Hamsters are one of the most popular small pets in America. They’re cute, relatively easy to care for and they make great pets for children. But there is a certain amount of misinformation floating around out there concerning their needs and behavior that you should educate yourself on, if you’re considering getting one. Having said that, let’s get right down to it and sort through some of the facts and fiction attached to hamsters and their behavior.
The Truth About Hamsters: Sorting Through the Myths
True or False: A Hamster’s Coloring Dictates Temperament?
A. False. Somehow somewhere along the line the myth that a hamster’s coloring influenced or dictated personality traits began. That simply isn’t true. It doesn’t matter the color of their coat, a hamster is like any other living creature and comes equipped with its own unique personality traits, good or bad. Additionally, like most domestic pets, hamsters are bred for temperament, not just looks.
True or False: All Hamsters Can Live in the Same Cage Together?
A. False. Many people are under the mistaken impression that all hamsters introduced to one another get along in an almost nirvana-like existence and end up living happily ever after in the same cozy little cage. A lot about whether or not they can co-exist peacefully depends on a variety of factors, and chief among them is the age at which they are introduced to one another. Even then, later on down the road, infighting can begin, as they mature. If they can’t get along, separate them.
True or False: Certain Breeds of Hamsters are More Confrontational than Others?
A. True. When it comes to aggression and being super territorial in regards to living arrangements, Syrian hamsters are fairly well known for this behavior. In fact, they are such lousy roommates that they have to be separated by five weeks of age or they’ll start fighting, and bitterly. In some cases, they have been known to take a Star Trek approach to the matter and fight to the death.
True or False: Hamsters Aren’t Biters?
A. False. Like all animals, frighten or piss a hamster off and see how quickly he or she bites. A lot of whether or not your hamster will bite, however, is based on personality. Some might, others will not. While they’re teeth aren’t as large as, say, a guinea pig’s, they have the same pronounced set of incisors used for gnawing that most rodent-like animals have and their eyesight is poor, so they can startle easily.
Know any other myths about hamsters you’d like to share? Tell us about them in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you!