How Long Do Hamsters Live As Pets?
When you're considering whether or not to get a hamster, one question you may want to consider is how long do hamsters live as pets. In most cases, your pet will be completely dependent on you for its care. You, therefore, need to know how long you are committing to looking after your pet to ensure that you can take on that responsibility.
Everything you need to know About Hamsters
So, how long do hamsters live as pets? Like all animals, there is no fixed amount of time that hamsters will live for. However, a hamster’s lifespan is shorter compared to other most common household critters. Any of the five species of domesticated hamsters will generally live for two to three years. So, any hamster that is a year and a half old is considered elderly, and how much your hamster shows its age will depend on several things, including their personality and energy level. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to give your hamster a healthy and fulfilling life.
Factors that Affect on How Long do Hamsters Live as Pets
Some of the factors that affect how long do hamsters live as pets are:
- Type or species
- Diet and food intake
- Living conditions
- Quality of care from owner
The first two factors are something you cannot control. You can choose which species of hamster to get, but once you have them already, you obviously can’t then change their species in order to make them live longer. Genetics is also beyond your control. Some hamsters will have inherited good genes from their parent that help them to live a long life, while other hamsters will have inherited genes that lead to illnesses, thus, giving them a shorter lifespan.
While some factors on how long do hamsters live as pets are pre-determined and are outside of your control as a pet owner, there are also some factors that you can influence in order to keep your pet hamsters healthy. These factors include:
- Diet. Just like humans and other animals, too much food is bad for you and could affect your overall health. Therefore, it is essential to feed your hamster a well-balanced diet with plenty of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. These can all be found in high quality, pre-made hamster food that you can buy at your local pet shop. You can also add raw, fresh fruits and vegetables to their cage for variety and gnawing.
- Exercise. Giving your hamster lots of toys, not only relieves boredom but will get them running around and active. Hamster wheels and exercise balls are a must when their habitats are confined. Regular plays with your hamster will also help you build up a bond and give it extra time to hang out, outside of their cage.
- Living conditions. As an owner, you have to make sure that your hamsters are well cared for. It can also prolong the lifespan of your hamsters. Housing them properly, making sure they're stress-free, and providing them with clean bedding can dramatically reduce the chances of them being depressed or ill.
Doing everything mentioned above won’t change the fact that some hamster species generally live shorter lives, or improve poor genes, but it will give your hamster the best chance of living its life to its full potential.
How long do hamster live depending on their species?
Some hamster species live longer compared to others, so you're probably eager to know which type of hamster has the longest lifespan. A hamster usually lives for around 2.5 years. However, some types can live up to 3.5 years. In the wild, hamsters can live for several years – even longer than hamsters in captivity can – given they steer clear of predators. The European hamster, also known as Cricetus cricetus, can live for up to 8 years. This hamster is twice the size of a standard Syrian. Therefore, it's safe to conclude that the smaller the hamster, the shorter its lifespan will be.
Here is lifespan information for specific hamster species:
- Dwarf hamsters- Dwarf hamsters have the shortest lifespan. On average, a Siberian dwarf hamster can live between 18 months-2 years in captivity.
- Russian dwarf hamsters- There are two types of Russian dwarf hamsters – the Campbell's Russian Dwarf Hamster and Russian Winter White Dwarf Hamster. The Russian dwarf hamster's lifespan is about 16 months – 2 years.
- Robo hamsters- Roborovski hamsters or Robo dwarf hamsters are the smallest breed of hamsters, and they are adapted to live in desert conditions. They live for approximately 3-3.5 years.
- Chinese dwarf hamsters- Chinese dwarf hamsters, also known as striped hamsters, Chinese tried hamsters, striped dwarf hamsters, or Chinese hamsters, are not real dwarves but are called so because they are as small as dwarf hamsters. The Chinese dwarf hamster lifespan is around 2-3 years.
- Syrian hamsters- Syrian hamsters, or more popularly known as teddy bear hamsters, have a lifespan of 2-3 years. Unusually, males outlive females on average. The longest-living Syrian hamster lived for 3.9 years.
Hamsters, unfortunately, are not immortal. It is your responsibility as pet owner to know how long do hamsters live as pets. Compared to other domestic pets, they have very short lifespans. The good news is, however, that you can help to extend your hamster’s life expectancy past their prime. That is why it is essential to make sure that your hamster stays comfortable and healthy. By providing them with good quality care, a healthy diet, and an active yet clean environment, your hamsters will surely have the time of their lives.
Syrian hamsters are one of the cutest rodents that you can keep as pets. They are tiny, cute, and they mostly keep to themselves.
Like other furry pet mammals, guinea pigs like to be petted too. However, since they are small creatures compared to your usual pet cat or dog, they need to be handled differently.