Sibling Separation: Hamster-style

Our dwarf sibling hamsters are living separate lives now. I caved in and bought a second cage. I had hoped the fighting would stop but after two nights of hearing these strange shrieking noises from their shared cage, I knew my options were limited.

I could either: a) hope that I wouldn’t be forced to explain life and death to my children because “Nibbles” decided to kill his sister “Bella” or b) I could spend another $40 on a second cage and supplies and avoid the life/death conversation. What I didn’t count on was the “How come they can’t just stop fighting?” questions and the “They’re brother and sister so why are they so mean to each other?” comments.

Exit the “Sibling Expert” and enter the “Stumbling, Fumbling Mommy.”

“They’re animals, guys. They have different instincts than humans,” I offered.

Looks of confusion.

“They fight because its part of their nature. ” And it’s here I stopped. How was I going to dig myself out of this one? Isn’t that the same way I explain human sibling fighting? It’s in their nature to fight.

The difference is that hamster siblings will fight to the death. Oh, God.

I decided to go with the “separation” approach. “They need their space like all brothers and sisters need from time to time.”

“Won’t they miss each other?” my son inquired.

“Yes, of course!” I said too enthusiastically.

So for now, from time to time, we set the cages up next to each other and like to think they are catching up with one another, playing games and growing deep sibling bonds…at a safe distance.

– Heather

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