If you own a hamster, then you know how cute these little critters can be. I remember when I was younger, I had a hamster that I absolutely love. I remember that one of the common questions my parents but ask at the vet is how long after can live without food or water.
If you are in the same boat, then you might be thinking about leaving home for a few days. How much food do you have to provide your hamster? Is your hamster going to be okay? There are a few key points that you should keep in mind.
About Three to Four Days
A hamster can live for about 3 to 4 days without eating or drinking water. Therefore, if your hamster has something to eat on Thursday, and he or she should still be fine if you are planning on leaving town for a long weekend. The long answer is that the answer to this question is a bit more complicated.
The Consequences Are Serious
In general, you should never let your hamster go for more than a few days without food or water. Therefore, if you are planning a summer beach vacation that is going to last a week, then you need to make sure that your hamster has proper care. If your hamster goes for a long time without food or water, then he or she can develop serious health problems.
In reality, how long your hamster is going to be able to last without food or water depends on several factors. Some of the factors that will influence how long your hamster can go without nutrition include his or her age, how well he or she has been taken care of, whether or not your hamster is healthy, and even the temperature of the room.
While it is important for you to keep these factors in mind, it is also important to take a look at some of the things that you can do to make your hamster’s life just a little bit easier.
How Long can a Hamster Live Without Food?
When I was younger, I had a hamster named Fluffy. Fluffy taught me a lot about not just how to take care of a hamster but also have to take care of pets in general. One of the things that always seem to frustrate me is that Fluffy would always hoard a lot of stuff in his house.
As a result, this stuff would block my view of him. When I wanted to show him off to my friends, he would always hide. Later, I found out that Fluffy was a hoarder.
Our vet informed us that this behavior is not unusual for a hamster. This also caused a lot of problems when we were feeding him. For example, our pet hamster would always hoard a lot of his food in his house. Therefore, it would look like he ate everything. In reality, he had a nice stash in his hideout.
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The reality is that hamsters attempt to hide food in the event of an apocalypse. At the same time, it is important to note that the stash is not going to last them any longer than a day or two.
Therefore, if you are thinking that this stash is going to get your hamster through a long winter without feeding him when you head to the Sunshine State, you are going to be in for a rude awakening when you return.
Furthermore, you also need to think about what kind of food you are giving your hamster. For example, we always gave our hamster a lot of pellets and grants.
On occasion, we would also give our hamster some chicken, eggs, vegetables, and even grapes. It is important to provide your hamster with a varied diet because this will provide him or her with the nutrients that he or she needs.
Therefore, if your hamster has a stash that is mostly grains and seeds, then this is going to last your hamster a few days. On the other hand, if your hamster’s stash is made up of different foods, this might influence how long he or she can last before he or she is fed again.
What About Water?
If you are wondering how long a hamster can live without water, this question is a bit harder to answer. In general, a hamster requires about 10 mL of water, which is a third of an ounce, per 100 grams of body weight per day. For example, Fluffy was a full-grown Syrian hamster.
He weighed about 170 grams. Therefore, he needed 17 mL of water per day. There is a good chance that you do not know the weight of your hamster off the top of your head. Therefore, it is a good idea to make sure that your hamster has a full water bottle when you leave.
Based on the size of most hamster water bottles, a full bottle is going to last a typical hamster for about two to three brains. In addition, a hamster’s diet is also going to impact how long he or she can go without water.
For example, if you feed your hamster a lot of fruits and vegetables, these foods are actually mostly water anyway. Therefore, a diet that is filled with fruits and vegetables could last for him or her for about a week.
Leaving a Hamster Alone for a Few Days
If you are thinking about leaving your hamster alone for a few days, then you need to make sure that you leave your hamster a mixture of dry and wet food. Furthermore, you should make sure that your hamster is left with a full water bottle as well.
A few good examples include grains, pellets, a few leaves of lettuce, maybe a piece of cucumber, and a fully filled water bottle. Furthermore, think about the number of hours that you are leaving your hamster alone. For example, if you are leaving Friday evening until Sunday evening, this is a full 48 hours.
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In addition, you need to think about the temperature of the room and what you are leaving your hamster to eat. If your hamster is a fully grown adult who is otherwise healthy, then make sure the room has a constant temperature that is not too humid and not too dry.
In general, a weekend trip means that your hamster should be fine with a single serving of pellets and a fully filled water bottle. Remember that your hamster is going to order some food in his or her house, so he or she should have a nice supply already.
On the other hand, if you are going to be gone for more than just the weekend, then you need to make additional plans. Measure the water bottle closely and make sure that your hamster is going to have enough water in his bottle.
Hamsters are not going to be able to hoard water the way they hoard food. In addition, you also need to switch the diet of mostly dry food, as this tends to pack more calories.
In general, about two to three teaspoons of dry food per day are going to work well. Furthermore, think about including a dry biscuit. This is a larger chunk of food that is going to last your hamster for a longer period of time.
Finally, if you have some fruits and vegetables that are going to keep for a few days, think about tossing a few of them into the cage as well. Try to avoid cabbage.
It might also be helpful to go into the cage yourself and take a closer look at what your hamster already has. Even though it might look like there is a lot of fluff in the home, actually pick up the house and see what is present.
If you find that there is basically a second food bowl in the home, then you should be good to go. Keep in mind that it is always better to overestimate the amount of food your hamster is going to need them to underestimate it.
Some hamsters are prone to binging on their food while others only take what they need. Therefore, observe your friendly furball and learn his habits.
Keep in mind that there is nothing wrong with asking a neighbor to come in and see the hamster from time to time. If the decision is between that and cutting it close on the amount of food your hamster has available, that it is always better to ask someone else for help.
In general, is not that hard for someone to come in and fill up your hamster’s food bowl halfway through your vacation. Ensure that you have a back-up plan in place to make sure that your hamster is going to be okay if you are planning on leaving for an extended period of time.