How Long Do Hamsters Hibernate For?

A hamster is in the hibernation state.

If you consider getting a companion hamster, it is critical that you learn everything you can regarding them. Hamsters hibernate throughout the winter, which is something that numerous people are unfamiliar with.

You will find out all over hamster hibernation indicators, how to prevent unnecessary hamster hibernation, and other aspects of hamster care today in this article!

Understanding the Unknown Facts of Hamster Hibernation

Hamsters hibernate in a manner distinct from that of animals, characterized as permissive hibernation. It is a period in which animals may hibernate at a certain period every year, whether in the summertime or winter.

When the animal’s surroundings necessitate energy saving on their part, they will enter such hibernation. It will be in asleep for many hours. It indicates that they are in a profound slumber rather than true hibernation. It does not persist as long as the required hibernating period. 

They may remain in the dormancy stage until the surroundings change. It may take anything from a few hours to five days in most cases. If the setting remains unchanged for an extended period, your hamster may succumb to exhaustion or hypothermia, resulting in its death.

It is critical to understand that the conditions you keep your hamster should never push them to hibernate or sleep.

How Do Hamsters Go into Hibernation?

The most common reason hamsters go through hibernating is when it becomes too cold for them. The area’s temperature in which you keep your pet should range between 65 and 75 ° F. If your pet is exposed to extreme cold for more than 24 hours, it may hibernate. On the other hand, several hamsters will not hibernate until they have been exposed to very low temperatures for one to two months.

If your hamster is forced to spend the entirety of each day in the darkness, it will be more inclined to hibernate. Moreover, if they do not have adequate water and nutriment access, they may hibernate to save their energy reserves.

An average hamster will only hibernate for 2 to 3 days in the greater part of cases. Having said that, if they remain to lack sufficient water, nutrition, warmth, or lighting, they may be forced to stay in the torpor hibernating condition for an even longer period. Since they remain in hibernation for extended periods, they become riskier for them.

It is critical to understand that your pet should never be hibernating throughout the winter. It is detrimental to their health. The more time they spend hibernating, the more bodyweight they will shed.

Dangers of Hibernation for Hamsters

Hamsters in hibernation are at risk of various health conditions, but I’ll focus on what possible threat hamsters will face during hibernating. 

The following are some of the possible threats that need to look out for:

Being Mistaken for being Dead 

Consequently, you may wind up burying a living hamster, which may come conscious after several days or when the weather warms up, only then to die of hunger later on in the winter.


Considering hamsters do not consume much water beforehand hibernating, they will need a large quantity of water when they awaken, which should be provided in tiny, regulated amounts.


Dependent on how long your hamster has been hibernating, it may be very malnourished when it awakens. 


If the hibernation period is too lengthy or the temperature goes dangerously low, the animal will die. 

Coming Out Sick 

Hamsters cannot deal with diseases in the same way that people are. Therefore, they need urgent medical care from your veterinarian.

Is My Hamster Hibernating or Dead?

It is quite normal for a hamster to enter a condition of hibernation throughout the wintertime. Since your pet’s metabolism slows down during hibernation, it may be challenging to determine if it is just hibernating or whether it has gotten sick or dead.

If you are concerned about your hamster’s wellbeing, you may carefully look for indicators of life by doing the following:

Monitor Its Breathing

Monitor your hamster’s respiration to see whether it has been hibernating since it is too chilly for it. The respiration rate drops to as little as one breathes per two minutes throughout hibernation, so keep a careful eye on the critter for many minutes.

Look for Its Heartbeat

If you cannot determine if your hamster is breathing, you may have to look at its heartbeat. While this may be difficult to locate, placing your fingers and thumb on each side of the hamster’s chest slightly above the elbows should suffice. Put a certain amount of pressure as you can if you’re attempting to prevent your hamster from fleeing without injuring it. After about a moment, you will be able to feel its pulse.

Check Surrounding Temperature

Hamsters only hibernate when the temperature is below freezing. In most cases, if your hamster’s cage temperatures are lower than 20°C, it is unlikely that it has begun to hibernate. As a general rule, if your hamster’s cage is near to a window or in a particular freezing area of the room, raise the temperature eventually until it reaches above 20°C. It will awaken either the next few hours or more days.

Avoid Using Any Heater Indicator

Don’t be concerned if your hamster is feeling under the cold weather. During hibernation, your companion’s body temperature will decrease to fit the environmental conditions, so freezing isn’t necessarily a reason for alarm. If your hamster is also stiff and inattentive, it may have died even when kept in a warm environment. Using of heater indicator is only suggested when your hamster is about to come out for hibernation.

How to Take Good Care of a Hibernating Hamster?

If your pet is asleep, you should allow them to continue resting. When in hibernating, it needs a different degree of attention. The first thing to understand is deciding what type of attention your pet hamster requires at this time of space and how long it has been in a condition of torpor.

As long as it has been in that condition for less than 24 hours, it may only need to be warming back up for a short period to emerge out of it. Heat their hutch and place lights around there for a least 12 hours before releasing them. It would help if you also made certain that your hamster has adequate feed and water when they awaken from hibernation.

Even if you cannot heat the hutch enough, you may wrap your hamster in a snug quilt or towel and massage them gently while keeping them close to you. Gently rubbing its body may help to restore normal blood flow to its body.

If your pet does not get out of hibernation within an hour later you have attempted to heat them, you should consult with a vet immediately. It is critical not to increase their body temperature too fast throughout this process. That may be very hazardous for them.

With a better understanding of hamster cold and warm hibernating, you can take the necessary steps to maintain your hamster secure and healthy throughout these seasons. Keep in mind, when the hamster appears to hibernate, you quickly check the situation and intervene as soon as possible. A hamster that has been in hibernating for an extended period may die.

The Bottom Line

It is normal for a hamster to hibernate, especially during winters. At this pace, it requires more commitment and attention while they are hibernating since the threats it can occur anytime. I hope this article helps and relieves your worries. 

The premise that every hamster and every circumstance is unique means that there is no ideal method to care for all of them. Your hamster’s care is entirely up to you, but you must do your best to ensure that you fulfill all of its nutritional and environmental requirements.

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