A house full of pets is a dream come true for many of us. When we are young and ask our parents about every animal under the sun, often the answer is no. As we get older and have lives of our own, we decide which animals we have under our roof. Of course, not all pets will get along. Cats, for example, are notorious for having an attitude when it comes to other pets. Whether they get along with your dog is hit or miss. When they are in the mood, they may show other pets some attention, but at other times, they may smack them around or act as if they could care less.
Unfortunately, there are pets you can bring into your home that your kitty will show a particular interest in. One of these pets is a hamster. Hamsters are adorable little handfuls of joy, but will a cat eat a hamster if they get the chance? Hamster owners may not like the answer to this question, but yes, your cat may eat your hamster, although not always. Most likely, your kitty will kill the hamster but not partake in it as a meal. Let’s take a deeper look at this question and how you can potentially have both a cat and a hamster in your home.
Do Cats Eat Hamsters?
The relationship between cats and rodents is well documented. We’ve all watched Tom and Jerry, right? Cats are natural predators. You may see your fluffy kitty passed out on the couch and think there’s no way they could stalk prey, but deep down, those instincts are still there. Cats are also carnivores. Yes, you give them kibble as part of their diet, but that kibble contains meat. If your cat was in the wild, it would feast on birds, small animals, and especially rodents. Hamsters are rodents. Therefore, hamsters are prey for cats.
The idea of actually eating your hamster may not appeal to your kitty. That is if you provide them with a well-balanced diet. Domesticated cats don’t need to eat prey to survive. They get all their nutrition from the foods we give them. That doesn’t mean that they don’t want to hunt, pounce, and attack like they are intended. While your cat may not eat your hamster, unless it’s lacking important nutrients in its diet, if given the chance it would hunt it and in most scenarios come out as the victor.
Can Cats and Hamsters Live Together?
While it may not be easy, pet lovers have had cats and hamsters in the same house for ages. Of course, if you plan on trying this, there are a few things you need to do so your hamster can be protected.
Use a Suitable Cage
The right hamster cage can be the literal barrier between your hamster and certain death. You need a sturdy cage made of durable, heavy-duty materials. Not every cat will, but some cats may chew on the cage in an attempt to reach the hamster inside. You should also ensure the cage has small slats. Your cat may spend hours staring at the cage, trying to determine how it can break inside. If the slats are big, your kitty’s paw may reach in. If this happens, their sharp claws could be extremely dangerous to your tiny hamster. Also, remember to secure all doors on your hamster’s cage. Cats are very smart and may figure out how to release the door so they can get to the prey inside.
Use a Different Room for Playtime
Hamsters shouldn’t live their entire life inside the cage. They want to exercise and spend time with you. When you’re ready to play with your hamster, don’t do it where your cat can gain access. Instead, choose a separate room that you can completely close off. Seal all the entrances so your cat can’t creep inside. This is also a great time to let your hamster use a hamster ball. While you may think allowing them to run in the ball throughout the house with the cat in the vicinity is safe, it truly isn’t. Hamster balls can be broken or knocked around by a cat. They may not gain access to your hamster but they will scare it and that simply isn’t right.
Train Your Cat
If your cat is younger, you may have a chance to work with them where your hamster is concerned. Training your cat to ignore the hamster is a good thing. Keep in mind, however, not all cats take to training so this isn’t going to be the perfect solution to every situation.
Be Careful Where You Place the Cage
Cats are notorious for being in places they shouldn’t be. You may think placing your hamster cage up high will keep the cat at bay, but that isn’t true. Cats enjoy climbing to new heights. They also like knocking things over. Make sure your hamster cage is situated where your cat can’t knock it over or to the ground. If this happens, doors may fly open and grant your kitty access to your hamster.
Can They Be Friends?
It would be lovely to see your cat and your hamster cuddling together on the bed, but most likely, that isn’t going to happen. However, you can introduce them. When doing this, you need to be mindful of your cat’s actions. If they are swishing their tail or getting too excited, remove the hamster from the situation. The same can be said if your hamster shows signs of fear when they see the cat. If by chance your cat shows little interest in the hamster, allowing the two to sniff one another is the next step. Hopefully, your cat will catch your scent on the hamster and realize it isn’t prey. If this is the case, the cat may become disinterested and won’t actively attempt to hunt your hamster.
Cats and hamsters can live in the same house, but the possibilities of your cat eating or harming your hamster are great. If you want to have both of these pets, make sure you proceed with caution. The well-being of your hamster is in your hands. Your cat is simply acting on instinct when it comes to the presence of a new animal in the house.
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