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Old 02-16-2019, 06:19 AM   #1
rowan22
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Join Date: Jan 2019
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Unhappy Weird behaviour??

Hi there, I’ve had my hamster for around a month now. She is settled in fine, however she displays some really odd behaviours. Some of it I put down to the fact that she was adopted and she wasn’t tame at all when we adopted her (she was a child’s Christmas present who was returned to the store because she kept biting), I have been trying to tame her but she’s not coming on very well at all. She is extremely nervous and though she will let you touch her, often when you enter the room her cage is in, she will just make herself as flat as a pancake and not move at all unless you coax her with treats or move your hand around the substrate. She also doesn’t use her wheel AT ALL (I thought this might be down to having a small wheel, but I just bought her an 11 inch one and she doesn’t use that still. She doesn’t run when you put her in a hamster ball, she just sits there. Another strange behaviour is that she doesn’t use houses to make her nest- I put tissue in the cage for her to nest with and she sleeps with it in a different place every night (she has plenty of houses and tubes to burrow in but she chooses not to, which I feel is quite normal but the fact that She changes her nest every night seems strange). I spot clean her cage every other day and will clean her out once every 4 weeks, so I don’t think she’s moving her nest because it smells weird or has been disturbed.
When I put her in the bathtub she runs around fine and likes to explore, but she’s just very timid whilst in her cage.
She also sleeps for a large majority of the day. I’m talking doesn’t wake up till 1am, goes back to sleep at 4am. I know because I often don’t get home from work till 4am and I always check on her when I’m back and most of the time she’s sleeping again.
She’s eating and drinking fine and seems otherwise healthy, no sign of wet tail or any other illness.
She’s a Syrian and she’s about 4 months old.
Is this strange behaviour for a hamster ? I have never had a hamster which sleeps so long, doesn’t run on her wheel or ball and generally just liked to stay in one spot in her cage, as much as she does.
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Old 02-16-2019, 07:06 AM   #2
cypher
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Default Re: Weird behaviour??

There could be a few things going on really, if she was handled badly in her first home that may be partly why she's nervous in the cage, a month still isn't that long for her to adjust to a new home & get over anything that may have scared her previously.
Some hams do sleep in open nests & some will have more than one nest but it does sound as though she may be a bit unsettled in the cage, does she have a good deep layer of substrate under her house or hideouts where she can burrow down?
A photo of your cage might help with any suggestions for things that could work better for her, it's hard to say without seeing it really.
I wouldn't put any ham in a ball personally but for a nervous ham it can be particularly stressful so I would stop using that, if she enjoys time out in the bath then keep that up for taming & bonding.
Some hams really don't like hands in the cage much even when they're tame & if you do put your hand in it's generally best to just keep it still & wait to see if they will come to you. Probably best for now to not put your hands in the cage any more than you need to & just interact with her out of the cage.
Not using the wheel when it's big enough & works ok is very unusual but not unheard of & some do sleep more than others although females do tend to be more active so that is quite unusual.
I'd give her more time anyway & see how it goes with out of cage taming, as she gets more confident with that she may be better when you're around & she's in her cage.
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Old 02-16-2019, 07:16 AM   #3
rowan22
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Default Re: Weird behaviour??

Quote:
Originally Posted by cypher View Post
There could be a few things going on really, if she was handled badly in her first home that may be partly why she's nervous in the cage, a month still isn't that long for her to adjust to a new home & get over anything that may have scared her previously.
Some hams do sleep in open nests & some will have more than one nest but it does sound as though she may be a bit unsettled in the cage, does she have a good deep layer of substrate under her house or hideouts where she can burrow down?
A photo of your cage might help with any suggestions for things that could work better for her, it's hard to say without seeing it really.
I wouldn't put any ham in a ball personally but for a nervous ham it can be particularly stressful so I would stop using that, if she enjoys time out in the bath then keep that up for taming & bonding.
Some hams really don't like hands in the cage much even when they're tame & if you do put your hand in it's generally best to just keep it still & wait to see if they will come to you. Probably best for now to not put your hands in the cage any more than you need to & just interact with her out of the cage.
Not using the wheel when it's big enough & works ok is very unusual but not unheard of & some do sleep more than others although females do tend to be more active so that is quite unusual.
I'd give her more time anyway & see how it goes with out of cage taming, as she gets more confident with that she may be better when you're around & she's in her cage.
Hi thanks for the reply
She does have a deep layer of hemp bedding in her cage which id say is around 4 inches deep and then she also has a substrate similar to carefresh which I got from pets at home on top,then I put in ripped up tissue for her to nest with. It’s really quite deep so I think she definitely has enough room to burrow - sometimes she does burrow in it, but the main concern was that she’s changing her nest every night. Her cage is a type of big tank, I’m in the UK so it’s not a 40 gallon one but it does have 450 sq inches of floor space and I try to get her out of the cage as regularly as possible. She does bite which is another issue with taming. There’s no way I can put my hand flat on the ground without her biting it as many times as possible - the only thing I can do when she’s in the bath is just watch her, feed her treats and stroke her back. If she gets anywhere near my hand she will bite it continuously until you move it. Maybe she’s just never going to Be tamed :/ I think her previous home has made her nervous which has caused all her strange behaviours.
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Old 02-16-2019, 07:46 AM   #4
cypher
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Default Re: Weird behaviour??

It can be difficult to know how best to move forward sometimes, they're all different! If she bites you could try gloves for a while, I'm not a fan of that method myself as I don't think it really gets them used to hands but it may help with handling her. I had a female Russian who would bite at first & I found if I buried my fingers in substrate or just put them under something she would walk on to my hand without biting so that might be something else to try.
Is there anything in her environment that might be unsettling her? Other animals, noise etc?
It may seem like she'll never be tamed right now but they will often suddenly make a leap forward in the taming process just when you least expect it so do give it more time.
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Old 02-16-2019, 07:52 AM   #5
rowan22
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Default Re: Weird behaviour??

Quote:
Originally Posted by cypher View Post
It can be difficult to know how best to move forward sometimes, they're all different! If she bites you could try gloves for a while, I'm not a fan of that method myself as I don't think it really gets them used to hands but it may help with handling her. I had a female Russian who would bite at first & I found if I buried my fingers in substrate or just put them under something she would walk on to my hand without biting so that might be something else to try.
Is there anything in her environment that might be unsettling her? Other animals, noise etc?
It may seem like she'll never be tamed right now but they will often suddenly make a leap forward in the taming process just when you least expect it so do give it more time.
Yeah maybe I’ll try the burying under substrate method ! Tbh I’m with you on the glove method, it wouldn’t really do anything besides get her used to the motion of being picked up. Nope there’s nothing really besides the normal noises and sounds of any average house - no other animals and she’s in a quiet room all day with just natural light.
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Old 02-16-2019, 07:54 AM   #6
cypher
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Default Re: Weird behaviour??

Can't think of anything else to suggest other than time then, good luck with her I do hope she gets more settled & confident.
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