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Litter tray wise people - does anyone have a cat and a hamster, or two!

(20 Posts)
Italiangreyhound Tue 18-Nov-14 14:29:36

Litter tray wise people - does anyone have a cat and a hamster, or two!

Please give me your guidance! We have an 18 month old neutered ginger tom and my dd (10) wants a hamster. I fear the hamster will suffer a fate of possible death as I cannot see how we can keep the cat and hamster apart permanently!

Of course the hamster, either a Syrian or a Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters or some sort of Russian or Chinese dwarf hamster (and if we go for a dwarf one we may get two) would be in their cage all the time but I have heard that cats can pull the cage off a table etc and this could kill the hamster with shock!

The only thing I can imagine is a small cage inside a larger cage. Which would also keep our 4 year old son at bay!

If the cage were already on the floor the cat would not be able to get it to fall.

The option to shut cat out of hamster room is just not on as doors are constantly open and I know my dd would find it imposable to remember to keep her door shut all the time.

Would our dear cat go mad seeing and not 'getting' hamster or would our fictitious possible future hamsters go mad seeing a cat!

With a plastic cage he would not be able to get in but they would be able to see him!!



When we were all out of the house the hamsters could be in a room with doors shut, so the real 'risk' would only be when we were at home and doors would be opening etc!

Any advice, very welcomed, please.

givemushypeasachance Tue 18-Nov-14 15:50:11

I used to have gerbils & hamsters, though all my gerbils had passed on by the time I got my rescue cats this summer. Two little Chinese hamsters were still ticking away at over 3.5 years old! I kept them in a similar style of plastic cage, though they were the bigger type designed more as indoor guinea pig housing. I put wire mesh over the bars at the top even before the cats to prevent escape attempts. When I got the cats there was a near miss or two due to them sitting on the mesh lids and knocking them off, so I attached some plastic tubes which overhang each edge - makes it basically impossible to unbalance the lids now.

One hamster died about a month ago (of natural causes!) but his brother is still with us, and while the cats sometimes like to watch him they pretty much just ignore him. That may be partially because he's such an ancient little thing he doesn't run on his wheel all that much; it tends to be the movement that catches their attention. I've seen them tapping at the clear plastic a little confused about whether they can get to him or not when he comes out to drink and they're sat on the sofa arm next to the cage, but he remains completely oblivious!

Italiangreyhound Tue 18-Nov-14 16:34:06

Thanks so much.

CattyCatCat Tue 18-Nov-14 17:43:45

My best advice would be don't get the hamster. Hamsters' love being out of their cages. It would be harsh buying one knowing that it would be unlikely to get any time being handled or running around safe areas of the house.
It does not sound lien the right pet for your family. Sorry to put a downer on the thread but I feel really strongly that caged animals should be looked after well. If you are not in a position to do that, you should not get one.

RubbishMantra Tue 18-Nov-14 17:59:44

I always thought small furries got stressed with a cat in the house, seeing and smelling it. They sense that it's a predator.

Italiangreyhound Tue 18-Nov-14 18:12:24

Thanks CattyCatCat have you had a hamster? We had one and it could not run around the house, it would get lost or disappear. It was a Syrian, so quite big and the kind we may get is dwarf so quite a lot smaller, so ever less likelihood of it being able to run around. Ours had a ball to run in which means it is safe from anything but of course we would not let it out when the cat was in the room. My concerns were not that the car would be around when we let it out but more that it would be around and attack the cage and thereby scare the hamster.

We had a Syrian hamster for two years but that was before the cat came. The hamster came out daily for a play with my dd and a run around on the top of a low table or sofa.

I totally agree that all animals should be well looked after.

Rubbishmantra I had always thought so but there are different opinions, and an amazing photo on the other thread I started at super_furry_animals!

Italiangreyhound Tue 18-Nov-14 18:13:46

Sorry cat not car!

My concerns were not that the cat would be around when we let it out but more that it would be around and attack the cage and thereby scare the hamster.

18yearstooold Tue 18-Nov-14 18:19:28

I've got 2 cats and a hamster

The hamster is lucky to be alive as one cat is very interested in him and has had him in his mouth before now

We now have an automatic closer on the door of the room the hamster is in

Hamster comes out daily for a play but is restricted to that room

Other cat totally ignores him

kentishgirl Tue 18-Nov-14 18:28:30

I think it depends on the cat, and that isn't predictable.

Had both at one point. Cat not really interested, would have the odd sniff at cage but that was it. I have a very cute photo of cat and hamster sniffing each other through the bars. But he was a very wussy cat not into going outdoors or hunting anything.

Anytime hamster was out of cage, room door would be shut so cat couldn't get near him, just in case.

CattyCatCat Tue 18-Nov-14 18:40:12

Yes, I had two Syrian hamsters (one after the other) as a teenager. We had a massive Rota-stack cage with lots if tunnels and rooms. It was like a maze. Each night we would get the hamster out for around three to four hours. All the family would take turns in watching and playing with her. We had made the living room safe. I am a massive hamster fan!

I think you have to be prepared to allow playtime, that could be hard and fraught with danger if a cat was nearby. They do also get stressed by predators in their vicinity.
I would use this as an opportunity to explain to your child that sometimes we can't have what we want because we need to put another's feelings and welfare ahead of our own. My nine year old would appreciate that and it is always good to teach that animals should be respected etc. Also imagine the scene if the hamster is killed by a cat. It will be really upsetting for your children. My husband's gerbil was killed by his pet cat (dh was 8 or so), the gerbil escaped from its cage.

If you are determined to get a hamster I can only suggest keeping it in a room the cats cannot ever enter and make the room safe enough for the hamster to have supervised out of cage time. If you keep the door closed at all times you will minimise the chances of the hamster getting eaten if it escapes.

hugoagogo Tue 18-Nov-14 18:50:44

Growing up we had a series of hamsters, 4 cats and a labrador.

The cats pursued an interest in eating the hamsters and were successful twice - I don't know what my mum was thinking. sad

Not all cats are the same though, I know my current kitty would be very interested in a hamster, but our old cat would probably have been much more laid back.

Hoppinggreen Tue 18-Nov-14 19:07:36

Hamsters are not really great children's pets anyway to be honest and I wouldn't risk having one with a cat in the house

code Tue 18-Nov-14 20:37:02

My hamster died of old age just before we got the cats but had he lived he would have been in his own room, with the door closed. He would have been stressed by the presence of the cats.

Italiangreyhound Tue 18-Nov-14 22:11:16

Wow CattyCatCat I am amazed you had the hamster out for so long!

Of course play time is essential. I am kind of unhappy about caged animals generally so would want them to get exercise. I also feel kind of sad that they are lone animals, which is why the dwarf hamsters seem a better idea, but they can fight and need to be kept separate apparently.

CattyCatCat and 18yearstooold Did the hamsters not disappear down the back of the sofa. That was always my fear.

I loved having the hamster because he was so lovely, a truly great hamster.

I don't have a problem with telling DD it is not possible to have a cat and a hamster but a lot of people seem to be saying it is possible to have a cat and a hamster, or it might be possible! I agree it is very hard to know how the cat will react.

Hoppinggreen why do you say hamsters are not great children's pets? My dd loved hers and was very careful with him. I know a few people who had hamsters and sometimes it worked better than others.

I've looked into this a lot of the years and am not sure what really is a good pet for kids! I think our cat is ideal! My friend got rabbits for her kids and they were not a very good pet for children either!

Thanks one and all, very helpful.

Italiangreyhound Tue 18-Nov-14 22:20:18

Oh that was a genuine question, what is a good pet for kids.

We can't have a dog, and I am not keen on a rat! Or anything that will live for 50 years!

CattyCatCat Tue 18-Nov-14 22:41:24

They were old fashioned fabric sofas where the cushions lifted off and there was a sealed base underneath. We did not leave them unsupervised so no chance for them to chew into it and hide. They really loved being out. They did assault courses and everything! They would also have naps on sofa seat corners. Their most favourite activity was finding, catching and eating a woodlouse. The ultimate thrill. I do think hamster's are great pets but you have to put lots of time and effort in if you want to get a lot back.

Italiangreyhound Tue 18-Nov-14 23:39:25

Yes cattyCatCat I think they are pretty special too but I worry now about the cat. never thought of letting mine eat a woodlouse! And we got plenty of them in the utility.

Italiangreyhound Tue 18-Nov-14 23:40:02

CattyCatCat you sound like an amazing pet owner, I do not know of any other hamster who got so long out of the cage.

Hoppinggreen Wed 19-Nov-14 13:57:54

It was actually a vet who said to me that he has no idea who first decided a nocturnal bitey rodent which has a habit of eating it's babies and litter mates would make a good pet for a child ( or words to that effect)
I've had hamsters before and it hasn't ended well

Italiangreyhound Thu 20-Nov-14 00:49:33

Hoppinggreen I expect it is because they only live a short time! Ours worked out very well, and living (as he did) in solitary confinement there were no mates or babies (sadly)!

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