Although many people think that hamsters are cute and innocent, some hamsters can be surprisingly aggressive to each other when kept in the same cage with fights being very common with some hamster species commonly fighting to the death. This is a very common problem for people new to keeping pet hamsters that were unaware of just how aggressive hamsters can actually be so we often see people reaching out for advice on how to stop hamsters fighting to the death.
As we see so many people asking about stopping their hamsters fighting so often, we wanted to publish our own article on the topic in the hope that we will be able to help our readers prevent their hamsters from fighting to the death. Keep in mind, this really does depend on the species of your hamster with some species being less violent than others so you have to factor than in too.
We have decided to try and cover as many of the commonly asked questions that we see from the community about their hamsters fighting in this article. Our hope is that we will be able to answer all of the questions that we see people asking in a single article as well as help you understand the common reasons that hamsters will fight each other.
Can Hamsters Die From Fighting?
Hamsters can die from fighting each other with Dwarf, Chinese, Roborovskii and Syrian hamsters commonly fighting to the death if they are put into the same cage as other hamsters. A couple of the other popular hamster species will also fight each other too but a fight to the death does tend to be rarer with the other hamster species.
Dwarf, Chinese, Roborovskii and Syrian hamsters tend to be more solitary than the other sixteen or so hamster species. This encourages aggression, especially in smaller cages with less resources. A larger hamster cages can potentially reduce aggression in your hamsters as it offers more space for the hamsters to stay our of each others way.
You should always make sure you have two of everything in the cage too with some people choosing to add more hamster food bowls to the cage. Food aggression and competition can be another common cause of some hamsters fighting to the death if additional food bowls are not added to the cage to reduce the competition for food and water.
Why Did My Hamsters Kill Each Other?
The three most common reasons that hamsters will fight to the death are territorial aggression, sexual aggression, and food aggression. These can all be easy to avoid in the right situations but may require you to purchase a new cage and new accessories to ensure that you have enough for all of the hamsters in your cage.
Although it is not proven, some people do theorise that some of the more solitary hamster species like the Dwarf, Chinese, Roborovskii and Syrian hamsters may feel jelouse towards other hamsters in their cage if they seem to get more attention from you or have easier access to food or better treats. Hamsters will rarely form a dominance hierarchy in their cage with the loser from a fight often challenging the winner again within a few days with the fights often becoming increasingly aggressive as time pregresses.
Some siblings will also attack their brothers, sisters, and parents too at a certain age with many people who are new to keeping hamsters not being ready for these out bursts of aggression. This is why we never recommend breeding hamsters to anyone who is not an experienced hamster owner who has done plenty of research into what they should expect as well as have a supply chain in place with local pet stores where you are able to quickly sell the baby hamsters you produce.
How To Stop Hamsters Fighting To The Death!
The easiest way to prevent your hamsters from fighting each other to the death is to get a second cage and separate them as soon as possible. The second best way to prevent your hamsters from fighting each other is to get a larger hamster cage to increase the available territory for the hamsters.
As we touched on above, making sure that you have at least one hamster food bowl per hamster in the cage is highly recommended. Other accessories such as hamster toys should always be plentiful too as it helps to reduce the the aggression between the hamsters two.
Try not to mix the sexes of the hamsters in the same cage if possible as this can spike sexual aggression as well as potentially result in unexpected baby hamsters too. Aggression levels can be lower in female hamsters in some species but even female hamsters will still often fight each other so keep that in place too.
Why Are My Hamsters Suddenly Fighting?
The two most common reasons that hamsters will suddenly start fighting is either a change to their environment or a change to their biology such as reaching sexual maturity. This may make it seem like your hamsters have started to randomly fight but there is usually a reason if you look hard enough.
Adding a new hamster to an established cash where a hamster is comfortable can also result in aggressive fighting as the older hamster wants to defend its territory and this is totally normal. In the wild, the new hamster will either fight or flee the situation but this is not possible in a cage and this can commonly result in a dead hamster.
A build up of waste in a cage can also be enough to trigger fights in the more solitary species such as Dwarf, Chinese, Roborovskii and Syrian hamsters too. You can often easily avoid this by increasing the frequency that you clean a cage with multiple hamsters with cleaning twice per day often being recommended for multiple hamsters in the same cage.
Are My Hamsters Fighting Or Playing?
The difference between hamsters fighting and hamsters playing is subtle, especially if you are new to keeping hamsters but one hamster cornering another and preventing its escape is usually only done in a fight. When hamsters are playing they will often let the other hamster walk off and do its own thing if it chooses without ever trying to force the fight.
The squeaking sounds hamsters make can be made when fighting or playing too with this commonly being overlooked. We have seen a number of people on social media suggest that the squeeks of a hamster show that they are only playing but this is not true at all and hamsters that are fighting will squeek too.
Unfortinatley, due to seeing people say that squeaking hamsters are just playing results in people ignoring their hamsters who are actually fighting due to the owners thinking that they are only playing. This then lets the aggression spiral out of control and may result in a fight to the death so always pay attention to a squeaking hamster as they may be fighting and not just playing.
That brings our article going over how to stop hamsters fighting to the death to an end. We hope that we have been able to help ou better understand the risks of keeping hamsters in the same cage and we really wouldn’t recommend it. We know that pet stores do it all the time but this is not health for the more solitary hamster species and you should always avoid keeping Dwarf, Chinese, Roborovskii and Syrian hamsters in the same cage with some other species also being aggressive in some situations.