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Old 02-13-2019, 11:04 PM   #1
xosunflowerox
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Default New hamster always sleeping

I have had my hamster for less than week now and every time I see her, she is sleeping in her hideaway. Is this normal for a new hamster? I know she wakes up and moves about some time during the night as everything in the cage gets shifted around. She is eating, drinking water and using the bathroom. In the evening when I get home, I go over to give her fresh food, fresh water and spot clean the cage. When I do, that is the only time I see her wake up. She comes out for a while and checks out the new food. I talk to her the whole time softly to try and get her used to me. Before she comes out of the hideaway, she squeaks. I'm not really sure what that means. It's not loud, it's softly. She doesn't seem afraid of me as she comes over and sniffs my hand while I spot clean. I think she thinks I'm going to give her a treat.
I'm just concerned she is sick since she is sleeping so much. I haven't noticed any diarrhea in the cage. She is just sleeping a lot...
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Old 02-13-2019, 11:45 PM   #2
cypher
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Default Re: New hamster always sleeping

It's totally normal for hamsters to sleep a lot especially in winter & just come out during the night.
You haven't had her long at all yet so she will still be settling in.
She sounds quite confident if she's coming to sniff your hand when you're spot cleaning, do you give her a treat when you do that? If you do she'll get more used to you & will probably begin coming out a bit earlier.
Do you know what time she gets up?
For now I would spend time just gently talking to her in the evenings even if she does appear to be sleeping.
They can be quite vocal & the squeaks don't sound like anything to worry about.
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Old 02-14-2019, 04:50 AM   #3
Serendipity7000
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Default

Is she a baby? They can be quite nervy at first and hide way a lot. It takes a good two weeks for them to fully settle into a cage so best not to clean anything or move anything for the first two weeks.

The other thing is, it's very cold weather and they need to keep warm. Does she have a house big enough for a large nest? They usually build very large nests in winter to keep warm as they do feel the cold. So keep putting extra nesting material out for her. Torn up strips of plain white toilet paper are safest and they like it.

So it's another reason why they sleep more/stay in the house more when it's cold. However they can risk going into torpor if they get too cold (unconscious) so it's important that the room she is in is a reasonable temperature. As hamsters are most active during the night, it can even be an idea to have some heating on for an hour or two during the night in the room the hamster is on. Instead of having the central heating on, I have a little oil filled radiator on a timer.

I noticed also you are spot cleaning her cage every day - it's best to do nothing for a couple of weeks to let her settle in. If she uses a litter tray, just empty that every four or five days. If she just has a toilet area then grit your teeth and only spot clean that once a week until she's had her two week settling in period. I would start the two weeks from now.

It can set back their settling in period if you do any cleaning during that two weeks.

Having said that - adding the odd new thing can be accepted quite well - as long as it doesn't mean moving things around. Does she have plenty of enrichment in the cage? They need that for stimulation. Things like tunnels/tubes and a chew stick and other hidey places. They can hide a bit if they feel too exposed as well (eg a lot of open space). You might get some ideas from the link below - I found a picture of someone with a Tamburino set up - although I think it's for a dwarf hamster but it may give some ideas for enrichment.

cages!

More here

F.O.P. Gabia Tamburino (Linea Natura) Review
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Last edited by souffle; 02-15-2019 at 06:19 AM.
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Old 02-14-2019, 09:36 PM   #4
xosunflowerox
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Default Re: New hamster always sleeping

Quote:
Originally Posted by cypher View Post
It's totally normal for hamsters to sleep a lot especially in winter & just come out during the night.
You haven't had her long at all yet so she will still be settling in.
She sounds quite confident if she's coming to sniff your hand when you're spot cleaning, do you give her a treat when you do that? If you do she'll get more used to you & will probably begin coming out a bit earlier.
Do you know what time she gets up?
For now I would spend time just gently talking to her in the evenings even if she does appear to be sleeping.
They can be quite vocal & the squeaks don't sound like anything to worry about.
I have been giving her treats. Usually just a couple of sunflower seeds a day.
Okay, I will continue to spend time with her in the evening. Usually when I go sit by the cage, she pokes her head out of her hideaway and starts sniffing around. She then eventually comes out. When she figures out she's not getting any new, interesting food or if she got a treat, she goes back to sleep.
I'm not sure about what time she wakes up. Last night I went out to check on her at 10 pm and she was awake. A couple of days earlier, I went out at 11 pm and she was still asleep. Maybe she is starting to wake up earlier.
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Old 02-14-2019, 09:42 PM   #5
xosunflowerox
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Default Re: New hamster always sleeping

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
Is she a baby? They can be quite nervy at first and hide way a lot. It takes a good two weeks for them to fully settle into a cage so best not to clean anything or move anything for the first two weeks.

The other thing is, it's very cold weather and they need to keep warm. Does she have a house big enough for a large nest? They usually build very large nests in winter to keep warm as they do feel the cold. So keep putting extra nesting material out for her. Torn up strips of plain white toilet paper are safest and they like it.

So it's another reason why they sleep more/stay in the house more when it's cold. However they can risk going into torpor if they get too cold (unconscious) so it's important that the room she is in is a reasonable temperature. As hamsters are most active during the night, it can even be an idea to have some heating on for an hour or two during the night in the room the hamster is on. Instead of having the central heating on, I have a little oil filled radiator on a timer.
The breeder told me she is about 11 weeks old. Her hideaway is pretty big, it's meant for a guinea pig. She had filled the entire thing up with bedding, but has a hole she burrows down into. I will give her some torn up toilet paper for nesting material.

I have a small heater that I have placed near the cage (not aimed directly at it) as I thought she might be cold.
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Old 02-14-2019, 09:44 PM   #6
xosunflowerox
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Default Re: New hamster always sleeping

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
Having said that - adding the odd new thing can be accepted quite well - as long as it doesn't mean moving things around. Does she have plenty of enrichment in the cage? They need that for stimulation. Things like tunnels/tubes and a chew stick and other hidey places. They can hide a bit if they feel too exposed as well (eg a lot of open space). You might get some ideas from the link below - I found a picture of someone with a Tamburino set up - although I think it's for a dwarf hamster but it may give some ideas for enrichment.

cages!

More here

F.O.P. Gabia Tamburino (Linea Natura) Review
Thanks! I saw this review when I was deciding to get this cage, but I will use it for cage ideas. Right now the cage is a bit basic and not creatively decorated. I love doing creative things, so I'll have fun with it i'm sure. Also, I will stop spot cleaning her cage and will get the litter pan for her.
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Old 02-14-2019, 09:49 PM   #7
xosunflowerox
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Default Re: New hamster always sleeping

I did have a question, though... I read that Syrian females smell horrible when they go into heat every four days. For that reason, I wanted a male. I ended up really liking my current hamster, though she is female. So I picked her. I asked the breeder if the females have a strong smell, and she said she never notices anything, the males and females smell the same. She didn't have many hamsters to choose from. The reason why she said was because they stop breeding in the winter. So far, I have noticed no bad smell coming from my hamster or her cage (besides the faint smell of pee). I've had her over four days now... Do they not go into heat in the winter? I am hoping that the breeder is right and there's not a smell (at least not a horrible smell).

Last edited by xosunflowerox; 02-14-2019 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 02-14-2019, 10:19 PM   #8
cypher
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Default Re: New hamster always sleeping

They do come into heat in winter, not all females have a strong smell it varies from one ham to another, whether it may get stronger as she gets older or at different times of the year I don't know.

She may start to wake earlier, it's still very early days for her though so give it time, just keep having some interaction with her eve if it's only giving her a treat when she does wake up a bit earlier for now.
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Old 02-15-2019, 04:22 AM   #9
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: New hamster always sleeping

It does vary I am told, as to whether they smell strong or not, but also, from what I've read, it partly depends on the human as well and how sensitive they are to such smells! And whether they notice them. The scent is supposed to be slightly musky - some people say fine some not. I wouldn't worry about it - there are plenty of people with female hamsters and only rarely does someone say it's a bit whiffy! And they are probably just sensitive or the hamster a particular stinker!
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Old 02-15-2019, 09:01 PM   #10
xosunflowerox
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Default Re: New hamster always sleeping

Okay, good to know! I'm hoping the smell isn't strong or I just can't smell it then.
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