The question that goes through many minds when buying Russian dwarf hamsters is Can Russian Dwarf Hamsters Live Together or should I buy one or two?
Today we are going to cover:
- Can Russian Dwarf Hamsters Live Together
- What They Need If Kept Together
- What To Expect If They Live Together
- Understanding Normal & Problem Behaviour
- How RussianDwarfHamster.Org Can Help
Can Russian Dwarf Hamsters Live Together?
Dwarf hamsters are one of the only types of hamster that can live together in pairs or sometimes groups. Syrian hamsters or Golden hamsters as they are more commonly known, cannot live with a partner.
Russian dwarf hamsters can live together with a companion however there is a good chance that they will not get along when they mature.
We have had our two Russian hamsters for just over a year now and they started fighting and squeaking more than often within a couple of days.
There are 3 important points that MUST be done to allow two dwarf hamsters to live together comfortably and may help them live together to the end. They are:
1. From the same litter – This means that they both need to come from the same mother (brothers & sisters) and preferably at the same time of birth. If they are brought up together, they are more likely to get along.
2. Space – Giving them plenty of room will help prevent fighting in the future and bullying behaviour. Floor space for two dwarf hamsters should be at least 80x80x60 but bigger is better. Also it is advised to not have floors within their environment as one can become dominate of a floor causing fighting.
3. Individual essentials – It is a good idea to purchase separate food bowls, wheels and extra accessories when keeping two Russian dwarf hamsters together. This again prevents dominance over certain accessories and allows space between the two when needed.
Many people say males get along better than females. From my own experience, I have found that females get a long more peacefully and do not play fight as much. Males become territorial when they grow to 4 months + of age. This normally results in fighting, injuries and problems.
Can a Russian Dwarf Hamster Live with Another Type of Hamster?
You should never put different types of hamsters together for any reason. This includes:
- Russians with Chinese Or Roborovski
- Syrian with any other dwarf hamster
- Chinese with Roborovski
Keeping dwarf hamsters with their kind has a far less chance of serious injury than with other breeds.
What To Expect If Two Russian Hamsters Are Kept Together
Normal behaviour for dwarf hamsters is similar to other hamsters. If one is smaller than the other, it may get bullied due to its size.
Although they are known for being sociable, they can become worse enemies very quickly. It is always advised to keep a spare cage/tank available just in case.
Squeaking is common when play fighting and should not be looked at as a bad thing all the time. If fighting is becoming more common and squeaking is not happening then it may be time to split them up.
Sleeping next to each other is also common.
Understanding Normal vs Problem Behaviour With Russian Hamsters
Understanding the difference between fighting & playing around can be hard if you do not know what to look for.
I wasn’t sure if our hammies were play fighting or not, we left them for a couple of days to come back to a horrible mess I do not want to describe 🙁
Here is some simple ways to determine if your hamsters are not getting along:
Aggressive towards each other – Observing your hamsters is a great way to understand their behaviour. If one is showing signs of quick fast aggression and biting. It may be time to separate them.
Standing on their back legs – to become bigger when one comes near them or when fighting.
If you are experiencing this, check out our Russian Dwarf Hamster Fighting Page for some advice, tips & help.
Keeping Two Russian Dwarf Hamsters Together – Good Idea or Bad?
If you are still deciding whether to get one or two, read Should I Get One or Two Dwarf Hamsters.
These types of hamsters are known to be sociable but although many pet stores suggest keeping two together because they will be happier, this is not always true.
A hamster that lives with a companion will be just as happy as an individual living on its own.
We recommend keeping hamsters on their own in their own cage. This prevents any future problems, extra expenses on cages and accessories.
We also recommend you click here and see our additional page on deciding whether to get one or two if you are considering getting two.
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