Hamsters make a great pet for anyone, regardless of their age. These animals are playful and full of energy. With their small size, they can live in a house or an apartment. Due to their size and cuteness, some people want to keep more than one hamster. This will depend on their breed, personality, and their living space.
In this article, we’ll go in-depth to find out if hamsters can live together in the same cage. If that’s what you’re looking for, keep reading.
Can Hamsters Live Together In The Same Cage?
When it comes to personality, hamsters are just like humans. Each has its personality and likes things differently. Some hamsters like to be the dominant ones and bully other hamsters around. Others are shy and like to be alone. Then there are others that are wild and playful and enjoy having a playmate in the cage.
The living space is another factor to determine if the hamsters can live together. Too small of space will cause the hamsters to get stressed. They might fight each other over food bowel, sleeping space, or just out of being stressed.
Hamster Breeds and Compatibility
When it comes to hamsters, there are many breeds, but they are mostly found in the wild. In captivity, there are only five types of them that are popular. Below are the hamster breeds and their compatibility with other breeds of hamsters:
This breed of hamster grows to about 4 inches in length and weighs between 30-45 grams as an adult.
Chinese hamsters have a coloring that is brown with a dark stripe down their spinal area with black and gray ticks and a white belly. Their long tail sets them apart from the other breeds which are easy to recognize. Most people say they look like a cross between a hamster and a mouse.
Compatibility – This breed is very playful and may end up fighting each other from time to time. They should be kept in pairs or groups of the same sex.
The Syrian hamster is the most popular breed kept in captivity. In most homes, these are the most common ones you’ll see.
This hamster is the largest and chunkiest of all the breeds. They can grow up to 6 inches in length and weigh up to 120g.
Their popularity is due to the many available colors. Syrian hamsters come in over 40 different colors.
They are great for all ages due to their friendly nature and easy handling.
Compatibility – This breed likes to be alone. In the wild, when they become an adult they will live their entire life in solitary, only meeting another to mate. In captivity, you should only keep one Syrian hamster in a cage.
Campbells Russian Dwarf Hamster
This is one of the smallest breeds of hamsters kept in captivity. They grow to about 3 inches in length and usually reaches 30 grams in weight as an adult.
Their appearance is usually in a variety of colors and has furry tails and feet.
Due to their small size, these breed of hamsters is nimble and quick. They may be a bit difficult to handle.
Compatibility – This breed is best kept in pairs or groups of the same sex. If there is a dominant one in the group, it may start bullying the others. You may need to remove the dominant one from the group.
Winter White Russian Dwarf Hamster
This breed of hamsters is very distinctive with their appearance. They are usually 4 inches and have a curved spine towards the rear that gives them a bullet-shaped body. Another feature that set them apart from other breed is the Roman nose.
Compatibility – Winter whites are social creatures by nature and enjoy being around other hamsters of the same kind. However, they can get along with other breeds as well, but you’ll need to keep an eye on them for the first couple of weeks.
These breeds should be introduced to each other at a young age and kept in pairs or the same sex group.
This breed is the smallest out of all the breeds kept in captivity. They will usually grow to just 2 3/4 inches or 69.85mm. Besides their small size, Roborovskis don’t have a tail.
Due to their small size, they can be difficult to handle. They are very active and quick.
Compatibility – This breed is very aggressive. If you’re going to keep them together, make sure they are the same sex. Always be on alert as they tend to fight with each other.
6 Tips To Keep Hamsters Together
Large Sized Housing
If there is more than one hamster in the cage, sooner or later they will start to get stressed. This is due to the limited space in the cage. Since they don’t have a lot of room to move around, they may fight each other.
For this reason, it’s important to get a cage that has plenty of room for all the hamsters to move around.
Keep Same-Sex Together
If you’re not planning to breed the hamsters, it’s a good idea to keep them together the same sex. Whether you have a pair or five hamsters, it’s best to keep the same sex together.
Hamsters are one of those animals that reproduce very quickly. If allowed, hamsters can breed every month! At each birth, you can expect between 5 to 12 hamster babies.
Unless you’re planning to sell the babies or have an additional cage to keep their offspring, it’s best to keep the same sex in the cage.
Provide Multiple Feeding Locations
Hamsters are one of those animals that seems to fight over everything when kept in a group. Therefore, when it comes to food, you should always have multiple food and water bowls for them.
There should be at least 1 bowl for every two hamsters. This way, it will give them an option to pick the bowl they want to wat. Also, if there is a more dominant hamster in the group, the less dominant ones can go elsewhere to eat.
When placing the food or water bowls, keep them far from each other. This way, while they are feeding, they won’t get cramped between each other.
Introduce Them When They Are Young
Hamsters that are introduced at a young age to each other tend to live well together throughout their lives.
Therefore, if you’re planning to keep multiples of hamster together as an adult, introduce them to each other starting no later than 7 weeks old. During this time, they will stay close to each other for comfort and protection. After 7 weeks or so, they will start wandering off from the group.
If you introduce them when they are a bit older, they may fight each other for the first couple of weeks. Hamsters are playful animals and their playing might turn serious, especially when they don’t know each other that well. Always be on alert for any fighting between them.
Keep Them Busy
Hamsters that are kept together will likely start fighting each other when they are bored. Hamsters are curious and playful animals.
Therefore, to prevent them from fighting one another, make sure to keep a lot of toys or build mazes to keep them busy. As long as they have something to play with or activities that require them to be active, they’ll less likely fight each other.
Observe Their Behavior
Hamsters can live happily together for many years if they are group together correctly. However, they can turn on each other for no obvious reason and it can become deadly too.
This means you need to always be on the lookout for any strange behavior. Some of the behavior to look for are:
- Always hiding
- They fight often
- Losing Weight
- Have scars on them
- Loss of appetite
By observing their behavior, you can keep them safe from each other and reduce the stress level. If there is a hamster that seems to cause too much trouble, it’s best to remove them to their cage.
How to Introduce Two Hamsters to the Same Cage
If you have adult hamsters that you want to live together, you’ll need to introduce them slowly first. Simply putting both in the same cage will cause stress in both of the hamsters. Sooner or later, they may start fighting each other for everything that’s in the cage.
To introduce two hamsters to the same cage, you’ll need 1 small cage and 1 large cage.
Here’s how to introduce them to the same cage:
- Place one hamster in the small cage. Then gently place the small cage into the larger one. The other hamster should be in the large cage.
- Allow the two hamsters to become accustomed to each other. Swap them each day so they don’t get too possessive of the territory. Do this for about a week.
- After a week, place both of the hamsters in the same cage and observe their behaviors.
If they get aggressive at each other, repeat the above process. After a couple of times, once they feel safe and no threats, they will start to become friendlier at each other.
Can Guinea Pigs and Hamsters Live Together?
You should never put a hamster and guinea pig together. Most breeds of hamsters are territorial and solitary animals. Due to their instinct, they will defend their burrow and foods against the guinea pigs.