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Would a Cat Kill a Hamster?

Cats can be just as mysterious and aggressive as they are adorable. And if you are looking to have both a cat and hamster in one household, it’s natural to question whether a cat would kill a hamster. Well, there’s no need to wonder, because I have done the research and will share the answer with you in this article. 

A cat would indeed kill a hamster if given the opportunity. This is because hamsters are in the rodent family, the ideal food type for cats. Cats are predators, and if they come across an animal thought to be prey, they will kill it and eat it. 

Keep on reading to learn more about how cats interact with hamsters and why. We’ll also examine how to safely keep both cats and hamsters in the same household. 

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Will My Cat Eat My Hamster?

If the opportunity arises, your cat will likely eat your hamster without hesitation. Because cats are natural-born predators, they are constantly on the hunt for prey. This applies to both wild and domesticated cats. 

Cats have an instinct to pursue prey animals, and rodents are a kitty’s supreme food choice. Hamsters are a member of the rodent family, so they are on any cat’s menu. 

That being said, the cat may not always eat the hamster. Sometimes, a cat will kill its prey for sport, without any intention of eating it. Either way, if you plan on keeping a cat and hamster in the same house, you don’t want your cat to kill or eat your hamster. 

Can a Hamster Survive a Cat Bite?

Chances are you’re aware that when a cat bites a hamster, there is a high chance of the hamster dying. A cat’s teeth are extremely sharp and can easily pierce through a hamster’s organs, causing organ failure. A cat bite can cause:

  • Internal bleeding and death
  • Shock
  • Infection

What some people don’t know is that, even if the cat bite doesn’t cause internal bleeding by puncturing a vein, it can cause shock. Symptoms of shock in a hamster include a dazed look and a limp body. If your hamster is in shock, he can be revived in some cases. Immediate intervention is required in this case.

Infection is another danger lurking behind a cat bite. Cats’ mouths are full of bacteria, and these bacteria can cause a dangerous infection. Without antibiotics, the infection could become so severe that it kills your hamster.

The Location of the Cat Bite Is Very Important

If your hamster was bitten on the leg where there are no life-sustaining organs or veins, your hamster might be fine. Some stitches or bandages may be all the little hammy needs. 

If your hamster has been bitten by a cat (or attacked by a cat in any way), it’s a good idea to have the hamster seen by a veterinarian for a full exam. You may not be able to see the full extent of the injury due to the hamster’s fur. Make sure that you have the vet’s information on hand in case of an emergency. Find a vet that treats small animals – not all vets do. 

How Do I Keep My Cat Away From My Hamster?

Most cat owners allow their cats to roam the house freely, so keeping your hamster safe can take some effort. But don’t worry; if you have your heart set on having your cat and hamster in the same house, there are ways that you can keep them separate.

Purchase a Secure Hamster Cage

You want to do your due diligence and purchase a cage that has no open sides and features a kitty-proof latch. This way, your cat won’t be able to get into the cage and swipe your hamster. 

It’s not enough to make sure your cat can’t get into the hamster’s cage. You also need to make sure that your hamster can’t get out of the cage.

Don’t trust that your hamster is totally trapped inside his cage. Hamsters are specialized escape artists, and they get out of their cages often. For this reason, consider keeping your hamster in a cage and place that cage in a room that your cat can’t access. That way, if your hamster does manage to get out of the cage, he won’t run into your cat. A secure closet is a great option to keep the hamster safe and away from the cat. 

Also, when you put your hamster in the ball and set it on the floor for exercise, make sure that your cat is in a different room. This is imperative in the event that the ball gets opened up, and your hamster gets out- if your cat is in a different room, it won’t be around to attack the hamster. 

Can Cats Be Friends With Hamsters?

You may have seen videos where unlikely animals become friends (think goats and cats, or ducks and dogs). These unlikely friendships aren’t likely to involve cats and hamsters. This is because cats and hamsters have a predator-prey relationship. It’s instinctual for a cat to want to kill and/or eat a hamster. 

However, if you want to try to change your cat’s perception of the hamster, there are a few steps that you can take: 

  1. Make sure that your hamster is secure in its cage and that the cat can’t get inside (check latches and doors). 
  2. Allow your cat into the room with your hamster while it’s in the cage. Gauge how interested your cat is in the hamster. If the cat ignores the hamster, continue to the next step. If your cat puts his nose to the cage and follows the hamster’s every move, you may want to reconsider introducing your cat to your hamster. 
  3. Show your cat that the hamster is your friend. While the cat is watching (from way across the room), talk to your hamster, stroke its fur, and show it some love. Do this for a few weeks. The thought is that by watching you treat the hamster-like it’s part of the family, the cat will befriend the hamster as well. 
  4. Cautiously move closer to the cat as you show love to your hamster. Take cues from your cat; if the cat begins to show aggression or takes a pounding stance. 

Keep in mind that your cat could access its killer instincts at any point during this process. Use caution with each step so your hamster will be protected at every turn.

How to a Keep Cat Off of the Hamster Cage 

Keeping your cat off the hamster cage can be a bit tricky. 

Should You Spray a Cat With Water as Discipline?

This form of training gets mixed reactions. Many people train cats by spraying them with waterto discourage the unwanted behavior. Spraying your cat every time he gets on top of the hamster cage could help him learn to stop the behavior. 

However, those who oppose water spraying say that it’s ineffective and overly aggressive. Some cats begin to show lasting aggression toward their owners and their belongings after being punished by water spraying. 

Make the Surface of the Hamster Cage Unwelcoming

Another way to keep cats off of your hamster cage is to use double-sided tape all over the top of the cage. Cats don’t like things to stick to their fur or paws. This method may deter your cat from hopping on top of the hamster cage. 

If you don’t like the idea of spraying your cat or putting something on top of the hamster’s cage, consider keeping your hamster cage away from your cat altogether. Cats are so resourceful and persistent that they usually figure out how to get their way.  Use your judgment to determine whether disciplinary action is appropriate for your cat, because one thing is for sure: even to your family cat, that hamster does indeed look like prey!