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If you were a Mice are Nice member, and haven't got the Forum Refugee badge - PM Crittery to sort this out for you!


chewinggumchewinggum Lemming
edited May 2015 in Behaviour
Was recently at a local pet store, and I saw these two [ ] [ ] together in one cage. At first I thought it was three mice, two long haired ones and the white sleeping in the middle, all three cuddled up together. Tried to pick one of the 'long haired mice' up [I'd never seen one and was curious] and got an angry hamster trying to bite me cos I'd just tried picking up just his lower half.
I'd thought hamsters [Syrians especially] were territorial? Is that not true as I thought? Or is there something keeping him from killing that mouse?

My hamster has had time running around, out of his cage at the same time as the mice. He tried to eat their tails, sometimes [when they sat in front of him], but never actually attacked them. They were only out together once, though, so I've got no idea how he'd react to them if they were housed together. I've got no intention of putting my hamster and mice together, but do they get along better than what I've heard? Or was the pet store thing just some rare relationship of some sort, maybe?


  • Posts: 529
    Syrians are territorial. We've never let ours near the mice themselves but some've been near Peanuts cage when he's nowhere near the same bit as them. They've always been interested but I'd not dare let any pet near anothers cage when they're close by to be honest.

    We have had a syrian and a dwarf hamster get really defensive of their territories when one got too near the others cage during playtime once but it might be hams and mice don't recognise each other as much as they recognise other hamster species. Still wouldn't dare let the mice near the hamsters though - syrians especially, they're so big it'd be far too easy for a single moment of irritation to lead to serious injury or worse, a dead mouse.

    Maybe the pet store was just daft enough to think "mice need company, haven't got any other mice, a hamsters a rodent, that'll do..." or something similar?
    Currently one of two pet-humans of some hamsters (syrian, roborovski, chinese and russian hybrid), mice, mongolian gerbils and a duprasi :)
  • chewinggumchewinggum Lemming
    Posts: 47
    Ah, I'm more curious about why that hamster hasn't harmed that mouse, more than anything else. She had no wounds on her that I saw, but I didn't go picking her up. And the two were cuddled up together at first, both completely out. The hamster's head was hidden, which is why I thought he was two mice.

    He had other mice. A cage with three adults and two little babies was right next to this cage. 
    He also keeps feeders, but in much worse conditions. They're walking on top of each other, there's so many in that one cage. Last time I was there one had crawled up and got stuck squished behind the water bottle somehow, probably trying to escape. My third and last mouse was a feeder from there, she's a sweetheart but I'm almost completely sure she has no feeling in her tail. 
    But, point is, he had other mice she could have been with instead of a hamster. 
  • Posts: 529
    It might be the thing where sometimes animals don't fight entirely because of how small the space is? Or the hamster may be young enough to have not developed the territorial instincts properly yet? Most in pet shops are that young

    Ah ok... Then I definetly have no clue whatsoever about why the heck theres a mouse in there... Silly pet shop. I'm sorry to hear the state the feeder mice are in :(
    Currently one of two pet-humans of some hamsters (syrian, roborovski, chinese and russian hybrid), mice, mongolian gerbils and a duprasi :)
  • chewinggumchewinggum Lemming
    Posts: 47
    Never heard of the small space thing? But, maybe, if it's a thing. 
    No clue how old the hamster is. Haven't been in a few months [probably since December?], he wasn't there last time so he came around in those months. 
    I get the feeling this guy doesn't sell much, though. So it could be older. I got my ferret from there, he tried passing it off as 7 weeks, when he was obviously full grown. Still took it though, and didn't question it. Just said he was pretty big, and the guy just agreed. 
    It's a little tiny pet shop, owned by just this one guy. Horribly cluttered, can't go in the bird room because of the stench.

    Guess it was just random then. Hope the mouse and hamster will be freaks and stay friends, hahah.

    And, yeah, the feeders are bad. I get the feeling that's how most pet stores keep them, but this guy had them in plain view. One little chain was keeping you from going into their room, so you could still see them. Feel bad for them. Can't take anymore, though. Was lucky my girl, Box, wasn't pregnant when I got her. I would've been doomed if she was.
  • Posts: 529
    I didn't explain it well but basically in smaller spaces animals sometimes tolerate others more than they'd like to, probably because its too risky to start a fight (what if I lose, theres nowhere to run). I've heard of it in a few species now.

    Fair enough, I hope the hamster and mouse go soon anyway (and that they do continue to get along in the meantime). It sounds like a horrible store :(

    I'd guess most places that breed feeders keep them badly but it is still not great for the shops to show it. I'm glad your girl Box wasn't pregnant and understand why you can't take anymore. We can't save every animal, even if we really want to :(
    Currently one of two pet-humans of some hamsters (syrian, roborovski, chinese and russian hybrid), mice, mongolian gerbils and a duprasi :)
  • CritteryCrittery Overlord
    Posts: 274
    Is this in the UK? definitely sounds like it's worth a complaint, although from the sound of it, you wouldn't be the first one :(

    And yeah, Hamsters and mice should never be housed together. They can get obsessed with tails and completely chew them off. I knew a case when I was a teen, where someone kept a mouse in with two russian hamsters (although I begged them not to). I had to try and deal with the tailness mouse after that, he had nothing but a bloody stump left - they used to sink their teeth into his bum and he had to drag them around to be able to compete for food. It was horribly cruel.
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  • chewinggumchewinggum Lemming
    Posts: 47
    Ah, makes sense. Went back today though and I've got the feeling this hamster is pretty territorial. Or just not tame. Pretty much, I saw he was awake so I try to get him to step up and he attempts to take my finger off. He then returned to his mouse and sniffed her and proceeded to groom himself.

    Hope so too. Encounter with the hamster today [at the time I'm writing this, 5 to 10 minutes ago] actually kind of made me want to take him. No room though. Wish there was.

    In Florida, USA. Orlando area to be exact. Also have a ton of complaints about an exotic store that's around a half hour away but I can save that for another time.

    This mouse has her tail in tact, at least. She doesn't seem harmed at all, but again I didn't go picking her up today.

    I was tempted to just drop her in the cage next to her, with the other mice, but the guy knows me [I used to come in constantly] so I feel he'd know it was me. He already watches me every time I even touch one of the animals. It really unnerves me.

    And, as for the mice in the cage next to her, there's a lot more than two babies. Both of the babies I'd seen the other day were out, and I wanted to get a look at who I assumed was dad. He ran into the hut, and I assumed it would be okay to lift it since the babies were out and running around. I'm not sure how many were in there, it was just a big pile of baby mice. Didn't count them or anything. But yeah, a lot more than two.
  • Posts: 529
    Its a shame you don't have space for the hamster but I'm sure he'll find a good home... Doesn't sound like a brilliant store in general from what you've said :(
    Currently one of two pet-humans of some hamsters (syrian, roborovski, chinese and russian hybrid), mice, mongolian gerbils and a duprasi :)
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