Hamsters are a common pet for families, classrooms, and individuals. But, like any pet, getting a hamster should be thought about thoroughly. Making sure you know what your newest pet requires is essential: food, caging, and, importantly, the amount of water they need. It is crucial to know all of this before adding a new furry member to your household to give them the very best care.
How Much Water Does a Hamster Drink?
While the breed and size of the hamster are factors in their water intake, the average hamster drinks about ten to 30 milliliters of water a day.
What Are the Different Breeds of Hamsters?
There are about 20 different breeds of hamsters. However, there are three breeds of hamsters that you are more likely to encounter as pets. These are Syrian, Dwarf, and Chinese hamsters.
Hamsters vary in size, coloring, and the climates in which they are found. That means that the needs of your pet hamster, like its correct food amount or type of habitat, may be slightly different depending on which breed you own. It is important to know which breed of hamster you are adopting so that you are providing them with what they need to be happy and healthy.
Hamsters Domestication and Breeding
Hamsters were first recorded in the 18th century. The domestication and breeding of the Syrian hamster began in the late 1930s by Saul Adler and Israel Aharoni who were out matching descriptions of animals mentioned in the Torah to animals they discovered. When Adler realized that these hamsters could serve as lab animals for research, the breeding and domestication really took off.
The Syrian, or golden hamster is native to Syria and Turkey. The entire domesticated Syrian hamster population can be traced back to a single litter that was bred at the University of Jerusalem by Aharoni. While Syrian hamsters are fairly common, they are extremely rare in the wild.
Syrian Hamster Facts
- AKA golden hamsters
- Lifespan: Between 1 to 2 years
- Weight: 3.5 to 5.5 ounces
- Length: 6 to 8 inches
Dwarf hamsters live in the deserts of Central Asia. Dwarf hamsters can be skittish around humans and will try to hide, unlike other breeds of hamsters which are easier for humans to handle. Dwarf hamsters also like to live in groups and are happy when around hamsters of their own breed. However, they do not take well to being around other animals.
Dwarf Hamster Facts
- AKA Roborovski hamsters
- Lifespan: About 2 years
- Weight: 1 to 2 ounces
- Length: 2 inches
Chinese hamsters are found in the deserts of China and Mongolia. These hamsters were mainly used as lab animals but have become increasingly popular as domesticated pets.
Chinese Hamster Facts
- AKA striped or gray hamster
- Lifespan: About 2 years
- Weight: 1 to 1.5 ounces
- Length: 3 to 5 inches
What Do Hamsters Need?
While hamsters may seem like easy pets to have, there are some things that one should know about before getting a hamster. After all, hamsters—like any pets—have specific needs.
For example, you should know before you adopt a hamster that there are many crepuscular. This could mean increased noise and activity at night, or twilight, which may impact your household. Most pet experts suggest getting hamsters as pets for older children because of their evening/nighttime activeness.
What is a Hamster’s Habitat?
Hamsters enjoy tunneling, so it is important to provide your hamster with the biggest cage possible as well as appropriate bedding and nesting fluff. Hamsters need a lot of room to explore. Hamsters in the wild burrow and their dwellings are underground. For domesticated pet hamsters, purchasing tunnel systems will help them with their natural insect to burrow and explore.
What is a Hamster’s Diet?
Hamsters should be fed a mixture of hamster pellets and hamster-safe produce like carrots or spinach. It should be a 90/10 ratio with hamster food pellets making up 90 percent of their diet and other foods making up ten percent. Some fruits—like grapes—can be poisonous to hamsters, so it is important to make sure the ten percent of the other food you’re giving is safe for your hamster to eat.
What Can Hamsters Drink?
Fresh, filtered water should be available to your hamster at all times. Room temperature water is the best for hamsters. Within a hamster’s habitat, a valveless sipper water bottle is a great option to help your hamster reach their hydration needs for the day.
Is My Hamster Drinking Enough Water?
The amount of water that hamsters drink in a day does depend on the size of the hamster. A general rule is that a hamster should drink 10 to 30 milliliters of water per day, which is about one ounce at most.
If you are wondering if your hamster is drinking enough water for their size, there are a few ways you can go about determining its water intake. One way is to fill its water bottle up with fresh, filtered water and use a marker to indicate where the line is each day. You should also know the breed of your hamster and how much it weighs to determine how much water it should be drinking.
We used our Volume Convertor Calculator to figure out how much water hamsters drink in milliliters and ounces.
Does My Hamster Have Diabetes?
All hamsters can develop diabetes. Just like with humans, hamsters can have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Due to hamster inbreeding and other issues related to the breeding of hamsters, the Chinese hamster, for example, can have diabetes ranging from mild to severe.
One hamster diabetes symptom is related to the amount of water your hamster is drinking. If your hamster is drinking a lot of water—more than one ounce per day—this could be a warning sign that there is something going on with your hamster’s glucose levels.
How Much Water Do I Drink Compared to Hamsters?
As stated above, healthy hamsters only drink between 10 to 30 milliliters of water a day. Adult humans drink 2.7 to 3.7 liters of water every day. That is a huge difference between two types of mammals!
Before you adopt your newest pet, making sure that you’re able to provide your animal with what they need is crucial. Knowing the breed that the hamster is will help you give them the right kind of food, water, shelter, and care.
Now that you know what a hamster’s water intake is, are you wondering what your water intake should be? Check out our Daily Water Intake Calculator to find out!
Emily is a freelance writer and teacher. Originally from New York, Emily now lives and works in Europe.