When one visits pet stores, one often sees groups of dwarf hamsters living together in a cage in harmony. When buying a hamster, people are also often tempted to bring more than a hamster home to keep it from getting lonely. Hamsters in pet stores can live together because they have not yet matured to become aggressive or territorial. Once matured, hamsters are solitary. They prefer living by themselves without any partners.
There are various species and sub-species of hamsters. The two-primary species of hamsters are Syrian hamsters and dwarf hamsters. Dwarf hamsters are further divided into subspecies such asRoborovski, Winter white, Campbell’s dwarf, and Chinese hamster. These different species and subspecies each have their unique characteristics and temperament.
Both Syrian and dwarf hamsters can live alone and prefer to do so. Hamsters are solitary creatures that enjoy having their own space. Even when in the wild, hamsters are usually known to live alone and tend to meet when they want to mate with each other.
However, a few species of Dwarf hamsters can live in pairs or groups. Campbell’s dwarf hamsters can easily be kept in pairs and are also known to benefit from the company. Winter white and Roborovski hamsters like living alone but can also be kept in pairs or groups if placed together from a young age.
When Multiple Hamsters Live Together
It’s not advised to place more than two hamsters together in a single cage. But if you do, these hamsters should be same-sex hamsters instead of mixed-sex hamsters so that there is no chance of pregnancy in the future.
If two or more hamsters are kept together, it is advised to introduce them at a young age. This will make it easier for the hamsters to connect and create a strong bond. It’s best to introduce hamsters when they are between 1 to 3 months of age.
Keeping the hamsters under supervision is also vital, especially in the first few weeks. If there is any sign of viciousness or aggression, the hamsters should be immediately separated and placed in a backup cage.
Also read: How Long Do Robo Hamsters Live?
How Do Hamsters Live in the Wild?
Hamsters stem from many different regions, such as Syria, Belgium, China, Romania, and Greece. They usually tend to live in dry and warm habitats. When in the wild, hamsters also like to live alone. They are naturally solitary animals. But when in heat, they get together.
Female hamsters go on heat every four days and need to breed with male hamsters. Hamsters need to mate frequently because, naturally, hamsters have a large number of wild predators. This makes it a vulnerable specie; hence procreation is essential for them.
Hamster breeds such as Syrian and Chinese hamsters are also known to fight each other when choosing to breed. Dwarf hamster species can survive in small groups and thus have a larger chance of surviving.
Do Hamsters Get Lonely?
Most hamster species prefer living independently, so they don’t get lonely. Hamsters don’t interact with each other as humans do. They don’t view other hamsters as friends. Instead, they view them as competitors for resources. Same-sex hamsters also interact with each other for the right to breed.
When hamsters live alone, they tend to thrive. No matter which specie the hamster belongs to, when it’s on its own, it will be happy. However, hamsters do require mental stimulation when kept in cages.
Hamster owners should focus on keeping their single hamster occupied, so it doesn’t get bored. This can be done by keeping the hamster wheel in the cage along with other hamster toys. Hamster owners should also spend time bonding with their hamsters daily.
Cohabiting with other hamsters can often be a stressful experience. It can also make the hamsters sick. This is because stress often increases the growth of harmful bacteria that can result in health conditions in hamsters. These conditions can also be fatal.
Hamsters that live together have a higher chance of dying because they can hurt each other. For example, hamsters can bite each other, which can get infected. If not attended to, this can also kill the hamster.
Even though hamsters don’t enjoy each other’s company, they enjoy human companionship. If hamsters are tamed and cared for by their owners, they can build a strong bond with them.
However, it’s also important to remember that each hamster has its unique personality. Some hamsters may enjoy human companionship, while others prefer to be left alone. They may stay deep in their burrows until their owners sleep and step out into their cages.
It’s not possible to change your hamster’s personality. You can always encourage your hamster to step out by offering it treats. However, if your hamster wants to be alone, it’s important to give it the space it wants.
Can Roborovski Hamsters Become Lonely?
When Roborovski hamsters are kept in pairs, they are one of the most tolerant of all hamster breeds. But when they are kept alone, they do not get lonely.
However, if you keep more than one Robo hamster, remember they still need their own space. These hamsters may be small but still need enough room, so if you have a small cage, it’s best to get only one Robo hamster.
If you have two Roborovski hamsters in the same cage, keep them under observation for at least the first few weeks after you place them together. This is because, even though Robo hamsters can live in pairs, they can sometimes become intolerant of one another.
At times, more dominant Robo hamsters can start bullying the more submissive ones. If this is the case, they will have to be separated.
Check out: Can Hamsters Eat Strawberries?
Can Campbell’s Dwarf Hamsters Become Lonely?
Campbell’s dwarf is the only Dwarf Hamster specie that can easily and happily live in pairs. They also benefit from being with their kind. However, when purchasing Campbell’s Dwarf hamsters, ensure you get hamsters from the same litter. Also, ensure they are same-sex pairs so there is no unexpected pregnancy. Keeping only two hamsters together in a cage is also advised, so there is enough space for them to live happily.
How to Keep Your Dwarf Hamster Occupied?
When keeping a single dwarf hamster, it’s important to keep it occupied, as this will ensure it doesn’t get bored. Even though hamsters like living alone, they require mental stimulation in captivity. It would help if you gave your hamster activities to keep it occupied in a cage. You can keep hamster wheels in the cage and hamster bridges and tubes to keep it busy.
You will also have to spend more time with your dwarf hamster. It is advised to keep your hamster out of its cage for at least thirty minutes daily. You can let it roam in a wider (but still enclosed) space where it can run around and explore. You should also give your hamster attention and interact with it.
How Much Time Should You Spend with Your Hamster?
The more you interact with your hamster, the more they get used to you. With time, they will become comfortable and build a good relationship with you. Hamster owners need to interact with their pets every day.
You can do this by holding them or playing with them. It’s also important to take your hamster out of its cage for 15 -20 minutes every evening or early in the morning and let it run around.
You should also keep your hamster engaged with hamster toys to remain mentally stimulated. Hamsters are very playful animals and love nighttime playing as well as digging.
Giving your hamster an exercise ball is also a great idea. These plastic balls close up and keep the hamster securely inside. Your hamster can stay in the ball while it rolls around the room.
You also don’t have to worry about losing the hamster. It is advised to keep your hamster inside a ball for 15 to 20 minutes, not more than that; otherwise, it can get dehydrated. Once playtime inside the ball is finished, give your hamster some food and water so it can replenish itself.
Our Final Thoughts
If you want a low-maintenance pet, hamsters are a great choice. They are cute and furry and can easily be kept in apartments. As they are small, they are also easy to handle. However, you do have to socialize with them daily.
The best time to interact with your hamster is in the evenings when it is more alert. As hamsters are nocturnal animals, they prefer eating and sleeping during the day.
They are more alert and attentive in the evening and at night. If you feel your hamster seems bored during the day, you can always keep some new toys in the cage to keep it occupied.
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My name is Everly. I am a Milwaukee-based mom of 2 and have been a proud owner of many hamsters throughout my life. Like many of us, my introduction to hamsters happened when I was very young. My family saw several hamsters come and go through the years, and I enjoyed playing with them, but I never fully appreciated them until I grew up and my own children decided to jump on the hamster bandwagon. At that point, I was determined to learn all I could about caring for these adorable pets. Read more