First of all, different animals have a different lifespan and so are their breeds. Some factors may increase or decrease your pet’s lifespan, such as the health status, the environment, access to water and food, and so on.
Based on my knowledge, research and experience, I can say that some breeds live longer than others.
What is the longest-living hamster?
On average, the average lifespan of hamster species is between 2 to 3 years, which is true about other animals of this size. However, there are some exceptions, as some species are known for their long lifespan. Let’s talk about some of them.
According to some reports, a Syrian dwarf hamster lived for 6 years. However, confirmed reports tell us that the hamster with the longest lifespan was under the care of Karen Smeaton in the UK. It was 4.5 years old when it took its last breath.
If this figure doesn’t sound impressive, know that any rodent that lives more than 2 years is considered lucky as most rodents die within 2 years.
Popular breeds of hamsters and how long do they live
Let’s talk about some popular species of hamsters that are known for their long lifespan.
Russian dwarf hamsters and Russian winter white dwarf: They have a similar lifespan as they both are from Russia. Their lifespan is between 15 months and 2 years, which is impressive for a tiny animal like this.
Siberian dwarf hamster: this cute little Russian hamster enjoys a lifespan between 1.5 years (18 months) and 2 years.
Syrian hamsters and Chinese dwarf hamsters: they live between 2 to 3 years.
Roborovski dwarf hamsters: these tiny creatures can live for up to 8.5 years, which is the longest lifespan among all species of these tiny fellows.
Factors influencing the life of a hamster
- Nutrition – A nutrition-rich diet can help your hamster live much longer. This type of diet includes pears, lettuce, zucchini, celery, apples, carrots, sunflower seeds, millet, spelt, and soya, to name a few.
- Breed – Genetic predisposition and breed are other primary factors. The small the size of the species, the shorter the lifespan.
- Habitat – In their natural habitat, hamsters tend to live longer than in captivity.
- Daily care – if kept in good conditions, a well-fed animal can enjoy a longer lifespan, as it’s not prone to dangers in its natural habitat, such as predators.
Ways to expand the life of your hamster
Now, let’s get to the interesting bit of this article. Although hamsters can’t get more than 4 years of lifespan, you can take some simple steps to extend their lifespan as much as possible. With proper care, your tiny pet can avoid a lot of diseases. Hence, it can enjoy a possibly longer lifespan.
- Know it history – Before getting your first hamster, make sure they are kept in a good environment. At the store, check their cage and inspect their paws and eyes to find out if they are healthy. Healthy hamsters have a soft and shiny coat.
- Maintain it cage – Get at least a 12 by 12 inches cage for your cute little pet and keep the cage as clean as possible. This practice is essential to ensure your hamster doesn’t catch any deadly diseases.
- Get it checkups – Annual medical checkups are essential for your hamster. Watch out for common signs of deadly illnesses, such as diarrhea, cold, and diabetes. In fact, a wet tail or diarrhea can waste your pet in only 2 days.
- Feed it well – Hamsters love a varied diet that includes bugs, vegetables, and fruits. While store-bought hamster food is nutritional, occasional snacks like apples and celery will make your pet go over the moon. The idea is to ensure their cage is neat and clean and they have 24/7 access to freshwater.
- Give it a wheel – Hamsters live longer if they get regular exercise. You can get her some toys or a hamster wheel. You may install a stair or ladder as well.
- Provide it with chew toys – Chew toys for hamsters are hygienic. Plus, they help these creatures keep their fast-growing teeth short and free of infection and discomfort. Some good chew toys include biscuits, calcium, and wood.
Common diseases that could kill your hamsters
- Stress – Stress is a condition that can weaken the immune system of your hamster, which may cause the premature death of your pet. Stress may also put your hamster at a higher risk of stroke or heart disease.
- heart disease – In hamsters, congestive heart failure is a common killer. This disease is common in hamsters with weak heart muscles or a genetic predisposition. Watch out for some common signs like bluish skin, edema, erratic movements, and respiratory distress.
- Atrial thrombosis – In older hamsters, the chances of atrial thrombosis are 70%. In fact, it’s the second most common killer of these creatures after heart disease. Take your pet to a vet if you notice signs like rapid breathing and bluish feet (cyanosis).
- Wet Tail – Wet tail or diarrhea can also kill your pet if ignored. Some common signs of a wet tail include wetness on the genital area, lethargy, messy coat, anorexia, and weight loss. In case of diarrhea,9 out of 10 hamsters die within the first 24 to 48 hours.
- Pneumonia – Pneumonia is a lung infection, which is potentially lethal in hamsters. These animals may get pneumonia if they are exposed to common bacteria like Staphylococci sp, Streptococcus sp, Pasteurella pneumotropica, and Diplococcus sp.
- Cancer – Unlike mice, domestic fowl, and rats, hamsters are less likely to develop cancer. However, cancer may not show any symptoms until your pet passes away unexpectedly.
Hopefully, this article will answer many of your questions about your lovely, little hamster. Stay tuned for informative articles like this.