One problem that people who keep hamsters as pets often report is that of the hamsters having a tendency to die rather easily. In this article, we explore the main reasons as to why hamsters die so easily.
Why do hamsters die so easily? In some cases, it is due to stress. There are also cases in which it is due to malnutrition. Various diseases to which hamsters are prone can also make them die rather easily as well as old age.
It can be quite heartbreaking for one to lose a hamster they had adopted hoping to live and bond with for long.
Sometimes, you find hamsters dying soon after brought home. So that is how you find someone asking, why did my hamster die in a week?
Or if the hamster died after 2 weeks, one still remains with the question, why do hamsters die so fast?
It can even get worse: like if one adopts several hamsters, and they all die within 2 weeks! So one is left wondering, why have all my hamsters died on the 2nd week?
For some people who attempt keeping hamsters as pets, the whole thing (of hamsters dying easily and fast) can become a trend.
One then remains with questions like, why do hamsters keep dying so easily and fast? Or why do hamsters always die after such a short while?
The key thing to understand is that the phenomenon of hamsters dying so easily is common. It is something that affects many people who try keeping hamsters as pets.
You therefore shouldn’t be too hard on yourself, if hamsters you had adopted died rather fast.
What Are The Causes Of Death In Hamsters?
There are many things that can cause death in hamsters.
Sometimes, hamsters die out of illnesses. Those include the likes of wet tail disease, pneumonia and even common colds which they are prone to.
Others are the likes of kidney disease, heart problems, diabetes and cancers.
At another level, we do sometimes find hamsters dying out of malnutrition.
There are also cases in which hamsters that have become too old die of what we refer to as ‘natural causes’.
Even stress can kill hamsters. How can hamsters die from stress, one may ask. And the answer is that the stress typically suppresses their immunity. Poor immunity then leads to their death.
Stress can also cause heart problems, which in turn (directly) cause the hamsters’ death.
Even unique forms of stress such as loneliness and being scared can kill hamsters. One may then ask, how can hamsters die from being scared? Or how can a hamster die of loneliness?
The answer is that factors like being scared and loneliness stress the hamster up. And that in turn suppresses the hamster’s immunity. Or it causes heart problems.
The suppressed immunity allows opportunistic infections. And those ultimately kill the hamsters. Or the heart problems (due to the stress) cause the hamster’s death directly.
Why Do Hamsters Die So Easily?
The trend in which hamsters seem to be extremely fragile, with a tendency to die easily, is well noted. It leads to just one core question: why do hamsters die easily?
As it turns out, there are several factors on account of which hamsters die so easily.
Often, the hamsters that we keep as pets have to live under very stressful and unnatural conditions. This often leads them to die quite easily.
Malnutrition is another thing that often makes the hamsters that we keep as pets to die easily. It is hard to provide a pet hamster with a diet that is a perfect replica of what it would be having in nature.
Sometimes, this causes the hamsters to die quite easily. It is a definite reason as to why your hamster may suddenly die.
Illnesses sometimes make hamsters die easily. Their bodies are small. Illnesses that, say, our human bodies would withstand with ease are often too big a deal for hamsters.
It doesn’t help that these being small ‘exotic’ pets, getting treatment for whatever they happen to suffer from isn’t always easy.
Thus even when we manage to diagnose what the hamster is suffering from, treatment isn’t always easy.
Yet another factor that at times makes hamsters die easily is old age. These are small pets, with short lifespans. Sometimes when you think that your hamster died fast, it simply turns out that the hamster had lived out its entire lifespan.
You remain wondering, why did my hamster die for no reason? Yet in actual fact, it is just a natural death, due to old age.
We now need to dig deeper, and explore each of these reasons for hamsters dying easily in turn.
Stress As A Reason For Hamsters Dying Easily
The conditions under which pet hamsters live are often quite stressful, and unnatural for them.
Living under such conditions often causes hamsters to die easily.
It is extremely hard – if not impossible – to replicate ‘natural conditions’ for a pet hamster. This is an animal that, in nature, would be living in underground burrows, coming out at night.
The sounds, sights and even smells that a pet hamster may have to deal with are overwhelming.
It is no wonder that often, hamsters in the wild outlive those in captivity. Those in captivity may be safer, but they have to endure lots of overwhelming stress.
If you research on what kills hamsters fast, you often find stress near the top of the list.
Malnutrition As A Reason For Hamsters Dying Easily?
People who keep hamsters as pets are often unable to provide them with proper nutrition.
The hamsters may not be getting enough food. Or the hamsters may be getting enough food, but which doesn’t have all nutrients they require.
This easily kills the hamsters.
After all, it is so hard to replicate a hamster’s natural wild diet in the domestic setting.
Thus while thinking on why do hamsters die so easily, this too is a consideration.
Illness As A Reason For Hamsters Dying Easily
There are many diseases that hamsters are prone to. Some of those are physiological conditions. Others are due to pathogens.
Hamsters may die from conditions like wet tail, pneumonia, colds, cancers, diabetes, heart conditions, kidney problems and so on.
The domestic setting is often quite stressful for a hamster. The stress sometimes affects the hamster’s immunity. And with poor immunity, the hamster dies from simple illnesses.
Sometimes, one just finds that their hamster died in sleep – due to a simple illness that was in turn caused by stress.
If you research on why do hamsters die so suddenly, you will always find illness in the list of causes.
One pertinent problem is in that hamsters are small exotic pets. Therefore getting vets who can diagnose their problems and treat them isn’t always easy.
Sometimes, a hamster may die from a condition that would otherwise be quite easily treatable for a bigger pet.
Old Age As A Reason For Hamsters Dying Easily
Once a hamster lives out its entire lifespan, it is likely to die of natural causes.
But for some people, the hamster’s entire lifespan goes too fast. So the owners are left with the impression that the hamster died inexplicably. Yet the actual reason may have been natural causes, due to old age.
The smallest (dwarf) hamsters have life expectancies as short as 18 months. So after 18 months, such a hamster may die ‘suddenly’. The death is natural, due to old age, but it can be rather hard to accept…
Sometimes, when you adopt a hamster, you don’t know its age. It may turn out to be a hamster that has lived out its lifespan, and is close to the end of it.
Thus if you were wondering, why do hamsters die so quickly, at times, it is simply due to their shorter natural lifespans.
How Do I Know If My Hamster Is Dead?
Whenever the subject of hamster death is under discussion, one question tends to come up. That is on how to tell if a hamster is actually dead.
It is not always easy to tell if a hamster is actually dead. Sometimes, you may find that the hamster died with eyes open. Or you simply find that the hamster died in sleep.
Hibernation can also be mistaken for death.
So we have to start by finding out, what do hamsters do when they’re about to die? In other words, how do hamsters die?
In most cases, when hamsters are dying, they become very lethargic. And they tend to lose the urge to eat or drink.
Once they are actually dead, they may become completely unresponsive. Their bodies then become rigid. And they feel very cold to the touch. In due course, their (now dead) bodies may start to stink.
While at it, one may wonder, do hamsters suffer when dying? And the answer is that it seems to depend on the cause of death. Some hamsters may have seemingly painful deaths, while others have seemingly peaceful deaths.
How Can You Prevent Hamsters Dying Easily?
Some of the factors that make hamsters die easily may not be within your control.
The best you can do is, for instance, keep them in a situation that is as stress-free as possible. Don’t, for instance, keep the hamster close to a cat or another potential predator.
Also keep the hamster in good temperature conditions. And provide it with toys, a running wheel and some sort of hide/burrow to be retreating into.
Provide adequate and balanced food.
Keep the hamster in hygienic conditions, to minimize disease-causing pathogens.
And try to find a vet who can handle small exotic pets like these hamsters. This way, when your hamster develops some sort of illness, there can be someone to possibly diagnose and treat it.
Final Verdict – Why Do Hamsters Die So Easily
In some cases, pet hamsters die easily due to being in stressful, unnatural conditions.
There are some other cases in which hamsters die due to malnutrition. They may not be getting enough food. Or they may be getting adequate food which is not nutritionally balanced.
Illnesses can also make hamsters die easily. And since their natural lifespans are short, they do sometimes appear to die ‘easily’ on account of this.
The best you can do, to get your hamster to live as well as possible, is to provide stress-free living conditions for it.
You also need to ensure that the hamster gets adequate, nutritionally balanced food.
And if possible, link up with a small exotic pets vet, who can be treating any routine illnesses your hamster develops. That way, the hamster may live to its full potential.