Welcome to Dashing Hamsters. I created this website back in 2005, initially to have a place to share my love of hamsters. Throughout the years I have come across a lot of information that just often doesn't match up. Care standards and information are outdated, and these little creatures are misunderstood by many. So I decided to make this website as more than just a hamster lover's website, but a hamster website for modern owners who are looking for up to date advice on how to care for and understand their beloved hamsters. On DH you can learn about hamsters, see some cute pictures and read through a hamster filled blog.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Housing Multiple Hamsters

Having a pair or group of hamsters is lot's of fun, however there is always a chance of them fighting. My first pair of dwarfs, Mocha and Dusk, fought and had to be separated and through that I learned some basic guidelines for housing multiple hamsters. Since using these guidelines I have had three pairs of happy hamsters coexist together.

First off you need to know what species it is that you want to have. Syrians are solitary creatures by nature and will fight till the death. Even if they do not fight their lives will be quite stressful, leading to a lowered immune system. In the end expensive vet bills are down the road when keeping syrians together.

There are four species of hamsters that can be housed together including Russian Campbell Dwarfs, Winter White Dwarfs, Roborovski Dwarfs and Chinese hamsters. Each species of hamsters must be kept with it's own kind, you should not under any circumstances mix species together. You must also aim for siblings. It is difficult to successfully introduce hamsters together and often doesn't work out.

These following tips will help create an environment that will decrease chances of hamsters arguing over something. As with any siblings, hamsters may have their tiffs but sometimes prolonged problems and arguments can lead to fighting and separation. If you want to keep a pair or group of hamsters it is recommended that you attempt to create this ideal setup:

* Make sure you have a large setup for your new hamsters. If you don't have a large enough setup then your dwarfs could fight for space. If the cage is too small than your hamsters will fight for space. For two hamsters the minimum floor space should equal out to 360 square inches. It is not recommended that you use multiple cages to house a pair/group of hamsters as one hamster often becomes territorial over one cage and fights to defend it. Have a single large cage is best.

* You will need a large food dish. Most dwarfs love to be able to sit in their food dish. But if you have a food dish that doesn't allow all hamsters to sit in it to have equal access at the food then you could be asking for a fight. Food dish's that would allow all of the hamsters to sit in at the same time are best.

* Sometimes one or more of the dwarfs will be greedy. So the other(s) might not get enough food and then get angry. So if you find your dwarfs are not getting the right amount of food the answer is not another food dish. Why? Because now Piggy gets twice as much food. I would suggest separate feeding times. Feed one and while taking the other out. Then switch turns. But usually having a large food dish can help this.

* Next you need to look at the wheels. Never get the wheels that are actually made for dwarfs. Some are too small in the first place and all the hamsters can't fit on it at once. A syrian sized wheel or bigger is your best bet. As well remember the key to success with wheels is having one wheel per hamster.

* Now look at the water bottles. Sometimes dwarfs will fight over getting a drink. So then you need to get another water bottle. I haven't seen much of this but if you notice squabbles over a drink then adding another one will help.

* Multiple beds are very important as well. Dwarfs may not want to sleep together all the time, they like their space too. So it is important that you have more then one bed for them in their cage in case one is chased out of its bed.

* Next you must consider the gender of your hamsters. It is important that you have hamsters of the same sex. Breeding is a lot of hard work and takes a long time to learn how to do properly. So make sure you either have all girls or all boys. As for which gets along better, I have yet to see a difference. It has been said that female Chinese hamsters often do not get along, so if you have female Chinese hamsters keep a close eye.

* When it comes to cleaning the cage make sure that you keep a bit of the old substrate behind which has their scent on it. Not putting some of the old substrate behind may encourage your hamsters to try and re-establish the 'pecking' order, that is who is the Alpha hamster.

* If fighting occurs and there is blood/injuries you must separate them immediately. This means you must have extra cages ready in case they do fight and that when getting a pair or group you must be prepared to take care of all the hamsters in their own cages. Keep in mind that sometimes hamsters argue or play fight which may look or even sound awful but isn't serious. After all even human siblings argue from time to time.

* Many suggest that groups of three hamsters will more than often not work out due to two of the hamsters bonding and then trying to drive the third one out of the group. This may not apply to all trios but anyone who has or is considering a trio should take this into consideration.

An ideal setup for a pair of hamsters: a 20 gallon long, 30"L x 12"W (360 square inches)


  1. I absolutely LOVE your hamster blog and I'm glad I found it. I also wonder why it's not commonly known 'cause you have a bunch of VERY helpful, interesting information in here. Me myself, I own my first hammie called Lilly and we are bloggers, too, so feel free to stop by anytime. Wish you all the best!

  2. Thank you very much! I am still building up the blog actually. I haven't shared the link with anyone yet, so I'm happily surprised to see such a wonderful response!

  3. Well, I was just looking around, searching for some other than me hamster lovers :-) Your knowledge is impressing. It's very kind of you that you want to share it and I hope for more.