8 Oldest Hamsters to Ever Live - Oldest.org (2022)

As a child, you probably have memories of being in a pet store or over a friend’s house and seeing a hamster wheel, or a hamster exercise ball. These can seem like such exciting pet accessories when you’re young – exciting enough that, at some point, they may have left you wanting a hamster of your own!

Research from 2012 shows that out of every 1,000 homes in the U.S., 887 have a hamster. That’s crazy! You probably had no idea that hamsters are so prevalent in U.S. households, yet they are – particularly because hamsters are small, affordable, and easy to keep.

With a lifespan of approximately 2-3 years, these little creatures aren’t known to live very long, but there have definitely been exceptions to the rule! Today, we’re exploring eight of the oldest hamsters ever to have lived. Let’s get started!

8. Minnie

Sex: Female
Age: 2 months old
Born: 2014
Still living: No (presumed)

8 Oldest Hamsters to Ever Live - Oldest.org (1)photo source: hamsterhideout.com

Minnie the hamster isn’t anything close to famous, but she kicks off our list at just two months old.

While most varieties of hamster reach maturity at 12 weeks, Syrian hamsters like Minnie mature in just 8 weeks’ time. For some hamsters, maturity means aggression; however, this little lady was as docile as can be! She enjoyed being petted and eating out of her owner’s hand.

Minnie’s owner posted about her on a hamster forum back in 2015, so it’s not very likely that she’s still alive at the age of 6…but let’s continue to see which hamsters have come close to living that many years!

Did You Know?

The word “hamster” comes from the German term, hamstern, meaning: “to hoard.” Makes sense, considering how much these little guys spend digging and burying!

7. Albino Syrian Hamster

Sex: Male
Age: 4 months
Born: 2020
Still living: No

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8 Oldest Hamsters to Ever Live - Oldest.org (2)photo source: hamsterhideout.com

At 4 months old, this unnamed albino male Syrian hamster kicked the bucket, despite his owner’s dedication and attention to his health. This is quite a young age for a hamster, and his death was unusual given the circumstances.

In a hamster’s lifespan, four months typically equates to 26 human years. This little guy was still a young adult when he passed! However, with proper care, most hamsters will make it beyond their first year of life.

Did You Know?

The Syrian hamster, such as the one referenced above, is the most popular hamster type to keep as a pet! They are also referred to as “teddy bear” hamsters, and are quite docile and receptive to human touch and attention.

6. Cinnamon

Sex: Female
Age: 1 year
Born: Unknown
Still living: Unknown

8 Oldest Hamsters to Ever Live - Oldest.org (3)photo source: avianandexoticvets.com

Cinnamon the hamster was one year old when she began experiencing loss of appetite and irregular bowel movements. Her owner took her to the vet, who discovered that Cinnamon had an abdominal growth that needed surgery.

After a successful operation, Cinnamon almost immediately returned to her normal self, munching on pieces of fruit and vegetables in the animal hospital. Her owner brought her home the following day, and it is assumed that the rest of Cinnamon’s story concludes with a happy ending!

Did You Know?

Small female rodents such as hamsters, gerbils, and mice tend to develop growths in their reproductive tracts. In light of this, spay procedures are more common than you’d think for these animals, and are recommended.

5. Poppy

Sex: Female
Age: 21 months
Born: 2010
Still living: No (presumed)

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8 Oldest Hamsters to Ever Live - Oldest.org (4)photo source: Unsplash

Poppy was a few months shy of her second birthday when her owner posted about her on a hamster discussion board, seeking advice regarding signs of aging. Despite her owner’s anxiety about her longevity, Poppy was overall happy and healthy when the post was published in 2010.

Other hamster owners commented that in old age, their hamsters tended to sleep more and slow down a bit as they moved – both of which don’t necessarily mean that a hamster is knocking on death’s door!

It’s hopeful that Poppy went on to live a bit longer after this 2010 post.

Did You Know?

A hamster’s teeth never stop growing, which is why chew toys and chew sticks are essential for proper dental health.

4. Senior Hamster (Unnamed)

Sex: Male
Age: 3.5 years (at the time)
Born: 2011
Still living: No (presumed)

8 Oldest Hamsters to Ever Live - Oldest.org (5)photo source: Unsplash

A hamster adopted in 2011 was still alive and thriving at three and a half years old!

The owner took in the hamster not knowing how old he was originally – prior to having him, the hamster had lived in an environment without proper care. Not expecting it to live for long upon adoption, the owner brought this little guy home and still had him at the time of posting.

The true age of this hamster was unknown, but he did presumably live much longer than the average hamster, based on the fact that he was grown when adopted and remained with his owner for over 3.5 years.

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Did You Know?

Hamsters have moods, which are very much influenced by their surroundings and environment. With lots of fresh bedding and cage accessories, a hamster is more likely to feel optimistic and happy.

3. Happy the Hamster

Sex: Male
Age: ~4 years
Born: ~2017
Still living: Possibly

8 Oldest Hamsters to Ever Live - Oldest.org (6)photo source: YouTube

Happy the Hamster is one of the oldest hamsters to have lived, and for good reason! His owner set him up in an impressively elaborate hamster mansion that allowed for plenty of space, exploration, digging, and exercise. At the time of posting, Happy was nearly four years old.

In this YouTube video, Happy is pictured having all kinds of stimulating adventures! He is presumed to be living, although it’s been several months since the video was uploaded. A lot can happen around the unusually old age of four for a hamster, but we hope Happy is alive and well!

Did You Know?

Hamsters love hideaways, nooks, and crannies where they can sleep and burrow. Providing these opportunities in their cage will give your hamster extra comfort!

2. Mo

Sex: Male
Age: 4 years (at the time)
Born: 2005
Still living: No

8 Oldest Hamsters to Ever Live - Oldest.org (7)photo source: YouTube

This thirsty hamster can’t stop gulping from his water bottle in this entertaining YouTube video!

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Mo the Teddy Bear Hamster was four years old at the time this video was posted in 2009 – but he definitely didn’t look his age! Fat, wide-eyed, and fluffy with fur, Mo couldn’t stop chugging water as his amused owner captured him drinking.

There is no other documentation of Mo, and he probably passed long ago, as it’s been 12 years since this video was uploaded. Still, at four years old, this little guy was on the verge of breaking a record as one of the oldest hamsters around!

Did You Know?

A well-rounded diet for a hamster can include fresh fruits and veggies, though these should be consumed in moderation alongside hamster food, such as pellets.

1. Oldest Hamster (Unnamed)

Sex: Unknown
Age: 4.5 years
Born: Unknown
Still living: No

8 Oldest Hamsters to Ever Live - Oldest.org (8)photo source: Unsplash

The oldest hamster on record to have ever lived made it to 4.5 years of age. His name is not recorded, but he is in the Guinness Book of World Records. He was owned by Karen Smeaton of Tyne & Wear, United Kingdom.

Of course, it’s somewhat likely that other hamsters have made it past the age of 4.5 years and were simply never documented – especially since the Guinness application is hundreds of dollars. Still, 4.5 years is impressive for a hamster, regardless of whether it’s the oldest ever or not!

Did You Know?

Hamsters are generally social creatures that enjoy having interactions with their “pet parent.” Letting them out of their cage to play (in an exercise ball or other means) can be a great experience for both hamster and owner!

FAQs

What is the oldest living hamster? ›

Have you ever wondered how old the oldest hamster is? The oldest hamster ever to live in captivity was 4.5 years old and lived in the UK. An old hamster age differs based on their type, e.g., some Dwarf Winter White Russian Hamster live only one year, while Chinese Hamsters have a life expectancy is up three years.

Can hamsters live 7 years? ›

Hamsters that live in homes as pets have an average life of 1.5 to 4 years, although there have been individuals that have lived up to 7 years. Generally, the smaller the species, the lower its life expectancy.

Can a hamster live for 3 years? ›

On average, hamsters live about 18-36 months, with the Syrian hamster breed more likely to live longer than dwarf varieties. Any hamster that is a year and a half old is considered elderly.

How old is a hamster in human years? ›

Therefore, the age correlation between hamster and human on the basis of their entire life span can be calculated as follows: (80 × 365) ÷ (3 × 365) = 26.7 human days = 1 hamster day; and 365 ÷ 26.7 = 13.67 hamster days = 1 human year.

Why do hamsters only last 2 years? ›

Why do hamsters have a short lifespan? Hamsters have such short lifespans due to the fact that they reach their “full” maturity quicker than most other animals.

Can hamsters live 10 years? ›

The average lifespan varies for each hamster breed. The longest lived hamster breed is the Roborovski Dwarf (up to 4 years), while the shortest is the Chinese Dwarf ( a little under 2 years). Of course, there are hamsters who can outlive the average, like cases of Syrian hammies living for 5-6 years in captivity.

Can hamster live for 20 years? ›

Will you have to commit to keeping your new furry friend for 15 to 20 years like other common pets, or only for a year or two? On average, pet hamsters live for 2-3 years. However, out of pet hamsters, the Roborovski hamster lives the longest, with a lifespan of up to 3.5 years.

Are hamsters smart? ›

Can Hamsters be Trained? People who own hamsters will not be surprised by this. They know that hamsters are smart. They learn to recognise their owners' voices, and will even respond to some commands.

Do hamsters smell? ›

Hamsters do not have a bad smell. They are actually very clean creatures that hate to be dirty and will clean themselves for as long as they are able. Hamster cages, however, are another subject entirely and are much more prone to stinking up the place than the hamster itself.

Can hamsters eat tomatoes? ›

Safely Feeding Tomatoes

Your hamster only needs a teaspoon full of fresh fruits and vegetables every day. A safe amount of tomato for your hamster should be no more than half a teaspoon's worth, and tomato should be a rare treat rather than a staple food in your hamster's regular diet.

Why is my hamster turning white? ›

The color-change occurs extent to which your hamster's coat might change during the short, light periods may vary from a few faded patches to a whitening of his entire coat. Lack of exposure to seasonal light cycles usually prevents this coat-color change in captivity. 4.

Is 2 old for a hamster? ›

Hamsters live on average for two to three years. As their thrifty existences peak, they'll exhibit many of the same signs of aging as their human owners. Thinning hair, decreased activity, loss of appetite and vision problems are among the indications that a pocket pet is in the midst of his golden years.

How can I tell my hamsters age? ›

When you get a hamster from a pet store, there is no reliable way to tell how old it is. Normally pet stores sell hamsters that are 1 to 2 months old, but some individuals may live on the shelf for much longer. The best you can do is guess their age based on their behavior and how they look.

How long do hamsters live as a pet? ›

Hamsters usually live for up to two years, although some may live for longer. Here are some top hamster facts: There are 24 species of hamster and they belong to the family Cricetidae. The Syrian, Russian Dwarf Campbell and Roborovski breeds are the most popular for pets.

Is two years old for a hamster? ›

A hamster, regardless of type, is considered old when he's close to his second birthday. He may live much longer than this, or might not even reach his second birthday.

Why do hamsters only live two years? ›

Why do hamsters have a short lifespan? Hamsters have such short lifespans due to the fact that they reach their “full” maturity quicker than most other animals. Most of us buy our hamsters from the pet store when they are around 6 weeks old.

How old do Syrian hamsters live? ›

Can a hamster eat bananas? ›

All kinds of hamsters can usually eat bananas as treats. A dwarf hamster is a tiny pet and is prone to imbalanced nutrition and diabetes. Banana can definitely be given as a treat. Your dwarf hamster can be given a serving size of a quarter teaspoon of banana only two times per week.

Do hamsters smell? ›

Hamsters do not have a bad smell. They are actually very clean creatures that hate to be dirty and will clean themselves for as long as they are able. Hamster cages, however, are another subject entirely and are much more prone to stinking up the place than the hamster itself.

Do hamsters like to be held? ›

They do not like to be held. They are more prone to bite if they are startled or woken from a deep sleep, or if your hands smell like another animal or food. Handle your hamster gently.

Why is my hamsters fur turning GREY? ›

The color-change occurs extent to which your hamster's coat might change during the short, light periods may vary from a few faded patches to a whitening of his entire coat. Lack of exposure to seasonal light cycles usually prevents this coat-color change in captivity. 4.

Why do hamsters get skinny? ›

If your new arrival is thin, it is possible that she was unintentionally food deprived while waiting patiently for you to adopt her. If she was housed with more aggressive females, she might not have been getting the nutrition she needed, or she may have been stressed and unable or unwilling to eat.

How can I tell my hamsters age? ›

When you get a hamster from a pet store, there is no reliable way to tell how old it is. Normally pet stores sell hamsters that are 1 to 2 months old, but some individuals may live on the shelf for much longer. The best you can do is guess their age based on their behavior and how they look.

Can hamsters eat tomatoes? ›

Safely Feeding Tomatoes

Your hamster only needs a teaspoon full of fresh fruits and vegetables every day. A safe amount of tomato for your hamster should be no more than half a teaspoon's worth, and tomato should be a rare treat rather than a staple food in your hamster's regular diet.

Why did my hamster bite me? ›

Biting is a defense mechanism. Hamsters bite because they're scared or feel threatened. It's actually a natural reaction, and stems from them being prey animals; they need a way to protect themselves.

Can hamsters eat carrots? ›

Can Hamsters Eat Carrots? Yes, but in moderation or just as an occasional treat because they are high in sugar.

Can 2 male hamsters live together? ›

They can live together – either two of the same sex as a pair and sometimes in same sex groups. Same sex pairs can fall out so it is important to keep an eye out for signs of bullying and have the possibility of separating them if needs be.

Can a hamster live 12 years? ›

The average lifespan varies for each hamster breed. The longest lived hamster breed is the Roborovski Dwarf (up to 4 years), while the shortest is the Chinese Dwarf ( a little under 2 years). Of course, there are hamsters who can outlive the average, like cases of Syrian hammies living for 5-6 years in captivity.

What is the shortest living hamster? ›

Chinese Dwarf hamsters have the shortest lifespan of under 2 years, whereas the Roborovski Dwarf has the longest lifespan as it lives up to 4 years. There are also certain hamsters like the Syrian hammies that for 5 to 6 years in captivity, but in general, have a lower lifespan.

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