The hamster is a cheerful pet, you can get it at home and keep it in a cage. Hamsters are soft and fluffy, they are loved by children and adults, animals are not too capricious in care, and they are inexpensive. The only drawback is their short life.
As a rule, hamsters can live both in the wild and at home. However, the duration of their existence will be different.
In an apartment environment, a hamster can live longer than in the wild. In addition, the life cycle of a pet depends on the care and concern of the owner. Different breeds of hamsters have different life cycles.
- Syrian are large, they have good immunity, they live about 3-4 years.
- Djungarian hamsters have a body length of 11 centimeters. They are very sociable, but at the same time they are too sensitive to changes in conditions. For example, such animals can get stressed if they are moved out of the cage or another hamster is placed there. If a hamster of this breed lives in nature, then its life cycle will be 13 months, and at home, the baby will be able to live for about 3 years.
- Dwarf hamsters are small in weight, they are susceptible to various diseases. It is important for them to choose the right food. At home, “dwarfs” can live for about 2 years.
- Siberian hamsters look like Dzungarian ones. These are very active pets, whose life cycle is 3 years.
In wild nature
In the wild, the life cycle depends on the type of hamster – some live 2 years and some can live 7 years. In their natural habitat, these furry inhabitants are the least likely to live to old age, even if they lead an active lifestyle.
There are many predators, such as eagles or snakes that eat hamsters. First of all, cubs may die. But even older individuals are food for predatory animals and birds. For this reason, the average The duration of a hamster in the wild is about 1.5-2 years.
What determines the lifespan?
The life expectancy of a small pet is determined not only by its breed or species. Home hamsters are very important care, as well as proper nutrition.
It is essential to keep the cage clean. Remains of food that can spoil should be removed daily. For example, fruit or pieces of meat in the heat can slowly rot, which will lead to health problems. Also check the corners and piles where the hamster can store food for later.
The bottom of the dwelling should be well covered with filler. You can purchase corn or cellulose fillers. The pet needs constant care, every day you need to remove the wet filler and insert a fresh one. Animals are clean and can relieve themselves in one place. General cleaning and washing of the cage should be done 4 times in 30 days.
If you constantly carry out a general cleaning, then the hamster will begin a nervous breakdown.
You can provide your pet with a playground, labyrinths, tunnels. If the hamster wants to move around the apartment, then it needs to be walked in a walking ball. If there is no walking ball, then the hamster may be in danger: get stuck somewhere, be pinched by the door, fall, eat poisonous plants, be able to gnaw through the electric wire. Keep in mind that a runaway hamster is very difficult to catch.
Do not leave the animal to walk on high objects, such as a table or sofa. Some owners walk a hamster in nature, but an animal that has grown up at home can be under severe stress or get sick.
If you let your pet go for a walk in nature, then, of course, he will be in danger. There, predators such as a dog, a cat, a rat, a crow lie in wait for him. The pet will easily run away, but get lost. The environment is not suitable for a petsuch as wet, grass or hot sun will badly affect the animal.
There are always parasites on the ground and grasses that can infect a hamster.
Your pet needs a balanced diet that contains vitamins and minerals. Be sure to ask before buying what foods should be given to the animal.
You can feed walnuts and peanuts to your pet, but almonds should not be included in the diet, as the nut skin may contain harmful elements. It is not forbidden to give many vegetables, except for white cabbage. The additional additive is mineral stone, thanks to this, the animal can receive mineral elements. Also, the mineral stone helps the animal grind down its incisors.
In general, the main part of the diet is cereals. You can purchase special mixes at the pet store. In expensive formulations there are also vitamins. The pet can eat fruits and vegetables that need to be cut into small pieces. You can also give a large piece of vegetable so that the hamster grinds its teeth.
Boiled chicken breast, eggs, insects, low-fat cottage cheese, seeds, and nuts are fine for a hamster.
But it is not necessary to give the animal meat every day, it is enough to offer it 3 times a week. All products that deteriorate quickly must be removed from the hamster’s home after 7-9 hours so that the animal does not get poisoned.
Hamsters should also not be given citrus fruits, potatoes, exotic fruits.
If there is no doctor nearby, then the owner of the hamster needs to know the symptoms of diseases and their treatment. All processes inside the body of the animal pass quickly, so you need to study the rules in advance that will help the pet with the disease.
Diseases can be divided into two types: contagious and non-contagious. There are diseases that have similar symptoms.
First of all, the owner must understand what is happening with the hamster. If the animal is healthy, then it leads an active lifestyle and eats well. In healthy pets, the coat should be dry, thick, shiny and smooth, and the eyes should be clear and clean.
A sick hamster has the following symptoms:
- appetite is disturbed: the hamster completely or partially refuses food, selectively eats food, his thirst increases;
- saliva flows profusely – there is wet hair on the chin, neck, chest;
- the animal has diarrhea – the back half of the body has wet hair or traces of feces;
- in addition to diarrhea, there may be constipation – the stool is dry and hard or absent at all;
- eyes are watery or pus is released from them;
- breathing is difficult, mucus and wheezing are released from the nostrils;
- there are problems with the skin: the coat is dull in color, flaky, has bald spots, wounds;
- the hamster becomes lethargic, moves a little, constantly lies;
- the nervous system deteriorates – coordination is disturbed or convulsions appear;
- the body becomes swollen.
If there is any violation of the pet’s routine, then this will be a cause for concern and examination of the animal.
The owner will always be able to understand whether the pet is sick or not, because only he knows the habits and characteristics of his hamster.
Which breeds live the longest?
Breed and genetic predisposition can affect a hamster’s lifespan. If the pet had animals in its family that lived for a long time, then it is likely that this hamster will also live longer than its relatives. Before buying a pet, you need to find out about the pet’s pedigree, find out about the animal’s parents, their health, and diseases, if any. These signs will help you get a good animal that will live long.
Important! Long-lived hamsters are animals that are 3-4 years old. There were cases when the Syrian hamster could live 7 years. In the wild, animals can die in a year and a half, because they are not able to adapt to natural conditions, and become food for predatory animals. Syrian hamsters are large and may be confused with guinea pigs because of this. The average length of the animal is 14-16 centimeters, their weight is 111-126 grams. The animal has a golden yellow or reddish brown color.
Animals of this breed have a habit of keeping food in their cheek pouches. Due to this process, the cheeks may increase. Such pets have good immunity, they rarely get sick. In order for the animal to live longer, special conditions must be created for it.
- Other rodents cannot be settled inside the cage, because the Syrian hamster is considered the owner. He will defend his cage and quarrel with relatives.
- You need to put a wheel for running so that the hamster spends his energy. The animal is active and can run about 7 kilometers in one night.
Djungarian hamsters are very restless and mobile. For them, you need to purchase a wheel and tunnels. Animals of this breed can live for a long time both at home and in the wild. They should always be walked at home, as well as monitor their actions. Outwardly, Dzungarian hamsters look like mice. They have a length of about 11 centimeters, a mass of 41-66 grams. The color is brownish-grayish, and in winter – silvery-gray. The Dzungarian breed also has an innate thriftiness, so the animals collect and put all the supplies on their cheeks, even if they come across an inedible object (soap, thread, paper).
So that nothing happens to the hamster, he needs to allocate an area for walking. But before you let the animal out of its home, the apartment should be put in full order. Dzungarian hamsters are small in size, and for this reason alone they live less than Syrian hamsters. Their life expectancy is about 2-2.5 years.
But if properly maintained, the animal can live up to 3 years.
Siberian hamsters are similar to Dzungarian ones: they have almost the same size and proportions (length – about 11 centimeters, weight – about 26-51 grams). In addition, pets have a blackish-gray color and a brown stripe along the back. A characteristic feature is a change in color: in winter, the hamster acquires an almost snow-white tone. Animals are unpretentious and calm. The animal can do well in a cage and aquarium, it will not need a wheel. The Siberian pet leads a nocturnal lifestyle. He does not need cohabitation with relatives. Animals of this breed live up to 3 years.
Dwarf hamsters are 6-8 centimeters long and weigh about 51 grams. This breed has three varieties that differ in color:
- Campbell’s hamster – brown;
- Roborovsky’s pet has a golden-white belly;
- Taylor’s animal is grey.
The Surgut hamster is a dwarf. Small pets eat a lot, they even overeat, so they need to be looked after. They are mobile animals, and constant walks and space are important to them. Due to the fact that the animals are small in size, they can live for 2 years.
You can increase life expectancy if you provide comfort in the cage.
- The average dimensions at the base of the cage should be 32×72 centimeters.
- Inside the cage there should be a separate house where the animal can hide.
- You will definitely need a small bowl of sand so that the beast can clean its fur. Such a hygienic procedure is beneficial for the animal.
Let’s summarize the life expectancy of pets by reading a brief table.
Syrian decorative animals live the longest, as they are the most resistant to stress and external factors.
Pets like hamsters need good care, so it’s important to follow some helpful tips from zoologists.
For a hamster, you need to prepare a cage that is of medium size. The cage doesn’t have to be tall. Inside the pet’s home, you can put a wooden house. But the cage itself does not need to be made of wood, because the hamster can gnaw on its home.
A good solution would be to purchase a metal cage, but a dwelling made of copper is not recommended. Also, instead of a cage, you can take an unnecessary aquarium. Some owners also use a regular box, and to make the hamster feel comfortable, you can put scraps of fabric, soft paper or cardboard inside the box. Thus, the pet itself will be able to arrange a nest.
The standard sizes of a pet house are:
- height – 13 centimeters;
- width and length – 16 centimeters each.
You can not put a pet in a three-liter glass jar, as the animal will feel cramped and stuffy. Inside the house you need to install a wheel, the hamster needs it.
With the help of the wheel, the animal maintains its physical shape. If there is no daily run, then the pet will be drowsy.
The most difficult thing in keeping an animal is a toilet. To avoid smell, the bottom of the house must be retractable. At the bottom you need to put organic glass or plastic. With the help of a pull-out tray, you can quickly clean the debris and eliminate odors. Sprinkle sawdust from non-resinous wood species on the pallet.
Once a week you need to clean the hamster’s house. Once every 30 days, you need to disinfect the home with a 0.2% solution of bleach. The cage must be cleaned without disturbing the pet and its supplies. If you throw away supplies, then the animal will experience stress. The only exceptions are perishable products.
The hamster is an absolutely safe pet, it is quite possible to buy it for a child. Caring for and keeping an animal at home is easy. The main thing is to make timely care and provide a complete diet.
About how many hamsters live, see the next video.