How Long Do Hamsters Live?

By Antonia Čirjak on February 26 2020 in Answer

This might come as a surprise, but hamsters' lifespan is actually much shorter than most other common household critters.
This might come as a surprise, but hamsters' lifespan is actually much shorter than most other common household critters.
  • The Syrian Hamster is one of the most sought-after species of hamster when it comes to keeping them as pets.
  • The Roborovski Dwarf Hamster, aside from being known for its speed, are also known to live longer than three years when raised in captivity.
  • Make sure your hands are clean when handling your hamster so it doesn't contract any infections.

This might come as a surprise, but hamsters' lifespan is actually much shorter than most other common household critters. It is only a couple of years long. Still, if you ever do decide to go for one of the most popular rodents on the planet, you should consider their short life cycles.

Just because something is cute and cuddly, it does not mean it is going to live forever. Except for cats. Cats live forever.

From Hamster College To Retirement In a Matter Of Months

Hamsters live for 2-3 years, on average. It also depends on the particular species of a hamster, but three and a half years is the most you can expect out of your pet hamster. Nonetheless, there is a certain number of things you can do to ensure they reach their maximum lifespan.

Because of their short lifespan, hamsters reach their maturity much faster than other domestic animals like cats or dogs. It takes around eight weeks of age for them to become teenagers, and it takes only a year and a half for a hamster to be considered elderly. But, like the lifespan of all animals, it also depends on the hamster's species and their genetics. 

Some Different Species Of Hamsters

The most popular species of the household hamster is called the Syrian Hamster. Unfortunately, their numbers in the wild are declining because of the negative impacts of climate change. These hamsters live around three years, growing up to 7 inches. A little bit shorter, coming around 3 inches, is the Dwarf Winter White Russian Hamster. This hamster has a unique ability to change its fur color during the winter, and it generally lives around two years.

The fastest of these species is the Roborovski Dwarf Hamster, also known as the desert hamster. They are known for their speed and energy and can live for over three years in captivity. While hamsters species and genetics do play a significant role in how much they live, there are also certain things that their owners can do to make them as healthy as possible. It would be best if you considered species when deciding to buy a hamster, but also make sure that it comes from a clean and healthy environment.

How To Handle Your New Hamster

Your hamster needs to exercise to stay healthy. Yes, hamsters can exercise! They cannot go to the gym, but they can use the exercise wheels and exercise balls in their cage. You should also ensure they also have a healthy diet. Hamsters need a lot of fiber, and their bodies will also appreciate fresh fruits and vegetables.

It is also a good idea to buy them some treats or sticks they can chew on to avoid them chewing the cage or the plastic in the habitat. Those bad habits can seriously damage their oral health. You will always need to be looking out for various signs of illness and quickly take care of any problems that present a threat to their well being.

One important thing to consider is your hygiene when you handle your hamster. Washing hands will prevent hamsters from catching colds from people and developing bacterial infections. They also need a clean living environment that will further ensure they do not get stressed and developed an illness.

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