Hamsters are extremely cute pets, and this is why they are so popular among all pet lovers. They normally don’t live a very long life though, and it is important to take their life span into consideration if you intend to keep them as pets.
Hamsters are rodents that belong to the subfamily Cricetinae. These are burrowing animals, and especially in the wild, they protect themselves from predators by digging burrows in the ground. Hamsters love to eat nuts and berries. They are also fond of fresh fruits and vegetables. There are primarily four types of hamsters, namely; the Russian dwarf hamster, the Syrian hamster, the Roborovski hamster, and the Chinese hamster. Among these, the Syrian hamster is the most popular among pet enthusiasts, while the Roborovski hamster is the least popular. The life span of this species also plays a crucial role in determining their popularity as pets.
Average Life Span of a Hamster
The average life span of a hamster is around 2-3 years. Many people believe that hamsters live up to an age of 4 years or more. However, not all hamsters are fortunate enough to live this long. Hamsters attain maturity in a very short time. For the sake of comparison, hamsters reach puberty after around 8 weeks of age. The gestation period for hamsters is less than 3 weeks. The average life span of a dwarf hamster is even shorter at 2 years, and in very rare cases a little above that.
Tips for Hamster Care
The good news is that you can add to your pet hamster’s life span by paying attention to various attributes of their care.
Choosing the Hamster
Be careful while choosing your hamster. Ensure that it is healthy and comes from a clean environment surrounded by clean and healthy hamsters. This is an important factor to be considered if you really want your hamster to live a little longer.
Size of the Cage
Make sure that your pet shelter, which should be in the form of a cage, is large enough to accommodate the exercise wheel, food, water, a small bed, and a few hamster toys, if you wish to add them for your pet’s entertainment. A cage of about 20 – 25 square inches is enough for a single hamster to live in.
Diet forms an important part of the lifestyle of hamsters. The life span of hamsters can increase if you feed clean, hygienic, and nutritious food to them. Food such as fresh vegetables, fruits, and pulses can also be given. Apart from clean and nutritious food, you should also give clean and pure water to your pet, so that it does not contract any disease.
Feeding the hamster all the time with no exercises will make your pet fat and lethargic. To avoid this, you can place a small exercise wheel in the cage. This will keep your hamster active for the day and improve its overall health in general.
If you follow the tips and suggestions about hamster care and diet given above, I am sure you will definitely succeed in adding to the life span of your cute little pet!