Adding a second pet to your family can be a hassle, especially if it’s a different species. Before getting a second pet, there are many factors that you need to consider, like if the two pets can get along together.
We all know that cats prey on rodents. So, can cats and hamsters live together? And could the cat eat the hamster?
Look no further for the answers! In today’s article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about how cats and hamsters can live together. Let’s dive into the details right away.
The answer to this question can be complicated. It mainly depends on the cat’s personality.
Cats are natural predators, so most love to hunt anything that moves. On the other hand, hamsters are tiny, delicate creatures prone to anxiety.
Luckily, not all cats are great hunters. Some love to lay back and relax, while others might even get scared of the hamster.
The situation also depends on the age of the two animals and who was the first pet. Cats are territorial, so your kitten might not like sharing space with a tiny hamster.
On the bright side, there are some ways you can keep your hamster safe. With some precautions, cats and hamsters can happily live together.
As you might know, each cat has a distinct personality. Some cats might show aggressive behavior and hunt the hamster, while others won’t even care about the rodent.
In some rare situations, cats and hamsters can become friends.
It’s best to be careful when introducing pets to each other. Even if your cat is lovable and affectionate, seeing a rodent might wake up the hunter instinct inside your buddy.
Therefore, don’t expect your feline friend to behave and get along with the hamster. It has been, and will always be, a predator.
On top of that, rodents, like hamsters, make perfect prey for cats.
As we’ve mentioned, cats are predators and love to prey on rodents.
While your cat doesn’t find hamsters particularly appetizing, hunting the tiny rodents down can be thrilling.
Cats are also pretty aggressive. Their regular playtime consists of biting and scratching. So, your cat is likely to harm the hamster while playing before trying to eat it.
That doesn’t mean cats don’t eat hamsters. Your canine can have hamsters for dinner. However, cats are probably more interested in catching rodents than eating them.
Properly introducing your hamster to a cat is crucial. That’s because the first time your pets meet can set the tone for their relationship!
You need to be patient and consider the personality of each animal. Here are some things you can do to help your friends get to know each other:
First, you need to keep your hamster in its cage for at least two to four weeks before introducing it to your cat.
Moving into a new home can be stressful for your tiny rodent. That’s why it needs to settle in and get used to its cage before meeting its biggest predator!
If your hamster is still uncomfortable, give it more time to feel safe in its new home.
Though the cat is the predator in this case, you should also ensure it’s relaxed. An anxious cat is more likely to become aggressive at the sight of a new pet.
Pick a quiet room or eliminate any noise that can make your cat anxious. You can also grab some treats that your cat loves.
Additionally, you might use catnip, as it has a calming effect on cats. That said, catnip can make some felines extra hostile, so you need to consider your cat’s personality.
Give your cat some love and attention before the process. The more relaxed your cat is the better chances of the two pets getting along.
Before introducing the hamster to your cat, double-check that the cage is well secured. It’s always better to be safe than to be sorry!
Introduce the hamster to your cat and observe it as it watches the cage. If your feline buddy starts acting aggressively or makes weird noises, stop the process immediately.
On the other hand, in case your kitty is watching the hamster while relaxed, there’s nothing to worry about.
Still, keep a distance between the cat and the cage, and keep observing its actions.
Your cat probably won’t get along with the hamster from the first introduction. So, you’ll have to be patient and repeat the process.
After that, you can start holding the hamster outside the cage while your cat is watching. Talking to the hamster and stroking it will let your cat know it’s friendly.
However, never leave the hamster unattended outside its cage, even if they start getting along.
Your cat can switch to hunter mode in seconds, and sadly, your hamster will become food.
Cats and hamsters can live together under one roof! However, there are a few precautions that you need to take to keep your hamster safe. Let me tell you about them.
Cats tend to be curious and determined. If they want to get inside the cage, they’ll keep consistently trying.
For that reason, you need to pick a high-quality, durable cage for your hamster. Wired cages aren’t suitable for this situation, as cats can easily open them or reach inside with their paws.
Additionally, the cat might pull or push the cage off the table, cracking it open. Therefore, it’s best to go for a plastic cage or even an aquarium to keep your fuzzy friend safe.
In fact, aquariums might be the safest option. That’s because they’re too heavy for a cat to push.
The only downside to aquariums is that you’ll need to install a mesh top cover. It should be secure in place and can’t be easily opened.
Plastic cages are difficult for a cat to open. However, they can be a little lightweight. This means your kitten can easily push the cage!
That said, you should consider securing the cage to the table. You can even place some weights inside the container to make it heavier!
A great way to help your pets get acquainted is to let the hamster out of its cage every once in a while. The safest way to do this is by using an exercise ball.
Choose an exercise ball that’s large enough for your hamster. You should also make sure the ball has a secure lid. This way, your cat won’t be able to open it!
Additionally, your hamster should be used to being in the exercise ball. You don’t want to lock an anxious hamster in a ball and introduce it to a cat at the same time.
That’s just a recipe for disaster!
Instead, once your furry rodent is comfortable rolling around in the ball, let your cat be around the hamster.
However, if your cat tries to play with the hamster or chase it, separate the two animals immediately. This situation might stress your hamster even more.
It’s crucial to monitor your pets when they’re around each other. Just because the furry rodent is in its exercise ball doesn’t mean your cat can’t get to it!
3 – Train Your Cat
Cats can be trained to prevent unwanted behavior. The training process isn’t complicated, but it requires patience.
In fact, many people train their cats to stop biting them. Similarly, you can train your cat not to attack the hamster.
However, this doesn’t mean your hamster will be completely safe. A trained cat can still find the hamster an appealing prey.
4 – Find a Suitable Location for the Cage
Cats usually walk around the house on the ground level. Sometimes, they climb on high locations, but that happens in rooms they spend a lot of time in.
So, you’ll need to find a room your cat doesn’t often get into. Additionally, placing the cage in a high location might be a good idea.
It will also help if you place it in a location that covers its sides, like a bookshelf. However, make sure that the cage won’t fall off that location easily.
Keep in mind that closets and cupboards aren’t safe for hamsters. They can get too cold for your little friend. On top of that, they have bad air circulation.
It’s crucial not to force anything. If your cat isn’t getting along with the hamster, you’ll need to take your time.
Meanwhile, you should take extra precautions to make sure your hamster stays safe.
Finding a suitable location for the cage is the priority. It should be a place where the cat can’t reach.
You might even need to keep the two pets in entirely separate rooms. You might need to reconsider getting a hamster if that isn’t an option.
A friendship between a hamster and a cat is a little rare. Some cats will love to have a tiny companion to play around with.
Cats and hamsters can coexist as friends. However, you shouldn’t count on that when introducing the hamster to your cat.
If you want to keep the two pets together, you should consider getting a younger kitten and an old, calm hamster.
The reason is that a well-socialized young kitten is more likely to grow up to become a friendly cat. On the other hand, adult cats who live alone probably won’t tolerate other animals.
So, can cats and hamsters live together?
The answer is yes, but you’ll have to take some safety measures. That’s because cats are natural predators, and rodents are one of their favorite prey.
For that reason, you’ll need to get a cat-proof, durable cage. I recommend a plastic cage or an aquarium instead of a wire cage, as it’s not the safest option.
Additionally, you’ll need to pick a location for the cage where the cat is unlikely to reach it. More importantly, you should never leave the hamster unattended outside the cage.
Even if your cat seems to get along with the hamster, it can switch to hunter mode in no time!
In some rare cases, hamsters and cats can become friends. Hopefully, your cat and hamster will be best friends too!
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard. I also like photographing wild birds, especially birds of prey.