Last updated on January 22nd, 2023 at 07:03 pm
Hamsters are very sweet and pleasant pets, it’s really nice to see them running and playing around us. However, hamsters sometimes eat each other.
You must be wondering why these small and cute animals eat each other?
Hamsters eat each other if the diet changes their nature or if other hamsters affect their chances of survival. Some breeds of hamsters that love their territory do not even require changes in their nature due to their diet, they often eat other hamsters.
We should emphasize that fortunately, the greater number of hamsters are non-territorial, while there are fewer territorial breeds of hamsters, which means that there are fewer chances of them eating each other.
In today’s article, you will learn a little more about the reasons why hamsters eat each other, why they eat their babies, and how to choose hamsters that will not eat each other.
Why do hamsters eat each other?
Let’s emphasize that hamsters eat each other only when they have a real reason to do so, so don’t be afraid to keep hamsters.
Hamsters eat each other because of insufficient food, improper diet, fighting for territory, and when they are nervous and have a cage rage.
In any case, in the next part of the text, we will find out in detail about these main reasons why hamsters eat each other.
Honestly, when you find out the reasons, maybe you won’t judge them so much for eating each other.
Fight for territory
Syrian and Chinese hamsters are very territorial hamster breeds.
These two breeds of hamsters regardless of whether they have enough food to eat in their cage, can turn to cannibalism and eat each other if they live in groups.
It’s just their nature and it’s best not to keep groups of hamsters if they belong to these two breeds.
Lack of food
The lack of food makes hamsters nervous and they then fear for their survival, especially when they are in a cage at home.
When they are in nature they have many more ways to get food and water, and they don’t think that they should start eating each other.
While in a cage in our homes the situation is different, they depend on the food that we leave for them.
If there is not enough food for several hamsters in one cage, they then think of the worst-case scenario, i.e. eating each other.
Hamsters eat each other if they are angry and nervous
When hamsters are enraged they may start eating other hamsters in their cage.
Hamsters are very vulnerable animals, which become very aggressive under anger and can then lead to cannibalism.
If their cage is not big enough or something like that, it can make the hamsters go into a cage rage and start eating others.
Sometimes a hamster that is angry will not only start eating other hamsters, but it will also continue to be bad even when is alone in its cage.
Poor food choices
Hamsters can start eating each other if they eat the same food all the time.
For example, corn or some other food causes the hamsters to become aggressive and start eating each other.
That is why it is very important to always give them a varied diet, which, apart from not making them nervous, will improve their health and extend their life span.
Likewise, if hamsters that are in nature eat the same food all the time, the same thing will happen to them, that is, they will start eating each other.
Do hamsters cannibalize?
In general, hamsters do not cannibalize.
Sometimes certain things force hamsters to become cannibals, this happens even with the friendliest breeds of hamsters.
When living in groups, Syrian and Chinese hamsters have the most chances to cannibalize or eat each other.
While dwarf breeds of hamsters that live in groups very rarely happen to try cannibalization, only in exceptional situations during a feeding problem or a fight between them, this is very rare.
Why do hamsters eat their babies?
Hamsters eat their babies due to insufficiently healthy nutrition, stress, threats from male hamsters, and other reasons.
So let’s find out in detail how these reasons influence hamsters to eat their babies.
Stress makes hamsters eat their babies
When hamsters birth their babies and then nurse them, they are under stress.
They can handle the stress of baby hamsters, but there are additional stressful situations that make the situation more difficult.
For example, hamsters get stressed if there is too much noise and loud sounds in their environment because they hear 10 times louder than humans.
Another stressful situation that increases their stress is from other animals and people in the environment.
Hamsters need a diet rich in vitamins and minerals, when they are deficient then they may start eating their babies.
For example, hamsters that eat a lot of corn often start eating their babies as well.
There is no vitamin B3 in corn, so we should be careful and give them food that is rich in this vitamin so that they don’t continue to eat their babies.
Because of the protection of living babies
Sometimes hamsters protect live babies by eating dead baby hamsters.
They do this most of the time when they are in nature because the predators will know the location of the hamsters by the smell of the dead babies.
That’s why hamsters as a protection for the life of other hamsters in the group are forced to eat the dead babies.
As we said, this happens most often when they are in the wild, but sometimes it can happen in household conditions, but much less often.
A change in the smell of hamsters
Hamsters very often use the smell to mark their babies, so that they can recognize them more easily.
They leave a scent on the babies, but if a human touches the baby hamster then its scent will change and this will cause problems for the mother hamster who will not recognize her baby.
The mother hamster will think that such a baby is an outsider and will mistakenly eat it.
These things happen and we just have to be careful not to touch the very small baby hamsters, because we will save their lives.
Not enough food
Food is one of the main reasons why hamsters eat their babies.
When they don’t have enough food, hamsters start eating their babies, which is certainly unfortunate, but that’s the reality and that’s how hamsters think, they think about how to survive.
At the same time, the mother first chooses the weaker baby hamsters and eats them, leaving the stronger ones to live with little food.
If the worst comes when the mother is starving and has no food to eat, she will have no choice but to eat all her babies.
Danger from male hamsters
Male hamsters are indirectly dangerous to the life of small baby hamsters because they are constantly trying to get attention from the mother hamster.
Mother hamsters are forced to hide their babies from the male hamsters.
If they find a suitable hiding place then the baby hamsters will be saved, but if they don’t then they hide them in their cheek pouches.
When baby hamsters are in their cheeks for a long time they will eventually suffocate and die.
How to protect baby hamsters from being eaten by their mother
The moment the mother’s hamster is pregnant, it is time to immediately take some preventive actions so that she does not eat the baby hamster when she births them.
Here are some important things that will help the mother not to eat the babies.
Move the other hamsters
While the mother hamster is pregnant, it is best to be alone in a cage, and temporarily move the other hamsters to another cage.
No matter how well-behaved the other hamsters are, there may come a time when they can show aggression toward the mother and attack her.
The mother hamster in fear can eat her babies in such a situation.
Whereas if the mother is alone in the cage, she will more easily recover from birth and will prevent future pregnancies until the babies grow a little.
Read more: Why Do Hamsters Die So Easily? (How To Decrease)
While the mother hamster is pregnant, she needs to have enough food so that she can more easily take the entire pregnancy.
The better the mother hamster is fed, the less likely she is to eat the babies.
The food should be varied, but also rich in proteins and other nutrients that she will need while she is pregnant.
In addition to healthy food, the mother will also need fresh and clean water, so that she can maintain her hydration and strength during and after birth babies.
The cage should be wide and comfortable
When mother hamsters show that they are pregnant, which is usually a day or two before they give birth, you will need to immediately take some measures regarding the cage to make it comfortable for them.
In the lower part of the cage, put some soft material that will be comfortable for the mother while she is pregnant, as well as for the babies that will be born.
Leave the mother alone with her babies as much as you can, because too much noise and lights will only upset and upset her, which can lead to a situation where she eventually eats her babies as a form of protection.
Do not touch the mother hamster’s babies
When the baby hamsters are born, avoid touching them because you will change their smell.
The mother hamster recognizes her babies precisely by their smell, if the smell changes she can eat them thinking they are some other hamsters.
If you have to move a baby hamster then it is best to do it with a spoon, so as not to come into direct contact and change its smell.
Why do female hamsters attack male hamsters?
Female hamsters sometimes attack male hamsters.
This happens for two main reasons, reluctance to mate and aggressive behavior.
Reluctance to mate
Male hamsters often attack female hamsters to mate, but female hamsters are not always ready.
Female hamsters are usually ready to mate every 4 days, so if a male hamster tries to mate too often, she will attack him.
Female hamsters are by nature more aggressive than male hamsters, and therefore they often attack them.
They will not attack them if it is mating time, while in all other situations female hamsters want to dominate the male hamsters.
Read more: How To Humanely Euthanize a Hamster at Home? (Find Out Now)
Is it good to keep two hamsters in the same cage?
Yes, generally keeping two hamsters in one cage is possible, but the cage itself should be properly designed.
In the cage, there should be separate tanks for water, food, and other things such as toys or a wheel, so that there is no conflict and fight between the hamsters.
Another important thing is the breed of hamsters you want to keep in the same cage.
How to make a good choice of hamsters to live together in a cage?
To make the right choice of hamsters that will be able to live together, you need to take hamsters of a breed,
Roborovski hamsters can live together in a cage, they are used to living together in a larger group when they are in the wild.
It is best when you keep two Robo-hamsters to get them to be of the same sex, so they will get along much better.
Another important thing is that you can get two hamsters that are about the same age, that is, young hamsters that will get along better with each other.
Dwarf Winter White Russian Hamsters
Dwarf Winter White Russian hamsters are similar to Robo hamsters in terms of conformation, and they will live well in the same cage.
This breed of hamsters reproduces very quickly, so it is best to keep hamsters of the same sex together, otherwise, in a short time, you will not have enough room in the cage for the new babies.
They, like Robo hamsters, get along best if they live together and are the same age.
Campbell’s hamsters are friendly to their breed of hamsters and can live together in the same cage.
It is best to put them together to grow in one cage while they are young, then they will get along best.
Syrian hamsters should not be kept together in the same cage.
They are territorial and will fight for their territory all the time, and will create problems and fights with other hamsters.
Syrian hamsters live best alone in a cage, they do not want to share the cage with other hamsters, regardless of whether they are of their own breed or another breed.
Can you make a combination of different breeds of hamsters in one cage?
Yes, you can make a combination of different breeds of hamsters in one cage, just don’t do it with Syrian hamsters.
All other breeds except Syrian hamsters can live together in a combination, but first, you need to leave them for a few days to see if they get along well.
If one of the hamsters is oppressing the other hamster, it should be removed and another hamster of the same breed and sex should be brought.
Read more: Why Do Hamsters Lick You? (Let’s Discover)
Hamsters eat each other because of the diet that works on their nature or because of the influence of other hamsters on their chances of survival.
Hamsters when they are in a shortage of food when they are under the influence of rage and fighting for territory can start eating each other.
Sometimes it happens that hamsters eat their babies again due to lack of food, danger from predators, and other similar situations.
In any case, to reduce the chances of them eating each other, we should pay attention to their diet, and the choice of hamster breeds when we plan to keep two hamsters together and provide them with a pleasant and comfortable life without stress.