Do hamsters enjoy company?
One of the most common mistakes new hamster owners make is deciding that their hamster requires company. Although hamsters enjoy company, they do not enjoy the company of other rodents. Once properly socialized, your hamster will thrive on the attention you give him. Hamsters, unlike gerbils and other rodents, should never be housed together. As a responsible owner, you must understand the risks and how to keep your hamster happy with your own affection.
Your hamster enjoys having you around. A hamster forms attachments with one to two people and thrives on their attention. Hamsters should be taken out on a regular basis to avoid boredom and to keep them tame. If you confine your hamster to a cage, he will be lonely and will not have much of a life. Hamsters are an excellent choice if you want a pet that will completely bond with you.
The importance of socialization
To establish a bond with your hamster, start by introducing your scent to the animal by holding your hand in the cage. Your hamster will crawl into your hand and eventually allow you to pick her up once she is used to your scent. When handling your hamster, never make sudden movements as this can frighten her and cause her to bite. When picking up the hamster, you should always be on her level so that you don’t appear to be a predator. Once she’s tame, interact with her every day to keep her socialized.
Company of other hamsters
You should never keep more than one hamster in a cage. Hamsters dislike the company of other hamsters. Hamsters have been known to engage in cannibalism as well as fight. Keep your hamster in his own cage for his own safety. If you want more than one hamster, keep them separate and away from each other.
Housing hamsters in groups
Not all species of hamster can be housed in groups, and Syrian and Chinese hamsters in particular aren’t naturally sociable and are better kept on their own. With the right care and conditions, Dwarf hamsters can be housed together. It’s important to make sure groups of hamsters are compatible because when hamsters get aggressive towards each other it can be very traumatic and lead to serious injury or even death.
Hamsters use odours including pheromones to communicate. For this reason:
- Don’t house unfamiliar hamsters next to one another, even in different cages, as they can find this stressful.
- Don’t house female hamsters near males, when they’re in season, they produce potent pheromones.
- Don’t house males near each other, they secrete pheromones to mark territory and this can be stressful for other males nearby.
Keeping hamsters with other pets
Hamsters can find the presence and scent of other animals in the home stressful, so make sure your other pets can’t get to your hamster and its cage. Keep a close eye on your hamster when they’re with another animal that could intentionally or unintentionally harm or frighten them, even if you think they’re good friends.
Rodents you can house in pairs
There are several species to choose from if you want a rodent that works well in pairs. Gerbils, guinea pigs, mice, and rats all do well in groups and even prefer the company of their own kind. In fact, mice prefer the company of their own species to human interaction. The advantage of choosing hamsters is the bond you will form. The benefit of rodents that do well in pairs is that they never get bored because they always have a friend to play with.
If you want more helpful advice on looking after your hamster, including tips on food, toys, accessories and accommodation, add a comment below to let us know!
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