How Long Do Hamsters Live And Why?

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on July 13th, 2022

Exact answer: For two to three years.

Hamsters are rodents in the Cricetidae family. Hamsters are classified as part of the kingdom Animalia, the order Rodentia, and the class Mammalia.

selective focus photography of brown hamster

There are 19 different species of rodents. For example, a golden hamster, a teddy bear hamster, a black bear hamster, a panda bear hamster, and so on. Only five of the 19 species are kept as pets.

Syrian hamsters are one of the most regularly utilized species among them. These hamsters have a life expectancy of 2 to 3 years. However, because this group has different species, their lifespans may differ.

The life cycle of a hamster

Females enter oestrus quite early, generally between 6 and 8 weeks, whereas males enter oestrus around 8 to 9 weeks.

Litter sizes vary by breed but typically range from 4 to 12 pups. In the natural, hamsters will mate periodically, but in captivity, it’s best to keep sexes separate unless you want to rule the hamster world.

Healthy hamsters are quite active as adults, leading busy little lives, but their activity level decreases as they age. Therefore, their wheel usage is a good indicator of where they are in the life cycle – in other words, fewer wheel revolutions indicate that the hamster is becoming older.

How long do hamsters live? Based on different breed type

It’s usually a good idea to consider a pet’s longevity, especially if youngsters are involved.

Each hamster breed or species has a different lifetime, determined by where they reside, how well they are cared for, and whether or not they are preyed upon.

  • The Syrian Hamster, often known as the Golden Hamster, is a kind of hamster. This is the most prevalent type of domesticated hamster. They are golden brown in color and range in size from 4.9 to 6.9 inches. They have a lifespan of 2 to 3 years.
  • Campbell’s Russian Dwarf Hamster: The Russian Dwarf, also known as the Campbell’s Russian Dwarf, may live for 1.5 to 3 years. Their coats might be regular, silky, wavy, or rex and can be 3.9 to 4.7 inches long. Native to Asia, namely North East China.
  • Winter White Russian Dwarf: Also known as the Djungarian Hamster, this hamster may survive for up to two years and can grow to be 3-4 inches long. They are distinguished by their fur, which might be brownish grey or blue-grey in the summer but molts into a white coat in the winter. Siberia, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan are home to this species.
  • The Chinese Hamster, often known as the Rat Hamster, has 2 to 3 years. They range in length from 3.9 to 4.7 inches and have a long, slender form with a long tail. Their fur is greyish brown, with a black stripe along the spine. They are only found in Northern China and Mongolia.
  • Roborovski Hamster: This hamster can live up to 3.5 years and grow between 1.8 and 2 inches long. They are endemic to the Gobi Desert, Mongolia, and China and have a golden back and a white underbelly.

In the wild, how long do hamsters live?

In the wild, hamsters often live relatively shorter lives. There are several causes for this, but the most important is that they have no one to watch after them. As a result, hamsters in the wild must fend for themselves and so confront a variety of risks that our four-legged pals would not dare to face with us!

In the wild, hamsters must contend with predators, increasing disease, other hamsters, and a probable lack of food. All of these variables add up to a hamster living a substantially longer life in captivity.

What Factors Influence the Lifespan of a Hamster?

Of course, sickness and previous conditions before arrival in your home will play a significant role in how long your hamster lives. But even a brief life may be full of love, and I wonder if you’re willing to give it.

Some of the factors that might influence their longevity are as follows:

  • The Nature Of The Species. For example, Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters can live for up to three years, while Chinese Hamsters live for about two years.
  • Maintaining a Clean and Hygienic Environment.
  • Being prepared with certain medications in case, they become ill.
  • Placing a running wheel in their cage or providing opportunities for them to run and exercise. This will be beneficial, especially if you are otherwise sedentary in a cage.

Why do hamsters have such long lives?

Being conscious that each species on our planet has a different life based on their confinement, desire to survive, the environment surrounding them, and other factors.

Starting with their species, genetics, nutrition, activity, living environment, and the kind of care they get all significantly impact their life.

All of these factors can have an impact on their growth and lifespan. Therefore, these organisms must be nurtured as much as possible. One of the issues to consider is nutrition.

A hamster will remain healthy if provided with a nutritious and appropriate diet. Their longevity is also affected by genetics and breed propensity. It is considered that the smaller the hamster, the shorter its life.

Even though nature provides them with a decent environment to exist in, they are nevertheless threatened by predators. So while the pet hamster is given a cage and all the conveniences, there is no fear of predators, increasing their life duration.

How to Care for Your Hamster as It Grows Older

Everyone has a defining moment when they begin to feel their age. Old age begins to play a role in the life of a hamster around the age of a year and a half.

With your own hamster, you may find that they begin to slow down as they age.

They could spend less time spinning their wheel or be less likely to gallop around all night.

Look for subtle changes in your hamster’s behavior, such as a lack of interest in food and treats, increased napping, weight loss, and difficulty climbing through tubes and tunnels.

As their hearing and vision deteriorate, you may notice them being more easily frightened and losing their fur.

These modest changes are natural, but if they occur overnight, you should seek veterinarian attention since it might be more dangerous than old age.

To assist your hamster with daily activities, make sure that their food and water are easily available, that any steep slopes are removed, and that the atmosphere is as peaceful and tranquil as possible.


People are sometimes confused about the hamster dying when their temperature drops below normal, but this is when their body undergoes several modifications to match the external temperature. The hamster is deemed dead when it does not respond to the heated environment.

Having a hamster as a pet is both enjoyable and demanding. But unfortunately, humans may cause colds in hamsters as well. As a result, one should exercise caution, and all that is required is to take excellent care of it and supply it with the necessary comforts to extend its existence as much as possible.


Editorial Staff

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