Owning a pet hamster is an absolute treat. These cute, furry little creatures with their big round eyes are one of the best pets one could have. Friendly, fun, completely harmless-there are a ton of reasons why you might want to keep a hamster at home.
Some of us love hamsters so much that we want not one but two of them. This might seem like a good idea too. After all animals would like the company of each other, wouldn’t they? While most of us might believe that it is a great idea to keep hamsters together, we might also plan to keep them in the same cage.
But is keeping two hamsters in the same cage a good idea? Can hamsters truly co-exist in a healthy, happy way? Let’s find out how you can make the right decision when it comes to owning multiple hamsters.
Are Hamsters Social?
Of course, you must know that hamsters, by nature, are not extremely social animals. They love and appreciate the presence of their owners and are extremely docile towards humans. In fact, they can even form a bond with their owners over time.
But they are not extremely fond of fellow hamsters. This may come as a surprise to many potential owners. However, it is not strictly recommended against because multiple factors are involved in making the right decision.
The hamsters’ breed, age and gender also determine how likely they are to happily coexist with other hammies.
Understand Your Hamster Species
You must know that the final answer depends on your hamster species. Some hamster types are able to live together and share the space without any issues.
However, others simply cannot be kept in pairs or groups, and peaceful co-existence is not an option.
Let’s take a look at the broad categories of hamster species and how they can or cannot live in the same cage.
We have good news for loving owners of the little Dwarf hamsters. It is actually possible to keep multiple dwarf hamsters together without facing issues. This breed has a more sociable nature and quite like the presence of a fellow hamster when kept as a pair. Mixed sex or different sex both are good choices.
Dwarf hamsters living together as cagemates develop a bond for life. In fact, they get along so well and become so used to each other that it can be upsetting for them if they lose their cagemate. But for successful pairing, you can follow some tips and tricks.
You should introduce dwarf hamsters to each other when they are young. Around 2 months old is the right age for this. It is preferable to keep them together if they are from the same litter.
If they are not from the same litter, it’s a good idea to keep them in quarantine for 1-2 weeks. This is a useful tip to ensure none of them are ill or infectious before being introduced.
Start by giving them a separate habitat even when they are living together. If they show no signs of aggression in the first few weeks, a combined habitat can be given.
In order to avoid any quarrels between the animals, you should also have separate feeding areas for them.
When it comes to Syrian hamsters, who also happen to be direct descendants of wild hamsters- solitary living is best. This is because they are extremely territorial by nature. You can expect them to fight or get aggressive over their resources and living area.
Wait- this does not mean that Syrian hamsters are dangerous. They’re actually super friendly and social. It’s just that they are not the best kind of hammies to share a space together.
If you have a Syrian hamster or are planning to get one, you should know that they will be happier alone. Making them live together puts them into stress mode.
You might have seen them co-existing together at the pet store, but it does not indicate that they like it. In fact, they are known to be aggressive towards each other even when it’s a male and female in the same cage.
You should not even keep them near each other with separate cages, as they may exhibit aggression even then. Want to avoid any trouble? Keep only one Syrian hamster at a time.
Tips and Tricks for Keeping two Hamsters Together
When you have two pet hamsters living together, it requires double the care. You must keep a watchful eye on the pair, especially during the start. If they avoid eye-contact, look stressed, or it seems that their interactions are not normal- this may be a sign to separate them. You should especially examine their bodies and check for any bites.
As mentioned earlier, a larging living space is extremely important in promoting a healthy relationship and avoiding fights. Both of your pets should feel provided for, rather than having to fight for resources like food, water, playing area, exercise wheels, and so on.
Remember, that gender is extremely important. If you are not planning to breed your hamsters, make sure that both are of the same sex. Many people misidentify their pet’s gender, and some don’t even find out.
You should also be prepared for higher financial responsibilities when housing two hamsters together. Also, considering the dietary sensitivities that hamsters have- you have to take extra care about their intake and health.
Lastly, remember that a successful introduction can go a long way in building a healthy and positive relationship. If it does not seem to work out, then no matter which hamster breed you have, your best bet is to separate the two.
Although hamsters are not the most social animals, you can understand your pet’s nature, and with proper care, knowledge, and most importantly commitment, you can accommodate the two of them together.