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Old 10-09-2018, 07:12 PM   #1
Beck and Tribble
Newborn Pup
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 3
Unhappy Hamster Neurotically Running on Wheel - Is He addicted? What can I do?

Hello Everybody,

I am concerned about my new hamster Tribble, that I adopted just 2 days ago. I have him in a Kaytee rat cage, because it was the biggest one that would hold a Syrian they sold at the store. I've given him healthy treats, wood blocks, toilet paper tubes and toilet paper shreds with my scent on them, and I've fed him tiny bits of apple and carrot (very tiny, so he doesn't get wet tail) to help begin the taming process. I try to keep the temperature of my room comfortable and even, and the lights a bit low.

He is a VERY energetic young hamster, and he has a 9 inch Kaytee comfort wheel - something he is new to because he didn't have one back at the store. I think he might be addicted to it. He also has over twice as much room here, all to himself, and he just runs around like he is being chased by a ghost whenever I take the wheel out. He pretty much runs on it nonstop when it is in his cage.

I am thinking now that it is something I am doing to train him into this neurotic behavior, and I don't want him to just pass out or always be stressed from all that running. He is a big cage bar climber, too, but that might be because he was in a glass cage before and so he thinks the new bars are fun to climb.

Plus, I think he must be scent marking the cage, because it has only been two days and there is a very strong odor. If any of you more experienced hammy owners can weigh in on these strange behaviors, I would be so grateful! Tribble and I thank you for taking the time to read this
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Old 10-10-2018, 07:22 AM   #2
GraceandJunieB
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Default Re: Hamster Neurotically Running on Wheel - Is He addicted? What can I do?

Hello, does he sleep at all during the night or day? If he does and he just does this when he is awake, then it is normal, my Syrian is under a year and she does it non-stop too, which is normal because they have a lot of energy. Hope this helps!
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Old 10-10-2018, 03:31 PM   #3
BubbyandHamper
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Default Re: Hamster Neurotically Running on Wheel - Is He addicted? What can I do?

I can't give any advice on the wheel addiction, however I can assure you that whole pieces of baby carrots will NOT cause diarrhea or wet tail. Also wet tail is stress induced, and diarrhea is just a symptom. (Do not use dry-tail that just gets rid of symptoms!)

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Plus, I think he must be scent marking the cage, because it has only been two days and there is a very strong odor. If any of you more experienced hammy owners can weigh in on these strange behaviors, I would be so grateful! Tribble and I thank you for taking the time to read this
Yes, you are correct. Hamsters will scent mark their territory.
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Old 10-10-2018, 03:38 PM   #4
mangoandmimi
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Default Re: Hamster Neurotically Running on Wheel - Is He addicted? What can I do?

Congrats on your new ham Tribble. It's still very much early days and he hasn't had a wheel before, so not too surprising he's a little obsessed! It's not really unusual, usually they'll calm down at some point when they get more used to it. Generally you won't need to remove the wheel. I know some people have done if the hamster has collapsed from exhaustion from running too much, but this generally isn't the case. I wouldn't touch anything in the cage for at least a week now while he settles in - removing the wheel would be quite stressful for him.

His behaviour doesn't sound unusual, coming home into a new environment after adoption is probably the most stressful time of their lives, so just give him plenty of space and probably leave taming to next week once he's more settled. Don't clean anything for a few weeks, except maybe the wheel after a week if he is peeing in it. Also don't touch or disturb his nest too much, he'll likely be peeing in it especially while he's young. It's okay to remove only the soiled parts but don't remove too much of the nest.
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Old 10-10-2018, 03:40 PM   #5
BethandLil
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Default Re: Hamster Neurotically Running on Wheel - Is He addicted? What can I do?

I also have a wheel obsessed baby syrian too. She seems to have two main settings - running or sleeping
I assume it's baby hamster manic energy but it could just be her personality type

She seems to wee and poo whilst running too. Her wheel is lined with cork so I'm not sure how I'm meant to clean it effectively..

Other than it being a little frustrating for me wanting to get to know her better, i'm not too worried about her.

Sorry not to have been more helpful
Hope he chills in time!
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Old 10-11-2018, 08:55 AM   #6
JennySTL
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Default Re: Hamster Neurotically Running on Wheel - Is He addicted? What can I do?

Also remember that, in the wild, they would run an equivalent of 7-8 miles per night. That's a lot of running!
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Old 10-11-2018, 06:02 PM   #7
Beck and Tribble
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Smile Re: Hamster Neurotically Running on Wheel - Is He addicted? What can I do?

Wow, thank you all so much for sharing all your hamster wisdom! I think you were all right - he is super energetic, but he is happy and healthy looking. Also, even though I left the wheel in all day and night recently, he didn't run on it nonstop this time, so the newness of it must be wearing off.
That is crazy how far they run in the wild - I am glad he likes his wheel so much if he's going to be my little marathon runner! Tribble also says thank you, and live long and prosper! <3
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Old 10-11-2018, 06:14 PM   #8
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Hamster Neurotically Running on Wheel - Is He addicted? What can I do?

It's a new fun thing and they do run a lot in it. Sometimes it's because it's exciting - sometimes it's because they're stressed. I think taking it out will stress him and make him want to do it even more - so best to leave the wheel in.
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cage, wheel, hamster, room, toilet, paper, scent, tiny, store, addicted, days, tribble, runs, running, kaytee, pass, stressed, bar, big, behavior, train, thinking, climber, nonstop, neurotic

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