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Old 01-05-2019, 11:07 PM   #1
alexg12001
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Default Hamster wants to escape!

Hi everyone!
Ive had my syrian hamster, River, for almost two months now. She has around 1500 square inch home with lots of bedding, a 11inch wheel, sand bath, hides, toys, chewing toys, food, water. She happily takes food from me and climbs on my hand and has been great..... until this past week! This week she has kept on trying to climb the sides of her tank frantically for ages and every time I put my hand in to feed her or anything she rushes to me and starts to climb my arm. I read she might be bored so I put new things in and changed things around which entertained her for 10 minuets and then she was back to trying to climb the walls. Please help!
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Old 01-06-2019, 04:49 AM   #2
cypher
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Default Re: Hamster wants to escape!

That is a bit unusual if she was settled before & it's a sudden change in behaviour, has anything else at all changed, anything different in her environment not just her tank? Anything else going on around her, change in routine, change in temperature even! It's hard to guess tbh.
Her tank isn't a bad size but if you have a photo it might help to see if there are any changes that might help keep her busy & happy in there.
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Old 01-10-2019, 07:44 AM   #3
alexg12001
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Default Re: Hamster wants to escape!

I can’t think of any changes and as I am new here I’m not sure how to attach an image.
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Old 01-10-2019, 07:58 AM   #4
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Default Re: Hamster wants to escape!

There's a thread here about photos that should help if you want to post one.
How To Embed Photos
You may need to resize them first.
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Old 01-10-2019, 12:35 PM   #5
alexg12001
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Default Re: Hamster wants to escape!

Hi, thank you for the help!

This image was in December and I have since removed things she doesn’t use and added more climbing and toy like things. She is still trying to get out by climbing the sides.
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Old 01-10-2019, 05:09 PM   #6
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Hamster wants to escape!

Had you just done a clean out?
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:14 PM   #7
cypher
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Default Re: Hamster wants to escape!

If you haven't changed anything much before this began then it's not likely to be just down to the set up but I would suggest adding a lot more substrate to your cage, a good 15-20cm or as deep as you can make it, hamsters do like to dig & burrow & have a good depth of substrate under their house so they can dig down to make a proper nest, that might help.
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Old 01-12-2019, 02:48 AM   #8
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Default Re: Hamster wants to escape!

The set up is very nice and looks fine - but sometimes people clean out a bit too often and if the nest and/or hoard is removed it will drive her frantic -also if it's a big clean out as that removes all their scent, after they've scent marked everything to "claim" it and find their way around.

Best thing is to just spot clean as and when necessary and not do a full cage clean - that way you can go 2 months or more without needing to change the substrate, especially if she uses a litter tray (which you just empty every 5 days or so). And even then it's best not to replace all the substrate and to put some of the old/clean back and mix it in so it still smells familiar. It's their territorial instinct, plus they like cosy and familiar!

The only other thing I can think is - they do need somewhere nice and dark to retreat to in the cage - so a large-ish house that is dark inside is important (didn't notice if you had that in your photo). Something like a shoebox with a hole cut for a door. If you cut the bottom out and use the lid as a lift off roof you can check inside without having to take the house out or the nest collapsing.

Whatever the cause, it could be an idea to add something like a shoebox house now - pop it over her nest (if it's an open nest - if not just put it somewhere and a bendy bridge tunnel over the door which should tempt her inside as it's a tunnel entrance and will be nice and dark - also put the odd treat inside.
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Old 01-12-2019, 02:51 AM   #9
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Default Re: Hamster wants to escape!

Our instinct as humans is to clean everything at the same time and have everything just perfect, but with hamsters, it's best not to clean everything at the same time - eg do wheel one week, any toys another week etc and substrate a different week from other things.

Just had another look at your photo and I think adding a shoebox house or large-ish nesting box would help a lot and the bendy bridge you have could go over the door That also makes a ramp up to the house roof. At the moment there is nowhere dark for her to retreat to. They also like to have a shelf or platform to sit under or climb onto (which is also a good place to put a food bowl - so would suggest putting a small platform at one end and the house at the other end with the wheel and toys in between.
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Old 01-12-2019, 02:53 AM   #10
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Default Re: Hamster wants to escape!

I never remove the nest - they are very precious about it - unless it's pee'd on then you have to remove it but always try and leave a bit of the old dry nest behind, even if it's slightly whiffy. They like to forage for their nesting material too, so best to put it out in a big pile in the cage, but not actually inside the house - they take it there themselves to build the nest and sometimes pouch it to do so. If you put it in the house they haven't been able to get things how they want it (plus it's seen as a bit of an intrusion to the house possibly!)

Likewise with the hoards. If the hoard is removed they will be frantic (and trying to escape is a sign of frantic!) They only feel secure when they have food hoarded and usually eat from their hoards rather than from the food bowl. Most food from the bowl is pouched and taken to the hoard (often under their nest) so they sit in bed and snack

Again I leave the hoard alone for really quite a long time unless it's pee'd in and again if you have to remove it because it's pee'd on then try and leave some dry hoard behind and always replace what you've removed with new food in exactly the same place. To have a happy secure hamster!
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