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Introduce A New Hamster

Allow a new hamster to interact with people that will be handling it.

By Audrey Pavia

A hamster must learn to have other people handle it besides you. This makes it easier if your hamster must be examined by a veterinarian or cared for by a friend or pet sitter.

Introduce your hamster to friends and neighbors so it can become accustomed to their scent. Let them stroke the hamster or give it treats while you hold it. Once the hamster is used to their scent, show them how to pick it up. It may help if they pick up some clean bedding first so their hands smell like the hamster’s safe, comfortable cage.

Hamsters do best living on their own. Syrian hamsters in particular are highly territorial and will fight to the death, so a cage mate isn’t a good idea for them. Some dwarf hamsters get along well in same-sex pairs. Introduce them when they’re very young, if possible. They’re more likely to become buddies if they grow up together. If you try to introduce older hamsters, they may attempt to injure or kill each other.

Instead of putting one hamster in another hamster’s cage, start with a clean, unused cage filled with new bedding. Any toys or food dishes should also be new or clean. Sprinkle seed mix throughout the cage. This gives the hamsters something to focus on besides each other. With any luck, they’ll soon be pals. If one is aggressive toward the other, however, remove it for a day, letting the other hamster spread its scent around the cage. When you reintroduce the hamster that was aggressive, the widespread scent of the other hamster may lessen the aggressive hamster’s territorial behavior. If the hamsters are still unable to get along, they should be kept in separate cages.

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Reader Comments
Wow,I hope this work,I want my friend's hamster to become friends woth my hamster.Except they're a different breed but i'm hoping that doesn't matter.
Rachek, Cincinnati, OH
Posted: 4/12/2009 12:45:02 PM
Thats some good insight but, i do wish i could put my 2 hamsters together..i wish they could get along.
Shasta, Orrtanna, PA
Posted: 6/2/2008 7:21:42 AM
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