Hamster Lifespan – How Long Do Hamsters Live?

Are you unsure about how long your hamster pet will live? The hamster lifespan is crucial to consider when planning to bring this furry friend to your home. 

Since you are the only one responsible for taking care of this animal, you should already know the years you might have to spend taking care of this animal.  

So, sit back and relax with your warm cup of tea as we unveil all the vital information you require. We are sure that these facts will help you take care of your pet in a better way. 

How Long Do Hamsters Live?

While many factors affect the hamster’s lifespan, it is crucial to know the average number of years these animals will live under your roof. The average time that a hamster lives is two to three years. 

However, the lifespan of a pet hamster differs from a wild one.

Live in the Wild

Hamsters can live in the wild; however, the life expectancy is much shorter as compared to domestic environment. This is mainly because of threats in the wild, mostly from predators. In addition, harsh environments like rain, heat, and extreme cold can also affect the lifespan of hamsters in the wild.

As a Pet

A hamster can live more years as a pet in your home than it can in the wild. It can live for three years on average, but some can even live for longer.

Average Hamster Lifespan

The average hamster lifespan is almost two to three years. However, this number may vary according to their species. 

Lifespan For Different Hamster Species

Here is a list of different hamster species and their lifespans:

Syrian Hamster

A Syrian hamster is the most popular category of hamsters that make great pets. It can easily grow up to seven inches and can live for as long as three years. 

Due to the devastating climate change and the Therefore, most of their habitat, the number of Syrian hamsters is declining worldwide. Therefore, it is imperative to take care of these hamsters, so they live longer than their wild fellows. 

Dwarf Winter White Russian Hamster

While the Dwarf Russian hamster has a size similar to a Syrian one, it doesn’t grow more than three inches. Besides, this species has a life of only two years. 

A Dwarf White Russian hamster can easily change its color to white and hibernate when in the wild. This quality helps it to stay safe from all predators. 

However, the White hamster as a pet cannot do so. It is because of artificial lightning which increases the risk of accidents. 

Chinese Hamster

This hamster looks like a mouse and is relatively tiny. It can nip, but when handled with love and care, the Chinese hamster can become affectionate. 

Moreover, in a home with all the right factors, this species can easily survive for three years. That’s quite a long time for a tiny dude.

Roborovski Dwarf Hamster

The Roborovski Dwarf hamster is pretty tiny yet fast. It is an active animal with lots of energy and, not to mention, adorable features. 

Moreover, regardless of its size, the hampster lifespan of this animal is three years. However, this number doesn’t consider the incidents where it may get dropped or lost.

Dwarf Campbell Russian Hamster

When compared to Syrian hamsters, a Dwarf Campbell Russian hamster is relatively small. It can only grow to a size of four inches. Moreover, it can easily lead a carefree life for a total of two years. 

European hamster

Two times double the size of a Syrian hamster, the Cricetus Cricetus is a European breed that can last for as long as eight years. Moreover, since it has a large stature, it can safely trick the predators and live carefreely. 

Factors that Contribute to the Lifespan of a Hamster

hamster eating

Some factors such as genetics and species are pre-determined, and you can’t control them. 

However, there are many other considerations that need your attention. You can easily influence them to make sure that your furry friend leads a content life. 


A hamster doesn’t deserve unhealthy food. A hamster’s needs are pretty similar to humans. So, it is imperative to feed them a balanced diet. 

Hamsters should be given high amounts of Omega 3 and fiber. These components keep their digestive system healthy for a long time.

Most high-quality packaged foods for hamsters already contain these elements. But you can also feed your pet fruits and raw vegetables to help it consume fiber in the rawest form. 


If your hamster is lazy and doesn’t move enough, take the blame on yourself. Inactive hamsters are more prone to diseases than active so take measures to make your pet physically healthy. 

For instance, invest in wheels and toys to keep the hamster busy. Besides, strengthen its emotional health by spending time on bonding. 

Don’t hesitate to open your hamster’s cage and let it wander a bit under your supervision. This exercise will make it feel less stressed and more active that will eventually improve its lifespan.

Living Environment

No animal can survive in an environment that doesn’t meet its requirements and comfort standards. So, giving your pet a clean bed to sleep in and washed dishes to eat food from will eventually help it live a stressful life. 

Moreover, a hygienic environment can easily reduce any chance of illness, both mental and physical. So, make sure to clean the pet’s cage every day and make any changes to its structure as soon as you find the time. 

How to Make Your Hamster Live Longer

Here are some ways that can help to increase the hamster lifespan:

  • Make sure to feed your pet well. Its diet should include all the essential nutrients that are necessary for it to grow and thrive.
  • Invest in the right cage for your hamster, so it feels at home at all times. A wrong cage can increase depression in these animals, so get something that isn’t too short or uncomfortable.
  • Give your hamster lots of water. Just like us humans, a hamster requires fresh and clean water to survive. So fill a bowl every day and replace the water with a new one if you find it dirty.
  • File down the hamster’s nails every week. Its nails shouldn’t have inward curving and must be long. However, if they have overgrown above expectations, visit a vet so they can be trimmed on time.
  • Similarly, file down the hamster’s teeth, too, as required. Its top teeth should be smaller than the bottom one, and they should be yellow. Teeth longer than expected can be a source of irritation and pain so take this factor quite crucially. 
  • To help your hamster live a long life, keep its cage in a safe place. If you have any other pet in your house who may be a threat to the little hamster, keep the cage away from its reach.
  • Lastly, do not allow your pet to wander outside the cage without your supervision. While it is essential to take it out of the cage once in a while for some exercise, keep an eye at all times, so it doesn’t drop or disappear. 

Signs of Old Age in Hamsters

The hamster lifespan varies for all species and pets. But there are a few crucial signs that can determine the age of your pet. If the hamster is getting old, you will notice the following symptoms: 

Reduced Activity

Old hamsters often face a reduction in their energy levels. As a result, they find it hard to work out on their wheels or even move at their regular speed. 

This is often the first sign that a hamster shows. Moreover, you will notice it spending more time in its bed than it used to do before. 

Changes in Skin and Hair

With age, your pet will get sparse and fine hair. In addition, the coat or skin will become highly flaky and thin, and you might see its skin quite visibly. 

While these signs are pretty standard, you can always take appropriate measures to keep your pet warm in winter. For instance, cover it with a blanket or place its cage in a warm room. 

Decrease in Weight and Appetite

As your hamster’s age increases, you will witness a reduction in its appetite and weight. It will feel less attracted to food and may hoard items in its mouth instead of eating them. 

A reduction in the visible appetite will make your pet thin and frail. Most vets recommend feeding old hamsters soft foods such as eggs or mashed cucumbers. 

Changes in Vision

Most hamsters can suffer from cataracts in their old age. This disease can be easily recognized by your pet’s milky eyes. However, if not treated on time, this problem can also lead to blindness. 

Dental Problems

Elderly hamsters often experience crooked, brittle, or loose teeth. These signs can affect the capabilities of your pet to eat food normally. If that’s so, pay a visit to a vet as soon as possible.


This is a prevalent problem visible in old hamsters. Similar to mammals, they get swollen joints with pain. You may also notice your pet’s inability to move correctly. 

Arthritis is an apparent symptom. But you can reduce the pain by giving your pet the right medication on time. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Here is the list of some common questions that can help you understand the hamster lifespan in a much better way. 

Final Words

A hamster’s lifespan may be short, but this time is worth experiencing this adorable animal as your friend. While most hamsters live for only three years, you can always make amendments in their lifestyle to add quality in this short duration. 

So, follow the suggestions, and you will see how your hamster will thank you till its last breath. 

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