View Full Version : my dwarf hamsters hate each other?

11-02-07, 11:55 am
I got a pair of male dwarf hamsters last week, and they were great--played together, slept together, cuddled.....then last night, they started fighting incessantly. I posted on a hamster forum that told me dwarf hamsters should be housed alone....I was like "ummm I think that is Syrians...." so I don't know :confused: Any experience with this? They're in a ten-gallon, which I know should be bigger, I just have to wait a few weeks until I have the space. They are about 9 weeks old--teenage woes?


11-02-07, 01:51 pm
I had two female dwarf hamsters who were living in two cages linked with tubes. They got along for quite a while until one day, one of them would go after the other all the time. I ended up separating the cages with one in each. After the fact, I was told that dwarf hamsters are more territorial than other breeds.

11-02-07, 01:51 pm
The cage is too small and they are arguing over space. How to solve the problem for now depends on why exactly they are arguing besides being too cramped. Sometimes they will argue when they don't have a place to go to get away from each other so adding more houses or nesting spots can help. Sometimes they argue over a specific sleeping spot so removing that house or rearranging to eliminate that particular spot can help. Other times one just tries to claim every spot in a given area and if you don't have enough area the 2nd one will end up having to fight for his own space. Solution to that is the opposite of the first. Remove everything so they have nothing to fight over. Same with the food dish. Sometimes adding more food dishes helps and other times using no food dish and just scattering the food helps. It's hard to say but try changing around and adding or removing everything you can think of.

The best suggestion though would be to just go get a plastic storage bin, cut the middle out of the lid, staple on some aluminum screen door mesh or fine mesh hardware cloth and use that as a cage. You can get very large cages that way.

Last solution if none of that works or you can't get even a temporary larger container is to put in a divider so they can see each other but can't fight. That way when you get a bigger cage they will still be used to each other and you will not have to go through all the trouble of introductions. Dividing aquariums isn't the easiest since you have nothing to attach to but you can try to find a mesh shelving or storage baskets that are the proper size, build a frame out of wood to the right size and cover in mesh, or similar to modifying the storage container get a plastic lid that slides tightly into the aquarium, cut out the middle, and staple on mesh.

11-03-07, 09:18 am
Ya....try a Bin cage, I got this one at Walmart for $8.99. It is for my syrian Goldie.

piggly wiggly
11-03-07, 04:18 pm
I had 2 female dwarfs, together for about a week, and then they fight really badly. I had to seperate them, I thought one was going to be killed, there was blood shed. It was horrible.

11-03-07, 05:09 pm
I have a leftover storage bin I used a temporary quarantine cage for a guinea pig--it would be make a MASSIVE hamster cage, but do you just buy screen and staple it to the lid? It's a clear box so I'd be able to see in....but does that provide enough ventilation?

11-03-07, 05:36 pm
More ventilation than an aquarium because it has a wider top and base. I have never had any issues and I have not talked to anyone directly who had any issues with hamsters in aquariums or storage bins developing respiratory problems unless there was another cause. Dusty bedding, dirty cages, drafts, and improper dust bath materials are usually the cause. Hamsters do not pee much and so ammonia build up is only an issue if the cage is way too small and not cleaned often enough. Compared to guinea pigs that pee alot and quickly poison themselves from ammonia and urea if there isn't enough air movement to disperse it and dry the bedding. In my experience a cage with solid sides actually leads to less health issues with hamsters than a wire cage because they are so sensitive to drafts.

11-03-07, 06:13 pm
This page has deatailed instructions on how to make one with a screen lid, mine is just wire selving and a bent grid though and it works fine, but it wouldnt keep her in it just keeps the cats out, she cant climb the sides.
Bin Cages (http://hamster.etla.org/cgi-bin/topic_show.pl?tid=617)

here is another one its a bit different but has good illustrations
http://www.petwebsite.com/article_read.asp?id=256&title=Make%20A%20Homemade%20Hamster%20Bin%20Type%2 0Cage

here is another one too
FeatureBin (http://www.geocities.com/calhamassoc/FeatureBin.html)

this one has good illustrations too
Hamster Bin Cages (http://www.bitterepiphany.com/bin_cage.html)

the last 3 all have the side pannels in there directions but they are not nessacary.

11-04-07, 04:23 pm
I've never had any problems with Drawf hamsters. All lived peacefully together.
But if yours is a Campbell, it'd be good to have them alone; as I myself and some friends have found Campbell to be quite territorial.
I only have Winter Whites, Robos before, so I am quite sure they don't really fight, unless is 2 males with 1 female, or 2 females with 1 male. Sometimes more than 2 can fight as well.
But if yours is a Campbell, I think it is quite high a chance for them to fight. I've seen them killing their own siblings before and eating them.
Yeahs, I agreed that you should house them in tanks/tubs more than fanciful cages as I find tubs and tanks easier to wash and house them. There are more spaces and you can put in whatever you'd like in. Also you can pick the right size of running wheel (17 Diameter preferred for Drawf hamsters).
Just hang a water bottle and put bowls in and you can fill up the rest with fanciful houses you'd prefer. :)

This are some pictures of my Drawf hammies.

This are my two Drawves. The WW Normal is the daddy of the WW Sapphire.

This is their home (Without Lid).

11-08-07, 11:24 am
update! It turns out the main fighting was because of the water bottle. Elliott likes to chew on the end of it (at first I thought he wasn't getting any water, but it was working) and whenever Dylan wants a drink, FIGHT! So I may get a second bottle. for now I have put a small ceramic dish of water in there. I know it's not very sanitary and I change it about very 6-12 hrs (whenever I walk in the room and go "ew bedding in water" but it has stopped the major fighting until I can get a second bottle.

thanks for all your help! When I move and get them a bigger cage I'll def. make a bin cage.


11-08-07, 04:10 pm
In my experience pretty much all dwarf hamster fights can be solved if your just willing to watch them and try things. I've only had one out of dozens that couldn't be put with any others and I've rarely kept only siblings together. It usually just comes down to them not wanting to share something.

I haven't noticed the campbell's being any worse than the winter whites. They are so similar that even the scientists who classified them didn't know they were different until recently. Robos though are definitely less possessive over things and so get along easier.

12-18-07, 01:16 am
the fighting is still bad, can't seem to solve it. I may need to separate them, and I have no space for a new cage, so maybe one needs to be rehomed:(

12-18-07, 10:45 am
Sweetie, a storage bin is really NOT that big. If you really want to keep your boys, take the suggestion of the lovely folks here. Get a cheap $7-$10 dollar plastic storage container. Really, the tank is not good for their health. I'm sure you can manage to even put it on the floor in your bedroom or on a table somewhere. My guinea pigs literally have 2/3 of my bedroom, because its worth giving up that space for them, to me. You just have to decide what they are worth to you and if you put some time in you can re-arrange furniture and find a place for them.

Don't just give them up, you took them into your home. They are your responsibility now. For better or worse. I know you can work something out :-) Let us know if you need help!

12-18-07, 11:26 am
I really don't think they can live together. One has ripped out all the hair on the other's butt. I can tell it's from nipping because I can see the bloody roots where the fur ripped out. I consider that serious bloodshed.

12-18-07, 11:30 am
Oh I'm sorry to hear that! Well, maybe they will just have to live separately.

Good luck with them!

If he is bloody, you may want to put a tiny, tiny bit of neosporin on the area. Make sure its only a tiny bit and rub it in, and hold him till its dried. I don't know much about hamsters so if someone thinks its a bad idea, then I would say listen to them. But, I did this with my rats who had severe skin allergies and would scratch till they bled. So, it worked for them and helped to heal the area.
Best wishes!

01-20-08, 11:53 pm
I wound up bringing the aggressive one to a shelter (a private, non-profit one familiar with small animals, not the county humane society) and told them he needed to live alone, was wonderful with people but just didn't get along with other hamsters, and he was adopted a couple weeks ago I heard, with no problems so far. I am sure he's a lot happier with his own space--I know the one I kept sure is happier. I do miss the little guy, though, he was adorable and had a ton of personality. But it was give up one or lose both (there's no way I could keep him if he murdered the other one)