Why Do Hamsters Fight Each Other?

Hamsters sometimes fight each other, but there are many possible explanations for this behavior.

If you notice this going on with your rodent friends, it is important that you respond appropriately.

This article will provide you with the necessary information to do this properly.

Some Hamsters Shouldn’t be Kept Together

The fact is that there are certain hamsters that should not be kept in the same cage or habitat. For example, Syrian hamsters don’t do well with each other in the same space. 

These hamsters have strong territorial instincts, which can make it difficult for them to get along. You’ll start to notice your Syrian hamsters becoming more territorial as they approach six weeks of age.

If you have any dwarf hamsters, you should keep them with their own sex. This will increase the chances of happy co-habitation. It is, however, still important for you to keep a close eye on your hamsters to make sure they are getting along.

Playing or Fighting?

It can sometimes be difficult to tell the difference between fighting and playing with hamsters. These animals have different ways of playing with each other, and it can often look like conflict at times.

If your hamsters are play wrestling with each other, one of them will eventually lie down and give up; this signifies the end of the play session. If the wrestling seems to escalate into sheer violence, it is most likely fighting.

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Fighting among hamsters often occurs because neither hamster wants to admit defeat during a basic play session. This can become very problematic though, as one or both of your hamsters could get seriously injured or worse.

Responding to Fighting Hamsters

There are a few key things that you will need to remember for responding to hamster fights. You will want to separate the two hamsters right away, but you need to be careful. Make sure that you put on some gloves before doing this. This will keep you from getting bitten or scratched while trying to break up the fight.

Another option you will have with stopping a hamster fight is to spray both of the animals with water. You can use a spray bottle filled with normal tap water to do this. This should effectively disorient the animals so they stop fighting. While this method doesn’t always work well, it is at least worth trying.

You’ll also want to give your hamsters some time apart after a fight. This will give them a chance to cool off so they don’t immediately start going at each other again. You should wait at least an entire day to put them back together in the same cage.

white hamsters fight

How to Prevent Fighting Among Your Hamsters

It is important that you also know how to prevent fighting among your hamsters. This will ultimately help you to keep your pets safe and healthy.

1. Don’t keep certain hamsters together

As we mentioned above, it is not a good idea to keep certain types of hamsters together. If you have more than one Syrian hamster, they will each need their own cage or habitat. 

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This is one of the most effective ways to prevent fighting among these animals. The sex and breed of your hamsters must be taken into consideration.

2. Clean the Cage Regularly

You should make a point of cleaning your hamster’s cage at least once every week. If the cage gets too dirty, it might cause your hamsters to become stressed and anxious. This in turn could lead to fighting. You want to do everything possible to keep your hamster’s stress levels to a minimum.

It is also important that you replace your hamster’s bedding when you clean the cage. If your hamster is forced to sleep on soiled material, they are likely to become very stressed out quickly.

3. Get Your Hamsters a Larger Cage

If your hamsters are fighting a lot, you should consider getting them a bigger cage. When these animals are forced to be too close to each other all the time, it can cause major conflict on a regular basis.

The cage that you keep your hamsters in should measure at least 24 by 12 by 12 inches. If you have more than two hamsters, the cage will need to be bigger than this.

4. Consider Taking Out a Hamster

It might be necessary to take out one hamster from the cage and put it in a different one. While this is a last resort, it is an option you should consider. Sometimes it is necessary to give a hamster their own home if they aren’t getting along with another one.

hamster cleaning

5. Choose new hamsters carefully

Before you get a new hamster, you should choose it carefully based on the ones you already have in the cage. It is also a good idea to introduce the new hamster to your current ones slowly. 

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Let the hamsters in your cage sniff and be around the new one before just plopping it in with them. This will definitely help with reducing the chances of fighting among your pets.

Conclusion

  • The fact is that some hamsters should be kept together, such as Syrian hamsters. They tend to be very territorial and just don’t get along in the same enclosed space together.
  • If you have dwarf hamsters, you shouldn’t keep ones of different sexes together. Males should be kept with males, and the same goes for females.
  • Sometimes it can be difficult to tell the difference between fighting and playing with hamsters.
  • Fighting among these animals usually occurs when playtime escalates because neither hamster wants to admit defeat.
  • If you start noticing your hamster’s play session turn violent, you should separate them immediately.
  • Make sure to wear gloves when separating your hamsters so you don’t give bitten or scratched up.
  • You can prevent fighting among your hamsters by keeping their cage clean and providing them with plenty of stimulation.
  • Consider getting a larger cage for your hamsters if they are fighting on a regular basis.
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