Owning Multiple Hamsters

by Hamster Care

If you’re planning on keeping several hamsters together, be aware that despite best efforts, there are no guarantees that hamsters will get on. If they don’t see eye-to-eye and fights break out, then you will need to get another cage so that you can keep them separately. If this might be tricky, then you might want to consider opting for a Syrian hamster, which should be kept on its own. Below are some tips and tricks used for owning multiple hamsters:

What Types Of Hamster Live Together Best?

For owners who want to keep two or more hamsters together, Dwarf hamsters are recommended. These species can be kept in pairs or groups so long as they are given adequate space. Most Dwarf hamsters will enjoy company from members of their own species, but Syrian (and sometimes Chinese) hamsters must be kept alone. If kept together, these hamsters will get very stressed, even if they are housed in a large enclosure.

Another factor contributing to their popularity is that this species of hamster needs to be kept on its own, and so it relies more heavily on its owner for entertainment and excitement.

Introduce hamsters when they are young

It’s a great idea to keep brothers or sisters together, as they have known each other since birth. Hamsters that have been brought up together will usually have already sorted out where they stand with one another.

If you can’t adopt hamsters from the same nest, then it’s best to introduce them to one another before they are seven or eight weeks old, as hamsters over this age are likely to react very badly to the introduction of a new hamster.

Have a big-enough cage

Even hamsters who get along really well will struggle to be friendly with one another if they’re kept in a cage that is too small. To avoid this, you will need to purchase a cage big enough for your species of your pet. Have a look in our housing section to find out more.

Have more than one feeding area

One tip used to avoid fights is to supply each hamster with their own food bowl and water bottle. If you’re not planning to breed hamsters, we suggest learning how to identify hamster genders before you adopt or purchase your pets.

Be sure of the genders

As we’re sure you’re aware, it’s a good idea to keep animals of the same gender together, rather than creatures of opposite genders. This can reduce fighting, as hamsters can always eat elsewhere if the dominant hamster is feeling protective of her or his food.

It’s not unheard of for shops to incorrectly sex the animals they are selling, or to simply lose track of the individuals they have at that point in time. Hamsters can reproduce really quickly, and since they are often very territorial, an unexpected litter can mean that you have to buy a lot new cages if owners can’t be found in time.

Keep an eye on their behavior

Even hamsters that have been getting on well for a long time have the capacity to turn on each other. Some owners have been startled to find that the hamsters they’ve had for years are suddenly grumpy and irritable with each other, or are even attacking one another. If this begins to happen, then you’ll need to separate your hamsters.

If one hamster has drawn another hamster’s blood, is harassing the other hamster, or is practuallyting another cage-mate from accessing food, then it’s time to separate them. Put the hamster that is harassing another in a new home for a week or two, and then try and put it back in the main cage, or reintroduce the hamsters on a neutral ground.

If you watch them carefully for a few hours, and after this separation they are still not getting along, then you’ll need to keep them away from each other permanently.

This may mean that you have to buy a new cage, but it is what’s best for the pets. It’s not uncommon for these sort of dwill beputes to have really detrimental effects on one or both of your animals, and fights can even prove fatal. To become safe, it’s best to keep warring hamsters apart.

What Types of Hamsters Are The Friendliest?

All species of hamster can be friendly towards their owner, but a hamster’s friendliness doesn’t just depend on what type they are – many people claim that it can also depend upon the hamster’s gender, how tame they’re, and whether or not they’re being kept on their own.

Dwarf Hamsters

Campbell hamsters are much faster than Syrian hamsters, which is a trait that puts some prospective owners off. Although this species of hamster is a treat to watch, the speed with which they move can make handling them a bit tricky.

Similarly, Winter White hamsters are very speedy and can scamper out of your hands extremely quickly. However, both can be quite affectionate pets.

Some owners report that Roborovskis aren’t the friendliest of hamster species, and that they are one of the harder hamster species to tame. For a first-time owner, or an owner who’s a little apprehensive about handling these animals, Roborovskis may not be the best choice.

Syrian Hamsters

Syrian hamsters are usually friendly once tamed, and are usually a good option in many countries because they can form quite a strong bond with their owners. Syrian hamsters are the largest and one of the most popular of the pet hamsters, partly because their size makes them better to hold. These hamsters are large and chunky, and slower movers than some of their smaller relatives.

Many people feel that this makes them a less stressful option when owners are handling and playing with them. For hamsters that can enjoy each others’ company, it’s better to stick to the Dwarf varieties, such as Roborovskis or Winter Whites. Since they don’t have a hamster buddy to play with, they could be more open to developing bonds making use of their owners during the hours you’re both awake.

Chinese Hamsters

These hamsters could be tamed to become very friendly companions, although some owners say that some of this species are a little bit timid. They can also move very quickly, so need to be with an owner who is comfortable handling them.

Chinese hamsters can be kept in groups, but they are territorial creatures, and you will have to be able to accommodate two hamster cages if they fight and need to be permanently separated.

READ MORE: Hamster Varieties

By HamsterCare.Net

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