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Old 09-13-2018, 11:44 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 74
Default Question from my 6 year old...

We have 2 gerbils & get Noodles tomorrow, she asked last night could noodles play out with Rebecca & Ruby (the gerbils) - I have no idea, so....can they? I have presumed not...
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Old 09-14-2018, 12:16 AM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: London, England
Posts: 294
Default Re: Question from my 6 year old...

Hamsters are solitary animals and always do best on their own. In the wild they would rarely encounter other species and if they did they would keep their distance. Syrian hamsters must never be introduced to another hamster (or other animals) as it will cause stress and aggression which can result in the animals killing or seriously wounding each other.
Dwarf hamsters can occasionally live with a sibling from the same litter but they almost always fall out with each other and need to be separated. Like syrians, they cannot be introduced to other species.
Hamsters very much enjoy the companionship from their owners and do not need animal playmates. So your gerbils and hamster should be handled and played with individually. You should wash your hands well with a low fragrance or unscented soap before playing with each as the scent of another animal on you will be very stressful to them.

Over the Rainbow Bridge - Custard 2 years and 8 months. Rest peacefully little one; forever loved xx
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Old 09-14-2018, 02:20 AM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 74
Default Re: Question from my 6 year old...

Yeah I did think that would be the case
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Old 09-15-2018, 02:37 AM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: North of England
Posts: 17,621
Default Re: Question from my 6 year old...

Our 6 year old asked the same thing when we got Charlie - and also asked if maybe Charlie needed a friend. I just explained to him that Hamsters aren't like humans - they need to live on their own or they would fight and kill each other. But that hamsters make good friends with humans. I think it's nice that kids worry about a hamster being lonely and needing a friend Or someone to play with - but it's all part of them learning about hamsters.

I have heard of the rare story of a hamster being friends with another pet - a dog I think it was - but it may just have been a very tame hamster and who knows what the hamster thought! You can't see the stress that races inside them sometimes.

I don't know much about gerbils but as Hamsters are so territorial I think anyone in their space would be a threat and it could lead to fighting and injuries - but more than that it would be very stressful for the hamster.

They are like little hermits, Syrian hamsters. What is lovely though is how they can bond with an owner. Although I say "hamsters" above (dwarf hamsters can live together but it often ends in separation after fighting and only works with siblings really even if it does last for life).

With the gerbils there is also the issue of diseases. A micro-organism that may live quite happily on one creature could cause illness in another. In particular Hamsters can get a very unpleasant condition from wild mice - Tyzer's disease.
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gerbils, noodles, presumed, rebecca, ruby, year, question

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