The Truth Behind Hamster Cannibalism

Hamsters are cute little furry friends who look so adorable. So, one might think that hamsters will not hurt each other. However, in reality, they would eat each other. They may appear gentle and adorable, but they may eat each other. That said, have you ever wondered why they become so aggressive toward each other? To give a glimpse of the answer to this question, hamsters would eat others if the food they had eaten altered their nature. Having said that, there could be some other hamsters in the wild who would eat each other without having any diet changes either.

You could commonly spot this behavioral act among the few territorial hamster breeds in the wild. In general, there are non-territorial hamster breeds that would tend to eat each other if their diets made them do so. So, if you want to dig deep into this topic, you should concentrate on a wide array of things. Therefore, we have covered all the essential information you should know in this article. Are you one of the many interested hamster owners who are curious to learn more? If yes, it would be worthwhile going through this article.

What is cannibalism?

Cannibalism is the act of eating one another. Cannibalism in hamsters is a behavioral act caused by the hamsters’ diets and breed. For example, imagine the hamsters eating food items such as corn, grains, roots, and some insects for a long time. So foods such as corn don’t contain the vitamin called B3 or niacin. So hamsters have no way of getting vitamin B3. When hamsters run out of vitamin B3, it leads to a condition called pellagra. Ultimately, it would cause dementia.

It is also possible that it would cause the hamsters to kill each other. So, this is called cannibalism. This could be an aggressive behavior that you could spot among the hamsters. So, it is vital that you first learn what hamster breeds could be cannibalistic and, depending on that, house them so that you can avoid any risks that may arise.

Are hamsters cannibals?

Some hamster breeds can be cannibalistic. Most of the territorial hamster breeds would be cannibalistic. If I further elaborate on this, Syrian hamsters may act aggressively towards other hamster breeds. It’s also possible that they’ll end up killing each other. On another note, there could be some hamster mothers who would tend to eat just-born or dead baby hamsters. Mother Hamsters would engage in this activity because they believed the hamsters’ corpses would attract predators.In other words, they do that for protection.

Do Hamsters Fight to Death?

Yes, hamsters can fight to the death. It is not uncommon to see hamsters engaged in violent combat and sustaining fatal wounds. Bear in mind that hamsters can keep fighting very hard while tolerating the trauma and the pain they get while fighting. Furthermore, chances are that they may have serious damage to their teeth as well. As a result, you must intervene and separate them unless they are likely to result in death most of the time. Hamsters fighting to the death is a common occurrence.

How Do You Tell If Hamsters Are Fighting or Playing?

When the hamsters fight, you can see them biting each other. Further, they may tend to chase each other as well. Besides, there could be some hamsters that would tend to corner the other hamsters so that they could prevent them from escaping. Further, when two hamsters are fighting, you can see that the bullied hamster is withdrawn, has lost or gained weight, etc. Further, they will not even bother to play with you. They may tend to become aggressive when you try to get hold of them.

Is It Normal for Hamsters to Fight?

Yes, it is completely normal for hamsters to fight. As such, it would be best if you could separate them or grow them in large cages so that you would not have to deal with these issues. In addition to that, you can consider partitioning the cage or creating quadrants so that it will divide the territory. That way, it would keep the hamsters calm and relaxed without making them want to fight.

Do Hamsters Squeak When Fighting?

Yes, hamsters squeak when they fight. You could hear them making squeaking noises while fighting. Additionally, they would also make shrieks, shrills, and plenty of other noises. It is very common for hamsters to do this whenever they are in a threatening situation. Hamsters would make squeaking noises to let other hamsters know to back off. They would do that before things got too intense. Thereafter, the teeth would fall out and end up attacking the other hamsters. They may even tend to kill other hamsters for their own survival.

Why do hamsters eat each other?

Hamsters would eat each other only if there were genuine reasons to do so. For example, if there are insufficient resources, hamsters may tend to eat each other. Individual hamsters have their own struggles in terms of survival. As a result, they may eat their babies in order to survive. If we consider the hamsters that live in the wild, they would roam around the area to find food and water. So, it is unlikely that they will eat each other in the wild.

However, if we look at the captivated hamsters, they will have to share the resources they get from their owners. So, if the hamsters run short of sufficient resources, they may tend to eat the rest of the other hamsters to avoid the pressure. This characteristic helps them survive in tough times.

In addition to these, hamsters would tend to eat each other due to their territorial attitude. There could be some very territorial hamster breeds. Syrian hamsters, for example, fall into this category because they exhibit various territorial behavioral acts. The hamsters in the wild may also fight whenever they spot a strange hamster.

Apart from the reasons stated above, cage rage could be another reason why the hamsters eat each other. Hamsters are vulnerable to cage rage, which is more like a psychological disorder that hamsters may suffer from. So whenever the hamsters go through this condition, they tend to become aggressive towards both hamsters as well as humans. These aggressive behavioral patterns may lead to cannibalism. If you have placed the hamsters in a conducive cage, it would make them more vulnerable to cannibalism.

Diet could be another reason why the hamsters may eat each other. Diet patterns would alter the behaviors of the hamsters. If we further describe this, suppose that you are feeding one particular food item, such as corn, to the hamsters. Then they may tend to develop these aggressive behavioral patterns and eat each other.

What are the Cannibalistic Breeds?

Syrian hamsters and dwarf hamsters would be two cannibalistic breeds. That being said, sometimes dwarf hamsters can get along with other hamster breeds too. Robo hamsters usually thrive in colonies. However, they need to have adequate space so that they do not become cannibalistic.

What breeds are best to combine?

The best breed to combine would be the Roborovski breed. So you could let two Robo hamsters grow in the same cage. Robo hamsters can thrive well, be it in a small group or a pair. However, it is always preferable to raise same-sex Robo hamsters. Breeding different-sex Robo hamsters is not recommended. Furthermore, when combining Robo hamsters, make sure to do so at a young age. They would be able to get along better as they grew.

Along with Robo hamsters, dwarf winter white Russian hamsters would get along well. They must grow together so that they will get used to their cage mates. Keep in mind that these hamsters’ reproduction would take place at a rapid rate. As such, it is best to keep the same-sex hamster breed in one cage.

Besides, you may also consider combining Campbell’s Dwarf and Russian hamsters, as these two breeds are friendly hamster breeds. However, you should ensure that you do this when they are still young. Even though it is fine to combine the hamsters and grow, once you place two hamsters in one cage, you should observe them for a few days and see how they react to it. If you happen to see one of the hamsters tending to become aggressive, it would be best to remove one of them.

Do hamsters eat their babies?

Hamsters would eat their babies if they had a deficiency in their diet. For instance, it is extremely unlikely that hamsters will have vitamin B3 if they continue to consume corn. So, they would tend to eat their babies due to a lack of vitamin B3. Secondly, stress could also make the hamsters eat their babies. It is a known fact that hamsters go through stress whenever they are doing deliveries. So, when they find it difficult to cope with the pressure, they tend to eat their babies.

If the hamsters have dead babies, they would eat them to secure the living babies. The smell of the corpses would attract predators, and hamsters would eat them. Keep in mind that you could spot this behavioral pattern among domesticated hamsters, too. Moreover, changes in scent and insufficient resources would also make the hamsters eat the babies.

Why Do Female Hamsters Attack Male Hamsters?

Female hamsters would attack male hamsters mainly for two reasons. First and foremost, they would do that to show that they are not ready for mating. Usually, female hamsters would prefer mating every four days. So, if any male hamster tries to mate with them before that, they will not hesitate to attack the male hamster.

Secondly, female hamsters would attack the male hamsters to exert their aggressive behavior. Usually, female hamsters are more aggressive when compared with male hamsters. Hence, they would tend to be dominant by attacking the male hamsters, especially when they come for non-mating purposes.

Is It OK to Have Two Hamsters in the Same Cage?

You can have two hamsters in the same cage as long as you design it in a way where the two hamsters don’t have to battle and share too many things. For example, you need to provide more than one food bowl, a water bowl, and all the other necessary stuff so that they will not have to fight for them.

Needless to say, you should rather concentrate on the hamster breeds and then keep them together accordingly. Some hamster breeds can live together quite easily, while there could be some hamsters who would find it difficult to live in harmony.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Will dwarf hamsters kill each other?

If dwarf hamsters do not have enough space, they will engage in cannibalism. Besides, if they don’t get sufficient food, they will still tend to become cannibalistic. So, in a nutshell, overcrowding would make the dwarf hamsters kill each other.

Are dwarf hamsters eating each other?

It is well known that Syrian and dwarf hamsters will eat other hamsters in their habitat. While dwarf hamsters occasionally get along with their cage mates, they also have the potential to turn hostile. In colonies, robo hamsters thrive, but they need enough room to avoid becoming cannibalistic thanks to overcrowding.

Do teddy bear hamsters eat each Other?

No. Teddy bears or Syrian hamsters cannot coexist. When placed in the same cage, they are likely to attack each other because they are fiercely territorial. When mating a male with a female, breeders themselves must be cautious. The male must be removed as soon as the female accepts him into her space after mating in order to prevent her from turning against him. Even though they are relatively quiet animals, they will be anxious because of the other hamster’s existence and the very real risk it poses to them.

Do Syrian hamsters eat each other?

Syrian hamsters would tend to each other, act aggressively, and end up eating each other. There is a chance they will eat themselves as well.

Are hamsters’ carnivores?

Hamsters are omnivorous, not carnivorous.

Final words

To recap, hamsters are gentle and adorable animals. However, even though they look very gentle and cute, they tend to become aggressive and eat each other sometimes. Lack of food or lack of space are two causes that would result in this condition. So, whenever you spot two hamsters who tend to be aggressive towards each other, I suggest you remove one of them so that you can avoid any potential risk that may take place.

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