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Headhurts's avatar

Do hamsters kill each other?

Asked by Headhurts (4497points) May 28th, 2013

My friend had 2 hamsters, that were sisters, living in the same cage. On Monday, there was only one. All that was left of the other was fur and a few spots of blood.

Obviously she ate her, but is it possible she killed her?

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14 Answers

ucme's avatar

Syrian hamsters are solitary creatures certainly, we got the kids a couple a few years back &...well, it was like hamstergeddon.
Neither had the chance to kill the other as we recognised the hostile nature immediately & seperated them, not before time.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I got some for my niece and they were crazy. They weren’t nice at all, and yes they fought. The mama was psychotic and kept attacking everyone else. We got rid of all of them after two months and another litter of babies, nasty things.

Headhurts's avatar

So, you reckon she didn’t just die and she ate her, but she actually killed her?

ucme's avatar

The dominant one more than likely caused the weaker hamster’s death, likely through heart failure brought about from harassment.

Bonnino's avatar

Mother hampsters will sometimes eat their babies – often first time Mom’s – just like rabbits. In my experience with my children having hampsters over the years the females are much more aggressive than the males.

downtide's avatar

Syrian hamsters absolutely will kill each other, and eat the evidence. Dwarf and Russian hamsters can be kept together.

Evoru's avatar

Hamsters are known to kill one another and eat the remains (often beginning with the stomach), so it’s a wonder they’re so highly recommended as children’s pets! Maybe parents wanted a short-lived animal to explain life and death and figured they’d just lump “murder” and “infanticide” in there while they were planning life lessons.

I kept my hamster cages stacked because I thought it would be comforting for the babies (that survived) to be near their mother when I moved them out from her cage. What actually happened was the mother broke free from her cage, broke into the juvenile cage, and killed and ate three of them (the screams woke me up and I stumbled in on the middle of it). Two survived by escaping into my apartment and living like house mice.

Out of the two that survived, one was the ultimate winner when it tracked down its surviving sibling and murdered it. I recovered that hamster by catching it eating the remains of its sibling.

Hamsters will go out of their way to kill and eat one another if they can escape from their cages or you try keeping multiple ones together. Do the smart thing and just buy rats. You’ll save yourself years of trauma and they act like small dogs.

_Whitetigress's avatar

Woman hamsters are extremely territorial. This is especially true for short haired hamsters. Russian dwarf hamsters seem to be the friendliest :)

Buttonstc's avatar

And here I thought some of the episodes of “My Cat From Hell” were bad when there were some of them fighting.

But this really takes the cake. Note to self: Don’t ever get hamsters, especially not for kids.

downtide's avatar

@Buttonstc If you want friendly, affectionate, intelligent rodents that really bond to their owners, live happily together and keep themselves clean, get rats. I know a lot of people are squicked by them but they really do make excellent pets, especially for kids.

The only caveat is that you need a very large cage, larger than most pet-shops will reccommend, and you need to handle them and give them plenty of out-of-cage playtime every day to keep them friendly. They are very social and need to be kept in pairs or small groups (same sex, if you don’t want lots of babies).

Buttonstc's avatar

Thanks for the suggestion but I doubt that Smoochie (my cat) would approve :)

And, knowing her, they might not survive.

Star_6's avatar

I think they do

icic's avatar

Syrians nor Russian Campbell can be kept together. I know this by experience. My hamster just ripped the foot of my other hamster off. COMPLETELY! (all that was left of the poor hamster’s leg was the bloody, bone. But luckily, he made it though the night, but could possibly be infected by something, because I think he’s eating himself.

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