10 Longest Living Hamster Species (Photos)

With a lifespan of approximately 2–3 years, these little creatures aren’t known to live very long, but there have been exceptions to the rule! In this article, we’re exploring the 10 longest living hamster species.

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

Hamsters are rodents. It’s been said that species with hamster-like features, now extinct, can be traced back millions of years.  Hamsters first evolved into existence around 15 million years ago.

Their distinguishing features from other rodents include their teeth and jaws. Body and skull sizes vary depending on the lifestyle of these ancient species.

Hamsters are cute little animals that make great pets. Research from 2012 shows that out of every 1,000 homes in the U.S., 887 have a hamster. That’s hilarious! 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.

Longest Living Hamster Species

10 Longest Living Hamster Species

Hamsters are not meant to live a long time. Most hamsters live between two and three years, but some live longer. Bigger hamsters tend to live longer than smaller ones.

 Evolution favored their ability to reproduce over their longevity. That’s why hamsters have small brains and can have many babies during their lifetime.

The idea is that they’ll leave many children behind to make up for the fact that they don’t have a long lifespan. In this article, I’m going to talk about different breeds of hamsters and their lifespan of hamsters. Let’s get started.

Here is a list of various hamsters and their lifespan

  • The Roborovski Hamster
  • The European Hamster
  • Syrian Dwarf Hamster
  • Teddy Bear Hamsters
  • Winter White Russian Dwarf
  • Chinese Hamster
  • Eversmann’s Hamster
  • Gansu Hamster
  • Mongolian Hamster
  • Turkish Hamster

1. The Roborovski Hamster

The Roborovski hamster (Phodopus roborovskii), also known as the desert hamster, Robo dwarf hamster, or simply dwarf hamster, is the smallest of three species of hamster in the genus Phodopus. They have a golden back and white underbelly and are native to the Gobi Desert, Mongolia, and China.

They usually have an average of 2 cm (0.8 in) at birth and 5 cm (2.0 in); their weight is 20g during adulthood. 

Roborovskis Hamster

Source: dwarfhamsterguide.com

Roborovskis have eyebrow-like white spots and lack any dorsal stripe (found on the other members of the genus Phodopus). The average lifespan for the Roborovski hamster is 3–4 years, though this is dependent on living conditions (extremes being four years in captivity and two in the wild).

Roborovskis are also known for their speed and have been said to run up to 6 miles a night.

2. The European Hamster

European Hamster

Source: Wikipedia

The European hamster, otherwise known as a Black-Bellied Hamster or Common Hamster, is known to live the longest with a lifespan in captivity of up to 8 years.  However, the European Hamster is not kept as a pet.  In terms of pet hamsters,  European hamsters.

They live a maximum of 5 years in laboratory conditions. However, in the great outdoors, they can live for up to 8 years!

3. Syrian Dwarf Hamster

Syrian hamsters (also known as the Golden hamster) are one of the most popular pet hamster breeds. They go by the name of Syrian hamsters because they originate from Syria and Turkey.

This is the most common domesticated hamster breed. They are golden brown and range from 4.9 to 6.9 inches in size. The life expectancy of a Syrian hamster in captivity is 3 to 4 years. In the wild, Syrian hamsters live for 2 to 3 years.

Syrian Dwarf Hamster

Source: independent.co.uk

Wild hamsters, including the Syrian species, are prey animals to large creatures like owls and foxes. Environmental factors such as extreme weather conditions and food shortages make them easily vulnerable to illnesses. These factors greatly reduce their chances of living long lives.

Syrian hamsters fare better in captivity than in the wild. They can live for around 3–4 years. As they are regularly provided with their daily needs, such as food and housing, pet Syrian hamsters can enjoy longer lives.

4. Teddy Bear Hamsters

We can’t help but love teddy bear hamsters; they have the cutest name out of all the hamster species. They are called teddy bear hamsters because of their large ears, small, dark eyes, and long hair.

They also have a pretty adorable tiny button nose. Teddy bear hamsters are also known as long-haired Syrian hamsters. Teddy bear hamsters are originally from Syria. Teddy bear hamsters live for 2 to 3 years.

Teddy Bear Hamster

Source: gippolythenic.in

5. Winter White Russian Dwarf

Winter White Russian Dwarf Also known as the Djungarian hamster, this hamster is native to Siberia, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan. It can live up to 2 years, and its length can vary between 3- and 4 inches.

They are known for their fur, which can be brownish-grey or bluish-grey during the summer but molts into a white coat in the winter.

Fine Pearl Winter White Russian Hamster

Source: Wikipedia

6. Chinese Hamster

Chinese Hamster is also known as the Rat Hamster, this hamster can live from 2 to 3 years. They are 3.9 to 4.7 inches in length, and they have a long thin build with a long tail.

Their fur is greyish brown and they have a dark stripe down their spine. They are native to Northern China and Mongolia.

Chinese Hamster

source: animalfunfacts.net

7. The Eversmann’s Hamster

The Eversmann’s Hamster is a mouse-like hamster, endemic to the central and northern parts of Kazakhstan as well as to the areas along the Volga and the Lena rivers in Russia. They can be found in the steppes and sometimes in the outskirts of agricultural areas.

The Eversmann’s Hamster is a bit bigger than the common house mouse: its body reaches 13 – 16 cm in length and the tail measures an additional 2–3 cm. The tail is thick and covered by soft fur. The legs are short. The back can be reddish, sandy yellow, or black and white.

The belly is always white, which makes a sharp contrast with the color of the upper body. The legs are also white. The coat is very soft, velvet-like to the touch. On the chest, there is a red or brown spot. The snout is sharpened, and the ears are small with rounded tips.

Eversmann’s Hamster

source: Biolibz.cz

Eversmann’s Hamsters are not aggressive, they bite very rarely. They are territorial and adult specimens will constantly fight with each other for what they consider to be their area.

They are active at dusk and at night. In October, they hibernate, though the hibernation is often interrupted. Hamsters that live in the southern part of the habitat may not hibernate at all. It has a life span of 2 to 3 years.

8. Gansu Hamster

The Gansu hamster (Cansumys canus) is a species of rodent in the family Cricetidae. It is the only species in the genus Cansumys.

Gansu Hamster

Source: Kidadl.com

They are adorable little hamsters with hoary gray fur on their body. They are mainly endemic to China but live in households as pets around the world.

The ones that live in the wild are arboreal. They are mainly found in deciduous forests around mountainous areas within some provinces in China.

Similar to most other species of hamsters, they also don’t like the company of other hamsters from their species or otherwise. It may cause them intense stress and long-term health issues, so don’t keep two of them in the same place if you have a pet Gansu hamster. Their lifespan is between 3 and 4 years.

9. Mongolian Hamster

The Mongolian Hamster (Allocricetulus curtatus) is a species of rodent in the Cricetidae family. It is found in China and Mongolia. They are known for eating vast quantities of rice and many consider them as pests.

The largest Mongolian Hamster ever recorded weighed over 25 kilograms and was given a Chinese nickname that roughly translates into English as “He who has no face”. It is a very clever and friendly rodent, which makes it the perfect pet both for young and old.

Mongolian Hamster

Source: Green Chapter

Mongolian hamsters are real social animals. You should keep more than one, or else they will start to feel lonely. Because of their curious character, they are very active during the day.

They are not cuddlers, but their active way of life is a real spectacle. Provide thick bedding, because they enjoy themselves when they are digging long tunnels.

The Mongolian hamster is wild and is not commonly kept as a pet. As of its current status, the Mongolian hamster is not endangered. They have a lifespan of 3 to 4 years.

10. Turkish Hamster

The Turkish hamster (Mesocricetus brandti), also referred to as Brandt’s hamster, Azerbaijani hamster, or avurtlak, is a species of hamster native to Turkey, Azerbaijan, and other surrounding nations.

Turkish Hamster

Source: Wikimedia

The Turkish hamster is a fairly close relative of the Syrian or golden hamster, though it is far less known about, and it is rarely kept as a pet. They are solitary, nocturnal animals that practice hibernation.

They are reported to be more aggressive than other members of the family Cricetidae. They mostly appear tan and dark, sandy brown. Like all hamsters, the Turkish hamster has cheek pouches that allow it to carry large amounts of food at one time. Turkish hamsters have lifespans of about 2 to 3 years


If you’re thinking about getting a new hamster, you’re probably wondering which species of hamster lives the longest, because hamsters, on the whole, don’t live that long when you compare them to other pets like cats and dogs. However, you can make your choice from the list of the discussed hamsters above, knowing their life expectancy and notable behaviors.


Environmental Consultant at Environment Go! | + posts

Ahamefula Ascension is a Real Estate Consultant, Data Analyst, and Content writer. He is the founder of Hope Ablaze Foundation and a Graduate of Environmental Management in one of the prestigious colleges in the country. He is obsessed with Reading, Research and Writing.

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