How Long Can a Hamster Survive without Food and Water?

For a pet owner, the idea of leaving your hamster alone for a few days can be terrifying. But what happens if you have to leave town and there’s no one else who can look after them? 

What if you’re going away on holiday or taking a business trip? How long can I leave my hamster alone? 

While it used to be common practice to only let hamsters out of their cages for short periods of time, this is now considered dangerous, just like leaving a dog tied up in its yard all day.

There are many stories posted online showing people’s attempts to keep their hamsters alive without food or water. But how long can a hamster truly survive without food and water?

Hamsters can survive for about 3-5 days without food and water but it is not recommended to leave your hamster without food or water for more than 24 hours. 

The longer you leave your hamster without these two basic needs, the more likely it will be that your hamster will die from starvation or dehydration. You should always make sure there is enough fresh water available for your hamster at all times.

How Long Can a Hamster Go Without Food?

Your hamster will be fine for a week without food as long as it has access to water.

A hamster can last up to a week without food. They are very good at conserving energy, so they will not waste any energy trying to get more food when there is none available.

Although it is not recommended because it can cause health problems for your pet hamster. If you don’t have any food for your hamster at home and you’re unable to get anymore in time, contact your local veterinarian immediately so they can help you find a way to feed your hamster until you can get more food.

How Long Can A Hamster Go Without Water?

Hamsters can survive a few days up to 5 without water, but if you leave your hamster alone for too long, it can die. Dehydration is what causes this. If your hamster is dehydrated, it won’t be able to eat or drink.

Hamsters are able to live on the moisture in their food, so they have no need to drink while they eat regularly or if they have access to other sources of water (like puddles outside). 

If your pet does not have another source of moisture available, it’s important that you check in frequently with her so that she doesn’t dry out completely, otherwise, she may start drinking from her own urine. This is dangerous for both humans and animals alike.

How Long Can I Leave My Hamster Alone For?

As with most pets, if you’re planning on leaving your hamster alone for longer than a week or two then it’s best to find someone else who can look after them while you’re away.

Hamsters are very social creatures and need to be with their family members. They need a lot of attention and affection, so it is not easy for them to be left alone for long periods of time.

It is important to know how long you can leave your pet hamster alone before they become stressed out.

Leaving your hamster alone for too long can cause a lot of problems. Hamsters are very social animals and need to be around other hamsters to feel happy and healthy, so if you leave your hamster without food or water for more than 24 hours, this could lead to him becoming ill or even dying.

Therefore it is important that you make sure that your hamster has everything he needs at all times, including regular contact with other pets in the house.

How to Leave Food and Water for Your Hamster for A Few Days

If you can’t find a way to get your hamster out of its cage, then the next best thing is to leave food and water in the cage for several days.

  • Leave some small pieces of dry food that are soft enough for a hamster to eat without choking (peanut butter works well). Place them on top of the bedding in an area where they won’t get stepped on or spoiled by droppings from other pets.
  • Fill a bottle cap with water and put it inside the hamster’s cage so that it doesn’t tip over or spill when your pet tries to drink from it.

Signs that A Hamster Is Starving

If you’re worried your hamster is starving, here are some signs to watch out for:

  • Weight loss. If your hamster is losing weight, it could mean they aren’t getting enough food or water.
  • Hunger. Look at how interested in food the hamster seems to be when feeding time rolls around. A healthy, well-fed hamster will be excited and active about eating, whereas a hungry one will look lethargic and uninterested in food until it’s gone.
  • Dry skin and eyes. When a hamster isn’t receiving proper hydration from water or food intake (or both), its skin can become dry and scaly as its body tries to retain as much moisture as possible for internal processes like organ function or digestion—not for keeping itself clean or healthy looking. In addition to dryness on the outside of their bodies, inside organs like kidneys may begin functioning poorly due to dehydration; this can lead not only to urinary tract infections.

If your hamster is starving, it’s important to get them to a veterinarian right away. Your hamster may not be able to recover and could become ill from other health issues.

Tips to Encourage Eating and Drinking Again

  • Provide food and water in a separate container.
  • Leave the food and water where the hamster can get to it, as he/she will be more likely to eat if they can reach it easily.
  • Leave the food and water for at least 24 hours before removing it, or longer if possible (up to 72 hours).


In general, you should assume that a hamster will be able to survive at least two days before beginning to show any symptoms of starvation. 

Although living for a week without food is theoretically possible, it’s not likely that the hamster would fare well in captivity for an extended time. 

If you happen to have an ill or weak hamster and are worried about its long-term survival, consult with an experienced veterinarian.

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