How Long Can a Hamster Live Without Food?

Hamsters are a pretty popular pet choice among kids and adults. If you’re the proud owner of a hammie – then it’s likely you’re always full of queries relating to its health.

One of the most common questions we always get by hamster owners is – how long can hamsters go without food?

It’s not that strange, because we know your schedule must take you away from home for various reasons.  If you’re worried about your pet’s welfare in your absence, don’t be.

Instead, take a moment to go through our hamster-comprehensive piece and learn all there is about ensuring your pet’s well-being while you’re away on your trip.

How Long Can a Hamster Go Without Food?

How long your hammie can survive without food depends on various factors, such as its health, diet, and even room temperature.

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But, for your convenience, we’re going to deal with each element separately, starting with food.

Hammies can survive up to three to four days without food, especially if their diet is super-filling and protein-rich.

Many hamster parents prefer to feed their pets top-quality pellets for this reason. Pellets are specifically formulated to provide your furry critter with all the essential nutrients it needs.

Additionally, you can supplement your pet’s diet by giving it pieces of vegetables and fruits to ensure their diet doesn’t lack for variety.

Hamsters are also notorious for hoarding their food, and they tend to store food where it’s easily accessible and where they feel safe and protected.

That’s why you find bits and pieces of hamster food stored away in different parts of the cage when you clean it.

However, any stash that your pet has tucked away is unlikely to last for more than two days.

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If you’re planning on taking a brief weekend trip and feed your pet just before you leave, its diet and stashing habits will be enough to tide it over till your return.

But, be sure to read the next section to be certain that your hammie will face no negative consequences from being left on its lonesome.

Other Details That Are Essential to a Hamster’s Survival

We’ve talked about how important food is to your hammies’ survival, but what other details – like a water source or pet’s eating habits? Here are some other aspects you should look into before leaving your pet on its own for a few days.

1. Water

When it comes to how much water your hamster should drink every day, a good rule of thumb is giving it 10 ml per 3.5 pounds. That means if your pet weighs around 7 pounds – that adds up to 20 ml of water per day.

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Hamsters can get water from food sources like fruits and vegetables, but pellets or dry grains aren’t brilliant as far as the water content is concerned.

If you’re thinking of leaving your hamster for a day or two, topping up its water tube to full should generally be safe for two days.

But that’s only if the water tube is adequately sized according to your pet’s daily water intake.

2. Your Pet’s Eating Habit

Some hamsters tend to eat more than others, just as it with humans. If your pet needs more sustenance per day, you’ll have to ensure you leave enough dry food to last it for at least three days.

Additionally, it’s also a good idea to leave your pet bits and pieces of fruit or vegetables, along with dry food because they provide a back-up water source.

3. Room Temperature

Most varieties of hamsters found in pet stores are of species that are desert dwellers – which means they like warmth.

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The room where your hamster cage is placed needs to be in the range of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure they don’t suffer from colds or other health problems.

Make sure you’ve got the means of regulating the room temperature of where your pet is housed before you leave on your trip.


You can leave your hamster without family or friend supervision if your trip lasts no more than two days. Even though hammies can go up to three days without food, leaving them alone for longer than that isn’t advisable.

For instance, you need to regularly clean your hamster’s cage and water tube to ensure it doesn’t suffer from wet tail. That’s why it’s best to ask a friend or family member to check in on your little critter if you’re going away for more than two days.

How long can a pet hamster live without eating? Check out our hamster tips here.

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