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Old 08-15-2019, 12:56 AM   #1
Griel
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Hi, I've always read that most hamsters in general are solitary creatures.

But for the Roborovski, I've seen a lot of information saying that they are social creatures and should be kept in pairs.

The Hamster Central Wiki on Roborovskis says "...they are social animals and should be kept in single-sex groups or pairs, preferably from the same litter."

Should I look into getting another Roborovski to keep my existing one company? What would make her happier?

I am really keen to get a companion for my existing Robo. I am able to separate them into different cages immediately if I see signs of fighting, but I would prefer it if they were able to live together. Can anyone give tips on how to introduce one Robo to another? I've read up some, but hoping for more advice.

Last edited by souffle; 08-17-2019 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 08-17-2019, 12:28 PM   #2
souffle
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Default Re: Roborovskis - One Hamster or Two?

There is loads of useful robo info here : Oak Farm Roborovskis
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Old 08-17-2019, 12:39 PM   #3
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Default Re: Roborovskis - One Hamster or Two?

My understanding was that they can't be housed together once they have been alone. They need to start out together from the same litter and even then they may eventually start to fight.
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:33 PM   #4
Griel
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Default Re: Roborovskis - One Hamster or Two?

Thank you Souffle, that has a lot of useful information that I haven't read about before. I was planning to split up the cage into two first (another method I have read elsewhere), maybe after the cage split and swapping sides for a week, I can try the new territory method in addition to it.

Hi Cotton, yes... It's these kind of statements that do worry me, and thank you for them because it's important for me to know and be reminded about the downsides/ difficulties. My heart really wants to see them snuggled together, just like the ones I always see in pet shops.
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Old 08-17-2019, 09:16 PM   #5
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Default Re: Roborovskis - One Hamster or Two?

The ones in pet shops are very young, and likely to not have experienced puberty yet which can be a big factor in hamster fights when they're housed in pairs or groups.

Unfortunately, when you have a single hamster you simply cannot and should not ever introduce another hamster. It is far too risky and can end horribly, same with housing hamsters in pairs or groups, and at the absolute worst you can have two dead hamsters instead of one who is perfectly fine as they are now!

Hamsters don't really benefit from social housing unlike some other small pets, and there are numerous risks involved that make it quite harmful in the long run. Things like chronic stress even without fighting mean that you could have a hamster who is always ill or even prone to serious illness. It's also very unnatural as hamsters in the wild would at best be in mixed sex pairs for reproductive purposes(not social purposes).

For the absolute safest and most natural care, stick to single hamsters regardless of species. This also lets you safely utilize things like levels and houses that have single entrances, whereas in pair or group housing levels and such would be completely unsafe as they can cause fighting despite how much more enrichment things like that could offer to a hamster. You'd avoid chronic stress, expensive vet bills, serious injury, and even potentially losing one or more hamster(s) due to deadly fights!

If you want truly social pets that benefit from being housed together, female mice(not males as males cannot be housed together since they almost always fight)are a great idea. Gerbils also tend to be a wonderful choice for social housing in the overwhelming majority of cases, and another example of a pet that would be suitable for social housing(in fact, it's mandatory to house them socially) are rats.
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Old 08-18-2019, 07:36 PM   #6
Griel
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Default Re: Roborovskis - One Hamster or Two?

Thank you for your comments. You mentioned chronic stress - would they be stressed if they could smell each other (but are in separate cages)?
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Old 08-18-2019, 08:44 PM   #7
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Default Re: Roborovskis - One Hamster or Two?

There can still be stress from smelling each other, but this is definitely less stressful than housing two hamsters in the same cage. It'd be pretty hard to avoid smelling another hamster though for those with multiple hamsters, especially if they all have to be kept in one room and even if you had many rooms for multiple hamsters they still might somehow smell each other on your clothing!
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Old 08-19-2019, 02:08 AM   #8
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Default Re: Roborovskis - One Hamster or Two?

You could have two in separate cages. I believe splitting a cage is too risky as they can often find a way through and one will attack the other if they’re not a bonded pair. Can’t remember where but I saw a video of how they can easily bypass a division in a cage whether by climbing or chewing. It might look secure but robos in particular can get through the tiniest gap or chew a hole. You’d be better with two separate bin cages on top of each other

The only suitable pairs are a sibling pair (two brothers or two sisters) who have been together since birth. They may live together happily for some time if the cage set up is just right so they can’t get territorial over anything . But it is a very specialised thing really and once their hormones kick in is a time when fighting often breaks out. Even if fighting doesn’t break out it needs careful observation as one can dominate and take most of the food and bully the other one into submission so the bullied one ends up smaller. The stress from bullying can be as bad as fighting. But yes they can fight to the death or end up seriously maimed.
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Old 08-20-2019, 04:57 AM   #9
Griel
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Default Re: Roborovskis - One Hamster or Two?

Hmm, yeah was thinking about two bin cages on top of each other.

Thanks! One can never have too many hamsters!
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