How Long Do Hamsters Live

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When I first had my own pet, I specifically directed my research into animals that don’t live that long. I know it sounds morbid but I was not sure how long I can commit to a pet. In case I changed my mind or realise I was not fit to have a pet, I will still be able to provide it with a long and best life under my care without giving it up for rehoming.

Hamsters together with other dwarf versions of other animals are on the top list of pets with a short lifespan. After a lot of research, I settled my eyes on hamsters. Just like me, I like being alone most of the time. I also work from home, so I want a pet that is a little independent.

In this article, we will discuss how long do hamsters live and will break down their lifespan according to their species. I will also add tips on how to make sure your hamster will live their natural lifespan.


hamster eating, hamster on the ground - How Long Do Hamsters Live

Hamsters normally live between 3 to 4 years depending on their species. Hamsters that come from pet stores are usually produced by hamster mills. Which results in inbred hamsters with health issues. Hamsters like this often die young due to health complications.

Many hamster owners, especially first-timers, are left with the mystery of why their hamsters die just a few months after getting them from the store.


Let’s now discuss hamsters’ lifespan according to their species. Later, I will talk about how to make sure that your hamster can live a longer, happier, and healthier life with you.

How long do Syrian hamsters live

Syrian hamsters - Species of hamsters

Syrian hamsters are the biggest size of domesticated hamsters. They are still smaller than wild hamsters but significantly bigger than Dwarf hamsters. Syrian hamsters live between 3-4 years. Around 3 years old, they will show signs of ageing which include slow movement and sleeping more than usual.

How long do Dwarf hamsters live

dwarf hamsters - species of hamsters

Dwarf hamster is much smaller than Syrian. They live for about 2-3 years. Experienced hamster owner usually says that if your Dwarf hamster lives longer than 2.5 years, then you are lucky. Dwarf hamsters experience hair loss, tardiness, and loss of appetite as they grow older.

Robo hamsters are also Dwarf hamsters who live for 2-2.5 years.

How long do Chinese hamsters live

chinese hamster - Species of hamster

Just like Dwarf hamsters, Chinese hamsters live for about 2-3 years.


To give you some ideas why some hamsters live a longer life while others don’ts, here are the thing you should know:


Like what we mentioned before, Syrian hamsters live longer than Dwarf. If you want to have a hamster that can be with you for the longest time, I recommend a Syrian. On the other hand, even though Dwarf hamsters usually live up to 3 years, I’ve seen hamsters get to live up to 3.5 years.

Read this article of tips on caring for Syrian hamsters and the Dwarf hamster care guide.


Species of hamsters

When talking about genetics, we are not just talking about good or bad genetics from hamster’s parents. We are also talking about where hamsters are from. In general, pets from animal mills live a shorter life because they are often inbred and develop health problems.

Hamsters from experienced, educated, and certified breeders live a longer and healthier life. This is why we want you to not feel guilty if your hamster dies young. If you provided the best care for your hamster, death due to genetic problems is out of your hands.


Diet will definitely affect your hamster’s long-term health. A hamster that only eats dry mix will highly develop either malnutrition or obesity. You must provide healthier food and diet to your hamster.

Apart from a dry mix, you should also feed your pet cooked food. Such as cooking chicken breast, boiled vegetables and pasta, and fresh fruits.


Because hamsters store fat and calories quite easily, domesticated hamsters should be encouraged to move their body as much as possible. Apart from placing a hamster wheel, you should also allow your hamster to spend time in its playpen. A 10-minute playpen a day will go a long way.


Best Large Best Large Hamster WheelsHamster Wheels

Even though hamsters only get to live significantly shorter than other pets, there are plenty of things you can do to assume that your hamster will live a long life with you. These are the things that are within reach of your capacity.

Get hamsters from breeders

Instead of spending your money on hamsters from pet stores, I recommend you contact well-known breeders in your area or your city. Breeders might charge a bit more, although not a great amount more. We have a compilation of ethical hamster breeders that we recommend.

Here are Hamster Care, we also believe that if there are fewer people who get hamsters from regular pet shops, fewer hamsters will die young or will be abandoned.

Getting a hamster from breeders also takes some time, but not too long. While waiting, you can spend time decorating and preparing your hamster’s enclosure. You can save money on getting the best type of hamster cage, and making sure it is escape-proof and have well ventilation.

Provide a healthy and balanced diet

Buying the best and healthiest dry mix and lab blocks will never replace fresh and cooked meals. Make sure to feed your hamster cooked meal at least 2-3 times a week. Treats should only be given in moderation and should be low in fat and sugar. Learn more about hamsters’ food and diet.

Keep your hamster busy

Keeping your hamster busy will help them burn calories and move their body. While a running wheel is a good start, you can also add many toys inside the cage like a tube or tunnel. Outside the cage, you can design the playpen to have some mazes and swings. You can also hide treats under the bedding, which will force your hamster to dig and move around.

Clean cage

It’s vital that you perform regular spot cleaning and deep cleaning inside your hamster’s cage. You should also ensure that you used safe and fresh bedding. Replenishing the sandbath as often as 3 times a week will also avoid bacteria built up inside the cage.

Regular vet check-up

If you are a beginner hamster owner, make sure you have at least $500 in the vet fund. This will cover emergencies and regular check-ups with the vet. Hamsters are prone to diseases like wet tail, obesity, bumblefoot, and skin irritation. Make sure you can bring your hamster to the vet for a general check-up at least once every 3 months.

If your hamster is showing unusual behaviour like squeaking, shaking, bald spots, and sleeping too much, bring them to the vet right away.


Hamsters may not live a long life but they are such great pets. They are entertaining, sweet, and very intelligent. I’m sure you will create great and fun memories with your hamster. Give your hamster when taking care them and they will live their natural lifespan under your care.

I hope you found this article helpful and that we answered your question about how long do hamsters live. Feel free to go through our site to find out more about hamster care.


The average hamster lifespan varies by species. Syrian hamsters typically live 2-3 years, while dwarf hamsters, including Roborovski and Campbell's, generally have a lifespan of 1.5-2 years. Proper care can contribute to a hamster's longevity. via @thehamstercareblog

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