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Old 10-25-2019, 01:17 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 8
Default Can Chinese Hamsters live in pairs.

Hi everyone, just after some advice as I've never had Chinese hammies before, I acquired 2 brothers 4 weeks ago, who are around 5-6 months old, I was given them off a lady who couldn't give them the care they needed and she had moved them to her garage because the cat wouldnt leave them alone. I took them on and moved them into a much bigger cage (Alaska) than they were in. The lady told me they must be kept together because they were bonded brothers. They sleep together, eat together, run in the wheel together and seem very close, but on page on a social media group when I posted about them, I was told that they are solitary hamsters and MUST be housed seperately as they will end up killing or seriously injuring each other, now I'm panicking. Any advice would be extremely helpful.
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Old 10-25-2019, 01:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: Can Chinese Hamsters live in pairs.

Sometimes they will stay together. Some lines are more placid and laid back and also males often stay longer than females as a pair.
However there can be issues as if they do 'fall out' it can be very sudden and very, very vicious in that they can fight to the death. Often pet owners don't see the signs that something is not right and it can be prompted by something very simple like a different scent when handling. You need to be on alert all the time - friends I know with pairs will even sleep with them in the same room in case they start battling and have a water spray bottle by the cage to startle them in to parting and a jar to scoop them straight out. I wold be uneasy living with that level of uncertainty myself. Even when mating a pair I was up all night fretting over them in case they fought.
A single sex pair is not a natural situation and this wouldn't happen in the wild for example. You do need to be on alert at all times or make the choice of risking it or separating now and removing the chance of a fight.
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Old 10-25-2019, 03:21 PM   #3
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Default Re: Can Chinese Hamsters live in pairs.

I would immediately separate them. As souffle mentioned same sex pairs are not natural, and it happens to cause constant levels of stress that are so easy to avoid just by housing all hamsters on their own regardless of species. You also gain the benefit of more enrichment opportunities when housing hamsters on their own, since pairs and groups can't have any sort of platforms or levels for example among other things that would definitely limit your potential enrichment choices.
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