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4 Reasons Why Rabbits and Hamsters Don’t Get Along

4 Reasons Why Rabbits and Hamsters Don’t Get Along

The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care.

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Rabbits and hamsters are adorable, but you know what’s even more adorable? Rabbits and hamsters playing and cuddling with each other!

Rabbits get along with plenty of creatures, including guinea pigs, dogs, birds, and even cats in the right environment. Since rabbits are social creatures, interspecies friendship just makes sense.

But can the same be said with hamsters? Do rabbits and hamsters get along?

If you’re looking to add a hamster or rabbit in your home but not quite sure how it’ll act around your current pet, you’re in the right place. This article discusses everything you need to know about rabbit and hamster compatibility.

Let’s dive right in!

Do Rabbits and Hamsters Get Along?

Unfortunately, no, rabbits and hamsters don’t get along. Although they’re both cute and fluffy, they exhibit contrasting personalities that may prove detrimental when forced to live in the same space.

This isn’t to say that you can’t have both rabbit and hamster living under your care. However, it’s best to keep them as far away from each other as possible.

This means no rabbit and hamster playtime, no cuddling, and no TV dinners with both of them on your lap.

4 Reasons Why Rabbits and Hamsters Don’t Get Along

There are a number of reasons why rabbits and hamsters aren’t compatible with each other.

For one, rabbits are a lot bigger and stronger than hamsters.

Although they’re generally harmless, accidents do happen. If a rabbit kicks a hamster, this might severely injure and possibly even kill the smaller creature.

Moreover, hamsters are extremely territorial and won’t hesitate to fight anything and anyone that tries to trespass their space. Rabbits, when threatened, will do the same.

Let’s further discuss why rabbits can’t live with hamsters.

1 – Rabbits Have High Activity Levels; Hamsters Don’t

If you own a rabbit or two, you already know how energetic these little fluffballs can be.

When they’re feeling playful, you’ll notice them zooming and binking around out of pure excitement. It’s really cute to watch.

Hamsters can be playful, too, but their energy levels don’t come close to rabbits.

Rabbits can play all day without getting bored or tired. In contrast, hamsters enjoy sitting around and chilling in their favorite snooze spots.

Since hamsters are nocturnal animals, they’re mostly active at night and can exercise for up to four hours each day. Still, that’s nothing compared to the activity level of rabbits.

When placed in the same space, a hamster can easily get stressed and frustrated by the constant movements of a rabbit. Said stress and frustration may eventually lead to aggressive behavior like biting.

2 – Hamsters Are Significantly Timider Than Rabbits

Here’s the thing: rabbits and hamsters are prey animals. This means they’re both relatively timid and afraid of animals larger than them.

Rabbits are much larger than hamsters, so it makes sense that hamsters are afraid of them. You can’t really blame them; hamsters, after all, are naturally shy creatures.

They’re timid and skittish, and may even be described as apprehensive and “unfriendly” at times. In fact, it isn’t rare for owners to experience a fair bit of trouble when taming their hamsters, oftentimes taking weeks if not months to successfully bond with their small pet.

Now, imagine what’ll happen if you add a rabbit into the mix. The hamster will not only constantly fear its life but also become even more of a recluse than it already is.

3 – Rabbits and Hamsters Attack When Threatened

It’s important to note that rabbits and hamsters aren’t aggressive animals. It simply isn’t in their nature. However, they both won’t hesitate to attack when threatened or feel threatened.

Rabbits don’t attack out of the blue. When a rabbit feels threatened, it’ll bare its teeth, loudly thump the ground, and raise its front paws like a tiny boxer.

For us humans, we know what this means: stay away from me.

Hamsters, however, aren’t well-versed with rabbit behavior. Instead of backing off, a threatened hamster may take a rabbit’s intimidating posture as a challenge.

Hamsters are territorial creatures. Although some are perfectly content with sharing their cage with other hamsters, some prefer living alone.

When a hamster feels their territory is threatened, they might attack the animal causing the threat. This, in turn, may cause the rabbit to act aggressively towards the hamster who attacked it.

Despite not being overly aggressive, rabbits pack a hefty punch. It only takes one wrong blow for a rabbit to heavily injure a hamster.

4 – Hamsters Aren’t as Social as Rabbits

Rabbits are social creatures. They love spending time with other rabbits and humans.

Without social interaction, rabbits get bored, lonely, and even depressed. Toys and treats can only do so much; they need just as much attention and interaction as dogs and cats.

Even if they don’t have a rabbit friend, they’re content as long as you’re around during most of the day to fulfill their social hunger.

Hamsters aren’t as social as rabbits. In fact, some hamster species, like Syrian hamsters, prefer living alone.

With that said, hamsters do thrive on human interaction. They like to be cuddled and played with once in a while.

Even so, hamsters don’t need half the attention as rabbits do. Therefore, both animals are best placed far apart to avoid aggression and injury.

Can Rabbits and Hamsters Play Together With Supervision?

Even under strict supervision, rabbits and hamsters shouldn’t play together.

You can never really predict the actions of either animal.

A rabbit can injure a hamster within a split second and vice versa. Even if they don’t hurt each other and appear somewhat civil together, they might feel stressed out and/or frightened with each other’s presence.

If you have both animals at home, separate their free-range areas. Also, try not to let them out at the same time.

Can Hamsters Live In Rabbit Cages?

Hamsters can’t live with rabbits in a rabbit cage, but you can certainly use a rabbit cage to house a hamster.

Rabbit cages are great homes for hamsters because they’re fairly large. They provide plenty of space for a hamster to explore and run around in.

Plus, you can add a ton of hamster-friendly toys and interactive games in the cage to keep them entertained. Just make sure the cage paneling is small enough to contain a hamster.

If it isn’t, install a galvanized mesh with half-inch holes.

If you’re planning to use your old/spare rabbit cage for your hamster, make sure to include the following:

  • Sleeping areas and nest boxes
  • Exercise wheel
  • Soft wooden branches and gnawing blocks to wear their teeth down
  • Deep layer of potting compost or sawdust to dig in
  • Interactive toys and games (e.g., ladders, tubes, shelves, plastic balls)
  • Obstacle course made of cardboard, toilet paper rolls, LEGOs, or large plastic blocks

Can Hamsters Eat Rabbit Food and Vice Versa?

It depends on the type of food.

Since rabbits are herbivores and hamsters are omnivores, their food requirements differ significantly. The ingredients found in rabbit pellets aren’t suitable for hamsters, and the ingredients found in hamster pellets aren’t suitable for rabbits.

If rabbits and hamsters were to share each other’s food, they may develop long-term health issues.

With that said, hamsters and rabbits do eat the same type of fruits and vegetables. This includes the following:

  • Cucumber
  • Celery
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Parsley
  • Tomato (in small quantities)
  • Broccoli
  • Apple
  • Berry
  • Mangoes
  • Pear
  • Apple
  • Watermelon

Likewise, hamsters and rabbits can eat baby food made of vegetables and fruit puree. Just make sure it’s 100% natural and doesn’t contain any additives, sweeteners, or seasoning.

In terms of food quantities, hamsters only need about a teaspoon of fresh fruit and vegetables a day, paired with no more than two tablespoons of pelleted food.

Rabbits need to be fed about a tablespoon of non-leafy green vegetables per two pounds of their body weight. The ideal diet for a three-pound rabbit is about 1/8 cup of pellets (two tablespoons), a cup and a half of leafy greens, and a cup and a half of chopped veggies and/or fruits.

When feeding your rabbit and hamster, make sure they’re in two different rooms to reduce territorial aggression and prevent them from stealing each other’s food.

Rabbits vs. Hamsters: Which Pet Is the Best for Me?

The answer to this question depends on what you’re looking for in a pet. Like cats and dogs, rabbits and hamsters both have their own perks and deal-breakers.

Although they more or less require the same amount of care, hamsters are easier to take care of than rabbits. Not only because they’re small, but also because they’re fairly low maintenance.

Hamsters only need to be fed once a day, either in the morning or evening, and their cage needs to be cleaned once a week. That’s it.

Rabbits, on the other hand, need to be fed twice a day and you’ll sometimes have to clean after them. If you don’t litter-train them at a young age, you’ll constantly step in pee and poop pellets.

Even well-trained rabbits poop and pee outside their box sometimes as a way to mark their territory.

In terms of companionship, rabbits are the way to go.

Hamsters are perfectly content living and playing by themselves. In comparison, rabbits thrive on human interaction.

Rabbits are loving, intelligent companions with a ton of personality. But this also means that they need to be given the right amount of daily attention to keep them from being unhappy.

If your schedule includes plenty of time at home and you’re not overly fussy with your furniture, a rabbit is a good choice. Otherwise, it’s best to stick with a hamster.

If Hamsters Are a No-Go, What Pets Do Rabbits Get Along With?

Since rabbits are playful, bright, and loving, they get along with quite a few household pets.

For instance, they work well with dogs and mild-mannered cats.

However, you shouldn’t just introduce your rabbit to your dog or cat without prior warning or supervision.

Dogs, for example, have a tendency to get overexcited and may accidentally hurt a rabbit if left alone. Cats may pounce on a rabbit the moment they’re left alone with the smaller creature.

Therefore, you should always teach your dogs and cats how to interact appropriately with your rabbit before leaving them in close proximity.

Alongside cats and dogs, rabbits get along well with certain birds. But due to their delicate eardrums, rabbits shouldn’t be around nosier birds like cockatoos, macaws, and certain parrots (Eclectus, Amazon, Conure, African Grey, etc.).

Not because the rabbit will attack the birds and vice versa, but because the constant shrill noise may frustrate and stress the rabbit. Birds like finches, canaries, cockatiels, and budgerigar get along extremely well with rabbits.

Guinea pigs and rabbits are also sometimes a good match, especially if the guinea pigs are fairly large. However, rabbits may still accidentally hurt guinea pigs, so they’re best kept away from each other for most of the same reasons as hamsters.

If you want to give your rabbit a companion, adopt a friendly rabbit or two. The bigger the group, the happier your rabbit will be.

What Pets Do Hamsters Get Along With?

The truth is, hamsters don’t get along with a lot of pets. They don’t even get along with the same kind most of the time.

Perhaps the only animal that hamsters don’t mind much is the turtle, but this is only because turtles and hamsters are usually held in separate enclosures.

If you believe your hamster is lonely and needs a companion, consider getting another hamster.

Before that, though, make sure your hamster actually wants a roommate. Some hamster species simply don’t tolerate other hamsters.

For instance, here are some species that prefer living in solitary:

  • Syrian hamster
  • Chinese hamster
  • Russian dwarf hamster
  • Desert hamster

On the other hand, Goldens, Winter Whites, and Roborovskis are social hamsters and love living in large groups. All three can live together without much incident.

Final Thoughts

Rabbits and hamsters don’t get along. In fact, hamsters don’t really get along with other household pets, including other hamsters.

Rabbits, on the other hand, get along well with birds, dogs, and mild-mannered cats.

But if you want to get your rabbit a friend, bring home another friendly rabbit. They’ll get along in no time!