Aging hamsters has recently become more of a frequent topic of mine. If you don’t know already, I have two male winter white dwarf hamsters named Chip and Doodle. I have had them both for about a year and a half old now. A hamster’s life span is about two to four years. This means that Chip and Doodle are beginning their senior years. I think this post will be helpful in recognizing aging in hamsters. When a hamster reaches their senior years, they are much more delicate and less active. They can also suffer from health problems, so we must monitor their activity to ensure our hamsters’ health.

Symptoms of aging hamsters

  • Second birthday- If your hamster is approaching their second birthday, like Chip and Doodle, they are beginning their senior years. Your hamster may live long after their second birthday, or they may not even reach it. All hamsters are different. They all have different genes, health issues, and personality. Just try to spend as much quality time with them as you can and show them that you love them.
  • Lack of energy/ more sleep– Like people, when a hamster gets older, they sleep more and more. They also have less energy and they desire less human interaction. However, lack of energy and increase in sleep can also be symptoms of sickness, so make sure you do your research and keep a watchful eye on your hamster’s behavior.
  • Bald spots and matted fur- When a hamster gets older, they become forgetful and don’t groom their fur as much. This results in matted and unkempt fur. As for bald spots, these are signs for unhealthiness and aging. They can mean sickness or that your hamster is simply growing old. Watch out for other odd activities to be sure of their health state.
  • Decreased appetite/ Weight loss- Elderly hamsters eat less, just like elderly people. They simply don’t need as much food for energy and growth. This also causes weight loss, which is not a big deal, but make sure to monitor their weight so your hamster doesn’t lose too much. However, hamsters experience appetite and weight fluctuations like any other mammal, so make sure it’s not a false alarm.
  • Dental problems- When hamsters age, their teeth become weaker and more brittle. This can cause teeth breakage and pain during eating. If their appetite dramatically decreases, make sure to soften their food to see if their teeth is the problem, not their appetite.
  • Less desired human interaction- When a hamster gets older, they are more fragile and more grumpy. They won’t want as much interaction as they used to. This is normal and nothing to worry about. Just make sure you don’t anger your hamster by waking them when they are sleeping. Play with them on their terms and they will be much happier.
  • More cleaning to do- Younger hamsters usually keep their cage relatively clean by keeping their waste in a few designated spots. When they get older, this skill is less often applied due to their lack of energy and a decreased memory.

Caring for your senior hamster

  • Soften their food- As I discussed before, senior hamsters have more fragile teeth and softening their food can make eating much easier. When hamsters experience dental problems, they won;t want to eat hard food, so soften their food to make them eat more to avoid any nutrition deficiency related health issues.
  • Don’t cease to play- there is a fine line between giving them space and neglecting them. While seniors do desire less human interaction, they still need some enrichment. If your hamster never liked interaction before, then don’t worry about this, but if your hamster did, don’t deprive them of it.
  • Keep them comfy- There are many aspects of comfort. Make sure the temperature of the cage is reasonable by keeping a thermometer near/in the cage (keep it out of reach of the hamster). Also, take care to add enough bedding for them to dig burrows and build underground nests. This will give them something to do, keep them warm, and keep them comfortable.

No matter how hard we try to keep them safe and healthy, our hamsters will eventually get old and someday pass away. The best we can do is give them a happy life and keep them comfortable. I hope your hamster is happy and healthy.

Any questions? Please comment down below

Hi! My name is Hailey and I created this blog as a place for me to post my knowledge, advice, experiences, and interest.

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