Hamsters love to stay alone. Unlike the other rodents, they do not prefer to live in a group. They are not much social in that way. So if you keep them in many numbers in a cage will they live happily and healthily? Let us enquire into it.
Do hamsters like to live together?
Hamsters do not like to live with other hamsters. They are quite lonely creatures and they like to roam and travel through the house they are living in or the ground they are left on. But they would never make a group and move as that is not their nature. Even when they are in the wilderness they do not stay in a group.
Can hamster siblings stay together?
Most breed of hamsters is not able to live together with their siblings. Some small varieties, however, can stay together when they are brought up with their siblings. If the hamster siblings are kept together in the same cage since birth then they may want to live together and will not make any fuss about it.
But if you bring the siblings after a few months of their birth in the same cage, then it would not be the right thing to do. The hamsters would not like the interference of their personal space in their cage to be captured by their own species.
What types of hamsters can live together with their siblings?
The owners who would prefer to keep their hamsters together should search for the dwarf hamsters. These ones can live together peacefully with each other in the same shelter. These ones can live with their siblings as well as other hamsters. They are also good to be kept as pairs.
The Syrian hamster is one breed that should never keep along with its siblings or other hamsters. Syrian ones are large in size and keeping them solely in one cage would be the right idea to keep them healthy and stress-free. When you keep the Syrian ones with their siblings in the same cage it would be rather stressful for the pet.
How can you make the hamster siblings friendly with each other?
When you are planning to keep all the hamster siblings or a couple of them together in one cage, then you have to take some prior steps to manage the hamsters. There can be mishaps and there can be accidents. You do not know when they will start fighting.
The introduction should be the first part for the hamsters to get along with. If you are keeping the siblings from the beginning together then it would not be that necessary. The pets would know each other and they would be comfortable in each other’s presence. If they are kept together in the same area then also they should be left for some time in the same cage to know that they would not fight at any given chance.
The cage should be wide enough to let the hamsters move freely within. All the hamsters are energetic and they would love to run and roam all through their wake hours. The cage that you purchase should be wide so the hamsters should get enough space to run and roam inside.
The feeding area should not be a singular one. When you give the whole food for all the hamster siblings in one bowl or dish, they would not be eating the right amount of food. The hamsters that are dominating will eat their share of the food of others too. Also, this can start a fight among the hamsters which would not be safe for them.
Keeping their food in two or three bowls and that too scattered in different places in the cage would be the right idea. You should be present at the time of feeding as that would ensure that all the hamsters get the right proportion of food. They may not be able to get the right amount of nutrition if the docile ones are threatened by the dominant ones and get deprived of their food.
Can opposite genders of hamster siblings live together?
You should always keep the siblings of the same gender hamsters together. Do not try to keep hamsters of the opposite gender in the same cage. Hamsters reach their age of sexual maturity sooner than you may think. So unless you want new hamsters taking birth and increasing the number of your pet gang, do not keep the hamsters of the opposite gender in the cage, even though they are siblings.
When can you separate the hamster siblings?
Hamsters can be kept together till they are the age of 8 to 10 weeks. Till then they do not get sexual maturity and they will not be able to breed. So if you wish to breed hamsters at home then you can keep the newborn babies of hamsters in the same cage until they reach the age of 10 weeks.
After this age, they should be gradually segregated depending upon their gender. In fact, even the same gendered hamsters too start fighting with each other when they reach sexual maturity. They will be territorial and act in an aggressive way.
Should you be alert when you keep the hamster siblings together?
When the hamsters would live in a single cage, you must keep an eye on them regularly. They may fight with each other and also can harm each other. If you see that they are fighting among them then you may decide to keep them in separate cages.
Sometimes keeping them in the same cage with a divider between them solves the problem. You can try that to see if the hamsters are behaving normally. If they calm down after a few minutes or one or two hours then you can lift the obstacle and let them live together for some more days. But if you find that the hamsters are still behaving in an abnormal and aggressive manner, then you must keep them in altogether separate cages.
Keeping the hamster siblings healthy and happy is your criteria and you should always maintain that. To ensure that you can take any necessary steps but what you should always keep in mind is that you should not ignore the advice of the vets in this matter.