brooke asked in PetsRodents · 1 year ago

How long can a hamster live without food?

I left for 3.5 days (closer to 4) and I had a pet hamster and I just checked him to feed him now that I’m home and he has died. He was young (a year old at the most) so it wasn’t old age. I just feel like s*** because he hasn’t been fed in a few days and I feel like that’s what caused it. I have a big heart and little things like this get to me. Hate to think he suffered because of me. Anyways just curious if it would have been starvation (he was fed before I left of course), or something else. Tia :( this sounds silly but I can’t find a steady answer on google 

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  • 1 year ago

    If there was still food in the cage when you got home, he didnt starve to death. How old was he? Hamsters only live 2-3 years on average, depending on species. Sometimes they can get stressed to the point of dying also, just from changes in their environment. It could have been any number of things that killed your hamster, but starvation was most likely not it if you re saying he did still have some food. Even if he ate all the "good" stuff and left behind the stuff he didn t like, he would have eaten the stuff he didn t like before starving to death.

    Did the room get cold while you were gone? He could have gotten too cold. That doesn t make you a bad owner, it s just a mistake and make sure next time that you either give your next hamster lots of extra warm bedding or leave the heat on. Or if it s summer when you leave, make sure to give an extra water bottle and something ceramic and/or leave an air conditioner on for him so he doesn t overheat either.

    If you re concerned about food in the future, just dump a bunch extra before you go away. I always give enough food an water to last double the time I m going to be gone if I m going to be gone an extended time, just in case. When I was moving into my new house recently, I had to live in a motel that wouldn t allow hamsters for 2 weeks before I could move in, but my new job had started so I couldn t stay at my old house 2 hours away. I gave my hamster, Winston, enough food and water to last a full month. He was fat and happy when I finally was able to move him into the new house. It s all about planning.

    So whether it was your fault or not, take these steps in the future and other than things you can t control, like just stress or random heart attacks or disease, you shouldn t have a problem next time. Don t beat yourself up about it. Maybe you made a mistake, maybe you killed your hamster out of negligence. I don t know the details, I won t judge. It happened, it s done with, learn and move on. It s really sad, but it s not the end of the world.

  • Nathan
    Lv 4
    1 year ago

    You should of left LOTS of food in his cage before leaving. You caused him unnecessary suffering which is cruel. A hamster who does not want for just one day will start to shut down because they have a very fast metabolism, so he likely died within 1-2 days. I'm assuming from this that his cage also did not meet the minimum requirement of 80x50cm, or have an appropriate wheel that didn't arch his back (11" for Syrians and 8" for dwarfs) not would be have safe substrate with at least 6" to burrow in.

    What you did is animal abuse, even if it was not intentional, you should feel bad.

  • 1 year ago

    I don't know the exact amount of time but hamsters have high metabolisms and need a constant supply of food so I wouldn't be surprised if he starved to death. You really should have hired a pet sitter or left him with friends and family. You cant leave animals alone for that long.

  • 1 year ago

    They don’t need food. They can live off their own feces

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  • 1 year ago

    Yeah, that’ll kill them. If you get another pet, for the love of God, get a pet sitter! Don’t kill them because you don’t want to give twenty bucks to the neighbor kids or something.

  • 1 year ago

    In short, you intentionally let your hamster starve to death. Bravo. Do you want a round of applause?

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