What Is The Average Lifespan Of A Hamster?

Hamsters can make excellent family pets if a few precautions are taken. They're easy to care for and can be very docile and cuddly if handled frequently. However, hamster lifespans are significantly shorter than those of certain other typical household critters, so keep this in mind when bringing a new hamster into your home.

The Life Cycle of a Hamster

Hamsters progress through their life phases fast due to their short lifespan. They are born blind, deaf, and without fur. Young hamsters, known as "pups," are exceedingly delicate. They begin to grow fur at five days. They open their eyes at two weeks. Hamsters typically stay with their mothers until they are 21 to 28 days old.

Hamsters reach sexual maturity around the age of 4-6 weeks. They should not be bred until they are at least 8-12 weeks old or weigh 90-100 grams. Gestation intervals are only 20-22 days long. Hamsters can no longer reproduce after roughly 14 months of age.

Hamsters live an average of 18-36 months, with the Syrian hamster breed living longer than dwarf variants. Any hamster over the age of a year and a half is considered elderly.

What causes some hamsters to outlive others?

Domesticated hamsters, like many other animals, live longer lives than their wild counterparts. Predators such as owls and foxes prey on hamsters in the wild. Their lifespans are also influenced by environmental factors and competition with other hamsters. Hamsters can live much longer in captivity with good housing, handling, feeding, and veterinary treatment.

Domesticated hamsters are susceptible to diseases and other health concerns because they are frail and sensitive pets, This can have a considerable impact on their lifespans. For example, shortly after acquiring a pet hamster (typically between 3 and 10 weeks), they may experience stress-related diarrhea. Diarrhea, on the other hand, can strike at any age.

Nutritional deficits can also cause fur loss in hamsters. Other prevalent hamster illnesses are as follows:

  • Eye proptosis
  • Mites
  • Ringworm
  • Cheek pouch disorders
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Dental problems
  • Cancer
  • Amyloidosis (protein deposits in the organs)

Certain breeds are more susceptible to certain diseases than others. Diabetes, for example, is more common in Striped black hamsters and Djungarian hamsters. Glaucoma is also more common in Djungarian hamsters. Syrian hamsters are prone to heart disease, amyloidosis, and pneumonia.

These disorders can be avoided with good nutrition and care.

How to Extend the Life of Your Hamster ?

By giving the correct feed, habitat space, and care, you may help keep your hamster healthy and living longer.

A commercially made pelleted rodent food intended for mice and rats should be the mainstay of a hamster's diet. Diets based exclusively on seeds may result in vitamin, mineral, and amino acid deficits. They are also high in sugar and fat, which contributes to diabetes and obesity.

If you feed your hamster a well-balanced diet, grains, fruits, and vegetables can be offered as treats on occasion. Avoid foods high in refined sugar and poor in fiber to increase hamster longevity.

Hamsters require a lot of areas to move around as well. Several types of cages make wonderful homes for your pet. Commercial cages made of rigid plastic (e.g., polycarbonate, polysulfone, and polypropylene) or stainless steel are excellent choices. Cages constructed of wood or soft metals such as aluminum are not suggested since hamsters like to chew and escape.

A hamster's cage should be spacious enough to accommodate a nest box, exercise wheel, and other enrichment. The dimensions can range from 24"x12"x16" to 48"x12"x16" or larger. The greater the size, the better! The more room your hamster has to walk around, the more they will exercise and play, which is beneficial to their health. To prevent escape, cages should also have a sturdy, tight-fitting door and lid.

A solid-bottomed cage with bedding works well for hamsters. Because hamsters are prone to respiratory discomfort, bedding should be absorbent, non-toxic, and reasonably dust-free. Wood shavings or chips, corn cob, pelleted wood, and recycled paper products are also suitable. The use of cedar or untreated softwoods such as pine is not suggested since it can induce liver illness in hamsters.

Because hamsters urinate and defecate in the same part of their cage, any filthy bedding material should be removed and replaced with a clean cloth daily. Enclosures should be sterilized at least once every two weeks, and all bedding should be changed. Cages should be completely cleansed after being sanitized with hot water and a nontoxic disinfectant or detergent. Every day, water bottles and meal dishes should be washed and disinfected.

Enrichment and stimulation can also be provided for your hamster by adding tubes, exercise wheels, pipes, shelters, and caverns to its cage. Giving your hamster tissue paper, cotton, or paper towels allows him to construct a wonderful fluffy nest.

Finally, to keep your hamster happy and healthy, keep the room temperature between 68 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit, with a recommended humidity range of 30-70%.

While hamsters do not live as long as other pets such as cats or dogs, they can still be delightful companions in any home. In addition to regular wellness check-ups with your veterinarian, establishing good practices in daily hamster care can help improve your hamster's lifetime.

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