Due to the fast pace of modern life, hamsters have become one of the most popular pets: they do not need to walk, undergo mandatory hygienic procedures like combing wool, and carefully consider the diet. Good-natured rodents are smart, friendly, unpretentious to the conditions of maintenance and care, therefore they are suitable for people who do not have the opportunity to devote a lot of time to the pet. At home, hamsters live on average 2-2.5 years. The life span is affected by the breed, genetic characteristics, and living conditions.
The rodent’s longevity is largely influenced by the breed and genetic predisposition. If the animal had long-livers in the family, it is likely that he will live longer than his relatives. If possible, it is advisable to familiarize yourself with the pedigree of the pet before acquiring it, find out about the health of its parents, and find out whether they died a natural death or due to illness.
Long-lived hamsters are considered individuals at the age of 3-4 years, although there have been recorded cases when animals of the Syrian breed survived to 7 years. In captivity, rodents die at the age of 1-1.5 years, because they are not adapted to the natural habitat and often become prey of predators.
Syrian hamsters are often confused with guinea pigs due to their relatively large size. The length of the rodent is on average 13-15 cm, weight 110-125 grams, color – golden yellow or reddish brown. The following types of breed are distinguished by the length of the coat:
- Angora (longhair);
- semi-Angora (with wool of medium length);
A distinctive feature of the Syrian hamster is the habit of storing food in large cheek pouches, due to which the cheeks grow to a disproportionate size to the body.
Representatives of this breed have excellent immunity and are less likely than others to suffer from their relatives. Syrian hamsters live 3-4 years, so they are considered centenarians. In order for a pet to please the owners with its presence for a long time, it is necessary to create certain living conditions for it:
- 1. Neighbor neighbors do not need to be put in a cage to the rodent, since he is a big owner and fiercely defends his territory, therefore, he will conflict with relatives.
- 2. It is advisable to install a running wheel so that the hamster has the opportunity to throw out his irrepressible energy. The animal is so active that it can run up to 7 km per night.
Externally, representatives of this breed resemble ordinary mice. Their length is about 10 cm, weight – 40-65 grams, brown-gray color in the winter changes to silver-gray. A pointed muzzle, small ears, thick hair on the legs, an expressive dark strip along the back – such a cute look of a miniature rodent captivates pet lovers.
Dzungarian hamsters are very active and mobile, therefore they need cage entertainment in the form of a wheel, tunnels. Unlike their domesticated relatives, they can survive in the natural environment and even at home need freedom. That is why they need to be more often released into the wild. take a walk. At the same time, you must carefully monitor the actions of the pet.
Possessing innate thrift, the hamster begins to collect and fold everything on his cheeks that come across in his way, including inedible objects like threads, pieces of paper or soap. In order to avoid an accident, it is recommended to allocate a territory for walking for the animal and restore order in the apartment before releasing the pet from the cage.
Dzungarian hamsters, because of their small size, live less than Syrian: on average 2-2.5 years, but under the right conditions they can live up to 3 years.
The Siberian hamster looks very much like a Dzungarian hamster: almost the same sizes and proportions (length about 10 cm, weight – 25-50 grams), black-gray color with a brown stripe along the back. The main difference is the change in color: in winter, the animal becomes almost snow-white. Not so long ago, breeders brought the original sapphire and pearl color, making the representatives of this breed more visible and individual.
The main advantage of Siberian hamsters is their calm temperament and unpretentiousness. The animal feels comfortable both in the cage and in the aquarium, does not need additional entertainment in the form of wheels and trainers. Such hamsters prefer to lead a nocturnal lifestyle and do not need to live together with their relatives. Their life expectancy is 3 years.
The length of dwarf hamsters is 5-7 cm, weight does not exceed 50 grams. There are 3 varieties of this breed that are easy to distinguish by color:
- browns – Campbell’s hamsters;
- golden with a white belly – Roborovsky hamsters;
- the gray ones are Taylor’s hamsters.
Miniature animals, despite their dimensions, are very voracious and prone to overeating, so you need to monitor their diet. They are much more mobile than their relatives and need constant walking and a large amount of space. Due to their small size, babies live about 2 years. The duration can be increased if you create the most comfortable living conditions:
- 1. The optimal size of the base of the cell is 30 to 70 cm.
- 2. A separate house in the cage of the hamster, where he can hide.
- 3. The presence in the cage of a small container of sand so that the animal can clean the fur at any time: a kind of bath for the necessary hygienic procedure.
If in captivity, rodents quickly die from the clutches of predators, then at home, their life span depends on the owner. Awareness of the issues of care, nutrition and maintenance will create the most comfortable environment for the pet to live.
Before you get a hamster, you need to pay attention to its appearance, so that by mistake you do not get already sick animals. The animal should be well-fed and mobile, with clean eyes, thick and shiny hair without bald patches. In order for the pet to quickly get used to the owner and adapt more easily to new conditions, it is advisable to acquire a baby aged 1-2.5 months.
In order for a pet to please its presence for a long time, it is necessary to adhere to the following rules:
- one. Security. There should not be dangerous and sharp objects near the cage and in places of walks, so that the animal does not hurt inadvertently. Optimal cell location: away from sunlight, drafts, bright light, loud sounds.
- 2. Health. Animals do not need to be bathed, as they can catch a cold. They clean their fur themselves. In the room where the hamster is located, no smoking. Although rodents do not drink much, there should always be a drinker in the cage with clean water.
- 3. Purity. It is necessary to clean the cage at least once a week. Use sawdust and shavings as litter. Vata and newspapers are unacceptable, since in the wool the animal can get tangled up in paws, and get poison from printing ink.
- four. Diet. The basis of the diet should be a special feed, which contains the necessary vitamins and minerals. It is necessary to supplement it with fresh vegetables and fruits, leaves and grass. Carefully ensure that the hamster does not overeat, as obesity leads to health problems.
- five. Care. Most hamsters prefer to live alone, but can not do without attention and care from the owner. So that the pet does not get bored and does not run wild, he needs to be picked up more often, play with him, show affection and care, since no living creature can live without attention.
Particular attention must be paid to the appearance and behavior of the pet. Any changes signal potential health problems. It is necessary to consult a veterinarian in cases where a hamster:
- lethargic and inactive;
- sleeps a lot;
- does not brush wool;
- does not wash after eating;
- lost his appetite;
- He doesn’t want to walk and does not leave the cage;
- breathing heavily.
Tarnished or falling out hair in combination with the above signs is a 100% guarantee that the animal is sick, so any delay can cost the animal life. Only a specialist can establish the cause of the disease and prescribe the correct treatment.