Last updated on January 22nd, 2023 at 06:46 pm
As hamsters get older, they require more care and attention.
They are no longer young and move much harder, sleep much more and become lethargic which is a normal process.
The older hamsters are, they require more care and attention, unlike young hamsters, they have more problems with teeth, cataracts, and other health problems.
However, we should take care of them and help them cope with old age more easily, help them with eating and other needs.
What are the signs of aging in hamsters?
As hamsters age, they decrease their activity more and more and this happens very quickly because they have a short life span.
Here are some signs by which you will notice that the hamster is already getting old:
- loss of the fur
- difficult movement
- dry skin
- overgrown teeth
- swelling of the joints
- they have no interest in exercising on the wheel
- loss of appetite
- deterioration of vision
- weight loss
As hamsters age, these signs will become more visible and it cannot be prevented, we can only help them as best we can for the rest of their lives.
Let’s read in more detail about some of the signs when hamsters are getting old.
Although other factors such as parasites and broken and overgrown teeth can also affect weight loss.
When older hamsters eat less, they will be more susceptible to diseases due to poor intake of nutrients in addition to weight.
Loss of senses
Hamsters are known to have naturally very poor eyesight and rely on their senses of smell and hearing to save their lives many times from predators.
With their senses, they find food and places to go. But when they are older they lose these senses and it is easy to see them hitting something when they move.
They can’t easily find food if it’s not in front of them because they can’t smell it like they did when they were young.
Loss of fur
In older hamsters, chronic kidney failure occurs, which causes fur loss. Apart from old age, loss of their fur can also be caused by diseases and genetic factors.
Other reasons for fur loss besides old age can be a lack of proteins and vitamins, especially vitamin B.
Therefore, older hamsters should be given food rich in these ingredients such as boiled eggs, cheese, vegetables, and fruits.
How long do hamsters live?
Hamsters that we keep at home live for about 2-3 years, although with proper nutrition, less stress, and a clean cage and environment, they can continue to live for another year.
The healthier the hamster, the longer it will live.
Here’s what the average lifespan of a hamster looks like:
|Syrian 2 to 2.5 years|
|Roborowski 3 to 3.5 years|
|Chinese 2 to 3 years|
|Hairless 6 months to 1 year|
|Winter White Russian Dwarf 1.5 to 2 years|
|Campbell’s Dwarf 2 years|
Hamsters do not live very long because their organs wear out quickly, which is their natural way of living.
They reproduce very often which wears their bodies down even more and they quickly age and die.
Apart from the biological process itself, other factors can cause short life such as:
- loud noise
- the temperature in his home
But when the hamsters get old there is nothing else to do but help them as best we can.
How to properly care for older hamsters?
As hamsters get older they will require more and more care and attention from us.
The hamster is nearing the end of its life and we need to help them have the best care, food, and attention we can.
So here are some tips on how to properly care for older hamsters.
A smaller cage
As hamsters get older, they will move less and less, so you need to make their cage smaller.
It will be more difficult for them to go from one end of the cage to the other, so a smaller cage will allow everything to be close to them.
However, do not reduce the cage too much, it should not be less than 450 quadrant inches.
Watch the temperature
Hamsters, whether young or old, need to have an optimal temperature in and around their cage.
Hamsters are best suited to a temperature of 65-75 F, anything more or less than these ranges can be dangerous and harmful to them.
Older hamsters, just like young ones, if they are cold or very hot, will get sick and may die faster.
That’s why you must pay attention to the temperature in the cage and around it, especially those who keep hamsters in a glass tank because it is always warmer than an ordinary cage.
Also do not allow direct sunlight to penetrate their cage, it will harm them more than it will help them.
A clean cage
The older the hamsters are, they should have a cleaner cage, because they have a greater chance of getting some bacteria and getting seriously ill.
It is very important to wipe down all objects in their cage, and you can change the bedding once a week.
Older hamsters will spend too much time resting and sleeping and leave a lot of pee and poop, which is a risk of infection and disease.
Older hamsters need more peace
Older hamsters cannot stand when there is a lot of noise and loud sounds around them, talking in a high tone, and so on.
Try to provide them with a calmer environment so that they can sleep and rest more easily, which will allow them to have enough energy for the next day.
It is not bad if you put the cage in a quieter room, where older hamsters can have comfort and silence.
Take the toys out of the cage
As hamsters get older they will be less able to run on the wheel and climb objects and other similar barriers.
It’s best to gradually remove items as your hamsters get older so they don’t get stressed if you remove them all at once.
When the hamsters get older, they don’t need to use the wheel and you can freely take it out because they can only get hurt if they still get on it.
The interior of the cage should be flat, without any blocks that will only bother the older hamsters, and in the end, they can get hurt.
Older hamsters that are slowly coming to the end of their lives deserve more attention.
Try to take them in your arms and show them that you love them because then oxytocin is released in them, which makes them feel nice and relaxed.
Of course, first, check if the hamster wants to be held in your hands because old hamsters sometimes refuse due to illness or something similar.
In any case, even if they don’t want you to hold them in your arms, talk to them quietly and relaxedly, however, this also affects their emotions and will improve their mood.
Older hamsters should be given healthy food such as vegetables and fruits, but sometimes you can also give them a favorite treat to make them feel good.
A healthy diet will give them strength so they can move better and increase their activity.
Give them light meals, such as oats, and make sure they have as varied a diet as possible.
What do old hamsters like to eat?
It shouldn’t surprise you if older hamsters don’t want to eat some of the foods they used to eat when they were younger.
As they get older, they become picky and don’t want to eat anything you offer them.
Soft food is a good choice that they will want to eat, here is what you can give them:
- boiled eggs
- baby puree
- cooked whole grain pasta
- boiled chicken without salt
However, soft food should only be part of the diet, because you should not neglect the pellets that should be part of the menu for hamsters.
What should older hamsters have in the cage?
Older hamsters should have certain changes in the cage so that it is comfortable and easier for them to spend their last days.
Take out the exercise wheel and put more wooden chew toys for older hamsters.
They will eat less and have big teeth, so wooden toys are desirable in their cage.
Do not put plastic toys so that they do not cause problems if they swallow them and get stuck in the digestive system.
Older hamsters need more soft bedding because they will spend more time sleeping and resting, for example, paper bedding will be comfortable and relaxed.
Don’t change the bedding very often because there won’t be as much need, they eat less and poop less, which means that you won’t need to change them as often.
When you change their bedding less, you will also protect them from the stress that all hamsters have when we change their bedding.
Also, reduce the thickness of the bedding because they won’t dig into it much.
Older hamsters should have easier access to food and water.
You can leave food in a dish for them or spread it around the cage a bit to make them move more to get to the food.
Also, put the water where it will be easiest for them to reach it and always change it so that it is clean and fresh.