How to Differentiate Between a Hamster Fight & Hamster Play

Updated February 21, 2017

When hamsters play with one another, it can seem like they are fighting. However, as a hamster owner, it is important for you to be able to differentiate between hamster fights and play sessions so that you can prevent your furry friends from becoming injured. If you hear or witness rattling from within the cage, check on your hamsters to determine exactly what they are up to.

Listen for noises. If your hamsters are playing, they may make squeaking sounds. Familiarise yourself with the sounds they make as they are playing. If you hear sudden changes in pitch or more abrupt squealing, it's possible their play session has turned into a fight.

Observe the hamsters' behaviours. If they are chasing each other, jumping into their hamster wheels and rolling around in the cage, they are playing. If one of the hamsters does not seem to be letting go of the other hamster to chase it, this may be a sign that the hamster is aggravated and ready to fight. Additionally, fighting behaviours also include hamsters scratching and biting at one another, which is different than their playful patterns.

Look for evidence of injuries. If you can't tell whether the hamsters are fighting or playing, check the hamsters visually for blood or cuts on the body and tears or holes in the ears. If you notice an injury, then the hamsters were doing more than just playing.


When you find your hamsters fighting, separate them immediately. Fights between hamsters can range from superficial cuts or tears to fatalities.

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About the Author

Kyra Sheahan has been a writer for various publications since 2008. Her work has been featured in "The Desert Leaf" and "Kentucky Doc Magazine," covering health and wellness, environmental conservatism and DIY crafts. Sheahan holds an M.B.A. with an emphasis in finance.