Hamsters are not as friendly or sociable as they may seem. So it can happen that they are kept alone and yet they remain quite happy and healthy all the time. On the contrary, if the owner keeps those together with some other hamsters and they keep fighting with their own species all the time.
How do I know if my hamster is lonely?
There are a few signs that may show that your hamster is feeling lonely, though this is not a usual thing for them.
Sometimes the pet hamster is seen biting the wires of the cage. They are usually not kept in groups in a cage so they would not get the chance to play with each other. But biting the wires of the cage shows a level of desperation and that is not healthy for their physical or mental health.
They sometimes act lethargic. This you have to be very accurate to look for. They do not always act energetically but they can be rather docile and slow on some days. This can be a medical situation too when they need treatment from a vet, but at other times they may seem to be lethargic and reluctant of moving while other hamsters in different cages are perfectly normal and healthy.
This can be the situation of loneliness that the hamster is going through, taking care of it and bringing it back to the normal self is necessary.
Excessive grooming is yet another situation that indicates that the hamster is feeling lonely sometimes. They are seen licking and cleaning their own body for almost the whole day. This happens when the hamster is sick and has some skin disease or infection by parasites. Also, this can be the output of the lonely feeling of the pet.
They try to get some relief from their boring life and thus they start grooming their body all the time and which can result in excessive grooming.
Pacing up and down the cage is another sign which makes the owner obvious that their pet is feeling lonely. This happens when the hamster is not taken out of the cage for a long time. It feels stuffed and gets alienated from outer life. It may not need the attention of other hamsters but it would like to have the attention of its owners. It may feel lonely and may seek some quality time from its owner.
Why after cleaning the cage my hamster shows signs of loneliness?
This is a rather unique thing about pets like hamsters. When they live in a cage they try to get used to the interior of the place. Being used means the pet will feel proximity to the smell, the vision, and the interior items of the cage.
When you clean the interior and the exterior of the cage you actually strip the cage of the customization that the hamster has made inside it. After cleaning when the cage smells of some soap or antiseptic liquid. The hamster may not feel homely like it used to feel before cleaning. This will let the creature behave as if it is feeling lonely and in reality, it would really feel that way.
How should you treat your lonely hamster?
You should keep the hamster in a big cage where it would not feel suffocated. Feeling lonely does not only happen when it is in a wide empty space. But it can also happen when the hamster is kept in a small space. The clumsiness of the cage may make it feel solitary.
Keep the cage in some room where you and other family members come and go often. This will allow the hamster to feel close to the humans that are in the house. Though harsh light and loud sounds are not what the hamsters require to feel the presence of the people. You can keep them alone in a remote corner of the house but this will be a rather unscientific and inhuman way of keeping the hamsters.
Will Syrian hamsters feel lonely?
Syrian hamsters originated in the deserted area of Syrian and Turk. They are quite easy with being lonely. The adverse situation where they belong is not suitable for them to have a social life. They would not be in groups nor they can live in pairs. Only at the time of mating do they come in contact with the other gendered hamster. This is very normal for creatures that are living in harsh weather.
Syrian hamsters would not feel lonely even if you keep them solitarily in a cage. They would rather act violently if they are kept with other hamsters or other pets like rabbits or guinea pigs.
Do hamsters need a friend?
Not all creatures need friendship to live a happy life. Hamsters belong to this category, they do not need a friend or companion for their mental health. They would rather be friends with their owners and that will be their way of mental happiness. They always prefer to spend time the human friends and thus, you do not have to keep hamsters in pairs.
Can a hamster miss its owner?
Hamsters have solitary nature which means they prefer to be alone. They do not miss other people or other creatures’ company normally. They are good when they are lonely and they will not miss their owner much when they would be alone.
Unlike other creatures, hamsters are happier when they are left alone. They would not prefer to live in a crowded place, even if it is a house where there are too many family members. They may show some kind of attachment towards their owners after a month or two of their arrival at the house, but when the owner would be missing for some days or even weeks, they would not show many reactions.
So if you keep a hamster and then engage someone else to take care of it for a time when you would not be present, the pet would be absolutely fine. You would not see any deterioration in the behavior or health of the pet after coming back.