Should You Own a Hamster if You Have Other Pets?

Hamsters make excellent pets, which is why many people choose to own them. But what if you want to introduce a new pet to your family? Or if you already have pets and want to get a hamster, too?

It’s definitely not wise to add a new pet to the home without first understanding what that will mean for your existing pets. Some animals make great friends, and it can be super cute to see your cat all loved up with your dog, for example.

But you can’t assume that all animals are well-suited to live under the same roof.

So, let’s look at whether hamsters cohabit well with other pets and the best action to take when owning more than one animal.

Can Hamsters Live Well With Other Hamsters?

The obvious place to start is to look at whether hamsters can live with other hamsters. The not-so-simple answer: it depends.

Syrian hamsters are known for being solo hamsters. Therefore, they are much better off living alone in their cage. On the other hand, if you want two Syrian hamsters, a second cage is certainly an option.

As for other breeds of hamsters, such as dwarf hamsters, they can do well in pairs of the same sex. Still, this can depend on the personality of the hamsters. For example, some hamsters, no matter the breed, do not get on well with other hamsters. Or, they simply prefer to be alone.

Another thing to note is that if you do get two hamsters and put them in separate cages, it’s best to let them out of the cage separately, too. This is because a hamster may not do well with socialising if a hamster lives alone.

Can Hamsters Live With Other Small Animals?

Already own a gerbil, guinea pig, or some other small animal? That’s no problem as long as you keep them in their own cages away from each other. Keeping them in the same room is fine, but it’s best if they’re not right next to each other.

It’s also important to ensure all the cages are sturdy and secure, so no escapees are causing havoc!  When you let them out of their cage for some exercise or playtime, doing this one animal at a time is best. You don’t want a hamster vs guinea pig fight!

Something to note if you’re a proud rat owner – if they’re out of their cage and can get hold of your hamster, they will!

Can Hamsters Live With Cats and Dogs?

If you have a room that your hamster can live in that isn’t accessible to your cat or dog, then sure! Hamsters can live with cats and dogs, but it’s not a good idea for them to be in the same room.

Cats are deviants, and knocking over the hamster cage or trying to claw them out of the cage altogether will be number one on their to-do list.

Most dogs (and cats) are also significantly bigger than hamsters, which will never end well. Your dog may be harmless and playful, but its sheer size can be highly stressful for a hamster. Plus, if your dog gets hold of your tiny hamster, it will probably do a lot of damage – intentional or not!

There is the off-chance that if you introduce your cat or dog to your hamster, they’ll get along, and it’ll be cute as hell. It will also make for some great Instagram photos. But that’s an extremely rare case. It’s simply not worth finding out if your cat sees your hamster as a friend instead of a play-thing.

How to keep your hamster safe around cats and dogs

If you decide to introduce your cat or dog to your wee hamster, it’s important to bear some things in mind. Stress is one of the major causes of illness in hamsters, so it’s vital to keep the stress level down.

Here are some tips on how to do that:

  • If your dog barks, take them away immediately
  • Do not allow your cat or dog to paw at, lick, or shove the hamster cage
  • Do not allow your cat or dog to lean against or lie on the hamster cage
  • Do not allow your cat to sit and stare at the hamster like they want to eat them
  • Keep the hamster cage in a place where the cat or dog cannot push it off of a surface
  • Never leave your cat or dog unattended with your hamster

Should You Own a Hamster if You Have Other Pets?

Owning other pets when you own a hamster isn’t a big deal. You simply need to take the correct precautions to keep all of your little furry family members safe and happy. 

Here are our top tips:

  • Keep hamsters in their own cages unless their breed likes to be paired up
  • Ensure all cages are secure if you own several caged animals, so escaped pets aren’t an issue
  • Keep hamsters and other caged animals in a separate room where free-roaming pets such as cats and dogs cannot get into

Good luck with your furry family!