Hamsters are great little pets that can be good for many different types of people. For the most part, hamsters are pretty low-maintenance pets.
They still require basic care, and you need to make sure that you’re ready for the commitment before purchasing one. Otherwise, it’d be better to wait until you are.
You might be worried about whether you’ll be home enough to tend to the hamster. Perhaps you work long hours, or you might even need to travel a bit for work.
How long can hamsters be left alone? Should you get a hamster if you’re not going to be home each day?
Continue reading to learn more about hamsters and how long they can safely be on their own. You’ll get some important tips that will help you to decide if buying a hamster is right for you.
How Long Can a Hamster Go Without Food?
It’s common for hamsters to survive for several days without food. In the wild, hamsters can be found in warm and dry areas such as deserts.
They like to live on the edge of deserts or in sand dune areas. Sometimes it’ll be hard for these little animals to find a lot of food to eat.
During times when it’s tough to scavenge food, hamsters will store food. They store food for a rainy day, and it allows them to survive for several days, even if they can’t find anything to scavenge.
These instincts still exist in pet hamsters. They’re known for hiding bits of food in their cages.
It’s common for hamsters to be able to survive for three or four days without being fed. However, it’s not wise to starve your hamster for this long.
Understand that hamsters can experience significant stress and might develop health issues if you don’t feed them normally. Technically, a hamster might survive for three or four days without food.
There isn’t a guarantee that the hamster will survive that long, though. Some hamsters might only live for two or three days without food, while others will be able to make it four days.
You don’t want to put your hamster in that type of position. So you need to ensure that you’re feeding it daily and giving it the right type of food.
How Long Can They Go Without Water?
Generally, it’ll take a hamster three or four days to die of dehydration. So it should stay alive for four days without water under ideal circumstances.
As you’d expect, it’s not recommended to put your hamster in such a bad spot. Hamsters that are forced to be alone without water can experience significant stress.
You’re supposed to give hamsters constant access to water. You don’t want them to get sick or dehydrated.
Even if the little pet can live for several days without water, that doesn’t mean that it’s safe. The hamster can have health complications due to dehydration.
So you’re not supposed to leave the hamster alone without water for any period of time. You should have water bottles attached to the cage that the hamster can easily use.
If you’re going to be out of town, it’s much better to ask a friend to feed your hamster and give it water. Otherwise, you might come home to a sick hamster.
The hamster could even die before the four-day mark has been reached. Much like the situation with the food mentioned above, there isn’t a guarantee that the hamster will survive for the full four days.
Can a Hamster Be Left Alone for a Week?
You can leave a hamster alone for a week so long as you set things up right. It’s imperative to ensure that the hamster will have enough food and water while you’re away.
Provide the hamster with an ample amount of food and water so it can stay healthy. Once you return, the hamster should be just fine if you set things up properly.
There are things you can do to ensure that the hamster will have access to the things that it needs. For example, you can set up a water bottle system that has a larger amount of water than usual.
Some people even buy automatic feeders that will drop food into the cage at specific intervals. You can automate the feeding process so the hamster doesn’t have to go without food.
Of course, it’d be a lot safer to have someone watch your hamster for you. You could just have a friend come by to check on it from time to time.
How Long Can They Be Left Alone Without Food or Water?
If you’re not going to take steps to provide the hamsters with food or water, they can only be left alone for a matter of days. It should be fine if you’re going to be gone for one or two nights.
The maximum length of time that you can leave hamsters alone without food or water is three or four days. Keep in mind that being gone for four days is likely going to be pushing it.
Hamsters should be able to survive without food and water for three or four days. However, some hamsters might have complications sooner than this.
It’s not recommended to leave hamsters alone for four days without food or water. You might be able to do this without killing a hamster, but it’s not safe.
To keep things safe, set up some type of system to feed your hamsters. Otherwise, consider reaching out to get the help of a friend.
Try Not to Leave Hamsters Alone for More Than Two Days
Being safe is better than taking risks. If you care about your pet hamsters, you won’t want them to come to harm.
It’s better to avoid leaving them alone for longer than two days. Hamsters should be able to be comfortably left alone for two days before you’ll start having to worry.
So if you need to go out of town for a work trip, you’ll want to ask for help if you’ll be gone for more than two days. It’s simply safer for the hamsters to ensure that their needs are being met.
You don’t want to come home and find out that your hamster has died or become seriously ill while you were away. Make good choices so your hamsters will thrive under your care.
Asking a Friend to Feed Your Hamster
Asking a friend to feed your hamster is always a good idea. You’ll likely feel more at ease if someone is there to look after your little pet.
When you plan to go on a little vacation, it’ll be best to enlist the help of someone that you trust. This person doesn’t necessarily have to stay at your house, but they can stop by once per day to check on your pets.
Give a trusted friend the key to your home so they can come to see how things are going daily. Instruct them on how to feed the hamsters and make sure they understand how to affix the water bottle to the cage.
If they understand how to care for hamsters, you might even want to ask them to do some minor spot cleaning in the hamster cage to keep things clean. This should make it so the hamsters will have a relatively safe and happy time while you’re away from home.
It’s understandable that you might not want to burden a friend or family member. However, it might be necessary when you plan to be away from the house for quite some time.
You can’t simply go on an exotic vacation for a week and expect the hamsters to be okay. As mentioned earlier, setting up automatic feeders might be an option, but it’s much safer to have a human looking after the hamsters.
Should You Buy Hamsters?
Hamsters are good pets that are relatively low-maintenance options. Many people will love owning hamsters, but they might not be practical for those who travel a lot.
If you travel a lot for business, it might not be wise to buy hamsters. You don’t want to burden a friend or family member with constantly having to watch your pets for you.
Hamsters can only be kept alone for so long. You generally don’t want to leave them alone for more than two days.
So keep this in mind and make the most practical decision based on your situation. You’ll be able to figure out what is the right thing to do.
Hamsters are pets that can survive for three or four days alone. They can go without food and water for this amount of time under ideal circumstances.
However, it’s not safe to put your hamsters in such a position. The hamsters could become stressed and get very sick.
You’re not supposed to leave hamsters alone for more than two days. Doing so is a bit too risky, and you don’t want your hamsters to come to harm.
Remember that you can still go on vacation if you own hamsters. You just need to be sure to set things up so the hamsters will be okay.
One option is to look into automatic hamster feeders and water dispensers. There are things you can buy that will allow you to give the hamster what they need even while you’re not there.
This might sound fine, but you would still likely feel better if you had someone to help look after the hamsters. Thus, it’s recommended to simply ask a friend for help.
Get a friend or family member to check on the hamsters while you’re gone. They can feed them, give them water, and generally make sure that everything is okay.
Make good decisions so your little pets will be safe while you’re away. If you’re worried that you will be gone all the time, hamsters might not be an ideal pet for you.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard. I also like photographing wild birds, especially birds of prey.