How long do hamsters live as pets ?
Whether in their natural environment or as pets, hamsters live on average between 1.5 years and 3 years. Nevertheless, certain factors such as the purity of the breed, stress and diet , can reduce or increase drastically their lifespan .
Is there a species of hamster that lives longer than the others?
Contrary to other species, wild hamsters such as the Europeans ” the biggest hamster 14 inches/900g ” can live up to 8 years.
You should also know that pure breeds live longer than hybrid hamsters.
Apart from the Teddy bear Hamsters (7 inches/200g) that only mate with their own species, the majority of other hamsters that are purchased at pet stores are Hybrids, which unfortunately come from Pet Mills.
Pure breeds are only available from certain passionate breeders, so take this into consideration when estimating the lifespan of your Hammies.
Yes, it seems that the bigger the type of hamster, the longer it will live.
Goldies or Syrian hamsters are those who live longer than others.
Some Syrian hamsters have lived up to 4.5 years (the record is in the United Kingdom), but their average life is 3 years when they are well cared for.
Then come the dwarf hamsters, do not believe those who tell you that the Roborovski live 4 years! ,
They are the ones who live the longest among dwarf hamsters and can live up to 3 years.
The other dwarf hamsters, even when you find a pure breed with a healthy genetic heritage and a lineage well selected by the Breeder, they rarely exceed 2 years of age!
|The Hamster Breed||Average lifespan||Can Live|
|Golden Hamsters||2 to 3 years||4.5 Years|
|Roborovski Dwarf||2.5Years||3 Years|
|Campbell’s Dwarf||1.5 Year||2Years|
|Chinese Dwarf||1 to 1.5 years||2 years|
|Winter White Dwarf||1.5 years||2 years|
To summarize, if you have a purebred Teddy Hamster, it will be able to live 4 years or a little more if all goes well !
A Robo Hamster could reach 3 years, while the Winter White ( Russian , Djungarian , striped , Siberian ) , Campbell or Chinese, will live only a little more or less 2 years and do not expect to celebrate its third birthday!
Chinese Hamsters are the ones that generally live the shortest, rarely reaching the age of two years, they usually die the first year especially if they are hybrids.
Who lives more, the male or the female hamster?
According to an old study done by Dr. Kirkman and Dr. Yao, male hamsters tend to live longer than females.
Bred female hamsters have a shorter average lifespan than unbred females.
The gestation, rearing and nursing of offspring and all the physical exertion and stress associated with this means that female hamsters that raise their babies alone never live as long as males.
How to make my hamster live as long as possible?
Since there are factors that decide in advance the length and quality of hamsters’ lives
I will give you some tips that can help you choose a hamster that will live as long as possible and especially a happy life without too many visits to the Vet!
So , how can you make your hamster live longer ?
1- The life span of your Hamster will depend on its Species:
If you want a hamster that will live as long as possible and more than the others, choose a Golden Hamster.
They are known to live an average of 4 years, but they can reach 5,5 years according to some resources!
If you want a Dwarf Hamster that will live longer than the others, I suggest you choose a Roborowski.
With a bit of luck and a lot of care, it will be able to stay with you for a little more than 3 years.
2- Purebred Hamsters live longer:
If you want to have a hamster that will live longer than its fellow creatures, choose a purebred.
There are 18 known species of Hamster and only 5 that have been domesticated and become pets after hundreds of selections for some of them in research laboratories and universities!
So there are always somewhere, passionate Breeders who will be able to guarantee you to have a Hamster resulting from a pure lineage and without crossing.
When you choose a pure breed, you will also benefit from a breed of hamster whose ancestors are selected one by one …
The breeding stock is often well sorted and is chosen according to strict selection criteria.
They will ensure healthy hamsters and offspring, without malformation or predisposition for diseases like cancer and diabetes , heart problems and even wet tail...
3-The longevity of a hamster is linked to its lifestyle:
After choosing the species of your hamster, it will also provide a habitat and optimal living conditions for him to live as long as possible.
You must avoid stressing your hamster at all costs by preparing him:
Enough space for your hamster to live in , normally 5 square miles, but your hamster will be satisfied with at least 800 to 1000 square inches of floor space for his cage or aquarium.
Then, at least 10 inches of good quality paper-based bedding, because the hamster is a burrowing animal, which loves to make burrows up to 4 feets under the ground.
Hideouts in every corner of its kingdom so that he feels safe.
A wheel big enough for him to do his 5 miles every night and burn off his excess fat and sugar and keep his transitional system healthy.
Good quality hay, soft branches and chew toys to file his teeth and keep them clean and in good condition, especially the molars.
A well-balanced diet , not too fatty nor too sweet, and arranged in all the cage and in well studied quantity.
A bowl of fresh water at your hamster’s disposal and toys so that it avoids getting bored…
Another play area, such as a play pen or even a special room for your hamster’s free roaming to jump , jog and play ( he needs to run for at least one Mile a day !!! ( 5 Miles for the wild hammy ).
A daily attention to detect the symptoms of common hamster diseases and medical care as soon as a health problem occurs in your hamster.
A sandbox and not a dustbox (use already baked kids play sand ) !! for your hamster to do his daily toilet and get rid of the excess of oil in his fur.
The large sandbox will be the bathroom of your hamster, it is very important in the cage of your pet because the cleanliness of the hamster will surely avoid problems especially those of the skin and will allow him to live longer too.
And finally, very calm living conditions, no cage mates, no meeting with your other pet, no temperatures outside of 65/75 °F, no drafts, no disturbance when he sleeps or when he does not want to be carried …
There are of course other conditions that you will discover in other contents of this blog that I invite you to read and advise your friends.
Will a cage mate increase the life span of a hamster?
Nope !! , on the contrary , a cage mate will certainly cause the early death of the Hamster because the hamster (older than 8 weeks) loves solitude and hates to have a competitor in its territory especially if the cage or aquarium is not too large.
A hamster alone will surely live longer because he will be less stressed and will not be victim of fights with his mates.
Female hamsters can also kill males right after mating if the latter does not escape, so never put a couple in the same cage without supervision!
Let’s wrap this up!
Hamsters are solitary animals, which do not live long in captivity even if some can live twice the time that was predicted, but it remains exceptions here and there!
Hamsters live between 1.5 and 4.5 years and don’t expect more than that even if it’s not impossible !
You can extend the life of your hamster by giving it great care and an excellent living condition and timely medical care.