How To Know If Hamsters Playing Or Fighting? Let’s Find Out

Last updated on January 22nd, 2023 at 06:55 pm

When we see our hamsters playing together, and sometimes fighting, it is very difficult to know what exactly they are doing.

Do hamsters play or fight?

Most hamsters fight when they live together, but there are also those that can live together if they have lived together since birth. However, it is very difficult to determine and know exactly when hamsters are playing and when they are fighting.

Usually, when hamsters play they squeal and chase each other and one of the hamsters will be more dominant while the other will give in and roll on its back.

If none of the hamsters back down, then they are actually fighting.

It is generally known hamsters that they can often kill each other during a fight because they are territorial animals, so hamster owners avoid putting two hamsters in one cage.

How To know if hamsters are fighting or playing?

First of all, let’s say that by nature hamsters are territorial animals and when they are together, they often fight over who is dominant, becoming aggressive and one of them will die from the mutual fight.

However, all hamsters are not the same, certain breeds can live together, especially since they are small if they are in the same cage.

Here, according to breed, you know which hamsters can live together and which can’t.

Hamsters that can live together are:

Hamsters that must not live together are Syrian and Chinese hamsters, they always want to be alone in the cage.

If you decide to keep two hamsters, always choose from the same breed, and never mix the breeds, because they will start fighting and one of them will die in the fight.

To know if hamsters are fighting or playing you need to know their behavior and certain things they do with each other.

Here are some signs that will make it easier for you to tell if your hamsters are playing or fighting with each other.

Be careful when hamsters argue

Watch your hamsters argue about how exactly they behave with each other. They may fight often, it’s not terrible as long as they don’t get hurt.

When hamsters fight, they want to become dominant, one to always be in charge among them. At the same time, they may chase each other, and make noises, but all this is normal and you should not worry.

If the hamsters during their daily quarrels start to fight and impose injuries on their bodies, scratches, and bites, then it is already a fight between them, and you should separate them in a separate cage so that one of the hamsters does not die.


Pay attention to their communication

If you pay attention to their communication, you will be able to notice more quickly if the hamsters are fighting or playing with each other.

When hamsters avoid each other most of the time, then they most likely cannot stand each other and this is a sign that there will be a fight.

When the hamsters are playing, then one of the hamsters allows the other to be the main one in the game, more precisely, he will roll over on his back and let the dominant hamster play with him.

The problem is when both hamsters don’t allow dominance, that’s when they start fighting because neither of them will want to pull back and lie on their backs.

Then it’s the right time to separate the hamsters because if you leave them together, they start fighting.

To be able to leave the hamsters together, you must be sure that they can live together, that is, they will not fight if you leave them alone for a specific time while you are not at home.

Signs of a hamster fight

If you were out or at work and you left your hamsters alone, when you come back you can easily find out if there was a fight between them.

It can be noticed if there are signs of bites, scratches, injuries, and similar signs of a fight on their bodies.

A hamster that will be beaten will show symptoms of dehydration, withdrawal, and a decrease in appetite.

Sometimes injured hamsters will hide so that you don’t notice that they are injured by the other hamster, because that’s how they behave in nature.

When these fights start it is best not to wait and separate the hamsters in separate cages because the fights will continue and one hamster will die.

How do you know hamsters are playing?

When hamsters play, they usually chase each other, that’s the way they play together.

Grooming is another way they often practice playing. Then one hamster holds the other hamster and grooms it.

Sometimes hamsters use other ways to play and help each other, such as digging holes together or sleeping together in the tunnel.Hamsters Playing Or Fighting

When do hamsters start fighting?

As hamsters get older, they clash and fight with each other more and more.

It does not always mean that if the hamsters live together for a certain time that they will never start clashing and fighting.

They may change as they get older and start fighting even though they didn’t before.

As the hamsters grow and become adults, they start to get annoyed mostly because of the cage because it is getting too small for them and this is where the battle and fight between the two hamsters begins.

Owners of hamsters should pay attention to the size of the cage and that there is always room for two hamsters, otherwise there will be combats and fights between them.

Why do male hamsters fight?

Male hamsters usually fight because of small cages and if they are bored. But male hamsters know how to fight to prove dominance or to be able to mate with female hamsters.

In general, male hamsters are calmer than female hamsters, but they still fight with each other.

Only if you keep two baby hamsters together then they can understand each other and not fight, although as they get older this can change, there is no guarantee that they will never start fighting.

Why do hamsters often fight?

No matter how much they love each other and play, they often fight and usually fight for territory, but let’s see in detail all the reasons why they fight most of the time.


When hamsters are under stress, they change their mood and start to become aggressive, quarrel, fight and become completely different from what we know them.

Stress is a very important factor that immediately changes a hamster and it will start to fight with other hamsters.

When hamsters are under stress, it usually happens because of loud noises, too many people around them, not enough food, danger from predators, and other reasons.

In order not to be under stress, the hamster should be in the:

  • quiet location
  • less light around his cage
  • that there are no other pets in the area
  • enough food and water

All these factors affect its state of stress and can be decisive in whether the hamster will become aggressive and fight against other hamsters.

Small space in the cage

Hamsters need enough space to feel cozy and comfortable. If the cage is smaller than 80×100 cm then he will be nervous and will not feel comfortable.

Hamsters need an area of ​​10,000 cm2 so that they can have space to run and play.

The bigger the space, the happier and calmer they will be, that is, they will not beat her and fight with other hamsters.

If you have two or more hamsters then the cage should be two or three times bigger to make them comfortable.

The advantage of a large cage is that you can also divide it in half to avoid fights if you keep two hamsters.


Fighting for territory is the main reason for fighting between hamsters.

However, it is their natural instinct that is very difficult to forget, this is how they are taught when they are in the wild and it is something that cannot be avoided.

Hamsters fight among themselves to know who is the boss in the space or the cage, so if necessary, they will kill each other to rule the territory in which they live.

All breeds of hamsters fight and kill each other if they are together in a cage, only dwarf hamsters are a little more friendly to share the territory with another hamster.

Lack of toys

If there are not enough toys and props in the hamster’s cage, they will start fighting among themselves.

If there is a wheel in the cage they will fight over who gets the wheel and uses it to play.

In these situations, the weaker hamster will give up and allow the stronger hamster to use the wheel or other props in the cage, which is not good.

Because a weaker hamster will not be able to tap the energy and run on the wheel which will result in obesity and diseases due to lack of activity.

That’s why the solution is to always have at least two wheels or other toys so that there are no fights between the hamsters, which can end in the death of the weaker hamster.

Why do female hamsters fight?

Female hamsters are generally much more aggressive than male hamsters and often fight and kill each other.

Syrian female hamsters are particularly aggressive and do not want to share their territory with other hamsters at all, they want to live alone in the cage.

So be careful never to keep two female or male Syrian hamsters in the same cage, because one of them will not survive.Hamsters Playing Or Fighting

Do hamsters squeak when they fight?

Hamsters squeak when they fight, but they also squeak when they play.

They use the screech in both situations and so it’s hard to know if and what they’re doing at the moment just because of that.

That is why it is best to watch the other signs, whether they are chasing each other, whether one hamster is on top of the other hamster, or when they are fighting and both do not give up in the fight.

Squeaking can be a sign that they are afraid or a sign that one hamster needs to back off to avoid being beaten by the other hamster.

In any case, it is a little more difficult to know exactly why they squeak, whether from playing or fighting between them.

Can hamsters kill each other?

Yes, hamsters often fight until one of them hamsters die.

The most dangerous are Syrian and Chinese hamsters, which cannot live together with other hamsters, while dwarf hamsters can, but they can sometimes kill each other.

Only if hamsters such as dwarfs live together since they are born they can live together, but again we have to be very careful about them.

Read more: Why Do Hamsters Die So Easily? (How To Decrease)

Can male and female hamsters live in the same cage?

Yes, female and male hamsters can live together in one cage, but only for a certain time.

They can only be put together in one cage when they are in pairs, in any other case there will be conflicts and fights between them again.

That’s why you can put them together while mating, and then separate them in separate cages, that’s the best way for both male and female hamsters.

It’s very rare that they live together without fighting, so it’s best not to risk it at all.

Read more: Can An Abscess Kill A Hamster? (Symptoms, Causes, Treatment)

Should hamsters live together in a cage?

No, it is best for hamsters not to live together in the same cage because the risk of fights and the possibility of killing each other is too great.

Hamsters can play and fight, it is difficult to make an accurate assessment when they are playing and when the game turns into a fight.

Even dwarf hamsters can injure and kill each other if they are stressed or nervous, or for some other reason.

Therefore, it is best to separate the hamsters in separate cages.

Read more: Can Hamsters Die From Fear? (Stress, Wet Tail & More)