Hamster facts

Hamsters are mammals that fall into the class of rodents, thesame family group as mice and┬árats. Rodent actually means “to gnaw” in Latin – so you can have a pretty good idea what hamsters are inclined to do. Rodents (hamsters included) all have incisor teeth which grow throughout their lives.

Here are some interesting questions and answers about these furry pocket pals, the hamster.

Q. How often do hamsters have babies?

A. A young female hamster is mature enough to breed at six or eight weeks of age. She has the shortest known gestation period of any mammal — sixteen days — and may have up to seventeen babies in a litter.

Q. How long do hamsters live?

A. Hamsters have very short life spans. Three or four years is about the maximum for hamsters, but most of them expire at about two years of age.

Q. What does the name ‘hamster’ mean?

A. The word ‘Hamster’ actually originates from a similar German word ‘Hamstern’ which literally means ‘to hoard’ – if you’ve seen hamsters and how they eat, you will notice that they have very prominent cheek pouches in which they will hoard their food.

Q. How many babies do hamsters have in a litter?

A. Hamsters can have up to 20 in one litter (although it’s usually between 5 and 10 but I believe the record is 26!).

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