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Can Hamsters Drink Cold Water? (Answered!)



Reviewed By: Dr. Joel Robertson

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Hamsters are small rodents that can make great pets. They are very active and playful, and they love to explore their surroundings.

One question that many people have about hamsters is whether or not they can drink cold water.

In this blog post, we will answer that question and provide some tips on keeping your hamster healthy and happy!

Key Takeaway

  • Hamsters should not drink cold water as it can lower their body temperature too quickly and potentially cause illness, so it is advisable to provide them with water at room temperature.
  • Hamsters should be given room-temperature water as cold water can lower their body temperature too quickly and potentially cause illness, but they can also drink slightly warm water as long as it’s not at a high temperature.
  • To ensure your hamster stays healthy, you should change its water daily and clean the water bottle thoroughly at least a couple of times a week.

Can Hamsters Drink Cold Water?

Can Hamsters Drink Cold Water

Hamsters shouldn’t drink cold water because cold water can lower their body temperature too quickly and make them sick. Drinking cold water causes the hamster’s blood vessels to constrict which results in reduced blood flow. This in turn lowers the hamster’s body temperature.

Hamsters are very sensitive to changes in temperature, and their bodies are not able to regulate their own body heat very well.

As a result, hamsters can easily become too cold from drinking cold water, and their body temperatures can drop to dangerously low levels. When this happens, the hamster’s metabolism will slow down in an effort to conserve energy, and they may start to shiver.

If the temperature drop is severe enough, the hamster may even enter into a state of torpor, where their body temperature drops even further and their heart rate and breathing slow down significantly. In extreme cases, this can lead to death. As a result, it is important to make sure that your hamster only drinks water at room temperature.

Room-temperature water is usually fine, but you can also offer your hamster cooler water in the summer months.

Just be sure to avoid giving them ice-cold water, as this can shock their system. In addition to temperature, hamsters also prefer still water to running water. A small bowl or bottle will suffice, and you should clean and refill it every day.

Should I Give My Hamster Warm or Cold Water?

Can Hamsters Drink Cold Water

As a veterinarian, I would recommend giving your hamster water that is at room temperature. Cold water can cause a rapid drop in their body temperature and potentially lead to sickness. On the other hand, warm water is acceptable as long as it’s not too hot.

Hamsters are small creatures with a high metabolic rate, which means they generate a lot of internal body heat. Drinking cold water can disrupt this delicate balance and cause them to become chilled. In contrast, while they can handle slightly warm water, it’s crucial to ensure it’s not hot as this could scald their mouth or throat.

During the summer months, it’s not uncommon for owners to want to offer their hamsters cooler water. However, it’s still essential to avoid giving them ice-cold water. Instead, a good practice is to keep their water bottle in a cool place out of direct sunlight to prevent it from becoming too warm.

From my experience in treating hamsters, I’ve observed that they prefer water that is closer to their body temperature. This preference is likely because it’s more comfortable for them to drink and doesn’t disrupt their internal body temperature.

How Often Should I Change My Hamster’s Water?

As a veterinarian, I advise changing your hamster’s water daily to ensure it is always fresh and free from contaminants.

Hamsters need clean, fresh water for optimal health. Leaving the same water in their bottle for more than a day can lead to bacterial growth, which might lead to health issues if ingested. Furthermore, stale water may discourage your hamster from drinking, potentially leading to dehydration.

In my years of practice, I’ve seen cases where hamsters fell ill due to poor hygiene practices, including not changing their water regularly. Hamsters are small and delicate creatures; their bodies can’t handle contaminations the way ours can.

Every day, as part of your routine, empty out your hamster’s water bottle, clean it thoroughly with mild soap, rinse well, and refill it with fresh water. This daily routine will help ensure your little pet stays hydrated with clean water, reducing the risk of health complications.

Remember, your hamster’s health is significantly influenced by the care you provide. Regularly changing their water is a small task, but it contributes greatly to their well-being.

Do Hamsters Prefer Water Bowls?

It’s not so much about whether hamsters prefer water bowls or bottles, but rather about which option is safer and more hygienic for them – and that would be water bottles.

Water bowls can easily be tipped over, leading to a wet cage, which is not ideal for hamsters. Wet bedding can lead to the growth of mold and bacteria, potentially causing health issues for your pet. Moreover, hamsters are known to use their water bowls as toilets, contaminating the water.

On the other hand, water bottles designed for small animals are typically equipped with a metal drinking spout that the hamster can drink from without risk of contamination. The water stays clean and fresh, and the risk of spillage is significantly reduced.

In my years of practice, I have generally found that hamsters adapt well to drinking from a bottle. Some may need a little encouragement initially, but most learn quickly. Using a water bottle not only ensures your hamster has a constant supply of clean water, but it also makes maintaining their habitat easier for you.

So while a hamster might not express a preference for a water bowl or bottle, as a veterinarian, I would recommend a water bottle for its cleanliness, safety, and convenience.

Can Hamsters Drink Tap Water?

Hamsters can drink tap water, provided it is safe and free from harmful substances.

The consumption of tap water by hamsters is contingent on its quality. In locations where the tap water is safe and free of harmful chemicals, it’s suitable for your hamster. However, in areas where tap water has a high chlorine content or other potential hazards, it might not be ideal for your pet.

In my years of veterinary practice, I’ve encountered various cases and learned that the safety of tap water can greatly vary depending on geographical locations.

If you’re uncertain about the safety of your tap water, it’s always best to take precautionary measures.

This could mean using a water filter to remove any potential contaminants or letting the water sit uncovered for 24 hours before giving it to your hamster, allowing for the evaporation of chlorine which is commonly found in tap water and can be harmful to hamsters if consumed in large amounts.

Water plays an integral role in a hamster’s diet and overall health. Ensuring that your hamster has access to clean, safe water at all times should be a top priority for every hamster owner.


Q: What kind of water should hamsters drink?

A: Hamsters should drink clean and fresh water. Tap water is generally safe for hamsters to drink, but it is important to ensure that it is free from any chemicals or contaminants. Alternatively, you can use filtered or bottled water for your hamster.

Q: How much water should hamsters drink?

A: Hamsters should have access to fresh water at all times. They usually drink about 5-10 milliliters of water per day, but this can vary depending on the size and activity level of the hamster.

Q: Can hamsters drink from a water bottle?

A: Yes, hamsters can drink from a water bottle. In fact, using a water bottle is a popular and convenient way to provide water for hamsters as it keeps the water clean and prevents it from getting contaminated.

Q: How often should I give my hamster water?

A: You should always ensure that your hamster has access to fresh water. It is recommended to check and refill the water bottle or water bowl daily to ensure that your hamster stays hydrated.

Q: Is it safe for hamsters to drink cold water?

A: Yes, hamsters can drink cold water. However, it is generally more comfortable for them to drink water that is at room temperature or slightly warm.

Q: Can hamsters drink bottled water?

A: Yes, hamsters can drink bottled water. Just make sure that the bottled water is safe for consumption and does not contain any additives or chemicals that may be harmful to your hamster.

Q: What should I do if my hamster is not drinking water?

A: If your hamster is not drinking water, it is important to monitor its behavior and health. Dehydration can be a serious issue in hamsters, so you may need to try offering different sources of water or consult with a veterinarian for further guidance.

Q: How can I keep my hamster hydrated?

A: To keep your hamster hydrated, make sure it has access to fresh water at all times. Provide a water bottle or a water bowl that is cleaned regularly. You can also offer water-rich foods such as cucumber or watermelon to supplement their water intake.

Conclusion and final thoughts

In conclusion, it is safe for hamsters to drink cold water as long as it is not too cold.

Giving them water that is at room temperature or slightly cooler will not harm them and can even be beneficial during hot weather.

However, care should be taken to ensure that the water is clean and free from any contaminants. It is also important to provide fresh water daily to ensure your hamster stays hydrated.

Please take the time and leave a comment below if this article helped you, or you have any additional questions.

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