You want a hamster but the pet store does a special deal if you buy two, or you want one but you do not want it to become lonely on its own?
The question that goes through most minds when buying a dwarf hamster is “Should I get one or two hamsters“. Today I am going to help you decided whether having one or two hamsters is right for you and help you prepare what you will need plus what to expect.
Having One or Two Hamsters?
Dwarf hamsters are great pets for children (9+), teenagers and adults.
Having hamsters as pets can be entertaining to watch, handle and play with. Like their bigger relatives Syrian hamsters (also known as golden hamsters) they require a cage/tank, bedding, plenty of room (cage floor space is 65×45 but more is recommended), bedding, water, food, mineral blocks, wheels and accessories.
Unlike Syrian hamsters, dwarf hamsters like the Russian dwarf hamster can be kept together in pairs or groups under certain circumstances. However this may not always be the case as you will learn below.
Can you keep different breeds together?
Unfortunately you cannot keep a Syrian hamster with any other type of hamster. Nor can you keep a Russian with a Chinese dwarf hamster, Roborovski with a Chinese or Russian or Syrian. You should never put different breeds together because this can lead to fighting, injuries and death.
You can keep two Russian dwarf hamsters together of the same sex, from the same litter and if with plenty of space between them they may get a long. Click here to see our how to introduce two Russian dwarfs together.
Keeping a male and a female together will result in babies and this is not advised.
Why Having Two Hamsters Living Together is Risky
Whilst keeping two dwarf hamsters together you should always be prepared to split them up. This is because dwarf hamsters can turn from friends to enemies within seconds.
This is mainly due to their age, territorial behaviour and cage/tank size.
Fighting is common in males as they become territorial when they grow up. Females normally live more peacefully within the same cage/tank as they do not have scent glands. Males use their scent glands on their undersides for marking territory.
What is Required for Keeping Two Dwarf Hamsters Together:
- Space – This is very important to avoid fighting between pairs. When keeping two or more dwarf hamsters together, a long fish or reptile tank is recommended. A 30 gallon tank or this cheap solution because it is easy to clean, maintain and suitable for two or more Russian dwarf hamsters or Roborovski hamsters.
- Toys & Accessories – These are very important for any hamster as they prevent boredom, attempting to escape and keep your hamster happy. The more the better when keeping one or two dwarf hamsters together. See our TOP 10 dwarf hamster accessories.
- Individual Requirements – To avoid fighting over food, toys and accessories it is advised that you give each hamster their own food bowl, wheel and house to sleep in. This can greatly reduce any fighting between hamsters.
Keeping a Male and a Female – Pros and Cons
Depending on species, either Chinese, Roborovski, Russian or Hybrid their gestation periods are different. Keeping a male and a female together from a young age will normally result in new pups being born. This is not advised as this may cause future problems.
Russian dwarf hamsters can become pregnant at the age of 3-4+ weeks. Once they deliver new pups they can become pregnant again within 24 hours.
It is advised to keep the same species together IF you are going to keep two together. However it is recommended unless the 3 points above are used.
Can you Keep Dwarf Hamsters on their Own?
Many people think that keeping two dwarf hamsters together will keep hamsters occupied and friendly, however dwarf hamsters can live happily on their own.
Giving a dwarf hamster enough space, accessories and handling, they will live a happy life as they would with a companion.
Keeping two dwarf hamsters together can be risky, especially if they become enemies and begin to fight. By caring for one you eliminate the chance of fighting this and will save money on purchasing a new cage in the future.
What Exactly will you Need to Care for One Dwarf Hamster:
- An Environment – A Ferplast Duna Cage (Our Top 10 Best Dwarf Hamster Cages) Or A 20 Gallon Tank (Click Here to See More Reviews)
- Supplies – Suitable bedding, foods and a water bottle. See our care guide for more on this.
- Activities – A good wheel and accessories.
Is it Better to Have One or Two Hamsters?
Dwarf hamsters can be unpredictable and if you are considering keeping two together then be prepared to split them up and separate into different cages, even if you never have to. It is common for hamsters to not get a long even though some say they do.
Example Story: We had two male Russian dwarf hamsters that lived happily together for a year and a bit. Then one day one began squeaking and we noticed they were fighting more. After a couple of days it became worse and they were separated into their own cages.
Who knows what could of happened if we didn’t split them up
If you do decided to keep two hamsters together, most pet stores & vets would recommend to keep Russian dwarfs together as they are known to be the sociable and able to live in pairs under certain circumstances.
To learn more about keeping Russian dwarf hamsters, you can find everything you need to know on RussianDwarfHamster.Org
Still have questions or need help? Leave a comment below