When Hamsters Fight

When Hamster FightWhen Hamsters FightYou can observe your hamsters communicating and interacting with one another by the way they use their body language to display an emotion. As a pet hamster owner, it’s important to observe these interactions to know when all is well in the cage or when you might need to mediate a conflict. The following list below includes a few of these hamster behaviors that are often harmless but can sometimes escalate into something serious like a fight.

Head On Approach

When two hamsters approach each other head to head, they will stick their noses up to each others muzzles ( from the nose to the ears) and say “hello, who are you”. They will be able to tell who the other is by smelling their scent gland that’s located in that area of the their face. Once they identity is determined, several things can then occur.

  • If one hamster recognizes the other to be a victor in a previous skirmish (a dominate hamster), it will point its ears up, lean backwards in fear and turn and leave.
  • If the encounter is between a male and a female when she is in estrus (ready to mate), the female could do a walk where she arches her back and then goes into the lordosis position. This means she is ready to mate now.

Hamsters Circling and Wrestling

Circling Hamsters

Circling is another way for two hamsters to find out who each other is. One hamster will push it’s head up under the other hamster’s belly in an attempt to smell its scent glands (Dwarf hamsters have this type of scent gland), then other will take its turn to smell the other. At times this hamster behavior can look a bit aggressive if an over eager hamster is involved. Sometimes in this situation, it can escalate into wrestling.


Encounters can escalate into a wrestling match when one more aggressive hamster tries to bite the underbelly of the other. The subordinate hamster will raise up, open its mouth, puff up its cheeks and extend it’s arms out in an attempt to push the aggressive hamster back. If the subordinate hamster doesn’t want any trouble, it might hold out its paw, flick its tail and not make eye contact with the other hamster. This behavior is called appeasement and can be described as a surrender.However, if one hamster doesn’t initially back down, a wrestling match can break out. It begins when one hamster sands up on its hind legs and lunges at the other trying to bite its underbelly. In turn the two hamsters begin to roll around trying to get the upper hand. If one of the hamsters accepts defeat, it will give up by lying on its back and freeze in this position. When this happens, the wrestling match is usually over but sometimes, neither hamster wants to give up so easily. This is when the wrestling can escalate into fighting.

Hamster Fight


A hamster fight looks much like a wrestling match but takes on a more physical and aggressive tone. Biting can become much more serious and can lead to serious injuries. There will also be more noticeable squeaking. Eventually a hamster will give up and flee from the fight. Often the fight ends when the loosing hamster runs away through a hamster tunnel and hides in another compartment of the habitat. If you don’t have a hamster cage that is large enough for the loosing hamster to run and hide in, the winning hamster can continue to the fighting by chasing after it.If it comes to this, it’s probably best to separate the two by putting one hamster into a temporary “time out”. This can be done by distracting the two fighting hamsters by squirting them with water to break it up; then by catching one of them in a cup or by using gloves and then placing it into a separate living space. Eventually you will be able to put the hamster that’s in time out back into the main cage but if the same two continue to fight, a permanent separation might be in order.

Avoid Fights

Syrian hamsters should never be housed together because they are by nature solitary. If you house two Syrians together, they will eventually fight. It’s only okay to house them together when they are babies still nursing or when you plan on mating them. In regards to dwarf hamster breeds, for the most part you can keep these little guys in small communities. You can best avoid fighting if you provide a large enough cage for all the hamsters to stake out their own little space or for a fleeing hamster to run and hide from any aggessive hamsters. That’s just good hamster care but it’s especially important if you have hamsters that tend to fight.

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72 comments on “When Hamsters Fight

  1. Iโ€™m new to this but I got my daughter’s a hamster each and I got separate cages to avoid bickering… and also to try prevent the hamsters bickering ๐Ÿ˜ฌ my question is why is one guy trying to hump his water bottle all night? It’s on the outside… I get they’re teenagers but I don’t know how to stop it or should I even try? They’re brothers 2-3 months old and never bite us giant humans. When I google my question the suggestions are mostly “watch hamsters going at it” which I don’t need to see especially when I’m pretty sure the water bottle is pregnant already ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿน

  2. I have 2 males one is clearly fatter and more dominant. Tonight I tried breaking up a fight by taking away the bigger bully and I got my thumb bit pretty good. It’s time to get another cage for the 2 of them or I get rid of the bully. They’ve been together 4 over a month and they’ve just started fighting. Not cool. The victim hamsters got bit pretty good on his nubby tail and the bully won’t let him eat. Again not cool.

  3. I have 2 female sister dwarf hamsters. They got on fine when I got them a few months ago but have recently started to fight. The smaller one is dominant over the larger sister.
    I went away for a night and come back to find ‘Sun’ had horrible injuries on her belly. From her front legs to her bottom are bite marks covered in dry blood. Luckily I have some experiences treating injuries for small animals so didn’t go to the vet as I had some supplies.
    I cleaned the area with hibiscrub and put a thin layer of neosporin cream on top. I’m doing that once a day to see if it heals. I am confident as I see scabbing already.
    They have a 3 story cage so I decided to give ‘Sun’ the top level and ‘Moon’ the dominant one, the bottom 2 levels. I am not going to put them back together for their own safety. I will purchase either separate cages or get another level so they each have 2.
    Honestly they say you can house two dwarf hamsters together but seeing that happen I would discourage anyone else doing so.

  4. I have two male hamsters who I’ve had for about a week. They have a massive tank cage which also has a big plastic box that the hamsters can climb into via tunnel. They sleep together and share food and everything fine. But sometimes I hear loud squeaking so I go to check what’s happening and they aren’t doing any fighting that I can see, but one of my hamsters would be lying on its back squeaking and my other one would be standing near it but not being aggressive. So I’m a little confused on what’s causing one of them to panic and react like that. Also when I come close they both stop and start washing, isn’t that a sign they feel safe? Is it wresting
    that they are doing? I’m not sure what to do!?

    • If this is the case then they are not actually fighting rather they’re playing. One takes a turn being the “bully” and the other the “victim” keep in mind if they start rolling around and squeaking loudly, it is a death match, and one will die before morning.

  5. Please Help! I have 3 dwarf hamsters all caged in a very large two story cage. I have two homes a large food dish and a large water bottle. I got two together and one about a month later. I had introduced them in the bathtub for the neutral territory and they have been fine living together for a year now. However recently one of them has been attacking the other making him bleed. Even though he runs away the other chases. I separated the bitter from the others. Is there anything I’m doing wrong?

    • I have 2 robo hamsters and one is stronger than the other and he has bit him 4 times its night now so i cant take him to the vets. When hamsters live in threes it is common for 2 to gang up on one. If you want to disinfect the wound get some warm water and salt and a cotton bud. I wanted to do that on my hamster but he isnt fully tame yet. Please let me know how your hamsters are doing it will help me with mine

  6. My winter whites, both females caged tgt, sleeps tgt in the same hideout. BUTTTTT, at night when both of them are active one tends to chase after or even bite the other.. I have been checking regularly if the bitten one is bleeding or in any discomfort, there doesnโ€™t seem to be any. Also the one who bites is also territorial over her food, Iโ€™ve included another dish! Is there anything I should worry about?

    • I have just gotten 2 Russian Dwarfs female Hamsters a month apart. My blonde hair girl seems to be the aggressor. I just tried to put the smaller new dark one in the cage and my month old blonde hair Russian keeps Death rolling her . I don’t know what to do. Thankfully I do have another cage for her . But i want to be able to eventually put the 2 habits together

      • Have you tried slowly introducing them to each other’s scents before lumping them together in a single cage?

  7. i have 2 female Syrian hamsters. i had no idea they would get in fights and that it would be that aggressive but one of them attacked the other, she has bite marks under her left arm. this was their first fight and it was horrible.i had them together because i didn’t have another home to separate them. but they have been permanently separated for their own safety. please read up on Syrian hamsters before buying one, don’t make my mistake!!!๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ข

  8. So I bought 2 female Syrian hamsters that were together in the cage at the pet store. Knowing they are normally housed separate, asked the lady why they were together She replied “these two have been together since they were babies and are actually sisters”. Me thinking I was being a good person bought them both so they wouldn’t be separated seeing as they were sleeping and playing together fine at the pet store. Now that they are home I noticed the one hamster bit the other hamsters tail and made her bleed. I don’t know what to do, should I bring one back? Get another cage and maybe only have the cages attached by a tube so they can see eachother when they want to?

    • Separate them and don’t let them be together. They’re not meant to be housed together and will become even more aggressive so if you get another cage don’t link the tubes.

  9. Had two Teddy Bear hamsters, Blondie and Dagwood. They got along fine for a very long time but eventually started fighting. They not only fought but Blondie literally ate Dagwood. Separate them. I never felt the same about Blondie again.

  10. I have a hamster which gave birth 3 weeks ago, and is very aggresive and will bite me when i try to pick her up or pet her. Im just wondering, is this normal? If yes, how long will she have this aggression?

  11. I got my short haired hamsters on Wednesday. Help me my male hamster Jerry keeps attacking my other one hammy. But they sleep together and stuff but then Jerry gets wild. And when he attacks hammy squeaks and stuff. Someone plz help. I already separated them. I’m only 11 and don’t know what to do๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ

    • Keep them separted in 2 and make sure that each of them have a large cage, like a glass cage that turtles use but make sure to make enough holes so that they can breathe. Make sure that you bye 2 of thise big cages. Have enough bedding for each of them, have a large enough wheel for each of them, have a 2 food bowls one for each hamster and 2 waterbottles one for each hamster. Make sure to also add alit of toys in each cage along with a hideout for each of them and try to keep them out of view from eachother. Also if you bye any other supplies its best to bye 2 so they can have one each. Including if ur traveling with them. Last make sure they are warm so that they wobt die and make sure to not keep them in direct sunlight. I recommend that if you need more help vist a vet or go to a pet store and ask abiut hamsters. That should help and if you dont understand some specific things just ask someone older to help you with understanding this and sorry if i responded late

  12. I had 2 female robo dwarf hamster for almost 2 month. They went along well in the same cage and suddenly I found out tonight that one lie dead with its thigh flesh all eaten up. I really can’t figure out what happened, did they fight to death? Are hamsters not herbivores? I am planning to get another one, should get one more cage instead? OMgosh they could have actually beaten up my fingers’ flesh ๐Ÿ˜จ๐Ÿ˜จ

    • Yes they did fight until the other one died. As they get older they start to fight. If you do decide to get another one yes you would have to get a separate Cage. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. I have two male Teddy Bear hamsters. I got them about five or six months ago. One of them, Cosmo, seems to be the dominant one over Piper, the other one. But lately, Cosmo will chase Piper around the cage and lift Piper up by his butt. I’m guessing this is to smell his scent gland, but he does it for so long. He will do it for about 10 minutes and will not stop at all. He also tries to hump Piper and sometimes flips Piper over. Does anyone know why he’s doing this? I feel so bad for Piper because Cosmo will not leave him alone.

    • Can anyone help me I got 2 Male short haired hamsters on Wednesday. The one keeps attacking the other one I feel really bad. The one getting attacked keeps make a noise anytime the other one attacks him. Plz help ๐Ÿ™

  14. It seems that there are a lot of hamster experts here I just want to find out… I have 2male dwarf hamsters they are brothers they are about 10 months old now one of my hamsters has a wound on his tummy (I think it’s his scent gland) they sometimes fight but not really in an aggressive way and they do not want to be separated as soon as I separate them they knaw on the cage when I put them in the same cage it is straight to their little house and then they sleep without fighting any tips please!!!

  15. Today i got 4 new hamsters and they are related and theyve always lived together and never fought but now they starting to fight alot and one of them even ended up with a bleeding cheek .My mom think they are fighting iver therothory but i dont know any more cn u plz answer to me i realy dnt know what to do nd need help

  16. I have to Robo Dwarf Hampstead that love each other one male one female. (They are not relitives no family) usually they snuggle and sleep but after 2 hours only watch I separate them.
    Now they are fighting alot I’ve been told they are trying to attract each other or mate but today I saw blood on the males butt only a little and I’d like to know why
    Did they mate?
    What is this behavior?
    Any suggestions?
    What can I do to fix it?
    How did it start and why?

    Plz answer those above I really need help!

  17. My male and female hampered used to cuddle and love each other they are not related I got them from different petstores
    PetSmart and PetCo
    But now there just fighting and because they wanna mate but I noticed a couple second his bum was bleeding no everywhere just a tiny why did she do that did they mate and I don’t know why is she holding him down and it looks like there fighting but he’s exposing his belly


    • Hi, I have two male dwarf hamsters. I’ve had them since the end of December and I think their still babies. But everytime I clean their cage out and put them back in, they fight and one always the same one won’t let the other on any of the toys, I feel as if the other one is getting lonley and bored but at then end before I change the cage again there the best of friends, I need advice and help on what to do to make this stop. Also, they wont/can’t pick them up.

      • As the male dwarf hamster get older they get more aggressive towards other males. As soon as you see fighting you will have to separate them or they will fight until the other dies.

    • You should never house hamsters that are not from the same litter, and you should also NEVER house males and females together. I hope you separated them….

  18. I have 2 female robo had them about 7months. I have noticed that 1 of the females has fur missing from her tail area and looks like it has tiny blood spots. Should I separate them?? Not sure if it was a mating thing

    • This is common and a result of aggressive playing what I call ‘cops and robbers’. Put neosporin or polysporin on the injured area twice a day. This should do two things: heal the wounds and discourage more biting as the ointment doesn’t taste too good. How are they otherwise? Do they snuggle and sleep together? It should pass, but to encourage peace and tranquility consider a bigger cage and also two identical running wheels is a must! Good luck.

    • Same has been happening here. I noticed some aggression and chasing with 2 male
      Robos. Mine has little bit marks near the butt and a patch of hair gone. The one with the bite marks is also very skiddish. I did put neosporin on it. I hope this solves it. The other hamster is very healthy so I donโ€™t think itโ€™s mange or mites.

  19. My female and male hamster just make it but now the female keeps biting is the mail so I remove him in another cage but the female didn’t get babies and didn’t get pregnant so now going to put the mail back in with her she just keep biting him

  20. My female hamster is attacking my male so badly he is bleeding for a whole day.

    What could be the cause of this as i dont want them to hurt each other anymore

  21. Hi, I have two chinese dwarf hamsters. The brown one every once and a while fights the white one when the white one goes up a tube he is in. Is there a reason the white one always has yellow liquid all over his body? Sometimes they dont fight. I am worried the white one has wettail, please help.

  22. I have two robo hamsters, the lady I got them from said they were both males, sometimes the little one will go on top of the bigger one and then the bigger one doesn’t move and I get worried so I take the little one of and then the bigger one is laying there with his eyes closed and doesn’t move. I am so worried! Please help! I don’t know if it is normal or very unusual behavior!

  23. I have two russian dwarf hamsters who were from the same cage in pets at home. After a few weeks they started fighting Percy the bigger one hurt squeak the smaller one quite badly so I split them up now if I have them out in separate play pens they try to smell each other and act friendly. Could I put them together Again?

    • dwarf hamsters can get along but they also sometimes fight and can’t be housed together. you can try to reunite them but do so carefully and monitor them closely. Any signs of fighting again might mean it is time to split them up.

    • Hi. I have two female Russian dwarf hamsters. I just got them 3 days ago. They used to live in the same cage but with a bunch of other hamsters. They fight during the night which wakes me up and worries me. Melanie is definitely the dominant one and Marie is allways left running away. Should I wait a few more days before I separate them ? Also when j see them fighting should I just let them finish or should i separate them ?

      • My hamster died because of the other hamster, so you should seperate them if I were you, and mostly Dwarf hamsters are ok, but just in case I would seperate them, you can let them see each other out of the cage, but just don’t put them in the same cage.

    • I have the same problem but only have one cage so don’t know what to do. The smaller one Pipsqueak has blood on the underside of his body. Please help me!!

      • My hamster Jerry was doing that to my other one hammy๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญI feel so bad I only have one cage I need help.

  24. hi my male and female Russian hamsters had babies,I slit up the mom and dad so they don’t have more. What do I do now?

  25. Hi i have 2 dwarf hamsters one is female and the other one is male my female ham is chasing the male ham and once it gets closer she lay down on her back while the male is showing no interest on her …after a few minutes…the male is trying to mate to the female..sometimes the female squeak at the male but later on the male is doing its nature by trying to mate to the fem…
    im confused plzz help

  26. I have a female and a male hamsters and she is pregnant but she jump on my male hamster and bit him all the time can someone help me and tell me what i need to do!!!!!!!He can just be walking around in the cage of look in her house ,of just walk by it and she will just run out and just start jump on him and bit him,

    • Don’t worry, she is protecting herself and the babies. He might be aggressive to her and she is fighting back. In addition, you should separate them as soon as possible and not rejoin them after birth.
      Good luck:)

  27. Hi, i have two male robo hamsters named Milo and Bumble. I got them about 4/5 months ago and they had other brothers there to, they didn’t fight at first but now, they wake me up at 2,4,6 am all throughout the night because Milo is sqeaking very loudly, they will chase eachother around and attack each other but they don’t have any marks or blood. Milo is also ALOT smaller then Bumble but he always has been. I really do think im going to need to seperate them because i don’t want them to get hurt and i would like some sleep! I also keep them in a HUGE cage and i couldn’t make it any bigger for them. I have two of everything. Please help!! Is this fighting or is this normal?

  28. I have 6 male dwarf hamsters living together and I’ve never seen them fight. However, one hamster (named Nick) seems so fond of another (named Charlie). As I see it, Nick is like “trying to have sex” with Charlie, and Charlie, on the other hand, looks very annoyed. I’m 100% sure that all of them are males. Is this a normal behavior?

  29. Hi I have to female Russian dwarf hamsters. One is biting the others tail and then running off and then going back and doing it again. Is this normal? I’m unsure if I should separate them or put the biting hamster in time out? Please advise

  30. Hi i have 3 female winter white, i’ve seen them play and sleep together. Mochi is the bigger one, follow with pochi and momo. Lately pochi often comes to mochi, rolling on her side and squeaking. So..what is happening???

  31. i have 3 syrian male hamsters and are all living in the same cage.they are 8 months to 15 months very loving and i dont see them fight

  32. Historically a Syrian owner but more recently I have bought 2 adorable little Russians from same litter. Charlie and Georgie. Lived happily together for a week but last 24 hrs has been a different story. I’m not sure what’s happened :-/ I’ve read its normal for scawbling but now it’s not even over a toy or water- they don’t seem to be able to even walk past each other now without the smaller one, Georgie, lying on her back, squeaking and sometimes batting away Charlie. Even though charlie isn’t going for her. I’m not sure if Charlie has maybe shown her dominant behaviour I haven’t seen and now she is scared. Anyway.. I’m wondering if I should separate them or let it ride out a bit longer but I’m worried it will escalate and one will get injured some. When is it time to step in?? has it gone too far already?!

    • I’d say ride it out for awhile. If any real injuries start occurring due to this fighting, that wold be the time to separate them. You can always give them more space by adding to your cage which would limit the times they cross paths.

  33. I’ve recently bought three young Robo hamsters. They seem to fight quite agressivly (squealing loudly, chacing eta) some of the time, however they will also sit eating and sleeping together. Is this natural or should I think about separating them? I just want to make sure as this is my first time owning this type of hamster. Thank you for any help xx

    • If they are not drawing blood, it’s probably more about playing than anything. If you do start to see injuries, you might need to split them up. You can also expand the cage to give them more space too.

      • Defiantly no injuries yet, I just wanted to make sure. I’ll keep an eye on them and look into getting an expansion to the cage. Thank you for your help.

      • I have one male and one female robo dwarf hamsters who have been fine since we got them, but just recently I checked in on them and the female had blood on her back, Is that a sign of fighting or is it from grabbing the fur on the back from mating?

      • I have the same situation Josie. I had them in two identical cages connected by a tube. I took the tube out and blocked them so they are separated now, but I want them to mate so if this is normal and doesn’t harm anything, I want to be able to put them back together. Anyone know?

  34. I have two dwarf hamsters which I just got from different places. First I tried to put them together and they fought. And now they’re in different cage. Lately they always trying to smell each other. Is it okay to let them play with each other now?

  35. I have a male Syrian and a female, I am currently persisting to breed them and have studied various veterinary sites to inform me of what to do along the way. However when I put them together they start out sniffing each other but after this, similar to what you explained dwarf hampsters do to smell glands on they stomach’s (my female is a little bit bigger than my male attempts to upturn him onto his back) it is at this point I separate them, to prevent an injury, is this part of the process and if not, how do I know if he has just mated her, he has done a small mount before but not nearly far enough up on her back. Also my male when the female let’s him will sniff her bottom but will not mount very often, any tips ??

    • First off, I’m curious to know why yo want to breed your hamsters? Just be warned that you might end up with a handful of babies which will need a home of their own soon enough. Either way, take a look at this post on breeding hamsters to find a bit of useful information. Basically you need to let them get to know each other for a short period, if they don’t breed within a short while, you should separate them ad try again later. They may or not ever breed. best of luck.

    • No, they could be playing or horse playing around. Just make sure one hamster isn’t getting pick on and constantly chased by an aggressive hamster. It can get stressful on the one being chased if it can’t get away from the constant aggression.

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