It could be the tiniest!
Lifespan. Dictated by many things but looked after a lot, it can be very different from animal to animal, and from breed to breed. For humans, the conditions can vary a lot because of our habitats, economics, health and many other variables.
For animals, it can be a little bit simpler. The environment, the presence of natural predators, the health and the access to food and water can be determinant in the lifespan of wild animals. But when it comes to domesticated pets, the variables change a lot and mostly in favor of a longer lifespan.
And for hamster, it is even weirder. Let’s find out which ones are the breeds of hamsters that can live longer and what hamster lives the longest overall time on Earth. The answer of those questions can be actually impressive (or not, depending of who is asking of course) because it can defy expectations.
What is the longest-living hamster?
You would think that, because hamsters are so tiny, they do not live very long. And you may be… a hundred percent right.
The normal average lifespan of all species of hamster is around the two to almost the three-year mark, quite low for most animals but pretty normal for any animal this size.
However, there are in the world some exceptions to this rule. So, what is the longest-living hamster in the world?
While there are some reports of a Syrian dwarf hamster reaching 6 years old, the oldest living hamster was in the United Kingdom and reach the impressive age (or rather short from other animals’ standards) of 4.5 years old. It lived in the town of Tyne and Wear and it was owned by Karen Smeaton. So, when someone asks what hamster lives the longest? This is the one to beat.
And while it does not look that impressive compared to other animals like goldfish, remember that for a rodent, life cycles are quite accelerated. And anything above the 2-year mark is quite an impressive lifespan achieved on that tiny world.
Also remember that, like most animals, when all the conditions that secure a healthy and longer lifespan are met, a hamster can live as long as those two little ones. It is not entirely unlikely to happen again, but it can difficult to get to happen again because of all the means and methods you need to accomplish for extending a hamster lifespan.
What species of hamster live longer?
There are many species of hamster around the world, but for the purpose of this post, let’s find out what species of hamster live longer.
Going to Russia, the Russian dwarf hamsters as well as the Russian winter white dwarf hamsters have very similar lifespans (and not just because they are from the same motherland, Russia. Right?) Both have a lifespan between the 1.3 years (or 15 months, depending on who you ask) and two years old. Quite impressive for a very tiny kind of hamster, it is in the name after all.
Next in line are the Siberian dwarf hamster, again originated from Russia, with a life spanning between 18 months (1.5 years) and 2 years old. Quite awesome for these hamsters adapted to that harsh environment.
Then we have Chinese dwarf hamsters and Syrian hamsters, which both kinds of hamsters can get between 2 to 3 years old of lifespan.
And finally, we have the tiniest of the bunch. The Roborovski dwarf hamsters. These little cute creatures can get an impressive 3 to 3.5 years of lifespan, even while being so tiny (and cute, like they are). A Robo hamster lives the longest amongst other hamsters.
What factors affect how long hamsters live?
In the life of hamsters, there are some factors that affect how long hamsters live. Some of the factors can’t be changed by you because are related to genetics. A longer living hamsters would give birth to (probably) longer living little hamsters, and that has to be something with genetics. Also, as mentioned before, selecting a longer living breed could help you with its lifespan.
Other factors can be just related in the way we treat them and we care for them. Diet, the habitat they are in, exercise, health and even how you handle the little things can determine by how long your hamsters can actually live.
If you want your hamster to live the longer, you can try to encourage exercise, making its habitat nice and squeaky clean, taking care of it and handling it with care, giving it a nice, balanced diet and keeping its overall health in check, with some visits to your trusted hamster specialist when you note some changes in behavior, in its physical condition and the presence of something abnormal in or out its body.
As related above, the average lifespans of many breeds of hamsters can go from as little as 15 months only to the overall amazing lifespan of 3.5 years. And, if you care and maintain your little pet the best way you can, you could probably go as high like the record-breaking hamster with more than 4 years old.
When it comes to lifespan, the hamsters do not have an amazingly long lifespan. It is impressive by small mammals’ standards, but it is not as long as many other ones. So, what hamster lives the longer then?
The minimum lifespan of a hamster can be as little as just 15 months and the longer it can go is about three and a half years. Some impressive hamster’s lifespan has even gone as far as 4 to 6 years, breaking Guinness World Records in the process.
To be able to have a hamster with a long lifespan, you need to make sure to provide it with a clean and hygienic place to be, a good, balanced diet, a very active and healthy lifestyle and if, for some reason your hamster gets sick, take the necessary means to provide with a fast recovery with the help of a professional and specialized hamster veterinarian.