It is easy to fall in love with one of the cutest pets you could possibly get – a hamster. They are easy to tend and highly irresistible you want to keep more than one. However, housing these little guys together with other breeds is quite tricky, and if not, impossible. If you’re here trying to find ways to keep more than one hamster under the same cage.
Hamsters are territorial animals who would prefer solitude and their own space, but not all. Some rodents, mice, rats, and some breed of hamsters welcomes being social and mostly live happily together in groups or pairs. But can hamsters live together in the same cage? Here are some things you should consider before you plunge into a relationship with this cute creature.
CAN HAMSTERS LIVE TOGETHER IN THE SAME CAGE
The simple answer is no. Hamsters can get really territorial and very dangerous to cohabit with other hamsters as they will likely kill each other. It is usual to see groups of hamsters seemingly living peacefully at cages in pet stores, but only when they are young. This is one of the most common mistakes that a new hamster owner makes.
Why can’t hamsters live together for a long time
Hamsters you catch sight of at pet stores are typically quite young. Even Syrian, the most notoriously territorial creature, can be kept together if they are below 6 weeks old. Their claws and teeth are not that sharp. They tend to sleep a lot, and at that very young age and most importantly, they can’t get pregnant.
ALSO READ: Accidental pregnancy guide
If you are placing two or more hamsters in one cage while they are under 6 weeks old, make sure you have a big cage for all of them to run around and exercise.
As they grow older, hamsters mature and become more dangerous to other hamsters. Also, one thing worth mentioning is that even though hamsters seem to be doing great at pet stores, that doesn’t mean there haven’t been or won’t be problems.
Pet store often sexed them wrong
Pet stores make mistakes about sexing (tell which one is a female and which one is a male) hamsters way too often. Pet stores have to separate hamsters according to their gender, so people can choose their hamsters easier. It’s also their way to make sure there is no accidental pregnancy.
However, pet shops don’t often keep hamsters that are old enough to get pregnant. Hence, they don’t really realise how often they make this mistake. The customer who thought they bought two females or two males and housed both hamsters in one cage ended up with a pregnant hamster without knowing one of the hamsters of the opposite sex.
This is one of the biggest reasons, first, why you shouldn’t get your hamster from a pet shop (rescue a hamster or from a certified breeder instead), and second why you should separate your hamsters even if you think they are the same sex.
AT WHAT AGE SHOULD YOU SEPARATE HAMSTERS
Hamsters nearing the age of 7 to 8 weeks old is the perfect time to separate them before severe fighting occurs. If you are still waiting for a new hamster cage for other hamsters, you can separate them by gender to avoid unplanned pregnancy.
IS YOUR HAMSTER HAVING A CAGE RAGE
Cage rage mostly affects Syrian hamsters, particularly in high-risk environments or unsustainable living environments. They do grow large too, which will require additional spaces more hamster owners have not realised. Cage rage behaviour can easily be mistaken for natural or lousy aggression.
But frenzied aggression, like guarding their cage to not let you open their door or an attempt to bite you without any reason, are some of its signs.
Cage rage can be stressful for hamster owners and for your critter friend’s wellbeing. This stress could take a toll and shorten their lifespan as well as develop severe health issues. So be sure you take notice of this kind of behaviour.
CAN I PLACE TWO SEPARATE CAGES NEXT TO EACH OTHER
Hamsters fight for some little reason, but the most common is their living quarters just too small. Sometimes it couldn’t even accommodate their own individual and territorial space. It’s one of the reasons why you can’t put more than one hamster in a single cage.
Consider moving your little friend to a bigger cage or separate them into another cage. You can quickly notice hamsters that need to be separated. They quarrel regularly.
It is best to house hamsters separately. But not advisable to put them next to each other without any escape-free cover. Stacking their cages would suffice, but be sure there’s enough airflow for the enclosure below the other.
Suppose you’re planning to keep several hamsters together while you wait for a new cage. It is best to be aware that despite your best efforts, you can’t guarantee hamsters would live together peacefully. Even hamsters you think to get along well will struggle to be friendly with one another in one cage sooner or later and might result in death.
We strongly do not recommend considering placing two or more hamsters in one cage. It’s not the safest nor the best for your hamsters and for you.
No matter how territorial hamsters are, it doesn’t mean humans shouldn’t handle them. Hamsters love cuddles, and it’s imperative to their health. Most of them love to be held and are known to fall asleep in the hands of their owners.
We hope that this article answered your questions if can hamsters live together in the same cage. If you have more tips on how how to safely separate hamsters, let us know in the comment section below.
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