Register FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Navigation
Front Page
Forum
Gallery
Wiki

Ads by Google


Go Back   Hamster Central > Hamster Central Forum Topics > Behaviour

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-08-2021, 09:29 PM   #1
karlh
Hamster Pup
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Notting Hill, London
Posts: 147
Default 2 RWW sister squabbling

I have 2 sisters, now almost 4 months old. The larger and lazier, is Mitzi and the very active, smaller one, is Hetty.
They have begun to argue a bit, often over who is going to use which wheel, although they have two since arrival.
Mitzi sometime chases Hetty, but have not seen them fight. During the day, they are quiet and I do not hear a peep. There is not much arguing going on during the night, when they are awake. Hetty seems to keep out of her larger sister's way.
I understand that this may be just a sisterly squabble over supremacy, as they don't actually fight. Are they likely to sort this out among themselves?
karlh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2021, 12:03 AM   #2
Ria P
House of Hamsters
 
Ria P's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Wiltshire, UK
Posts: 4,266
Default Re: 2 RWW sister squabbling

No, it's likely to get worse and there is a very real risk that one of them could get injured or killed.

Hamsters are territorial animals, regardless of species.

The smaller one may not be getting enough food because the bigger ones gets to it first. Trying to avoid her sister while living in one cage can't be much fun for Hetty.

In my opinion it is unfair to expose hamsters to stress and they all deserve a peaceful and happy life in their own homes.
Stress can lead to health issues for the hamster and substantial vet bills for the human.

I foster sometimes and have recently rehomed a dwarf with a big scar who had been attacked by another hamster and i've had a hamster in my care, also recently, who had eaten her sister.

I would separate them now.
__________________
Housemate of Ozzy & Rory & Rodney & Betsy & Monty & lodgers Walter & Rupert
always in my thoughts Percy, Henry, Gordon, Edwina and Clarissa
Ria P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2021, 03:21 AM   #3
Serendipity7000
Hamsters University
 
Serendipity7000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: North of England
Posts: 21,667
Default Re: 2 RWW sister squabbling

Yes you do need to separate them. I know that may seem hard but it can go from squabbling to a fight involving death or serious injury in a flash. In a way, serious injury is worse as they can be severely maimed and need to be pts.

Although per shops and some people say dwarf hamsters can live in sibling pairs it is extremely unusual for this to last for more than a few months without major issues. They become more territorial when their hormones kick in at a few months old usually.

As Ria says, the big one is basically bullying the smaller one. Once you’ve separated them the smaller one will do much better. And they will both be fine! They don’t need company other than a human to chat to.

So please separate them now. I wouldn’t risk leaving it overnight another night. If you don’t have a spare cage then a plastic storage bin could be used as a temporary cage.

It’s one thing pet shops don’t tell you - you’ll need a spare cage in case they need separating.

In time you might feel you want to rehome one of them if space is an issue then you can get some money back for any new cage.

Cheapest option for a second cage is something like the pets at home XL wire cage (which is not XL! But about minimum size for a dwarf hamster. If you have a PAH nearby. Or quick cheap temporary option is a plastic storage bin from local supermarket. Or two - one as a temporary cage, one to make into a bin cage. At least 70 x 45cm size.
__________________
Serendipity7000 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2021, 03:25 AM   #4
Serendipity7000
Hamsters University
 
Serendipity7000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: North of England
Posts: 21,667
Default Re: 2 RWW sister squabbling

Temporary cage you just leave the lid off the bin so it needs to be tall so she can’t escape (and believe me they can build all their substrate up onto a pile in one corner and just climb out! If it’s not tall enough.
__________________
Serendipity7000 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2021, 03:09 AM   #5
karlh
Hamster Pup
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Notting Hill, London
Posts: 147
Default Re: 2 RWW sister squabbling

Thanks all for your advice. Will have to reconnect the tube maze, to give each one enough space to enjoy themselves. Already have 2 of everything.
karlh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2021, 04:26 AM   #6
Serendipity7000
Hamsters University
 
Serendipity7000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: North of England
Posts: 21,667
Default Re: 2 RWW sister squabbling

Hi Karl. Even with the best set up, and two of everything, once this territorial behaviour starts it will only get worse. Even if there are no injuries yet, the bullying is extremely stressful. It was mentioned because it's common - one being bigger than the other as hogging all the food.

So it isn't about having enough space to enjoy themselves within the cage (in fact sometimes more space can create more territorial behaviour) - they need to be in completely separate cages. They will be fine like that, and don't need the company.

Squabbling one day can lead to death the next day (and yes they do eat the other hamster if they've killed them). Tubes also help create territorial behaviour, as do levels and platforms. Any tube as a toy needs to be big enough for both of them to easily fit inside together (eg rat sized) - otherwise one can block the entrance and guard it as territory. The same with levels and platforms - one can claim it as territory.

What cage do you have currently? In Germany, for example, their welfare rules are that dwarf hamsters should always live separately and not in pairs. Some people here also believe that. Others say - give it a try - but be prepared to separate them quickly. They are basically a territorial species. Some people have found, even with a perfect set up, it can still happen - for example if one hamster is taken out of the cage without the other one, even for a very short space of time, the one left behind will claim the cage as their territory. And then see the other hamster as the enemy to be got rid of. There is no real bonding with them.

What cage are they in at the moment?
__________________

Last edited by Serendipity7000; 09-10-2021 at 04:32 AM.
Serendipity7000 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2021, 06:09 AM   #7
Ria P
House of Hamsters
 
Ria P's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Wiltshire, UK
Posts: 4,266
Default Re: 2 RWW sister squabbling

Quote:
Originally Posted by karlh View Post
Thanks all for your advice. Will have to reconnect the tube maze, to give each one enough space to enjoy themselves. Already have 2 of everything.
Are you saying that you have 2 cages?

I take it that you are going to connect the tube maze to the smaller cage to give them a spacious habitat each?

Some reputable and responsible breeders only sell pure bred dwarf hamsters in pairs under the condition that the future owner has a second cage and set up ready in case they fall out or one bullies the other. I've read that only Campbells can sometimes live in pairs or groups but people who keep them need to be very experienced and vigilant to be able to read the warning signs leading up to a serious event.

I really hope that you have separated little Hetty from her sister by now so she can have the happy and stress free life she deserves.

If you don't want two cages then you could advertise one hamster for adoption or give her to a hamster rehome person for rehoming.
You wouldn't be the first person to do that and you wouldn't be the last either.
The hamsters i've taken in for rehoming have either been one half of a pair that had fallen out or they've been a discarded child's pet.
__________________
Housemate of Ozzy & Rory & Rodney & Betsy & Monty & lodgers Walter & Rupert
always in my thoughts Percy, Henry, Gordon, Edwina and Clarissa
Ria P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2021, 06:34 AM   #8
Serendipity7000
Hamsters University
 
Serendipity7000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: North of England
Posts: 21,667
Default Re: 2 RWW sister squabbling

Sorry if we're sounding heavy! It's just concern It's a big issue with pairs of hamsters.
__________________
Serendipity7000 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2021, 09:36 AM   #9
karlh
Hamster Pup
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Notting Hill, London
Posts: 147
Default Re: 2 RWW sister squabbling

I have about six cages-all from my previous ownerships
Originally, two large Rotastak cages were connected together with a big tube between the cages. Each cage has its own wheel, water bottle and a nuts bowl.
I have now re-arranged to tubes, to each one has a maze to herself. Added toilet/bath and fresh food bowl to the 2nd cage, where Hetty is now residing.
They are now both quieter. Hetty seems to eat a bit more, which will be perhaps noticed at a next weigh in in week's time. Currently, she is 31 gs.
Hetty does not run as much as she did before separation. So she should put on a bit of weight. They can still meet when out in their balls.
Update in week's time.
In the past, I have had exclusively Campbells males. All from reputable breeders, pre-tamed and friendly. I have had up to 5 cages strung together with mazes of tubes and hideaway, used by 4 brothers. They have never argued or fought. They very often ended up all 4 together in one wheel, resting. When out, they would all sediment to their favourite space in my bedroom (I have one level flat), in line, either chatting or resting. It was always rather sad, when life progressed and they went over the rainbow.
karlh is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
fight, hetty, larger, mitzi, sisters

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO v2.0.43 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2021 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright 2003-2020, Hobby Solutions
All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:07 AM.