Hamsters make excellent pets for the right owner. They, like all living things, age, and elderly hamsters require special attention. As a responsible owner, you should keep track of your hamsters’ health from birth to old age. If you own or are temporarily responsible for a hamster, you should provide proper care for it.
This article will teach you about the hamster life cycle. The hamster life cycle may not be very long, but it is full of adventure!
On average, the Roborovski dwarf hamster lives the longest. They live for 3 to 3.5 years on average.
On average, different types of hamster live for the following amounts of time:
- Roborovski hamster: 3 to 3.5 years
- Syrian hamster: 2 to 2.5 years
- Campbell’s dwarf hamster: 2 years
- Chinese hamster: 1.5 to 2 years
- Winter White Russian dwarf hamster: 1.5 to 2 years
Though these are only averages, the life span of individual hamsters can vary quite considerably.
So you know roughly how long your hamster will live, but do you know what will happen to it during its life?
The hamster life cycle is fascinating, and even if you don’t have your pet from birth, it’s useful to understand the entire process.
The birth of a hamster
After a brief gestation period, hamsters are born in litter sizes ranging from one to twenty babies! Hamster babies are known as pups.
Hamsters are extremely vulnerable at birth because they are blind, deaf, and lack fur. A hamster’s fur does not appear until it is about five days old, and their eyes do not open until they are two weeks old.
When their eyes open, they become more self-sufficient in their exploration. They are, however, raised by their mother until they are between 21 and 28 days old.
While very young hamsters should be fed by their mother if at all possible, did you know that small “nursing bottles” can be purchased to feed young hamsters?
After 28 days, hamsters must be separated from their mothers’ care and, in the case of Syrian hamsters, separated to live as individuals.
Syrian hamsters must always be housed separately because they fight if kept together.
It’s usually fine to keep dwarf hamsters together (though you should still keep an eye out for any fighting), but you should be aware that, despite being born relatively recently, hamsters reach sexual maturity at the age of 4 to 6 weeks. As a result, keeping males and females separate as they enter adolescence is a good idea.
The adolescence of a hamster
Although hamsters are sexually mature between the ages of 4 and 6 weeks, with males maturing faster than females, it is not recommended that females breed before the age of 10 weeks.
Unfortunately, female hamsters who breed earlier than this are more likely to have stillborn pups.
It’s also worth noting that a female hamster can become pregnant again within 24 hours of giving birth, so keep her separate from the male hamster!
The prime of a hamster’s life!
Most hamsters are in their prime just before they reach one year of age, though this can vary depending on the breed. They will usually have a lot of energy at this age and will be playful and fun.
They reach middle and old age not long after they reach their first birthday. Female hamsters can become infertile between the ages of 12 and 14 months. Even if this does not occur, it is too late if a female has not bred prior to this point. Breeding at this age can result in pelvic and hip problems.
The end of the hamster life cycle
Hamsters, like humans, are more likely to develop health problems as they age. Of course, just because a hamster is old does not mean you should not seek medical attention.
Although there is no cure for whatever is wrong, it is often possible to manage hamster health issues so that the hamster can live a happy life.
There is no guarantee against health problems, but it does help if a hamster is fed correctly, kept in a clean environment, given veterinary care as needed, and given a lot of love!
If you want more helpful advice on looking after your hamster, including tips on food, toys, accessories and accommodation, add a comment below to let us know!
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