Hamsters are popular pets and many people want to know how long they will live. The lifespan of a hamster depends on the species of hamster, but most hamsters have a lifespan of around two to four years.
There are some things you can do to help your hamster live a longer life, such as providing proper care and making sure they get enough exercise.
Average Hamster Lifespan
The average lifespan of a hamster is two to four years.
The Syrian hamster is the most common type of pet hamster and has a lifespan of around three years.
The Russian dwarf hamster has a shorter lifespan than the Syrian hamster and usually lives for two to three years.
The Chinese hamster has a lifespan of around two years.
Hamsters are small, nocturnal rodents, meaning they are more inclined to be active by night rather than in the daytime. Because of their nocturnal habits, Hamsters are less likely to be handled during the daytime and if they are, they are more prone to give you a nip as they may be grumpy.
Hamsters are popular pets, the most common and largest one being the Syrian Hamster, also known as the ‘Golden Hamster’.
Syrian Hamsters are wildly popular as house pets due to their docile, inquisitive natures and small size. Syrian hamsters are popular as ‘first pets’ for young children, as well as being classroom animals, because of their hardiness and relative ease of care.
Some pet owners find hamsters more attractive in relation to rats and other rodents due to their lack of visible tails.
When kept as pets, however, Syrians must be housed on their own, past the age of around 10 weeks. Syrian hamsters are notoriously territorial and will frequently attack and indeed, kill, other adult hamsters of the same gender.
Life Expectancy For Different Hamster Species
- The Roborovski Hamsters: 3-3.5 years
- The Syrian Hamsters: 2-2.5 years
- The Campbell’s Dwarf Hamsters: 2 years
- The Chinese Hamsters: 1.5-2 years
- The Winter White Russian Dwarf Hamsters: 1.5-2 years
Factors That Affects Your Hamsters Lifespan
There are several factors that can affect how long your hamster lives.
One factor is the type of hamster you have. As mentioned, Syrian hamsters live an average of three years, while Chinese hamsters only live for around two years.
Another factor is the care you give your hamster. If you provide proper care and make sure they have a good diet and enough exercise, your hamster will likely have a longer lifespan.
Finally, genetics can also play a role in how long your hamster lives. If your hamster comes from a long line of healthy and long-lived hamsters, they are more likely to have a longer lifespan.
- Quality of care
How to Make Your Hamster Live Longer
There are some things you can do to help your hamster live a longer life. First, you should provide proper care and make sure they have a good diet.
Hamsters are omnivorous, which means they eat both vegetables and meat. Their natural foods include grains, seeds, vegetables, and insects and they will also eat corn, oats, or wheat mixed with dry dog food.
Premixed hamster food from a pet store has complete nutrition.
Hamsters favourite foods are foods native to their dry habitat, like seeds. For protein and variety, they will eat some small insects.
Hamsters like vegetables, however, feed them fresh food in moderation. Hamsters like a variety in their food and it also helps to keep them healthy.
Do not feed your hamster chocolates or sweets, this is very bad for them. Feed your hamster at the same time each day or leave a constant food supply. Hamsters will not overeat but will often store food in their cheek pouches and put it in a hiding place to eat later.
Remove food that is no longer fresh each day and clean out the ‘hidden’ food once a week.
Put food in heavy ceramic or plastic food dishes (so they will not tip over) and clean them weekly.
You should also make sure your hamster gets enough exercise. Exercise is important for all pets, but it is especially important for hamsters since they are prone to obesity.
Hamsters are born to run. In the wild, hamsters would travel miles every night in search of food and some hamsters in captivity have been reported to run up to 8 kilometres per night on their exercise wheels.
Hamsters need lots of exercise and most pet hamsters love to use exercise wheels.
Finally, you should take your hamster to the vet regularly to make sure they are healthy and do not have any medical problems that could shorten their lifespan.
By following these tips, you can help your hamster live a long and healthy life.
- Proper care
- Good diet
- Enough exercise
- Regular vet visits
You can read more about this in our post on keeping hamsters.