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Gerbils & Hamsters/Cage Mates / Threat


Recently I adopted 3 winter white dwarf hamsters, all of which were checked and are believed to be female.  All are supposed from the same litter and when I brought them home last week they were around 2 months old.

Thing is, they were all kept together in one large tank where the female to male ratio was about 1:5.  This means if the hamsters were ready to breed there is a high chance as there was no lack of partners.  One of my females seems to be larger than the other two, and seems to spent more time lying on her back and grooming herself.  Am worried that she is pregnant.

Question:  If the little of cubs arrive, can they be in the same cage as the mother AND the other two females?  Since they have been living together is there a chance the mother does not see the other two as a threat?  Do females have a tendency to kill another's cubs?

The cubs need to be sexed later on and separated but I would also like to ask if the female cubs can continue to live with the other or should also be separated?

Hi Ken

Thanks for your question.

If your hamster does have babies they should be fine with other hamsters around, in the wild they live in colonies - sometimes other females take it in turn to baby sit. However babies can be killed if the mother feels there isn't enough room or food for all of them  so it is important to make sure there is plenty of food at all times and the cage is large enough. When the babies are 4 weeks old any males must be moved out into another cage as they become sexually active at that time. Female babies can remain with mum providing they don't fight.

I hope this helps you.


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Sheila Adby


Syrian hamsters are my specialty, however, I have kept Campbells,Winter Whites and gerbils in the past. I can advise on most subjects associated with hamsters, including housing, bedding, feeding, handling, new borns and catching escapees. I have had some experience of various health problems with hamsters and can offer my opinion and advice on basic health issues, however I am not a qualified vet and therefore cannot recommend drugs etc. My website is


I have been keeping hamsters and other small animals for more than 12 years. My favourites are Syrian hamsters and I foster litters and 'difficult' hamsters for a rescue centre. My job is to tame hamsters ready for re-homing, which is extremely rewarding. I also enjoy looking after new litters and raising the pups. I have co-written a book on hamsters with my local vet and have a website:

Hamsters in Sickness and in Health - Sheila Adby and Dan O'Neill ISBN186163218-5 (Capall Bann Publishing)

Educated to A Level standard in the UK.

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