How Old Are Hamsters In Pet Stores?

Hamsters are a great choice as a pet. They are small, round, furry, and inquisitive. So we all rush to pet stores to buy these adorable creatures. But do you know how old are hamsters in pet stores?

Pet stores usually sell hamsters at a variety of ages. Typically, they are older enough to move to a new home without any issues. Those hamsters are able to leave their mothers and littermates. Keep on reading if you really want to own hamsters from a pet store.

How Old Are Hamsters In Pet Stores?

How Old Are Hamsters In Pet Stores

You will get different hamsters in pet stores at various ages depending on their species and the breeder’s practices. You must know the age of a hamster before bringing it home as a pet because age can impact its behavior and care requirements.

When purchasing a hamster from a pet store, they are generally sold at around 6 to 10 weeks old.

This age range is considered ideal for transitioning the hamster from their mother and siblings to its new home. At this stage, the hamsters are old enough to eat solids, have developed basic social skills, and can be handled without causing distress.

There are also younger than 6 weeks old in pet stores. However, waiting until the hamsters are a bit older is generally recommended before bringing them home.

Younger hamsters still be dependent on their mother for nutrition and socialization. So, this results in a more challenging and delicate transition process.

Some pet stores may also offer hamsters that are older than 12 weeks. They are more independent and better suited for immediate interaction, but they require additional time and patience to adapt to a new environment and bond with their new owner.

Since hamsters have a short lifespan, it won’t be worthwhile to buy hamsters at older age.

What Is The Average Age Of A Hamster When It Goes To Pet Stores?

how old are hamsters at pets at home

Hamsters typically arrive at pet stores when they are around 4 weeks old, which is the youngest age they are sent to be sold.

At this age, hamster pups are ready to leave their mothers, usually between 21 to 28 days old. After being separated from their mothers, they are placed into same-sex cages to prevent fighting and unwanted pregnancies as hamsters can reproduce as young as 4 to 6 weeks old.

Before being displayed for sale, hamsters spend a brief period acclimatizing to their new environment, away from their mothers and customers. Once they have settled in, usually by around 6 weeks old, they are ready to be placed on the shop floor for customers to see and purchase.

It’s common for pet stores to keep between 2 to 4 hamsters in the same cage while they are out for sale. Some are sold shortly after arriving at the store, while others may remain in the store for several weeks before finding a new home.

This is common with hamsters as tend to burrow into their bedding, making them less visible to customers. If store employees didn’t record the hamster’s exact age upon arrival, it can be easy to lose track of it over time.

However, pet stores typically follow rules regarding the minimum age at which hamsters can be sold, so you can generally expect your hamster to be between 6 and 12 weeks old when you bring it home.

Is It Good To Buy Hamsters From Pet Stores?

Mostly, we prefer to buy pets like hamsters from pet stores. However, there are potential advantages and disadvantages.

One advantage is the convenience. Pet stores typically have a variety of hamsters available, making it easy to find the specific breed or coloration that you’re looking for.

Also, pet store staff members are often knowledgeable about hamster care and can provide guidance and advice on how to properly care for your new pet.

There are some potential drawbacks too. One concern is the health and well-being of the animals.

Unfortunately, some pet stores have been known to obtain their animals from less reputable sources, such as puppy mills or large-scale breeders who prioritize quantity over quality. This can lead to health issues and genetic problems in the animals they sell.

Another consideration is the socialization of the hamster. Hamsters that are bred and raised in a pet store environment may not receive the same level of socialization and interaction as those bred by reputable breeders or adopted from animal shelters.

This can make it more challenging to bond with and train your new hamster.

If you do decide to purchase a hamster from a pet store, then research and choose a reputable pet store. Find a well-known pet store that is committed to animal welfare and only sources animals from reputable breeders.

Take the time to observe the health and behavior of the hamsters in the store before making a decision. Otherwise, you better consider adopting a hamster from a local animal shelter or rescue organization, where you can provide a loving home to a hamster in need.

How To Know The Age Of Hamsters?

Determining the age of your hamster isn’t as straightforward. They age rapidly and have relatively short lifespan, often less than three years.

This means that unless your hamster is at the very beginning or nearing the end of its life, estimating its age can be challenging. However, by observing certain clues indicating youthfulness or old age.

  • Look for physical signs

One way to determine the age of your hamster is by looking at physical signs. For example, younger hamsters tend to have smooth fur, bright eyes, and firm bodies. As they age, their fur may become dull, their eyes may appear cloudy, and they may develop a hunched posture.

  • Consider the size

Another indicator of age is the size of the hamster. Generally, younger hamsters will be smaller in size, while older hamsters may be larger and more robust.

  • Observe their behavior

The behavior of your hamster can also give you clues about their age. Younger hamsters tend to be more active and energetic, while older hamsters may be more sedentary and less inclined to explore their environment.

  • Look for dental changes

Hamsters’ teeth continue to grow throughout their lives, so examining their teeth can give you an idea of their age. Younger hamsters will have shorter and smoother teeth, while older hamsters may have longer and more worn-down teeth.

  • Observe Fur

Around the age of 1, a hamster is considered middle-aged. At this age, they have smooth and shiny fur all over the body. Middle-aged hamsters may experience thinning hair as they age, which can continue until their eventual passing.

If your hamster’s fur appears to maintain a steady length, it’s likely less than a year old or approaching its first birthday. However, if you notice its fur progressively thinning out over time, it’s a sign that your hamster is advancing in age and may be considered “over the hill.”


Pet stores sell hamsters at 6 to 10 weeks of age. If you are interested in a certain age hamster, it is always a good idea to ask the staff at the pet store what the specific age of their hamsters are.

This will allow you to make an good decision and choose a hamster that aligns with your preferences and expectations.

Leave a Comment