What is the Average Hamster Lifespan?

girl and hamster

There are many different factors to consider when it comes to how long your hamster will live.

Some of these animals live longer than others, and it is important to get this information if you own one.

In this article, you will learn some valuable things about your own pet.

What Determines How Long My Hamster will Live?

There are numerous factors that will ultimately determine how long your rodent friend lives. Some of these things you will have control over, while others you will not.

1. Size of their Environment

Even the size of your hamster’s environment plays a crucial role in determining how long they are going to live. This is why it is so important for you to provide your hamster with a decent size habitat. The more hamsters you have, the larger the habitat should be.

You should also consider the type of bedding you put in your hamster’s environment. It is typically best to use a paper-based material for their bedding. This will provide them with a soft and comfy place to rest each day. The more comfortable your hamster is, the less stressed they are going to be.

2. Mental and Physical Stimulation

Hamsters seem like very independent animals, but they need mental and physical stimulation to live a long and happy life. You should make a point of handling your hamster each day as a way of showing your affection towards it. 

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These animals can get very stressed out if they don’t receive at least occasional interaction with their owners. Holding your hamster is a great way to bond with it.

You can help your hamster get all of the stimulation it needs by providing them with an exercise wheel and various toys to play with. The habitat that you keep them in should have tunnels for them to scurry through as well.

There are lots of cute little toys that are designed specifically for hamsters. Take the time to check out your local pet store or browse the web to see what your options are. These animals love things that can be rolled around, so keep that in mind.

hamster playing flute

3. Cleanliness

A clean cage means a happy and healthy hamster. You will need to make a point of cleaning their cage on a regular basis. This will greatly reduce the chances of your pet contracting all sorts of potentially fatal diseases.

Make sure that you give your hamster’s cage/habitat a thorough cleaning and scrubbing with soap and water. This will virtually eliminate the chances of them getting an infection or disease that could shorten their lifespan.

4. Genetics

The hamster’s genetic makeup is a big factor when it comes to how long they are going to live. Depending on their parents’ genetics, the hamster could life a relatively long or particularly short life.

5. Diet

A proper diet is also necessary to extend your hamster’s lifespan as much as possible. You will need to provide them with nutritious food that is formulated to match their dietary requirements. A loose seed mix or pelleted diet is recommended. You can also give them the occasional piece of fruit or vegetable just to keep things interesting.

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The average lifespan of a hamster is about 1.5 to 2 years. A Hamster that is a year and a half old is considered a senior. There are some hamsters that can live up to four years, though it is fairly uncommon.

Average Lifespan by Species

There are multiple hamster species, and some of them live longer than others on average.

  • Dwarf hamster: These hamsters tend to live around 2 years at the most.
  • Syrian hamster: Average lifespan of 2-2.5 years
  • Roborovski hamster: Anywhere from 3-3.5 years
  • White Russian Dwarf hamster: 1.5-2 years
  • Chinese hamster: 1.5-2 years
hamster in hand

The Life Cycle of the Hamster

When you are learning about the average hamster lifespan, it is also important that you consider the overall lifecycle of these animals.

1. Birth

When a hamster is born, it cannot see or hear at all. These animals are not born with any fur, and it begins appearing when they are about a week old. They start to open their eyes once they are approximately two weeks of age.

2. Adolescence

A hamster that is 4-6 weeks old is considered an adolescent. They are sexually mature and capable of mating at this age. It is not a good idea, however, to allow hamster that is less than 10 weeks old to breed.

3. Adult

Adult hamsters are less than a year old, and it is the prime of their life. This is when these animals have the most energy and zest for life. Once a hamster turns one year old, they are into middle age or close to it.

4. Senior

A senior hamster is generally considered to be 1.5 years of age or older. This is when hamsters become vulnerable to disease and infections. It is especially important to take good care of your hamster once it has entered into its golden years.

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  • There are lots of different factors that can affect a hamster’s lifespan, including genetics, environment, hygiene, species and stimulation.
  • It is important that you interact and spend time with your hamster on a daily basis. It might seem like it doesn’t matter to them, but it does.
  • Always keep your hamster’s habitat clean so as to reduce the chances of them contracting some potentially deadly disease or infection.
  • Dwarf hamsters are one of the most common hamster species, and they tend to live about two years.
  • Once a hamster reaches 1.5 years old, they are considered a senior.
  • Hamsters become sexually mature and capable of mating once they have reached six weeks of age.
  • You should avoid breeding any hamsters that are younger than 10 weeks old.
  • The diet that you keep your hamster on will have a major impact on how long they ultimately live.
  • Keep your hamster stimulated on a daily basis by providing them with lots of fun toys in their cage.