How to Tell how Old Your Hamster Is?

Hamsters are one of the most popular pets and for good reason. They’re cute, cuddly, and easy to care for, but one big question always comes up when you bring home a new hamster: how old is it? 

Knowing how old your hamster is will help you know if it’s healthy enough to live out its full lifespan or if any special considerations need to be made. 

In this article, we’ll go over how long hamsters live on average and give some tips for determining which age category your fluffy friend falls into.

How to Tell How Old Your Hamster Is

Your hamster’s age can be determined by its size and physical appearance. Here are some tips on how to tell how old your hamster is:

1. Check the fur

The fur on a young hamster will be soft and silky in texture when it’s reaching over 1 year. As the animal ages, its coat will become rougher and coarser with each passing year.

The fur will also become less dense as time goes on, making it easier to see through the coat to determine if there are any injuries or abnormalities underneath it.

2. Looking at the ears

When a hamster reaches adulthood, its ears are more erect than they were when it was younger; they stand up straight instead of hanging down like they do when the animal is young.

3. Check the teeth

When it reaches 1 year of age, you should be able to see 2 little white teeth above each eye on either side of its face. At 2 years old, there will be 4 little teeth above each eye and by 3 years old, there will be 8 little teeth above each eye.

If there are only 2 little teeth above each eye when the hamster reaches 1 year old, then it is not a dwarf variety but rather a standard-sized Syrian hamster.

4. Watch the habits

The most obvious sign of aging is that your hamster will sleep more often. When they’re young, they’re active all day long, they run on their exercise wheel, explore new areas and even play with toys.

As hamster ages, though, it will sleep more and more often during the day. When it wakes up from its nap, it may be slower moving than when it was younger.

Signs Of Old Age In Hamsters

When hamsters reach the age of three, they are considered elderly. At this point, you should be on the lookout for signs of old age in hamsters. If your pet is showing any of these signs, it’s important that you contact your vet right away.

1. Lethargy

One of the first signs of old age in hamsters is lethargy. If your pet has always been active and lively but suddenly seems tired and sluggish, he may have grown too old for his age. This may mean that he is suffering from a medical condition and needs to see a doctor immediately.

2. Weight Loss And Weight Gain

Another sign of old age in hamsters is weight loss or weight gain, depending on how long they’ve been overweight or underweight respectively.

If they’ve always been thin or large but suddenly become thin or small again after being overweight or underweight for several years, they may be aging prematurely due to an underlying condition such as diabetes or heart disease.

3. Sleeping more than usual

Hamsters are nocturnal animals and sleep during the day. But if your hamster starts sleeping more than usual, it could be an indication of old age or illness.

4. Loss of appetite

As hamsters age, their appetite tends to decrease. Hamsters that are approaching old age may not want to eat at all.

Lifespan varies between two and five years, so when a hamster loses its appetite it is usually a sign that it’s nearing the end.

When a hamster stops eating, it will die within days or weeks. You should contact your vet as soon as possible if you notice this behavior.

5. Less grooming

A healthy young hamster will groom itself frequently and thoroughly, removing all loose fur from its body and cleaning its eyes, ears, mouth, and teeth.

As a hamster age, it will groom less often and spend more time sitting in its bedding instead of walking around the cage or running on its wheel.

6. Decline of vision and hearing

Hamsters naturally lose some of their sight and hearing as they age. This makes them more cautious about their environment and may cause them to be less social with humans as well.

How Long Do Hamsters Live

The answer to this question depends on the species of hamster, as well as its age.

The average lifespan of a Syrian hamster is 2-3 years, while dwarf hamsters live 3-4 years. The most common reason for death in hamsters is old age and natural causes, but they can also die from illnesses like diabetes and cancer.

Syrian Hamster Lifespan

The average lifespan of a Syrian hamster is 2-3 years, but they can live up to 5 years if properly cared for. This breed is much more susceptible to disease than other types of hamsters and often dies before it reaches its full life expectancy.

Dwarf Hamster Lifespan

The average lifespan of a dwarf hamster is 3-4 years, but they can live up to 5 years if properly cared for. Dwarf hamsters are less susceptible to disease than Syrians, but still need routine veterinary care to stay healthy and happy throughout their lives.


I think my experience with hamsters has enabled me to see how long a hamster lives, and I’ve seen that it’s pretty easy to get an idea of how old your pet is with a little research and common sense.

When you first get your hamster, it’s hard to keep track of his age. Even when you know a male from a female, it can be tricky to remember what to feed your hamsters.

However, as long as you use these methods for how to tell the age of a hamster, and have this handy guide on what their food should look like, you should have no trouble keeping an eye on your furry friend’s well-being.

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