How to Wake A Hamster Up

I get it. Sometimes you feel disappointed that your hamster sleeps all day and you don’t have the chance to play with him.

Maybe you even attempted to wake your hamster up before.

When done wrongly, your hamster may turn aggressive and bite you in retaliation.

Is It Ok To Wake Up A Hamster?

What if someone wakes you up every night when you are sleeping soundly? I bet that you will feel annoyed and may even get cranky.

The same goes for hamsters.

We need to respect their sleep schedules and avoid waking them up frequently or abruptly for non-essential matters – such as to play with them. You may create unnecessary stress which is detrimental to their health.

When Will My Hamster Wake Up?

Hamsters have different sleeping habits and schedules from us. They usually wake up during dusk or dawn and are highly active at night. 

They will also be awake for certain parts of the day as they break their sleeps into multiple intervals throughout the day.

How To Make Your Hamster Wake Up Earlier?

While some hamster owners have success “training” their hamster to wake up earlier, I am personally not a fan of such actions.

It is quite cruel to force your hamster to adhere to your preferred sleeping schedule. If your hamster adapts his sleeping habits to yours naturally, it is fine. When it comes to animals, I always advocate to leave things as natural as possible.

How To Wake Your Hamster Up Without Scaring It?

As much as we try to avoid waking up our hamsters, there may be times where it is unavoidable.

Maybe you need to clean the cage or change the bedding. Or maybe you need to bring him to the vet for a routine checkup or for urgent medical attention. Such reasons are understandable and highly encouraged.

However, waking hamsters up the wrong way will startle them. You will cause them to feel frightened or stressed, which may impact their overall health.

Let’s look into the ways we can wake them up without causing any harm.

Offer Them Treats

Who doesn’t love treats? This is a sure-fire way to capture your hamster’s attention and is personally my favorite trick.

Pick your hammy’s favorite treats and place it as near as possible to his nose to get his senses tingling. You may also consider “shaking” the treat to make the aroma more empowering.

Talk Softly To Your Hamster

I’m sure you have heard someone talking to a baby. The person will speak in high pitches along with cute and funny sounds. They are also usually in very gentle and calming tones.

Hamsters also respond to such sounds.

You can try to replicate such sounds by humming a relaxing calm tune or make cute high pitch sounds to alert your hamster to your presence.

Just remember that your hammy is a lot smaller than a baby. Do it gently and softly to avoid scaring him!

Blow Gently On Your Hamster

You may also consider gently blowing on your hamster’s face or body to capture his attention. You will not harm or scare him as long as you are doing it correctly. Try to mimic a gentle breeze rather than a gust of wind.

Personally, this is not my favorite technique. I certainly do not want anyone to wake me up by gently blowing on my face.

Besides, offering hamsters a treat works almost every single time!

How To Wake Up A Hamster From Hibernation

So far, hopefully, I have persuaded you that waking hamsters up is generally not a good action and that you should only do so for essential matters.

One of the biggest reasons to wake your hamster is if you suspect that he is in a state of hibernation or torpor.

Hamsters will enter such a state if the environment is too cold. Your hamster will appear stiff and barely show any sign of breathing.

As your hamster can be in this sleepy state for up to several days, he will be deprived of food and drinks and may also suffer from dehydration. It is best to wake your hammy up. 

To wake your hamster up from hibernation, the very first thing to do is to gradually raise the temperature in the room to an optimal temperature of 65°F to 75°F (18°C to 24°C). Do not drastically change the temperature as your hammy may not adapt that quickly to the sudden change.

After setting it to optimal room temperature, you can offer treats to encourage your hamster to wake up. You may also notice him shaking after waking up and this is normal as he is still slowly adapting to the changes.

Continue to monitor him after waking him up from his deep sleep. Check to see if there are any changes in his behavior or appetite.

If you notice anything amiss, don’t hesitate to bring him to the vet.

What Not To Do When Waking Up Your Hamster

Now that you know how to wake up your hamster in different circumstances, you should also take note of the don’ts – which is equally important.

Avoid Handling Them Directly

How do you wake someone up? Usually we will use our hands to shrug their shoulders.

This is why the first instinct for new hamster owners is to touch their hamster directly to wake them up.

As hamsters are prey to a lot of animals in the wild, they may think that their life is in danger if you attempt to touch or hold them directly while they are sleeping.

They may feel stressed and afraid. In self-defense, they may bite you.

Avoid Loud Noises Or Sudden Movements

Hamsters startle easily as they are more sensitive to noises. They also have a stronger natural instinct to survive. They are primed to react to almost anything that can potentially put them in danger.

Loud noises or sudden movements will definitely make your hamster panic.

Do Not Shake The Cage

How will you react at home when dealing with an earthquake? Not only will you fear for your life, but you will also feel disoriented in the aftermath.

Now, hamsters are way smaller than us. Their delicate bodies should not go through too much stress. Shaking the cage also resembles how predators hunt.

Never Ever Use Cold Water

Unlike humans, hamsters don’t benefit from sudden cold water shocks to wake up.

Additionally, being in contact with water is harmful for hamsters.

Their dense fur and lack of oils can make it difficult for them to dry off. This will result in higher risks of infections and other health problems.

Key Takeaways

  • It is generally not advisable to wake your hamster up, especially for non-essential reasons.
  • In some urgent situations when you need to wake your hamster up, do not make sudden and fast movements to avoid scaring him.
  • The best way to encourage your hamster to wake up is to offer his favorite treat.
  • If your hamster is in a deep sleep known as torpor, slowly adjust the room temperature back to optimal levels.
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