why do hamsters die

Why Do Hamsters Die?

Hamsters are popular pets, particularly among children and families, but they don’t always live long. Understanding why hamsters die can help pet owners to best care for their furry friends.

Old Age

The most common cause of death in hamsters is simply old age – most species of hamsters only live between two and three years when they are kept in captivity. Preemptive efforts can help to keep your hamster healthy, such as making sure your hamster has a proper diet and a clean habitat.


Hamsters are very active pets, and unfortunately this exposes them to risk of injury. Common causes of injury include:

  • Squeezing – Hamsters are delicate and should never be handled too roughly.
  • Falls – Fleeing from predators is a Hamster’s primary defense, and this can lead to falls if their habitats are not properly secured.
  • Harmful objects – Hamsters like to chew, but this brings a risk of poisoning or choking on sharp or small objects.


There are a variety of illnesses which can cause a hamster’s health to decline. Common illnesses include respiratory infections, tumors, diabetes, neglected teeth, overgrown nails, and skin diseases. An important part of caring for your hamster is to watch its overall health, and to take it to the vet if any concerning symptoms arise.


Hamsters are amazing creatures and make for excellent pets, but unfortunately their life expectancy is short. By understanding the common causes of death in hamsters, pet owners can be better prepared to make sure their furry family member lives a long and happy life.

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