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Old 10-09-2018, 07:46 PM   #1
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 2
Default Hamster runs around edge of cage and jumps to try and get out

Hey all, I just got myself a 4 month old robo hamster a week ago and moved him into a 700 sq inch cage with a wheel, bedding, food, water and plenty of toys. When I got him, he ignored all the toys and would jump up and down on the cage wall to try and get out and I figured it was cuz he wasn't used to the cage yet. After about a week, he's still doing it- is this normal and what could it mean?

Extra information:
Also, I've been talking to it every day. I haven't been touching it at all because I wanted to give it space but I've also just been putting my hand in the cage to replace the food and to put treats in and so that it can get used to my scent etc. Whenever my hamster detects me it hides but I dont expect it to be tame yet. Was just wondering if this behavior is normal.

Any advice is appreciated
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Old 10-10-2018, 06:00 AM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 7,031
Default Re: Hamster runs around edge of cage and jumps to try and get out

Trying to get out of a cage that size doesn’t sound very normal for a robo to me. Could you post a photo of your cage setup? It may be that he doesn’t feel secure enough or that there isn’t enough to do in there. Also interested to know what wheel he has. Generally attempts to scale the walls are signs of stress or if they’re bored.

As for the taming progress - robos are probably the most difficult species to tame as they are so fast and skittish. It really can take a long time sometimes. I suggest getting a taming bin a little smaller than his cage, and just get him used to hands in there first. Never try to rush to the handling part as robos can be very nervous and you don’t want to stress them out too much in the process. Just place your hand in there with a treat on it and he should come over at some point. Whenever he willingly walks into your hand is when you can begin picking him up for short amounts of time.
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:31 AM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: North of England
Posts: 18,861
Default Re: Hamster runs around edge of cage and jumps to try and get out

Our Robo did this after I cleaned his cage the first time. It's a sign of stress - wanting to escape because they've been invaded and things are different. Running and hiding behind the wheel is quite normal before they're tame.

You;ll just need to take it slowly. Avoid putting your hand in the cage if that scares him at the moment - as you say, just at feeding time, minimally - maybe when he's asleep.

Avoid doing any cleaning for a couple of weeks. Honestly robos pee so little I reckon it evaporates! Try offering him treats through the bars - so your hand is outside the cage - if you have bars. If it's a tank then I'd wait to do taming/treats on hand until he is out of the cage in a safe playpen type area or the dry bathtub.

Robos are notoriously hard to tame. Ours still isn't tame - I haven't had much chance to try full on taming as he seems happy - but he has always been terrified of hands - a lot depends on their experiences in early life! And some on their personalities. They are more known for watchng pets than handling pets, but it is possibly to tame them wth time and patience.

The other reason he may be doing this behaviour is if there isn't enough substrate and enough places to hide under. if you give him 5" or more depth of substrate hewill probably dig tunnels and burrows and if you give him a house that's dark inside and part submerged in the substrate he'll probably use it. They need a safe place to retreat to that's dark inside.

I find the hardest thing is getting them out of the cage for taming without scaring them to death! Scooping him up in a mug or hamster ball is supposed to be the thing to do and then transferring them to a large box or taming bin eg. But give it some time for him to settle and enjoy his cage. Too much open space may scare him so put loads of substrate in and fill the cage with cardboard tubes and hidey places like tissue boxes or cardboard egg boxes so he can dive into and under things.

Main thing is don't do too much cleaning. The more substrate you have in the less often you need to change it - i go a few months without needing to change the substrate in our robos cage.
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:51 PM   #4
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 2
Default Re: Hamster runs around edge of cage and jumps to try and get out

Thanks for all the replies! Yeah I've just been not going near the cage for the past couple days. I heard him on the wheel (maybe) earlier today so I think leaving him alone for now might be the play. Here is a pic of the setup!

Just curious but when should I be able to start the taming process? And is it even possible to mess up so badly that my hamster is perminently scared of my hand? I hope I didn't scare him the past couple days
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Old 10-11-2018, 09:03 AM   #5
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Join Date: May 2014
Location: Wales UK
Posts: 23,318
Default Re: Hamster runs around edge of cage and jumps to try and get out

Could you put your cage on a table or something? I think it can be quite intimidating for them if there on the floor & you can't really approach without looming over them which is a bit scary for a prey animal! They also pick up a lot more vibrations & sound on the floor than if raised up.
I would put a lot more substrate in, as much as you possibly can, if you can mesh the lid then you can safely have things higher up without having to worry about escapes.
Substrate needs to be a minimum of about 15cm really preferably more.
I would put more toys/hideouts in too as there is rather a lot of open space at the moment.
Things like cork tunnels or tubes, more bendy bridges, coconut houses or even just cardboard boxes, egg boxes with a hole cut in each end are really fun for them if you put some substrate in & hide food or treats inside. (only the card boxes not the plastic ones).
When to start taming depends a lot on the individual ham, give him time to settle, that may a few days or a week or more & during that time just sit with him & talk to him so he gets used to you being around then move on to introducing your hand, go slow & don't try to rush things.
Do you have a sand bath in there? I can't really tell but sand bath with chinchilla sand (not dust) is really important for them.
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