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Cats and Hamsters?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Does anyone have any experience with cats and hamsters? I've loved the little fuzzballs since I was young, but I don't know if it would be a good idea now that I have cats as well.

Any advice?
post #2 of 18
I guess it depends on how instinctual of hunters your cats are. If they are really determined hunters, stalk birds and squirrels through your windows, then maybe more difficult to keep them from feeling a hamster is prey. Some cats do except smaller, normally prey, pets as friends. I had a ferret back in the day and my cat Cleo and her were best friends. At first it did worry me but once she understood Bella (the ferret) was off limits to pounce, they ran around and played together!
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Toby and Trina like looking outside, but they've never tried to stalk or hunt other creatures out there.

Trina likes to stalk things, but she only likes to chase. Often times, I'll run all over the house with a feather toy and she'll chase it, but never actually try to catch it, whereas Toby will attack things only if they're within half a foot of him(he's lazy). Hmm.

I think if I were careful and had the hamster in a ball whenever it was out, or the cats in a different room, it would probably be okay.
post #4 of 18
They would probably really enjoy watching the hamster run around in a ball, just observe till they understand not to pounce on it and I am sure they will be BFF!
post #5 of 18
This I have a little experience with! I had a hampster names Cleo! She was a beautiful teddy bear hampster, and I had her litter box trained! She had a litter box that was specially made for hampsters! I also had BooBoo and Tissy at the time! She was nothing to fool with for them! She bit straight through Tissys tail and made her bleed! They never messed with her again, and she played out an about all the time! Sadly, she ended up being PTS (yes, I know its crazy to have a hampster put to sleep) because she was what the vet called "a geriatric hampster" and she developed a large tumour on her throat! They tried to give her vitamin K, and a few other things, and it didn't work. She couldn't eat regular hampster food so I cut of fruits and vegtables into tiny pieces and fed her yogurt also! I knew it was time to let go when she couldn't go through her tubes or get out of the cage by herself to run and play because she couldn't fit through the tubing. I woke up one morning and she looked at me so sad, and I knew it was time.

Hampsters can be the best of friends for cats! I think it really does depend on the hampster too though! Good luck on your hampster quest! They are so much fun!!
post #6 of 18
Secure cages - don't let the cat sit next to it or on it.

Check over the ball thoroughly, I had a close call as a child when one of my hamsters managed to pop the door open. It might not look very nice, but a couple piece of masking tape over the door can prevent that from happening.
post #7 of 18
I had hamsters growing up but I think they were gone by the time we had Mitten.

I had one later with my rexes and HHP's - we gave it to one of Justin's friends cause I thought it was kinda cruel for the cats to be sitting on top of the cage staring down at the little hamster! Sooner or later, one of them would figure out how to get the lid off the cage.

If you have a predatory type of cat then it would not be wise to bring in the "prey". Ling and Charlie have a high prey drive - so I know we can't bring that type of animal in the house.
post #8 of 18
At the petshop where I work on weekends, we had some hmmmm 5-6 hamsters. Now there's only one. Some cats are more than smart enough to work out cages and tanks!
post #9 of 18
I have had two hamsters while we have the cats and never had any problems (apart from Boomer trying to stick his paw in the cage and Peanut bit him).

Autumn was feral and she will watch Tricky in his cage but hasn't made any attempts to get at him since the first few days she was home. I just picked her up and said no every time she went near him.

One weekend when we went away we came back to find that Peanut was out (not completely sure how, I don't think the cats could open the door to his cage so it was either us or our neighbour when feeding him) and he was fine, came scurrying over to meet me when I got home (but then escaped 3 times before I managed to get him back in his cage, he liked the freedom).

I do agree with the tape on the ball however, not so much because my cats like to 'get' the hamsters but because it is a pain to try and catch them to put them back in their cages when they get loose.
post #10 of 18
I have lots of experience with this area!! I bred Hamsters for 2 yrs while we had 3 cats... Plus before that I always had mice and hamsters as pets with cats. I say dont worry, it use to bug me when id be looking for adopters for the baby hammys I had and people would say "I cant I have cats". I use to worry all the time when I got my first hamster but then it was like.. the cats only curious and eventually he'll get us to having the hammy around/in a ball.

King is known for bringing home mice and birds.... but he wont dare show any aggression toward my 'tiel or Rats ((or hamsters and mice at the time)).
So dont worry.. just make sure the hammys in a secure safe cage ((id stay away from Tanks))... I found Critter Trail to be a good quality safe cage.
post #11 of 18
I don't have experience with hamsters but I can tell you about gerbils. At one point in my life, I was homeless for a few weeks. My mom volunteered to gerbil-sit Tom and Jerry while I found a place to live. She had 6 cats at the time. Swore she would watch them closely. The gerbils were set up in a large habitrail system. They only lasted a week before one of the cats got to both.

With secure housing, I am sure this is possible. The habitrail thing was too unstable with all the tubes and whatnot. The cats were able to knock the tubes down, freeing the gerbils. We have had rats and mice with cats for years in good cages with no problems. Good luck
post #12 of 18
Vixen - 'Tanks' as in aquariums are actually the most secure choice. There are heavier lid options and different locks that can be used. If a lid + locks are designed to keep a snake in then keeping a hamster in and a cat out is simple enough.

If anyone does decided to go with glass, try to get something larger and add lots of furnishings. To me a 10 or 20gal just wouldn't be very fair to use.

I agree about having to chase a hamsters down... it's amazing how fast the fat furry little guys can go.
post #13 of 18
I have had both, I also had a littler trained hamster, I never found a cage he couldn't get out of. I always found him in the drawer under my stove, sleeping in the muffin tin. . some cats are fine, others I found out eat cute little hamsters,
post #14 of 18
Hamsters are very good at defending themselves and will bite if threatened. When I first had hamsters (as a kid) my cat would try to poke her paw into their cage and bat at them. She learned quickly to stop that after she got a nice bite on the paw!

I do not agree with aquariums being the most secure. I have had more hamsters escape from aquariums than any other cage! They learn how to climb up the side either by climbing the water bottle or wheel or other objects, then push open the top (they're very strong, I've heard of them opening tops even with heavy books on the lid) and escape. Also, aquariums really don't have enough ventilation for them. I would recommend a well-made wire cage rather than an aquarium or those fancy plastic cages. Something like the ones that Martins Cages makes would be good (www.martinscages.com)

I've owned many many hamsters, and sometimes they escaped when I was a kid and before I had better escape-free cages, but my cat never went for them. I guess it depends-- I have a friend whose cat knocked over her hamster's cage, which opened, and the cat killed the hamster.
post #15 of 18
I have on gerbil. (Had two others, but they passed away-note due to animals) The cats love him, they sit on his tank, chase him around in his tank, etc. Even Ophelia, who had to literally fight for every meal she ate for the first 3 years of her life, is good with him.

However, secure housing is a must! I think tanks are the best, cages knock over so easy, those plastic tubing ones like the habitrail are easy to break into. I have one gerbil in a 20 gal tank, he's happy in there.
post #16 of 18
Originally Posted by Nekochan View Post
then push open the top (they're very strong, I've heard of them opening tops even with heavy books on the lid) and escape.
Who uses books? That's one of the stupidest things ever and just asking for a problem.

If a 20+ lb snake can't undue locks, how would a hamster?
post #17 of 18
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
Who uses books? That's one of the stupidest things ever and just asking for a problem.

If a 20+ lb snake can't undue locks, how would a hamster?
A friend of mine had a tank with a locking lid and the hamsters still managed to escape, hence the heavy book.

Anyway as I mentioned I would not recommend using an aquarium due to the lack of adequate ventilation...
post #18 of 18
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
Who uses books? That's one of the stupidest things ever and just asking for a problem.

If a 20+ lb snake can't undue locks, how would a hamster?

Might be because a hamster has fingers!
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