Russian Dwarf Hamsters are the most sociable of all breeds of hamster and can live happily side by side with either sex.
However not all hamsters live happily together and can be very aggressive to their fellow cage mate around the ages 12 weeks. If you’re experiencing fighting between your hamsters, here are some important signs to look for:
- Wounds, cuts or bleeding – these indicate that they are no longer play fighting.
- Squeaking and distressed noises – If you notice that these become more common and regular, it may be time to split them up.
- Fighting and spraying a horrible smell – If you witness this, then you must split them up. They will fight to the death. Also note that if the noises stop and they are fighting, expect the worse. (Split them up immediately)
These points are very important and should help you distinguish play fighting and fighting for dominance (death).
How to Prevent Russian Dwarf Hamsters Fighting
The main causes of fighting between Russian Dwarf Hamsters are due to space, food and territory. Although being sociable together, when they grow older they become more dominant (especially males).
“We have two male Russian Dwarfs that lived happily together for 9 months from the age of 6 weeks. The larger male(Hubert) became more dominant over the food. After squeaking from the younger male became more frequent, we split them up into their own cages.”
Here are some simple ways to prevent your Russian Dwarf Hamsters Fighting from an early age:
- Separate Food Bowls – This is a brilliant way to help prevent fighting between hamsters because they will have their own food bowl and territory. Combining this either next point will greatly reduce the chances of any more fighting.
- Space – This one is really important and will lead to happy hamsters that will be more hand-able. See our recommended happy hamster cage by clicking here.
- Tubes and Toys – Russian Dwarf Hamsters like all types of hamsters love to play. They will spend hours a day exploring their environment and using their toys. A great cheap way to keep your hamsters entertained is by giving them toilet roll tubes. They will run through them or if not rip them up and use them for their nest.
- Wheel – A hamster wheel is a great way to keep your hamster in shape and they thoroughly enjoy running. Their is a new type of wheel that can go in any cage and will help your hamsters remain happy together. See why your hamster will absolutely love this new wheel toy by clicking here.
Those important points should help especially if hamsters are always close together due to space or comfort. Just remember a happy hamster is one that has lots to play with.
In some cases, the same sex will have to be split up. Unfortunately hamster shop owners or pet stores will not tell you this. Males Russian dwarfs generally cannot live together when they grow to the ages of 12+ weeks unless brought up together from a young age or with the 4 points above in place. This is because males more territorial and dominant over food/toys.
Females can live together with space and their own bowls, chews and toys are available. Males can too with space and separate toys/food. Please see our Russian Dwarf Hamster Care for more info on diet & chews.
Important Information On Spitting Russian Dwarf Hamsters
Russian Dwarf Hamsters have a brain like a goldfish, although more intelligent in other ways.
What I mean by this is dwarf hamsters are very forgetful and will often completely forget what they did a week ago or who they saw a week ago. If you are considering splitting your hamster up then don’t make the mistake we did.
Being forgetful, Russian Dwarfs will forget their childhood friends, neighbors and even parents within weeks. This can be bad for some reasons and result in hamsters no longer being able to be put together once split up for more than a couple of days.
This is because they will forget and then become territorial over their cage and toys. Try letting them be together at least once every day and observe their behavior towards each other. If you’re considering a easy to clean, highly recommended cage for your beloved hamster then see which cages we recommend.
Depending on a hamster up bring (from birth to 6 weeks) IE how they were brought up, were they handled or left with many other young to fight for them self will characterize your hamster. When choosing a your hamster you should buy from a big brand where you know that they are well looked after.
Hamsters that do not get regular handled from 3 weeks or when they leave the nest and become interdependent will generally be much happier hamster and more likely to live with a companion.
Females are more likely to live together than males. Males have scent glands and this is for marking territory for dominance. Much like a dog marks his scent on trees and whatever else he chooses.
When males grow older they are more prone to fight for territory and space. This is why it is important to make sure you are always prepared to split them up. This is normal in the wild and many Russian dwarf hamsters fight to death for the same reasons.
If your hamsters started fighting and it’s concerning you and you still have unanswered questions about Russian Dwarf , please leave a comment and we will get back to you.