Hamsters are often misunderstood. Which results in either bad experience for first time owners or hamsters ended up hurt, abandoned, or worse, dead. One of the most common questions by beginner hamster owners is “why do hamsters fights?” right after “why hamsters bite?“.
In this article, we will list down the reasons why hamsters fight each other and solutions on how you can stop this to make sure no one will get hurt or get a long-lasting injury. Since hamsters are so tiny, we can barely see when they are hurt or when they are about to start a fight. It will take time until you get to know your hamsters and their behaviour, but remember, one fight can be very fatal and traumatic for any hamster.
For hamster owner, I can imagine how stressful and scary to see if your hamsters start to fight and hurting each other. So, let’s put stop in this dangerous behaviour and find out the reasons and solutions.
WHY DO HAMSTERS FIGHT
Here are the reasons why hamsters fight or quarrel with other hamsters:
Hamsters are territorial
Hamsters are very territorial creatures which many hamster owners, even the experienced ones didn’t know. This hamster fact is very vital to know and should be learnt by any responsible hamster owner.
What does it mean? It means no hamster should be living with another hamster. Each hamster loves spreading their scent, creating their nests, hiding their food – all of this are done to satisfy themself and to feel secure.
Having another hamster in the same cage digging in other hamster’s nest can cause a nasty fight. In simple words, hamsters are self-centred who like things the way they are and would fight anyone who enters their property.
They are getting older
Once a hamster reached 6 weeks old, they are already grown-up who doesn’t enjoy playing around with other hamsters. At this age, female hamsters are almost ready to get pregnant, which means their mother instinct will soon start to kick in.
Matured hamsters will start making their area tidy, digging nest, hoarding food, and most importantly, marking their territories.
This is why, at this age, hamsters should be separated regardless if they are siblings or in the same gender.
This is why at this age, hamsters should be separated regardless if they are siblings or in same gender.
Hamsters love being solitary
Human has high needs in companion, in our brain, it is ingrained that we must find our soul mates, so we don’t grow old alone. This is precisely the opposite for hamsters. Hamsters are strictly solitary meaning, they are born to be alone forever.
I totally understand if you would think that your hamster might get lonely because human have different evolution patterns. But don’t worry, for a hamster to be happy, it’s best if they live alone as long as they have a spacious cage, deep bedding, healthy food, lots of toys and chew toys, sand bath, water, and a playpen – they don’t need another hamster for a companion.
If you place another hamster in their cage, this will cause a huge fight. Hamsters are not like a human who can put names on their sleeping dens and hoarded food. Placing more than one hamster in one cage will cause a huge fight that will happen until you get them separate cages.
HOW TO SAY IF YOUR HAMSTERS ARE FIGHTING
Sometimes it’s hard to say if they are just playing around, but you can quickly see in your hamster’s face, and if you listen carefully, you can hear some hissing sounds. You can also see that they would start attacking each other, but the most common signs that your hamsters are fighting is chasing, biting, and when one is being cornered.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU SEE YOUR HAMSTERS FIGHTING
There’s only one thing you can do, and you must do it quickly. If your hamsters are fighting, separate them immediately. However, watch out as they can be very aggressive and might attack you instead.
Wear a thick pair of gloves and remove the other hamster and place them on either a playpen or box (make sure there’s enough ventilation.
Once there’s already a fight, it is vital to separate the hamsters entirely from now on. Hamsters are not like human whom you can give time outs to cool down. Hamsters are territorial and naturally aggressive towards other hamsters.
Hamsters fighting is a sign that it’s time to get them separate cages. If you don’t have one ready, you put a divider inside the enclosure that goes all the way up to the ceiling of the cage cover until the new cage arrives.
WHAT ELSE YOU CAN DO
Limit their interaction time
Make sure that there is almost zero interaction between these hamsters during the playpen time. Hamsters fight real hard that can result in injury or worse death. It’s advisable not to do a “check if they still hate each other”, that can get ugly real quick.
Put distance between cages
Now that both hamsters are in their separate cages if placing both cages side by side still stress each other, it’s best to put distance between the cages instead. Hamsters shouldn’t see or even smell each other.
Hamsters simply didn’t evolve to be around other hamsters because of their natural sense of being protective of their territory. They enjoy living alone and doesn’t get lonely to spend most of their life by themselves.
Forcing hamsters to live together in one cage is dangerous and can be very fatal. In simple words, hamsters don’t like sharing their cage, space, food, toys, or simply the presence of another hamster (who potentially steal their stuff) and resort in attacking this hamster once it crosses the boundaries with a goal – only one hamster can exist in this cage.
I hope this article answered your question of why hamsters fight and that we gave you useful solutions to this problem. If you have other tips that you want to add on this topic, let me know in the comment section below.