Many advanced hamster keepers may have been working on keeping more than one fluffy at a time and every one of them is bothered with the problem of hamster fight. As one of the most mentioned concern of hamster owners with several hamsters in their house, it worth me patiently explaining about the characteristic phenomenon of hamsters.
Why do hamsters fight?
I can fully understand your confusion because your hamsters seem so adorable and harmless in your palm every day, but somehow, they become so aggressive even cruel facing their own kind. The truth is their natural instinct is nearly impossible to change.
Hamsters are smart enough to understand the fact that you are not hostile or dangerous to them, and more importantly, you are their food supplier. Therefore, hamsters accumulate and establish trust in you so that they will not attack you under most circumstances. These are acquired surviving skills for hamsters after a long time of your feeding, and when they are facing with their own kind, things are totally different.
As is well known, hamsters are typical small rodents, which indicates that they are basically food for other creatures in the brutal wild. For poor hamsters, their life would be too difficult to hide from fatal enemies while dealing with extra survival competition between their own kind. Thus, through the long history of cruel evolution, hamsters have developed strong sense of territory and the instinct is deeply stamped into their genes.
Most normal hamster cages are designed for one hamster rather than a group of hamsters, so the crowded space will make the hamsters feel threatened by the pressure of surviving. Under such living conditions, their instinct will be activated so that they will see their own kind as enemies and fight back to protect his own territory.
Disadvantage of hamster fight
1. Physical harm
Physical harm is the most direct and obvious disadvantage of hamster fight.
Firstly, the worst consequence is death without doubt. You may see your fluffy as fragile creatures without sharp claws or teeth and there is no way he can kill his
friend. However, the truth is all animals are extremely wild, fierce and cruel when they are facing life risk, including hamsters. Therefore, if you let the fight go on randomly, it is very likely that you will lose several ones of your hamster friends, especially the fragile new born babies.
Secondly, wounds and inflammation. Small rodents are blessed with developed teeth and their fur is not thick enough to defend the bite. Thus, wounds can be easily created during the brutal fight. What’s worse, wounds covered by fur may be easily ignored by even careful owners, so they cannot get cure in time and the wounds will continuously worsen. Inflammation can lead to lethal fever and sepsis.
Thirdly, unbalanced nutrition. In a fight, there will always be a winner and a loser. On one hand, for the winner, he gains his power to randomly choose his food, so he may always be eating his favorite, which is very likely to be less healthy food rich in sugar. On the other hand, the loser is lucky enough to have any food so he will lack of nutrition. The unbalance in nutrition will be strengthened by time, which both damage the life span and physical health of hamsters.
As is well known, because of the tiny body size and less popularity, it is far more difficult to find a vet for hamsters. And even if you find one, few medicine can be applied safely on hamsters. Therefore, physical harm is always the first and important thing you should prevent from a hamster.
2. Psychological harm
Hamsters living in such condition will always be highly tensed for every second. The shadow of life risk and the completion of survival will drive the hamsters to crazy. From the perspective of a pet owner, it is pathetic that your pet can never gain trust or even safety from you, so it is understandable that such hamsters are not adorable at all. What’s worse, the pressure can easily lead to the fatal disease usually called “wet tail”, which is the no.1 killer of pet hamsters. 90 percent of hamsters catching the disease will die within 3 days after the typical symptoms including diarrhea show up. Though the cure of the disease is still unclear, the cause has been fully revealed, which is pressure. As a result, the best way to prevent the pressure is to stop the fight.
Steps to prevent or stop hamsters fighting
In fact, according to my experience and the academic researches, there are no “steps” but one “step”: do not hold more than one hamster in one cage.
Hamsters are born to be solitary animals, so do not assume that they are lonely and arbitrarily find him a roommate, unless your cage is extremely large like a small indoor garden, for example, 1 square meter’s bottom space and 2 floors for each hamster. On the other hand, it is not hard to imagine what a task it will become to keep such a cage tidy and clean.
If you are willing to mate your hamster, though not recommended, you should always be highly alert. Once they show no signs of mating or finishing mating, separate them immediately. Rutting female hamsters are very aggressive and they can easily harm the male ones.
If your fluffy recently become a mother, you should keep observing the interaction between the mum and the new born babies. The lactation period of hamsters lasts for no longer than 2 weeks, so you should separate them right after the mom no longer give the babies milk or she may eat the babies, because their female instinct will soon fade and see her own child as possible competitors.
If you would like to play with more than hamster at one time, you can create a safe corner with their favorite snacks in it. The hamsters can meet each other temporarily in the safe corner and you can enjoy your time with them while they enjoy their food. If they are aggressive to each other, you should put them back to their own cages immediately. The corner should be surrounded by high, soft, safe guard bar like tissue boxes, so that they cannot escape while you are focusing on the other one.
Above is all you need to know about hamster fight. It is easy to find that there is nothing but all kinds of disadvantages in hamster fighting each other, so always remember the first criteria of keeping hamsters: NEVER keep more than one hamster in one cage! Hope your hamsters can get along with each other.