Can you own a Hamster and Cat?

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Do you have a cat but are thinking of buying a hamster? Or do you have a hamster but are thinking of getting a cat? Both hamsters and cats make great pets, but they may not seem like they will be great companions, with images of Tom & Jerry springing to mind, although Jerry was a mouse. It is only natural for your cat to view your hamster as its prey, so it is wise to keep your furry friends away from each other as much as possible. So what is the best way to keep both animals safely? This guide will help you to do just that.

Hamsters are naturally hunted animals, their reaction will always be one of fear when it comes face to face with most creatures. Meaning that its reaction to the presence of a cat will be to run and hide. This means that your hammy will have anxiety at the sight of a cat, but also at the sight of a human.

Cats are natural hunters, meaning that they will try to get access to your hammy. They are also naturally curious animals that will find your hamster extremely interesting

Hamster cage security

You must make sure that your hamster has a safe environment, you can do this by making sure that they have a secure cage such as a hamster terrarium. However, if your cage has bars, then make sure that the bars are close enough together to prevent your cat from reaching its paws between the bars. There are also some cages that have removable parts attached to the cage, such as protruding tunnels and other features. These types of features can be dangerous as it is easy for your cat to knock them off and gain access to your hammy. Buying a larger cage with a safe latch, that has enough room for features such as tunnels and wheels inside is a good way of keeping your hammy safe. 

plastic hamster cage

Why not think about buying your hammy a plastic cage instead of a wired one? Plastic cages offer extra safety around cats due to the lack of bars and the lack of access to your hammy. The wired bars on the roof hatch are close together, so there are no gaps big enough for your cats paw to access it. The hatch is locked by two rotating safety clips to provide extra security to your hamster. 

Separate rooms

A wise way to keep your pets separated is to keep them in separate rooms. Even if you have a secure cage that your cat can’t access, your hamster will be unsettled by the presence of your cat. You should keep your hamster in a room where your cat does not tend to hang around, perhaps even shut the door to add some extra security especially when you are not at home.

Cage placement

Keeping your hamster’s cage in a corner is a safe option that will avoid any accidents from happening such as the cage being pushed off a table. You should also make sure that your cage is on a secure surface such as the floor, or a secure table. You should place the cage in the corner so that two of the cage sides are pushed right against the wall. This will prevent your cat from getting behind the cage and knocking it over. You can even secure the cage to the wall or another piece of furniture for extra security. 

Letting your hamster out

Before you let your hamster out of its cage, you need to take the necessary precautions. Firstly, make sure that the room is hamster-proof, meaning that it can’t escape or crawl under anything that will mean you can’t reach it. You have to place a towel under the door to prevent your hamster from escaping under it, but it also prevents your cat from shoving its paws under the door to get to your hamster. You should close all the doors and windows in the room and any other areas that may cause a danger to your hammy. 

Playpen

To make your room even safer, you can set up a playpen for your hamster to safely explore without somehow getting access to your cat by escaping. 

When your hamster is in its playpen, you should always keep an eye on it. A playpen will let your hamster explore as it does in its natural environment. This playpen is formed of wire bars and will provide safety to your hamster while it adventures.

hamster play pen

Handling

It is important to show your hamster some love by handling it frequently and showing it that you will protect it and keep it safe. The more you handle your hamster, the more it will get used to your presence and associate you with safety, this means that your presence will bring your hammy comfort and reduce its anxiety. 

Exercise ball

An exercise ball is a good way of preventing your hamster from sneaking under objects when it is out of its cage. However, there are some precautions you will need to take when doing this. 

Make sure that your hamster’s exercise ball has a secure lid, this will protect your hamster from escaping, but it will also protect it from your cat. 

Keep your hamster away from your cat while it is in the ball. The last thing you need is your cat treating the hamster and the exercise ball as a plaything and batting it around. This will cause fear in your hamster, but also cats are clever and may figure out a way to remove the lid on the ball. So you should always keep your cat out of the room when your hamster is in its ball.

If the cat does have access to the hamster in its exercise ball then make sure that you are in the room with them both at all times. If your cat starts batting the ball or stalking it, remove the cat from the room. Do not punish your hamster for the cat’s actions by putting it back in its cage.

hamster and cat

This ball has a locking feature that will keep your four-legged friend safe from escaping. The most important feature to look for when finding a hamster exercise ball is to make sure that it looks effectively. So make sure that when you order yours that the lid is secure.

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