Can hamsters live together and share a cage? Some hamsters are perfectly happy sharing their cage, but others prefer living alone. So it’s important to learn about the type of hamster you have before introducing another one.
For instance, Syrian hamsters can become aggressive if they live together. They should only be kept on their own. But, dwarf hamsters are often fine living together, as long as they are the same species.
When I was little, I was told never to let two hamsters live together in the same cage. But let’s see how true that is.
What This Article Looks At
Since then, I discovered that some hamsters can actually get along just fine. Still, not every kind of hamster is made for roommates. So it’s important to know which is which so that you can keep your hamsters safe and happy
In today’s article, we’ll discover which hamsters can live together, and which should always be kept apart.
We’ll look at different types of hamsters because the answer to the “can hamsters share a cage?” depends on what kind of hamsters you have in your home
Additionally, we’ll look at whether males and females differ in their ability to get along.
One other thing we’ll consider if at different points in a hamster’s life, they are likely to change their preferences for cage sharing. Let’s start with the lovely Syrian hamster,
Can Syrian Hamsters Live Together?
The answer to this question is, I’m afraid, no. The grown-ups who told me to keep my hamsters separate when I was a child were right. Because my hamsters were Syrian hamsters
Syrian hamsters will usually attack another hamster very aggressively — with some exceptions
Obviously, a mother Syrian hamster will not normally attack her babies when they are small and dependent on her.
And a female Syrian hamster will let a male Syrian hamster approach her for a few hours every few days when she is willing to breed. But apart from that, these are animals that need to live alone.
Can Teddy Bear Hamsters Live Together?
Golden hamster or Teddy Bear hamster are alternative names for a Syrian hamster. In effect then, they are one and the same. So again, the answer is no. These animals should never be placed in the same cage or they may seriously harm one another.
It’s hard to believe that something so adorably cute as the cuddly golden hamster could be so unkind to other hamsters. But it’s not so simple.
The reason why the Teddy Bear hamster won’t share his cage goes back to his origins in the wild.
Hamsters originate from the desert where food and resources were low in quantity. As a result, these creatures have evolved to become very territorial and protective of their possessions. They’re pretty much willing to fight to the death for them.
So, fighting between two of these little pets does not mean that they are mean or vicious. Your hamster may be perfectly nice to people, and still, want to kill other hamsters! They’re just being themselves. Forcing two hamsters to live together is stressful for the animals and can actually shorten their lifespans.
There’s the answer to your question — can Teddy Bear hamsters live together?
Can Baby Syrian Hamsters Live Together?
Hamster babies from the same litter don’t start fighting immediately. Their instinct to fight develops as they grow and mature. That’s why you’ll often see young hamsters together in a pet shop — coexisting peacefully.
The fighting starts once they reach a few weeks of age. Unfortunately, it gets worse quite rapidly until they start to harm one another.
Plus, just because you don’t see much fighting in pet shops, it doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. For one, most hamsters fight mainly at night.
Can Guinea Pigs and Hamsters Live Together?
Now you’ve got the answer to “can hamsters share a cage?” So if Syrian hamsters won’t get along with other hamsters, what are they like with other pets?
Can your hamster perhaps share a cage with your guinea pig? Or your rabbit? Again, the answer is no! These little animals are territorial and solitary. So it is natural for them to defend their burrows and food sources against all other animals.
This is not a reflection of the way they interact with people who have raised them. But just because your hamster is tame with you, does not mean he will be tame with your guinea pig — he won’t! But can any two hamsters live together?
What Hamsters CAN Live Together?
Okay, so now we have determined that Syrian hamsters must not be allowed to share a cage with other animals, let’s look at different types of hamsters.
Is it true some hamsters can actually get along? Can some hamsters live in pairs? Let’s find out
Can Dwarf Hamsters Live Together?
Happily, the answer to this question is yes! With care, many dwarf hamsters can get along and share a cage.
But the “with care” part is important. You still need to take some precautions
For example, Dwarf hamsters sharing the same cage need to be the same species. Don’t mix one type of dwarf hamster in with a totally different type of dwarf hamster. It is also best if your two hamsters know one another and have grown up together — preferably littermates.
Older hamsters who have lived alone don’t always take kindly to being housed with a total stranger. Any more than you or I would be happy to share our bedroom with someone we never met before. So who can blame them?
How to Introduce Two Hamsters to the Same Cage
So you have two dwarf hamsters who’ve grown up together and want to keep them in the same cage. The first thing you should know is that the cage should be new to both hamsters. It shouldn’t be one that used to be home to one of the hamsters alone. And of course, these should be young hamsters.
- Place one hamster in a small cage and then place the small cage in a cage large enough for two hamsters. The other hamster you should place loose in the big cage.
- Then allow the hamsters some time to become accustomed to each other. It helps to swap them each day, so neither gets possessive of the territory, and they’re both safe too.
- After one week of non-aggressive behavior toward each other, you may let both into the big cage together.
After they’ve both been placed in the cage, supervise them carefully and repeat the first two steps in case of any aggression.
Can Two Hamsters Live Together? — Summary
So can two hamsters live together? Can Teddy Bear hamsters live together? Can hamsters share a cage?
Syrian or Teddy Bear hamsters must be kept separately from other animals, including other hamsters. Don’t try to break this rule or your pets will get hurt and may be killed.
If you want to keep more than one Syrian hamster, you are going to have to buy a cage for each of them.
Dwarf hamsters, on the hand, are fairly sociable and will live with another hamster they have grown up with or met when they were young. We hope we’ve answered your question “can two hamsters live together?”
References and Further Reading
- Hamsters.com. Do Hamsters Get Lonely?
- Livescience. Bradford, A. Hamster Facts: Diet, Habits & Types of Hamsters
- ASPCA. Hamster Care.
This article has been extensively revised for 2019.