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Old 01-20-2021, 09:56 PM   #1
fh746
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Default Should I separate my Roborovskis?

Hi Iím not sure if this is where I ask this so apologies if itís not.
Iíve had my robos about a month now and for the most part they get along fine and usually sleep in the same house together.
However, one of them seems to run away from the other quite a bit and they get into scuffles pretty regularly (usually over treats).
Iíve not seen any injuries on either of them so I donít think itís too serious but Iím still kind of worried.
The other issue is that the cage I have is quite big (H41 x W69.5 x D46cm) but not massive and thereís not really enough room for 2 wheels, water bottles and food bowls. I currently only have one of each of these for the 2 of them and Iím concerned that theyíre maybe not getting enough exercise as only one of them can use it at a time and I canít be sure that both of them are getting time on it.
Iím not sure if one of them is just more dominant (neither is overly aggressive though and both of them are tame) and if theyíre better together or whether theyíd be happier if I got them their own separate cages.
These are my first dwarf hamsters and I might just be worrying about nothing but Iíd rather be safe.
Any advice would be very much appreciated, thank you :)
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Old 01-21-2021, 05:29 AM   #2
Vierville
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Default Re: Should I separate my Roborovskis?

I don't have Robos, but with Russian Dwarf Hybrids it is absolutely imperative to separate them and have totally separate living arrangements for each hamster as they can exhibit extremely aggressive behaviour towards each other, which can begin at any time, even if they appear to be getting along fine.

The aggressive behaviour can range from more mild displays of dominance where one hamster chases the other around or denies the less dominant one access to food, water or toys, to far more vicious physical fighting which sadly could result in injury or even death to one of the hamsters. It is not that they are being mean to each other out of spite but rather due to the solitary and territorial instincts which they would have followed if they were living in the wild.

I would seriously look into giving them separate living arrangements as soon as you can.
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Old 01-21-2021, 06:23 AM   #3
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Default Re: Should I separate my Roborovskis?

Oh and welcome to the forum, by the way! You'll find lots of friendly and good advice on here and lots of like- minded hamster lovers.
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Old 01-21-2021, 06:36 AM   #4
Ria P
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Default Re: Should I separate my Roborovskis?

Hi and welcome to HC!

Please separate them now.

It is not fair to keep hamsters in pairs because they are solitary and territorial rodents unlike gerbils for example who need company.

The cage they're in now is just about big enough for one but many people would disagree with me saying that.

Your Robos may not have injured or killed one another yet but are probably under a lot of stress which is bad for their health.
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Old 01-21-2021, 07:41 AM   #5
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Default Re: Should I separate my Roborovskis?

Hello there and welcome to the forum.

I've had a fair bit of experience of keeping hamsters in pairs and groups over the years including Robos and I would advise separating them. If they're already having scuffles and one is often running away from the other, that would suggest that there is already some bullying going on and unfortunately it's more likely to get worse than better.

It can be challenging to set a cage up correctly for pairs or groups and there are so many aspects that you'll need to consider but many experienced keepers find that having a cage that is too large actually increases the likelihood of them falling out as they become more possessive over their 'side' of the cage and whilst I don't think your cage is the issue here, I feel that it would be more beneficial to them both in the long run to separate them.

You may notice after separating that one or both seems a little bit out of sorts to start with but this is completely normal and they'll usually settle down in a week or two. I've often found that the more dominant one out of a pair can seem quite shy after their cage mate has left and that is usually because they have got their confidence from bullying their cage mate, but again they usually settle down again once they've got used to the idea that they're on their own.
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Old 01-21-2021, 11:09 AM   #6
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Should I separate my Roborovskis?

I agree with the others it would be best to separate them. Your cage sounds just right for a single Robo (about the size of a duna multy) although maybe a bit tall so there could be fall risks of it’s a barred cage - robos are so tiny and fragile and can climb to the roof and drop at night when you’re asleep.

Although you could try adding another wheel, house etc it is a bit risky if they are already having scuffles and it is very common for them to fall out in a big way once their hormones kick in (a few months old).

Which country are you in? We could suggest another suitable cage. Meanwhile if you have a plastic storage bin you can set it up as a temporary cage and separate them now. Something like the IKEA samla bins - tall enough the Robo can’t get out and leave the lid off until you can get another cage sorted.

With the taller cage, ideally it would need a full level making to avoid fall risks- if you can do diy. If not then have the substrate very deep to effectively lower the height and cushion any falls, and have any floor toys underneath a shelf or platform so they can’t be landed on.
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Old 01-21-2021, 08:26 PM   #7
fh746
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Default Re: Should I separate my Roborovskis?

Hi, I'll look into separating them as soon as possible. thank you all very much.

The cage I have at the minute is the 'Pets at Home Wire Syrian Hamster Cage X Large' and the base of it is quite deep even with a lot of substrate in it so they can't really reach the bars. One of them does sometimes manage to by climbing on top of his house though so I'm open to any recommendations if their current cage is unsafe.
Also I took out the platform so its all just one level (I wasn't sure if they would fall off it.)

I can only really afford one new cage right now but I'll replace their current one when I can. Also I'm from England.
Thank you all again (everyone on this forum is so nice lol).
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Old 01-22-2021, 08:12 AM   #8
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Should I separate my Roborovskis?

That cage should be fine - I don’t think it is 47cm tall . Maybe that is the depth measurement? If it’s for one Robo then putting the shelf back will help. But not while they’re both in it. Website says it’s 41cm tall. So with plenty of bedding and no hard items to fall on that should be ok. Lower cages are better generally though for these smaller species. The standard duna multy is a good option and is only 31cm tall I think. I had our Robo in the Savic mickey 2xl which is 36 cm internal height and I did have to set it up carefully so he couldn’t hurt himself if he fell from a height.

It’s actually quite hard to find cages in stock at the moment but another cage the same would be fine. Although a single Robo can prefer a bit more space sometimes. I tend to stick with narrow bar cages for robos (7mm) as opposed to the standard 1cm bar spacing or they can get stuck in the bars if they try to squeeze through.
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Old 01-29-2021, 06:40 AM   #9
choulesy
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Default Re: Should I separate my Roborovskis?

Despite the fact that they live in colonies in the wild, in captivity you really shouldn't house robos together as we just can't replicate the habitat they live in in the wild.
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