Can Syrian hamsters be kept together?

The short (and only) answer is no.

No to girl/boy combo’s, no to girl/girl combo’s and definitely no to boy/boy combo’s.

Syrians are incredibly territorial creatures – they will fight to the death if another hamster is sniffed out. Basically the thing to remember is that Syrians are solitary animals. Even when you have a boy and girl hammy they can’t be kept together for more than 15 minutes even when you want to breed them! Girls will get very impatient and nasty towards the boys and you certainly don’t want to be the one to split up fighting hamsters (and that’s experience talking!)

There really is nothing worse than 2 squawking hamsters biting and clawing at each other in a fuzzy ball of anger – like the fighting dust balls that you see in the cartoons, but nowhere near as entertaining!

Two male hamsters.. NOT together! Coz that would be bad!

As readers of this blog will be aware, I am an owner of three Syrian hamsters, 2 boys and 1 girl. They each have their own cage, their own exercise ball, their own everything! The scent of another hamster is very agitating for them so it’s important to keep things separate.

Eve leaves her smell everywhere anyway so it more of a tease for the boys. But this is manageable. It doesn’t offend any of them, it just gets them all hyped up.

When Dexter smells Casper, or visa versa, problems can erupt. I can end up with two very grumpy, very hissy and very vocal hamsters on my hands! On the very rare occasion that both boys are out at the same time, I will hold one and the boyfriend will hold the other. But as soon as that scent reaches the other Dexter will seriously wriggle about to free himself (gears himself up for a fight – little does he know Casper is twice the size of him!)

The other day both boys were out and I ended up with Casper crawling on my lap and Dexter sat on my chest. There was a very tense moment or two when they seemed to clock each others presence and I had a challenge on my hands keeping them in separate places. As you can see from the picture, Dexter was very wary of something else sneaking about in the background but played the silent, waiting game  instead of the charge into things like a looney game.

I put Casper back in his bed and waited until Dexter had been given enough attention. Letting them actually greet each other would only end in injury and there is no need for such things. Especially as they are both young, healthy hams and giving them even half a second of opportunity should end disastrously.

Note to all Syrian owners: Do not let your Syrians meet! They love your  attention, not another hamsters!

Categories: animals, blogging, Care, General, Hamsters, Health, News, Pets, photography, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “Can Syrian hamsters be kept together?

  1. When I was a very young kid, my mom bought us two hamsters. I can’t remember the type right now though since it was a long time ago. One of them was really mean. I think the other one had babies. Horrible story, but the mean one killed the babies and the mom and then escaped never to be found again 😦 Talk about psycho!

  2. Off topic, but have you seen this adorable video of a hammie eating a pretzel?

  3. Jordi Griell Barnes

    My hamster is happy as long as he has an exercise ball but he can be territorial too, I don’t think it is just Syrian hamsters, most hamsters do not like to share their toys with other hamsters.

  4. I know that if Syrians are put in a cage together it’s likely to end up with one of them probably being finished off by the other but do you think it would be as bad outside the cage in semi-neutral territory? Would it still be a fight to the death or just a bit of nipping and hissing given that the outside territory wouldn’t really belong to either of them?

    Think I can see which of your 2 boys would win looking at the size of Dexter!

    Love the site by the way.

    • Hi there,
      Unfortunately even a neutral territory will cause fighting, syrians are solitary creatures and unless they’re mating should never be put together. Its a display of dominance really. It would be a fight to the death if you left them to it yes. I almost learn this the hard way when two of my previous syrians got in a fight. I had to put my hand in a squealing ball of fur and physically pull them apart, its stressful for the hamsters and it would be stressful for you!
      Hope this helps, and thank you 🙂

  5. i’m rising two girls Syrian hamsters ,and they sleep both in the same cage ,they fight sometimes but i never had a serious injury ,.

    • Frank

      I have a male and female Syrian and they don’t fight at all they sleep in the same house together they have many hidey holes and 2 wheels also 2 water bottles I gave them a big bowl so they both can fit in there and share if they want to most of the time they eat on their own but they tend to want to play on the same wheel lot it’s cute.

  6. Sarah Sterns

    My 2 girl syrian hamsters love eachother. They are 4 months old. Whenever I take one out the other gets upset and paws at the cage. This is definately a very rare circumstance. This only works bease they are very good at sharing. We have 1 wheel and they take turns. One runs in the wheel while the other runs a lap around the cage then hops on the wheel while the other does a lap and so on for hours. The water bottle is big enough for both to drink at the same time and the food dish is big enough to both sit in. The problem I’m running into now is finding a hammy house that fits both of them to sleep in. They are getting so big and can’t both fit so one sleeps inside and the other sleeps with her hammy butt sticking out.

Squeak up folks! What do you think??

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