being an endangered species now and although it is normal for them to hibernate in the winter, many of those don’t survive either.

Hamsters are from hot countries (Syrians anyway). They don’t like the cold at all. Torpor is a way of their bodies trying to survive if they get too cold by shutting down a lot of functions to keep themselves alive until conditions improve but it can happen very quickly.

They are usually fine in a house that is normal temperature with central heating - eg about 20 degrees. I keep a digital room thermometer in the room the hamsters are in and 16 to 20 degrees is fine (they may find it a bit cold at 16 degrees and hide away but it’s not dangerous).

The danger is during freezing nights is winter when we are in bed and the heating is off. I use a small oil filled radiator on a timer to come on overnight when it gets very cold at night.
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