Although, at the time of writing, we have just left the flu season; it doesn’t mean that we can’t be worried about our hamsters catching a cold! We can often get colds outside of flu season as well, so the danger is always present. However, the question is “Can hamsters catch colds” and the answer is yes they can! Hamsters can catch colds, both on their cold or from other people. Hamster colds can be a lot more dangerous for hamsters so this guide will tell you all you need to know about this topic
Can hamsters catch colds?
As stated before, yes! Syrian hamsters, Dwarf hamsters and Robo hamsters can call catch colds, although they are technically called “respiratory tract infections.” However, the symptoms are very similar and for all intents and purposes, it is a cold. So hamsters do catch colds and you must be cautious if they have it.
Can I give my hamster a cold?
It is possible to give your hamster a cold through interaction with them. Colds are extremely infectous and can cross species, this means that up close interaction with your hamster can be dangerous for them if you are feeling ill.
Hamsters can also get a cold from their natural surroundings, just like we can! Hamsters that are cold or are put in cold locations can easily develop a cold. Hamsters that are given baths can also develop colds, this is why we recommend only giving them a bath in extremely exceptional circumstances.
Preventing your hamster from getting a cold
So. Hamsters can get colds and as stated before, there are two main vectors that can lead to your hamster getting a cold.
How to avoid giving your hamster a cold
If you display the symptoms of a cold then make sure to avoid your hamster for the duration of your symptoms! It may seem sad to not be able to stay in physical contact with your hamster but this is for their own safety.
If you live with someone else, make sure that they fill your hamster’s food bowl and give them their daily play. If you live alone, you can fill up your hamster’s food but make sure that you wash your hands thoroughly before touching anything that belongs to your hamster. As stated before, the cold is extremely infectious!
How to avoid your hamster getting a cold via surroundings
Your hamster can get a cold due to their surroundings, this is in the exact same way that humans can develop colds. Make sure that you understand your hamster’s ideal temperature and place your hamster’s cage in a location that has a standard temperature and doesn’t suffer from drafts.
Furthermore, make sure that your hamster has lots of bedding and lots of burrow space! Your hamster will like to control their own temperature and they often do this with the amount of bedding that is in their bed. Give them lots of bedding so they can keep themselves lovely and warm.
Symptoms of a hamster cold
Your hamster’s cold will show the same sort of symptoms that a human will show when they have a cold. This can include:
- Runny eyes
- Crusty eyes
- Loss of appetite
- Runny nose
- Tiredness and unwillingness to move
As you can see, these symptoms can be quite noticeable for your hamster. Your hamster sneezing might sound cute but it is a symptom of a much larger problem for your hamster.
Sneezing, as a symptom on its own, may not be a direct cause of a cold. See if your hamster is near anything that it could be allergic to before concluding that your hamster has a cold.
What to do if you hamster gets a cold
Sometimes the methods above won’t work and your hamster will get a cold. Hamsters can catch colds, sometimes no matter what you do. This isn’t your fault! Hamsters can be very susceptible to these kind of infectious illnesses.
If you have a vet readily available, you could take your hamster to the vet. A vet will always give better advice than the internet as they can adapt it to your particular hamster. They may give the hamster treatment but they cannot outright cure your hamster’s cold.
If your hamster gets a cold, make sure to continue to refill their bedding as stated before. Cleaning their cage more regularly will also help to get rid of the germs that are sure to be all over the cage.
Your hamster needs a good diet to be able to fight off the illness. Foods such as cabbage, banana, and seeds can help to increase your hamster’s resistance to disease. These foods contain lots of vital nutrients that will assist your hamster’s immune system in fighting off the cold. These foods can also protect your hamster from getting a cold in the first place. Some forums recommend the use of a tiny amount of honey drizzled over your hamster’s food. Honey was once called the Elixir of Gods due to its healing properties, it may help your hamster fight back!
How dangerous is a cold for hamsters
So, can hamsters catch colds? Yes. Is a cold dangerous for a hamster? Sort of. Any illness for hamsters can be dangerous for them. Their fragile bodies means that any illness for us can hit them 10x worse. It is unlikely that your hamster will die from a cold by itself but common colds can result in other health issues. If you ignore your hamster’s cold then it can turn into pneumonia which has a much more deadly prognosis for your hamster.
Overall, hamsters can get colds, and hamsters can die from colds. It is something that you should take seriously. The long-term effects of your hamster having a cold can damage their repository system which can shorten their lifespan.
Conclusion – Can hamsters get colds
In conclusion to the question “Can hamsters get colds”, the answer is that they can and they do! Hamsters can get colds from other people or due to their surroundings. The symptoms are similar to colds in humans but they can be a lot more serious in hamsters. Make sure to follow the guide above if your hamster catches a cold and ensure that your hamster sees a vet if their symptoms seem severe.
Has your hamster ever had a cold? Do you have any secret methods to helping your hamster pull through? Let us know in the comments!