Hamster Lifespan – How Long Does The Hamster Live?

two young hamsters

You love your little hamster and want him to live the longest life possible.

But how long does the hamster live? And what can you do to help him live life to the max?

The average life expectancy of a hamster is 18 to 36 months. A hamster may live for longer if it is in the wild.

Now, this is just an average life cycle figure for most hamsters. But what about the breed of hamster you have at home?

We’ve wrapped up everything you need to know about different hamster breeds and their longevity and tucked it into this article. Check it out!

How Long Do Hamsters Live?


You are the proud new owner of the cutest and fluffiest ball of fur on the planet. You have no doubt spent hours preparing your new hamster’s home, making it cozy and inviting.

We all want our pets to enjoy the happiest and longest life possible.

But, how long does the hamster live?

Coming up next in this article, we have listed the average lifespan of a variety of different hamster breeds. We’ve also listed some of the top tips that will make sure your hamster has the most fulfilling life possible.

Let’s jump to it.

What Is the Life Expectancy of a Pet Hamster?

Your pet hamster is a bundle of joy. It loves running on its exercise wheel, digging hideouts, and of course, filling its cheeks and chowing down on its favorite snacks.

We want to do everything we can to make sure our hamsters live a wonderful life. But how long can that be?

What is the average lifespan of a hamster in captivity?

Key Takeaway:

A pet hamster’s lifespan is 18 to 36 months. Wild hamsters can sometimes outlive domesticated hamsters in cages.

Now, we’ve spoken a little about the average lifespan of a hamster, but their life expectancy varies from one breed of hamster to the next.

So, how long can you expect your hamster to live?

Stick with us as in the following sections, we’ll be discussing different hamster breeds and how long they live.

elderly hamster

How Long Do Syrian Hamsters Live?

Syrian hamsters (also known as the Golden hamster) are one of the most popular pet hamster breeds. They go by the name of Syrian hamsters because they originate from Syria and Turkey.

How long do Syrian hamsters live?

The life expectancy of a Syrian hamster in captivity is 3 to 4 years. In the wild, Syrian hamsters live for 2 to 3 years.

How Long Do Dwarf Hamsters Live?

Dwarf hamsters are small in size, measuring just 4 to 12 cm long! Here is a list of some of the different breeds of dwarf hamsters.

  • Roborovski dwarf hamster
  • Campbell’s dwarf hamster
  • Chinese dwarf hamster
  • Winter white hamster

Don’t worry, we’ll get into more details about each dwarf hamster’s life expectancy in just a mo. But for the minute, let’s focus on their average lifespan.

How long does the dwarf hamster live on average?

Dwarf hamsters have a life expectancy of 1.5 to 3.5 years in captivity. Its life cycle in the wild can stretch to 5 years.

How impressive!

Ok, now as we promised, it’s time to get specific. Which dwarf varieties have a long lifespan and which have a shorter lifespan?

Let’s find out.

Make the following into a table. In the first column: Dwarf hamster breed./In the second column: Life expectancy

Dwarf hamster breedLife expectancy
Roborovski2-3 years
Campbell2 years
Chinese dwarf hamster2-3 years
Winter white hamster1-3 years

How Long Do Teddy Bear Hamsters Live?

We can’t help but love Teddy bear hamsters, they have the cutest name out of all the hamster species. But perhaps you’re wondering…

…Why are they called Teddy bear hamsters?

It’s because of their large ears, small dark eyes, and long hair. They also have a pretty adorable tiny button nose.

Teddy bear hamsters are also known as long-haired Syrian hamsters. (But, we like the Teddy bear name the best.)

Teddy bear hamsters are originally from Syria.

Ok, so what do we know about the life expectancy of Teddy bear hamsters?

Teddy bear hamsters live for 2 to 3 years.

How Long Do Hamsters Live In the Wild?

Now, we’ve already spoken a lot about hamsters in captivity and how long their life cycle is. But what about the lifespan of a hamster in the wild?

Key Takeaway:

Some hamsters can live longer in the wild than they do in captivity. This is if they can dodge their predators in order to stay alive.

Here are some examples of hamster breeds that live much longer in the wild than they do in cages.

  • Dwarf hamsters. They live on average 1.5 to 3.5 years in captivity but a whopping 5 years in the wild.
  • European hamsters. They live a maximum of 5 years in laboratory conditions. However, in the great outdoors, they can live for up to 8 years!

How to Look After Your Hamster

Female hamsters and male hamsters have a short life expectancy of just 18 to 36 months. But, perhaps you wonder…

…Is there something you can do to improve that?

There is no guaranteed guide to hamster longevity, but here are some practices for you to incorporate into your care routine that will help your furry friend live as full a life as possible.

Make sure you bookmark these tips so you can keep them to hand.

Cage Cleanliness

You must keep your hamster’s cage clean by changing the bedding regularly (at least once a week). Put his food in a food bowl instead of resting it on his bedding.

Your hamster can drink from a bowl, but it is better if you put his water in a bottle. With his water in a bottle, he will be less likely to contaminate his drinking water with bedding or knock his water over and dampen his living area.

We recommend a water bottle like this one on Amazon.

Well Balanced Diet

To avoid running into health issues, your hamster needs to eat the right foods. Your hamster’s diet should consist of some of the following:

  • Commercial hamster pellets (similar to gerbil and guinea pig pellets)
  • Sunflower seeds and other grains
  • Fruit such as strawberries, grapes, apples, and bananas
  • Vegetables like Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, and carrots
  • Timothy hay
  • The occasional treat of boiled egg or nuts
  • Clean, fresh water

Cage Position and Size

Like in the case of a guinea pig, your hamster’s health will deteriorate if he is in direct sunlight for long periods. Your hamster’s cage should not be in a place that is too hot or too cold for him, 18-21 degrees Celsius is perfect.

Place the cage in a quiet and calm area of the house away from loud music and vibrations. It should not be in a busy room.

Your Syrian hamster will love it if his cage is in a cool room that does not back onto a noisy street. Any outbursts of loud noise will frighten him.

But what about the cage size? How big should it be?

When choosing a cage, always go bigger rather than smaller. A Syrian hamster will need a cage that measures at least 24x12x12 inches, any smaller, and he will not have enough room to run around and play.

How many hamsters should be in one cage?

It is okay to have just one hamster in a cage or a pair of hamsters in a cage. Do not put more than two hamsters in one cage.

It is fine to mix the sexes, it is ok to have two female hamsters or two male hamsters in a cage. But same-sex pairs may begin to fight so be sure to look out for signs of misbehavior.

There is nothing wrong with having a male and a female hamster share a cage. The Syrian hamster is friendly and does well when sharing its living quarters.

Gentle Handling

Your hamster is a small and fragile creature, and although he loves strokes and attention, make sure you handle him with care! Teach your minor children to be gentle with their hamsters.

Can Hamsters Live For 5 Years?

Hamsters don’t tend to live long lives, but is it possible for some hamster breeds to break this mold? Are there varieties out there that live extra long lives?

Most hamsters, unfortunately, cannot live for 5 years in captivity. The average hamster’s life cycle is 18 to 36 months.

That said, there are hamsters in the wild that can live for up to 5 years and longer! Let’s take a look at a couple of these special little guys.

The European hamster can live for up to 8 years in the wild! This type of hamster is a little aggressive and solitary, but its tough nature helps it to live much longer than other hamsters!

Dwarf hamsters can live for up to 5 years in the wild. When they are able to dodge their predators such as snakes and birds, this breed of hamster can have a pretty impressive life expectancy.

While most hamsters will not live for longer than just a couple of years, European and dwarf hamsters in the wild are truly champions of longevity. Dwarf hamsters make especially good home companions, so make sure you look out for one of those when you go down to the pet shop.

old hamster

How Long Does a Hamster Live as a Pet?

A hamster makes a great pet for children and adults alike. They are active and love eating and running around in their cages.

Pet hamsters, in some cases, will not live as long as hamsters in the wild. But how long are we talking?

What is the average life expectancy of a hamster in captivity?

A hamster in captivity will live, on average, 18 to 36 months. Some breeds of hamsters, such as the European and Dwarf hamster, will live much longer in the wild than they will as pets.

What Is the Lifespan of a Pet Syrian Hamster?

Do you have a Syrian hamster (Golden hamster) at home? Then you’ll be keen to know how long Syrian hamsters can live as pets.

A Syrian hamster can live for 3 to 4 years as a pet. In the wild, a Syrian hamster may not live as long. Its lifespan may be just 2 to 3 years.

Can Hamsters Live for 10 Years?

Some hamsters can live longer than others. Some hamsters in the wild live longer than those in cages.

But how long…is long?

An adult hamster is old-aged when it reaches just 18 months! This is because their average life expectancy is just 18 to 36 months.

Even still, some hamsters break this barrier, living a long life of 5 years or longer. But what is their maximum lifespan?

Can hamsters live for 10 years?

No, hamsters cannot live for 10 years. The hamster with the longest lifespan is the European hamster which lives for up to 8 years in the wild.

Here are some interesting facts about hamster lifespans.

  • The oldest hamster in captivity lived for 4.5 years in the United Kingdom.
  • Dwarf winter white Russian hamsters have one of the shortest lifespans of just one year.
  • Hamsters are sexually mature 6 weeks after birth. Sexual maturity in males appears faster than in females.

A Long and Happy Life For Hamsters

From the day you took your hamster home from the pet store, you vowed it would live the longest and most fulfilling life possible. But, just how long can his life be?

How long do hamsters live?

With the help of this article, we have seen that the average hamster lives for 18 to 36 months. But the breed of the hamster, where it lives, and its quality of life will greatly affect its longevity.

We hope the information in this article will help you make sure your hamster has everything he needs to live as long as possible.

Have you found the information in this article useful? Then make sure you check out some of the other odd pet guides on our website.

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