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Old 03-10-2019, 06:41 PM   #1
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 8
Default Loney Hamster

So, I had to move my hamster to my mom's house for a week (which was a nightmare because the cage is massive). My mom has two small dogs so initially, I believed my hamster would be uncomfortable because of the dog's obsession over her and their barking. My mom said my hamster would hang out in the open (in her cage of course) while the dogs were interacting with her and when I introduced them face to face (my dogs are very friendly) my hamster sniffed them and seemed very comfortable and curious. When I brought her back home though, she kept sitting on her porch looking out the glass (which is unusual). Which i can only assume is waiting for the dogs to hang out with her.

I feel like my hamster might be lonely or bored. she really only likes her wheel and will sometimes ask to be picked up (which I don't force because she is a biter). Other than that she has a lot of hiding spaces and does not play with her chew toys. What else can I do to make her happier? She doesn't usually come out until 12 pm or later.
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Old 03-14-2019, 08:38 AM   #2
Little Miss Tinytoes
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 6,988
Default Re: Loney Hamster

Best keep hamsters away from dogs. They are prey animals and generally get stressed out from the presence of a dog or cat. Definitely no introducing face to face, it's dangerous - even if the dog is fine you can't really know how the hamster will react. Hamsters also won't get lonely, is she a Syrian? Even dwarfs live best alone and don't need or want company. They often will ignore chew toys so it's best to use things like cork tunnels, branches, items with different textures, provide deep bedding for burrowing etc.
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:18 AM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: North of England
Posts: 18,703
Default Re: Loney Hamster

The change has probably unsettled her - hamsters are usually happy living on their own but do interact wth their human owner and bond with them.

She shouldn't bite unless she is scared. I think it sounds like you need to do some gentle progressive taming, out of the cage, in a hamster safe area - eg rig up a playpen or use the dry bathtub or a room that has been hamsterproofed with areas blocked off. Playpen may be best. Out of the cage they are less territorial.

Also don't clean her out too often- you can spot clean mostly and not do full cage cleans every week. Partial cleans are better too - ie don't clean everything at the same time so something always smells familiar.

I think if you're nervous of being bitten, wear gloves. Don't try to pick her up in her cage but let her walk into a tube or ball, lift her out that way, into a box or similar and take the box to the safe area to let her out - have a few toys etc and treats scattered in the playpen area. And let her out in there. If the playpen area is large enough you can get in it too (ideally before you let her into it so you don't accidentally tread on her or something when getting in and sitting down).

They then just see you as an object to be run over and get used to your scent. Start getting her used to touch and handling while in there, by just the occasional stroke on the back, wearing your gloves so you don't feel nervous. One stroke - wait a while, try again. If she jerks as if to bite - wait and try again later. She will soon get used to it and stop jerking to bite. Once she accepts being stroked on the bac by one finger, you can move onto laying your hand flat, palm up and let her walk over it - then lift your hand 1cm or so but just let her walk off. Do that a few times ad then when she gets used to very slightly being lifted by your hand, lift her and let her run from hand to hand, holding her low, with your hands like a tunnl. Just for a few seconds each time. After that she should be hand tame and not bite. And you shouldn't need to wear gloves then. I should stop using them once she walks onto your hand the first time.

They sometimes don't like a hand coming from the top (which happens with a tank) as they're prey animals - so if that scares her, use a tube or ball to get her out.

Also talk toher through the tank so she gets used to your voice, and do the tissue trick (put some plain white toilet paper sheets up your sleeve ordown your bra for a couple of hours, then tear the paper into strips and put the pile somewhere in her cage - but not in her house. She should take some for her nest and will get used to your scent in her cage.)

Maybe do a taming session a couple of times a week as above and soon she'll be placid and easy to handle. Having said that, many hamsters don't like sitting still for too long and they can be much more active at certain times of day. I think mid evening they are a bit slower and maybe a bit dopey. Early evening they're very active and late at night they are too.

The only friend she needs is you Paws on the tank sounds like wanting to come out, or being a bit scared in the tank if things have changed or been cleaned. Try to leave everything where it is and not move things around - they often like to feel things stay the same in their territory.
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hamster, dogs, hang, face, mom, cage, lonely, force, waiting, picked, biter, wheel, feel, likes, bored, happier, make, hiding, lot, spaces, toys, chew, play, assume, comfortable

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