Revealed: Why hamsters die

Beloved family pets meet their maker through a variety of surprisingly grim afflictions, new study finds

Joe Sommerlad
Thursday 23 June 2022 18:10 BST
A pet hamster contemplating existence
A pet hamster contemplating existence (Royal Veterinary College)

Hamsters are among the most popular pets around the world, commonly given to children because they are cute, easy to care for, never outstay their welcome and offer valuable lessons in commitment and responsibility that prepare a family for taking on a larger, more demanding animal like a puppy or kitten.

These small rodents are perfectly content spending their days spinning in wheels or roaming through elaborate labyrinths of plastic tubing and seldom complain provided they are kept supplied with fresh sawdust, drinking water and seed mix.

However, until now, relatively little research has been done into the threats to their health and wellbeing, meaning their sudden death or diagnosis with a terminal illness by a vet can leave their impressionable young owners facing an upsetting shock.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in