Register FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Navigation
Front Page
Forum
Gallery
Wiki

Ads by Google


Go Back   Hamster Central > >

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-06-2019, 05:01 AM   #1
FirefoxMiho
Newborn Pup
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 30
Default My hamster is always trying to escape when shes in an 800 sq inch cage.

You guys are all. Get a bigger cage. Which I did.

I got padme an 812 sq inch cage. Which for about 3 weeks she seemed happy in.

Now shes biting on the cage lid because she knows this is how I let her out.

I let her run around in my bed for 10-15 minutes. She is still doing it.

I scatter treats all over the cage. She is never interested in treats.

I put a lot of enrichment in the cage. I bought an expensive hideout for Christmas and she uses it to escape.

I cannot deal with her making so much noise all night trying to escape and it makes no sense when shes in an 800 sq inch cage. Its really hard to ignore and get any sleep but I dont understand how shes this unhappy when I paid $150 worth of toys. Im not buying her a new cage and if she damages her new cage shes going back to her 55 gallon. Im also not buying her new toys.

I had to take her 2 hideouts out because she was using it to try to escape and was chewing the sides of the lid.

She is becoming too high maintenance for me. If I cant get this resolved she has to go.
FirefoxMiho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2019, 05:32 AM   #2
cypher
Dwarf whisperer
 
cypher's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Wales UK
Posts: 23,002
Default Re: My hamster is always trying to escape when shes in an 800 sq inch cage.

Some hams, more often females are quite high maintenance in as much as they want lots of attention & out of cage time exploring, running around with plenty to do so that may just be the problem. They need human interaction & lots to keep them occupied.
How much out of cage time does she have on an average day & do you just let her run on your bed or do you have a playpen or other play area set up for her?
They need routine too so best to try to get them out at a similar time each day (or evening rather) then if she's had a good run around try not to pay attention to what she's doing as it can just encourage attention seeking behaviour.
You don't really need to spend lots of money buying new toys, you can easily make things for them out of cardboard boxes & tubes that are often a lot more fun for them than many toys you can buy which may not interest them at all.
When you say she doesn't enjoy treats what have you tried her with?
If you have a photo of your cage set up we may be able to make some suggestions if anything could be changed to make it better for her.

ETA I forgot to ask about substrate, does she have a really good deep layer, a minimum of 15-20cm preferably more? As well as being important for digging & burrowing it does help keep down some of the noise when they're active at night, even a happy ham just hamstering around is going to be quite noisy at night!
__________________
Slave to Zylvan & Mriel.
Always loved, never forgotten, forever in my heart
T'ycor, Ziggy, Zephyr, Flynt, Mickle, Little Whisp, Zen, Zeki & Tinw

Last edited by cypher; 01-06-2019 at 05:39 AM.
cypher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2019, 02:41 AM   #3
FirefoxMiho
Newborn Pup
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 30
Default Re: My hamster is always trying to escape when shes in an 800 sq inch cage.

I have tried using deep layers but that only facilitated the behavior even further. She doesn’t dig. And I will have to start taking out unnecessary bedding because she’s hard to ignore at 4am. I take her out and it looks like for the most part just cuddling her seems to calm her down.
FirefoxMiho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2019, 05:36 AM   #4
Serendipity7000
Hamsters University
 
Serendipity7000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: North of England
Posts: 17,619
Default Re: My hamster is always trying to escape when shes in an 800 sq inch cage.

Was going to ask the same as Cypher - about photo and substrate. And how often you clean her out or change things?

I think this can settle down but it takes a bit of patience and working out what is stressing her. In my experience, when they are trying to escape from a good sized cage it is either because a) something isn't right in the cage or b) something is causing them stress.

How long has she been in the new cage? The rule of thumb when moving to a new cage is - move all the old bedding over with her (sprinkle it on top) and try and keep the layout similar - so it's familiar. Also it's like starting from scratch with a new hamster in that they need the two weeks settling in time with no cleaning out or moving things around during that time.

Removing all their scent can really stress them as they feel a bit homeless and in unfamiliar territory - hence trying to escape. Also a cage change is a big thing so they do need time to adjust.

So if she was moved "cold Turkey" with all new clean stuff and a different layout eg - she will probably be stressed and have all kinds of behaviour.

The only time I have had something similar to what you describe, was after our last Syrian (who was tame, settled and never bar chewed) was left somewhere else while we were away for 10 days - his entire cage went with him so everything was the same in his cage but it was a different house. He apparently started to freak out around the end of the day 10 day period just before we collected him. When we got him home he was behaving as you describe.

He was frantic to be out all the time and bar chewing - and a bit manic - it was quite upsetting. Once out he would settle down but would start up again as soon as he was back in his cage. I tried a number of things - set up a playpen round the cage and left the door open so he could get in and out when he wanted. He stopped bothering to come out then as he realised he couldn't get very far but was still a bit manic and basically running round in a circuit over and over. And as soon as I shut the cage door for the night he started bar chewing again.

We then noticed it stopped if we turned the lights out and left the room. So started going to bed early and turning the lights out.

Eventually, with this, it settled but it took a good two weeks and a full cage clean (ironical as normally that stresses them but in this case it removed any smells from the other house he had been in and sort of shocked him out of it) he wasn't like the hamster we knew.

Basically they don't cope well at all with changes of environment and a cage change is like that really - their familiar habits change.

So time and patience I think - I know how stressful and frustrating it can be though.

So some is a bit attention seeking, which can become a habit - they make a fuss, you let them out. On the other hand it is necessary for a while to help them settle.

I would suggest starting from scratch as if she was a new hamster. ie make sure her cage set up has the following

1) She will need at least 4 to 5 inches of substrate whether she digs in it or not - if it's a tank style I'd say 6" at least. It's so they can bury hoards and move it around etc.

2) Somewhere dark to retreat to - eg a shelf and a large hide/house that is dark inside. They always need somewhere dark to go to. Eg a shoe box house with a hole cut for a door and a bendy bridge tunnel over the door (makes it dark inside) and gives a tunnel entrance). That in itself can sometimes sort things. Giving them a big new house that's dark inside. If she doesn't have something like that, just make one out of a shoebox or similar and pop it over the top of her nest.

3) Not too much open space. While large cages are great for the space they need to be active, especially at night - they can feel too exposed if it's a bit of an open set up and not much "overhead cover". The large house can help with this, but some kind of shelf or platform at one end or along the full length at the back would help - then they can get from one end to the other under cover. This is easier to do in a cage than a tank as you can attach things to the roof. Large tunnels can help. Maybe hang a hammock from the top mesh on the lid - if she's a chewer (which it sounds like) just make one out of a piece of cardboard or something - with sisal string knotted at the corners so you can tie it up. If you don't have sisal string, plastic cable ties would do. But not something like paperclips as she could get her foot caught and break a leg or something. Just so it gives some darkness underneath from the top.

4) Simple things like checking she can reach her water bottle and food bowl and her wheel is working properly - I assume it's big enough.

5) Don't move anything round or clean anything for at least two weeks. If she has a sand dish or litter tray put it where she normally pees and get things set up right then don't touch anything for two full weeks. And especially not her nest or hoards.

Apologies if you know all this already. Sometimes it can be them trying to tell you something isn't right - sometimes it is just stress that needs time to settle. But the one thing that can really stress them and make them want to escape is cleaning out and changing things as it removes all their familiar scent.

It can take two weeks for them to scent mark everything in the cage to work out where it is and to get into a familiar route round the cage and familiar habits in the cage.

Try not to feel stressed with her - as she will pick up on that and it will make her worse. It can help to try and think they are upset and talk gently to them.

But once everything is checked as fine then really you will need to ignore her a bit and only get her out at a set time every day.

A photo would really help - sometimes something can be spotted that is a very small thing but would help the hamster settle.

I find they are really not that interested in toys - but toys and tunnels fulfil the purpose of filling up open space and providing hidey places and things to chew on.

Does she chew cardboard? If so give her old toilet roll inners or cardboard egg boxes to rip apart. And masses of nesting material.

Is the room warm enough?

I do hope something in here helps but don't give up on her yet - you just need to find what works for her. Some females can be a bit maverick, especially if on heat, but it could also be a time thing for her to settle into her cage.
__________________
Serendipity7000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2019, 05:42 AM   #5
Serendipity7000
Hamsters University
 
Serendipity7000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: North of England
Posts: 17,619
Default Re: My hamster is always trying to escape when shes in an 800 sq inch cage.

Final thought - what wheel does she have? The things they get most frantic about are their nest, hoard and wheels - if any of those are removed they can go bonkers.

Does she have an 11" or 12" wheel? Leave her hoard alone - if it's pee'd in you would have to remove some but try and leave most of the dry hoard behind and add new food to replace what you've removed, in exactly the same place. Also don't remove her nest - again if it's pee'd in you may have to but again try and leave a bit of the old nest that is dry (even if slightly whiffy) and add a big pile of new nesting material - torn up sheets of plain white toilet paper is best - I tear them into strips lengthwise. A big pile - but not in her house (that's an intrusion!) just somewhere in the cage not far from the house and she will take some to rebuild her nest.

Also if you swap things around or move things around or take things out, she won't settle. As humans our instinct is to have everything clean and tidy and tinker with the set up. But that urge needs resisting as hamsters are very territorial about their environment. So once any initial changes have been made to try and get things right, best not to change anything.
__________________
Serendipity7000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2019, 08:58 AM   #6
FirefoxMiho
Newborn Pup
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 30
Default Re: My hamster is always trying to escape when shes in an 800 sq inch cage.

I’ll answer all of your questions the best I can.

I spot clean her cage at least once a week or once every two weeks. The moment the cage starts to stink, it needs to be clean. I rarely ever full clean unless it’s a last resort. I try to leave the hoard alone but it becomes inevitable at times to keep the cage odor free.

She has a 12” Silent Runner wheel.

She had plenty of hideouts and toys but I took them out because she was using them as tools for escape. Now she’s climbing on the wheel to chew at the mesh at the top.

She is semi potty trained. She pees in her sand bath but she also pees in her nest hence why it’s sometimes cleaned.

She’s been in her new cage for about a month.

Last edited by FirefoxMiho; 01-15-2019 at 09:17 AM.
FirefoxMiho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2019, 09:17 AM   #7
FirefoxMiho
Newborn Pup
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 30
Default Re: My hamster is always trying to escape when shes in an 800 sq inch cage.

Also here’s a video of her cage. She used to have more things but I took them out because she never uses it other than to escape.

https://youtu.be/8upNMmyCTIY
FirefoxMiho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2019, 09:30 AM   #8
mangoandmimi
Little Miss Tinytoes
 
mangoandmimi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 6,723
Default Re: My hamster is always trying to escape when shes in an 800 sq inch cage.

She was burrowing a bit there at first, are you sure she doesn’t usually dig? The deeper section of bedding isn’t deep enough for a Syrian to burrow in either, I would fill it right back up. Often they do burrow but it’s not always easy to see where or when they do. Adding deep bedding can make a huge difference especially for Syrians & their boredom levels I’ve found.

Apart from that some of the toys can’t really be used properly, the toilet paper tubes for example. You could look into replacing them with more interesting items, I try to add as many different textures and types of toys in my cage as possible, different substrates make a big difference too. A dig box with some kind of sand or eco earth usually goes down well. Just removing items she climbs on to escape isn’t going to help in the long run as she’ll just get more bored, maybe experiment with a few different set ups a bit - no sudden massive changes though - but it can take a while to get to one you’re both happy with.
It is difficult when they always want more and nothing seems to be enough but that’s just how they are I’m afraid!
mangoandmimi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2019, 10:37 AM   #9
FirefoxMiho
Newborn Pup
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 30
Default Re: My hamster is always trying to escape when shes in an 800 sq inch cage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mangoandmimi View Post
She was burrowing a bit there at first, are you sure she doesnt usually dig? The deeper section of bedding isnt deep enough for a Syrian to burrow in either, I would fill it right back up. Often they do burrow but its not always easy to see where or when they do. Adding deep bedding can make a huge difference especially for Syrians & their boredom levels Ive found.

Apart from that some of the toys cant really be used properly, the toilet paper tubes for example. You could look into replacing them with more interesting items, I try to add as many different textures and types of toys in my cage as possible, different substrates make a big difference too. A dig box with some kind of sand or eco earth usually goes down well. Just removing items she climbs on to escape isnt going to help in the long run as shell just get more bored, maybe experiment with a few different set ups a bit - no sudden massive changes though - but it can take a while to get to one youre both happy with.
It is difficult when they always want more and nothing seems to be enough but thats just how they are Im afraid!
She doesnt usually dig. The only reason she did that is because I hid treats within the substrate. She likes the toilet paper tubes and it gives her a reason to chew.
FirefoxMiho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2019, 11:33 AM   #10
mangoandmimi
Little Miss Tinytoes
 
mangoandmimi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 6,723
Default Re: My hamster is always trying to escape when shes in an 800 sq inch cage.

Ah right. I would still say the cage could do with more enrichment though, not just cramming toys in but by making it more interesting. For example if she won't burrow then try placing underground tunnels and cardboard hides in yourself. Different levels can make a difference too, as well as providing shelter underneath.

Hopefully others have more suggestions. Just remember it isn't uncommon for syrians to find something 800 square inches in size too small though so don't feel bad. Some don't settle until they're in something double the size of that after no amount of cage enrichment improvement have helped, you just have to do what you can
mangoandmimi is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cage, shes, escape, inch, toys, im, lid, buying, treats, unhappy, understand, paid, $150, worth, resolved, its, sense, hard, sleep, ignore, cant, chewing, sides, gallon, makes

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Parts of this site powered by vBulletin Mods & Addons from DragonByte Technologies Ltd. (Details)
Copyright 2003-17, Hobby Solutions Inc.
All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:52 PM.