You’re going on a road trip, but you are not sure if bringing your hamster along is a good idea. While hamsters generally behave naturally in their cages at home, being in a moving car is a different experience. Before tossing your hamster in the rear seat of your vehicle, you may ask: do hamsters like car rides?
Hamsters don’t like car rides, but they don’t necessarily hate it either. However, they do like being in their natural environment without any of the stress that comes with traveling. The more you can keep their travel experience close to that, the more enjoyable the ride will be for your hamster.
In this post, you’ll learn how to handle your hamsters when going on a trip in your car. Should you go through the stress of choosing a travel cage, or is it easier to find a sitter throughout your travel?
Are Car Rides Stressful for Hamsters?
Car rides can be somewhat stressful for hamsters, especially when the experience differs a lot from their everyday experience in their cage. The moving vehicle, breeze blowing through the windows, the noise, and the music may be too much to handle for the average hamster.
If you have to take your hamster with you on your road trip, you should try to reduce anything that can stress the hamster during the ride.
These may include turning off the music and closing all the car windows, providing foods, treats, and toys while keeping your voices low in conversations throughout the ride.
You also can’t keep your hamster in your car overnight. You may want to find a pet-friendly hotel that will let you bring in your little pet. Even if you can’t find one, you can always sneak in a hamster!
If possible, you may want to consider getting a sitter for your hamster instead of having it live through the stress of a car ride, when all it ever wanted was to live, sleep, and chew in peace.
Do Hamsters like Car Rides?
Hamsters don’t like car rides. You should avoid carrying your hamster in a car as much as possible, except for necessary circumstances, like when taking it to a veterinarian.
That said, short car rides work better than extended road trips. Taking your hamster to a veterinarian in a car is fine, but a road trip from Washington to Florida isn’t fine if you’re carrying a hamster.
If you’re moving, you must make the necessary provisions for the hamster in your new home before moving it in. Typically, your pet should be one of the last things you want to move into your new home, partly due to the necessary preparations.
If you’re going on a short trip, you should consider providing food for the hamster while you’re away. This should work fine for you both, as hamsters are quite self-reliant.
If you’re going on a long trip, however, you should consider getting a sitter. You can ask a friend or family member to look after your pet for you while you’re away. Getting a sitter to look after your pet is much better than carrying it with you on the trip.
If you have to take it on a car ride, you should consider investing in a travel carrier. This will make the trip easier, and it should fit in the car better than the hamster’s cage. In addition, you should always strap the cage to the back seat to avoid unintended jostling.
How Long Can a Hamster Stay in a Car?
No rule is set in stone about how long you should keep your hamster in your car during a road trip. A hamster can stay in the car for the duration of any trip.
Consider checking the pet’s supplies occasionally. You can stop to let your hamster have some water, as the water may drip on the seat if you keep it in their cage.
However, never keep your hamster in your car over the night. When taking a rest for the day, you should ensure that the hotel allows you to own pets. You can even get a special pass since the hamster is smaller than most pets and won’t be noticeable anyway.
Tips for Moving Hamsters in Cars
You already know that ideally, you shouldn’t be carrying your hamster on a card ride, except on special circumstances, like on a trip to your veterinarian or if you’re moving across cities.
Even if the ride is necessary, there are general tips to follow while carrying a hamster in a car to reduce the stress for you and your pet. Here are some of those tips.
1. Prepare a cage that mimics the hamster’s real cage.
Like some humans, hamsters don’t enjoy leaving the environment they already know and trust. You can capitalize on this quality to build a travel pod that your hamster will love.
Generally, it’s best to transport your hamster in its original cage if that isn’t too big to fit into your car. If it is, you should consider bringing in some supplies from the pet’s cage.
However, you want to make sure that the edges of the cage are softer. This prevents the hamsters from sustaining injuries as the car negotiates bends, speedbumps, and potholes.
2. Don’t let the hamster wander out of the cage.
While it may seem like freedom works well for most situations, it certainly doesn’t work well for a hamster being transported in a car.
If a hamster finds a way out of the cage, the feeling outside its cage will easily stress it out and lead to a frantic escape attempt. Trying to restrict your hamster at this stage can lead to bites, and that isn’t what you or the hamster wants.
3. Shield the travel carrier from direct sunlight.
Hamsters are very sensitive to heat. Temperatures exceeding 25 degrees centigrade can stress them out, with hotter temperatures being potentially fatal. Surprisingly, the heat that falls into a car from the sun in the summer is capable of inflicting heatstroke on any hamster.
If you don’t want your hamster to die of heat literally, you should bring a towel with you on the ride. The towel can shade the cage from the scorching heat of the sun.
However, you want to make sure that the towel doesn’t block the air vents. If your hamster doesn’t stress out due to heat or hypoventilation, you should have a pretty fun car ride.