How Long Do Hamsters Live?

How Long Do Hamsters Live

Are you looking forward to owning a hamster and thinking how long will it live? I know losing a pet hurts to the core, but hamsters may live more years than you think. So, do you want to know how long do they live exactly? Great, keep reading.

This article explains every single thing you need to know about the life span of hamsters. Let us begin!

How Long Do Hamsters Live?

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Generally, hamsters live for about 2 – 3 years. This is the average lifespan, but there are records that some hamsters live more years than 03 or never reach a year. The hamster’s lifespan is relatively shorter than most other domestic pets.

If you wonder whether the lifespan differs based on the breed, of course, it does. The longest-lived hamster breed is Roborovski Dwarf. The average lifespan of that breed is up to 4 years.

The shortest is the Chinese breed. Normally, they live little under two years.

Being an innocent species of animals, the wild hamsters are not lucky enough to live even a year.

 Factors Affect the Lifespan of Hamsters

Depending on the inherited traits, external environmental effects, and health conditions, the life expectancy of hamsters differs. Though some of these effects are completely up to you to control, the rest of the effects are uncontrollable. First, let us get to know about the controllable factors.

Controllable Factors

  • Healthy diets

In general, hamsters can eat anything. You can give them fruits, vegetables, nuts and even bread without any side effects. As hamsters are omnivores, you are free to mix up food to provide them a balanced diet.

However, it is not bad to avoid commercial food cans and packets. Doubtlessly, your hamster can gain more nutrients from fresh fruits and vegetables than packets, preserved food. In addition to that, you know anything homemade is healthy.

Though hamsters can eat anything, here is a list of food that you should not serve them.

  • Citrus
  • Tomato
  • Chocolate
  • Raw potatoes or beans
  • Any kind of onions
  • Fruit seeds or peels

Since hamsters cannot digest these kinds of food, it is always good to avoid them. Also, by providing healthy food, you can contribute to the long lifespan of your companion.

  • Hygienic condition

Though it is not necessary, make sure your hamster has a good hygienic condition. You will need to clean their cage at least once a week and provide a regular brushing to your hamster. Also, change the bedding of your hamster once or twice per week.

The hamsters are clean animals. They do not like to stay in places that stink. If you are okay with washing the cage, go for it. It will refresh its habitat.  

As for the cage size, you will need to purchase a cage with a dimension of 12 inches in width and about 12 inches tall. It is the minimum required size for a hamster habitat. However, purchasing a cage longer than this size would be ideal because it will be more spacious for the hamster.

  • Safety

The hamsters are innocent animals. They need to feel safe and comfortable in your household. Therefore, it is important to think twice before deciding on a place to keep their cage. If you have any other pets that the hamster is scared of, make sure the cage is placed in a separate area. The hamsters get scared often. Sometimes, they can even scare you.

So, it is necessary to make them feel your household is a safe place. Otherwise, they will be stressed out.

Uncontrollable Factors

Here is a list of uncontrollable facts about the lifespan of a hamster.

  • The breed/type

The life expectancy of a hamster differs according to the breed. There are five main breeds of hamsters that you can find in pet shops.

Syrian hamsters – The life span of Syrian hamsters is not more than two to three years.

Russian hamsters; Campbells and Djungarian – On average, they live about two to four years.

Chinese hamsters – Their lifespan is limited to 2 ½ – 3 years.

Roborovski hamsters – The life expectancy of Roborovski hamsters are up to three years. They are the tiniest breed of hamsters.

  • Genes and inherited traits

As the same as humans, animals are also inherited certain traits from their breed and parents. The inherited genes and traits are completely out of control. For instance, Syrian black hamsters have weak kidneys than other hamsters. It causes a shorter lifespan but no one can complain about that.

The Life Cycle of a Hamster

During the first week after the birth, hamster babies are blind, deaf, and completely bald. They weigh only 0.07 to 0.10 ounces. Unlike most pets, hamsters are born with teeth.

The hamsters grow quickly because their lifespan is short. They can start eating solid food even in the first week. However, they rely on hamster mother’s breast milk.

On the 12th day after birth, the hamsters open their eyes and leave the cage.

After leaving the cage, the hamsters prefer to live independent lives. They reach adult age sooner. The adult hamsters start to show personality. Most hamster owners keep male and female hamsters separately because they can reproduce even at the beginning of adult age.

By the age of three months, the hamsters are ready to reproduce. The estrous cycle lasts only four days. The fetus develops in 16 days. If they become pregnant after the cycle, they give birth every two months.

Since hamsters have a shorter period of lifespan, their old age begins when they turn 01 years. They become less active and more prone to diseases hereafter.

How to Keep the Hamsters Healthy?

Here is a list of things to do to keep your hamster healthy.

  • Plenty of habitat time

Each week take your hamster out of its cage and let it enjoy the fresh air outside. Walking with the hamster in the garden at least once a week is good exercise for the body.

  • Clean and wash the cage

In general, you can change bedding, clean left-over food trays, refill the water pot, and clean the toilet area of the hamster.

  • Spare more time for your pet

The pets yearn to be loved. They appreciate your patience, cuddle from their behavior. If you can spare more time to stay with your hamster, it would be happy for sure. Obviously, happiness is the key to healthiness.

  • Handle your pet with care

 The hamsters are very sensitive animals. They get hurt easily. I recommend you avoid picking them up until they are at least 2 – 3 weeks old. If you’re picking them, make sure you do it gently. Also, use both hands to take them up.

Final Thoughts

The hamsters do not live a longer life and the emotional sadness of losing a hamster can be quite sad. However, you can make the best memories with a hamster. They are lovely and fun creatures that grant you high-quality companionship.

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