Can dwarf hamsters live together?
So you’re in the pet store looking for a hamster to bring home but can’t decide between all the little beady eyes staring up at you. Why not keep a pair or three hamsters together?
Unfortunately, it is not always that easy. Not all hamsters are compatible, and mixing the wrong breeds can have disastrous results. We’ll go over the different types of hamsters that can live together and how to keep multiple hamsters in one cage below.
Is it possible to keep multiple dwarf hamsters?
The Campbell’s dwarf, Winter White, Roborovski, and Chinese hamster are the four main species of dwarf hamster. The great thing about dwarf hamsters is that they can coexist happily in small groups of their own species.
Keep groups of mixed dwarf hamster breeds apart as this can lead to aggression, territorial behavior, and fighting. One Winter White and one Roborovski, for example, is a no-no, but two Winter Whites will get along fine. Roborovskis are the smallest dwarf hamster species, which is why they are often kept in small groups (they take up less space in your cage!).
Can Syrian hamsters live together?
Syrians should be kept in their own cage, separate from other hamsters. Even keeping two Syrians in the same cage is risky and can only be accomplished while the hamsters are young.
Syrians become extremely territorial as they mature and will fight any other hamster perceived as a threat. Syrian hamsters should not be housed with dwarf hamsters.
How to keep multiple dwarf hamsters?
Having said that, dwarf hamsters can be successfully kept together, and it’s a lot of fun to watch a small group of hamsters interact. If you want to care for more than one hamster, read the tips below to set up your cage for success.
When dwarf hamsters are introduced together when they are young, they have a much better chance of living happily together in the long run. Hamsters from the same litter are your best bet, but they are not the only option; just make sure they are both under 4 months old when you introduce them.
If you buy dwarf hamsters from a pet store, choose hamsters that are already living in the same cage. You’re good to go if they’re young and already get along well!
Make plenty of room
When it comes to hamster cages, bigger is always better. If you intend to keep multiple dwarf hamsters together, make sure they have plenty of space to sleep, exercise, and play. If you’re looking for the best hamster cage, check out our in-depth guide on hamster cages.
Look out for battle squeaks!
When keeping multiple hamsters together, you may occasionally hear a squeak. Hamsters squeak to communicate with one another, which is completely normal (and pretty amusing to watch).
What you should be wary of are extremely loud squeaks or constant squeaks. This could imply a fight. Dwarf hamsters are generally friendly, but if a fight breaks it, it will not end well.
Some dwarf hamsters even enjoy fighting! They also squeak to alert their cagemates when they are being trampled. All of this can make it difficult to tell whether your pets are just having fun or if something more serious is going on.
If you start hearing some disturbing squeaks, go investigate. Any signs of fighting should be closely monitored, and if you notice injuries, separate the hamsters right away!
Everything comes in twos
Another great way to reduce hamster aggression is to stock your hamster cage with duplicates of everything. Some hamsters, for example, dislike sharing their food bowl, so keeping two food bowls in your cage can help reduce aggression during mealtime.
As an added precaution, provide two water bottles, two hamster wheels, and multiple nesting areas. When I’ve had to deal with hamster fighting in the past, this tactic has always worked well for me, so it’s definitely worth a shot.
(When housing multiple hamsters, I now begin with two of everything!)
Be prepared to seperate
Always have a backup plan in place. Nothing is worse than putting two angry hamsters in the same cage. The best thing you can do is keep a backup hamster cage (even if it’s just a cheap Amazon cage) tucked away in case you ever need it.
Separate them as soon as violent fights break out or you notice an injury that could have been caused by hamster warfare!
Whether you keep one hamster or a small group, this article should have helped you make a more informed decision. Following the tips above will put you on the best possible path to successfully keeping multiple hamsters together. If you have any specific questions, please leave them in the comments!
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