Although Syrian hamsters are thought to be naturally solitary, recent evidence from our laboratory demonstrates that hamsters may actually prefer social contact. Hamsters increase their preference for a location associated with an agonistic encounter regardless of whether they have “won” or “lost”. It has also been reported that social housing as well as exposure to intermittent social defeat or to a brief footshock stressor increase food intake and body mass in hamsters. By contrast, it has also been suggested that housing hamsters in social isolation causes anxiety-induced anorexia and reductions in body mass selectively in females. The purpose of this study was to determine the physiological consequences of housing hamsters in social isolation versus in social groups.