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Old 05-15-2019, 11:55 PM   #11
LilRussianRebel
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Default Re: Desperately Need Help

She not long started chewing again, I turned a bendy bridge upsidedown in the corner and put the last of the kitchen towel in pre-shredded and she's been happy to take it all and make a nest ontop of the bridge, so I think a proper nesting box will help!.

I will say that as of last night she was pretty quiet, it's pretty much just this morning usually between 7am-11am that she starts chewing, which confuses me given she's supposed to be asleep.

I'll take another look at the different beddings and see what I think would work best for my situation because buying in bulk is going to mean I can use some of it for my dwarf too, although she's pretty old now and I've been noticing her fur is thinning out a little in places which I'm not sure if that's normal but she appears in pretty good health and spirits as of right now.

Taming wise, she walks into the carry box without any problems whatsoever, I usually put her in a pen because her timing is so inconvenient, she prefers to come out after midnight and that's not ideal for me to be traveling into the bathroom and just sitting casually in a bathtub when there are other people who use that bathroom.

So I think I'll have to keep trying when she's out of the cage, I can't usually get near her when she's in the cage because she runs away so I don't bother chasing her. In the pen she usually just runs around a bit quickly then starts trying to climb the sides, occasionally chews the bars but at the point where she starts climbing I usually take her out. I've been handling her with gloves because I really don't want to get bitten, my dwarf scared me the second time she drew blood which I think has a lot to do with it, but the gloves are fingerless so it's not like she can't completely smell me.

We had a pretty good session though last week, she was perfectly content in being out in the pen for a long time (15 minutes roughly) it was on her terms, she was waddling around much slower than usual, sitting and grooming, I was impressed, she even let me scoop her up to put her in the box, she didn't enjoy it and tried jumping out but as soon as she was in the box she was pretty chilled out.

Yesterday when I had her out so my mother could push the drawer to her cage back in properly, I had her in my hands, although wearing gloves she didn't try to bite me once and considering she was really stressed about the situation it was nice to know that even though she didn't like being held at all, she didn't try and bite me. So I think I'm going to keep working a few days at a time in the pen to try and get her used to being picked up, she rarely takes treats from hand and have tried letting her walk on my hand for a treat but she generally doesn't eat outside of her cage. She also hates being touched by anything, I tried the soft toothbrush method (Clean one, brand new) and she absolutely hated it, didn't try biting but would turn around every time and then would dart away. Hate is a strong word but I suppose I can understand her, I don't like being touched either lol!

Even if I can't tame her to be comfortable being out or with me, it's great to know I can atleast pick her up for health inspections, I usually do them when I get her out given she likes to overgroom in particularly stressful situations, it's good just to give her coat a close eyeballing to make sure she doesn't have anything going on with her skin as a result.

She's a very vocal hamster, she usually squeaks when she's not happy about something, well it's not a squeak, it's like a puff of air with a slight tone and pitch, it's hard to explain but my dwarf has recently started doing it when she's not happy about something too.

Sorry for the late and somewhat long reply, you've given me quite a list to go at and I look forward to trying out some of the things you've suggested and listed so thank you so much! I'm really so glad someone has managed to give me some possible ideas, and if it does turn out that none of those things work, then I'll have to think of another arrangement for her, although chances are my mother won't let me put her anywhere else so I guess I'll have to turn into a vampire, sleep all day and come out at night. Which isn't too much of an issue when I have the time.

Thanks so much again!
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Old 05-16-2019, 01:33 AM   #12
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Desperately Need Help

It sounds like you're doing all the right things. She may have had a bad experience with handling before you got her. Our Robo is like that and I know he had some bad experiences with handling as a baby before we got him. Can't compare really as Robos are less handleable anyway.

Playpen sounds better than bathtub if you have one They do try and escape lol. I would suggest persisting with the stroking on the back with one finger. Just once or twice each session she is in the playpen, without trying to pick her up. No they don't like being held too long if they're high up - both our syrians, who are not biters, have given me a little nip if I've held them up in the air too long or carried them that way, so I usually carry them in a tube or hide they've walked into, to get to the playpen.

If she doesn't get up till midnight, then that is their most super-active time! And handling would be very difficult at that time. It might be an idea to tempt her out when you put her food out. If you put it out at a certain time. I found with our last Syrian that at 6pm ish he was super active. But if I left it till around 8pm he was quite docile and even a bit dopey! He also wouldn't come out voluntarily so I used to put a tube in front of his house door with a treat in the far end and lift the tube out when he walked into it - worked a treat. Put both hands over the tube so they can't fall out as you're lifting them out.

I'd then put the tube down next to the cage inside something eg a large box - to carry him to the playpen area. Easier to put one end of the tube in the ball and let them walk into the ball and pop the lid on. Or if your playpen is in the same room and not too far to walk wiht her in a tube then straight into there?

So maybe if you can get her in the habit of being taken out around the same time early evening it would help, and then leave her in when it gets to midnight.

They are "crepuscular" rather than strictly nocturnal, so although asleep most of the day, they aren't awake all night. They may wake early evening but then nap later in the evening and also nap at some point during the night, and will be awake early morning. 11am does sound quite late though.

Sorry for the list! You already have the bendy bridge and sand. So a corner litter tray and a house would be good. You don't need to buy a wood house, you can make a shoebox house. It's a good size. Didn't suggest it before as you said she destroys cardboard! But you could try that first and maybe get a wood house later.

So cut the base out of the shoe box to be open underneath and sat on the substrate, and keep the lid as the lift off roof, then cut a hole for a door near one end of one of the long sides, with the bendy bridge over the door.

The only reason I think it's good to get the corner litter tray is they do seem to move their pee area inside the house when they have a large house - they seem to like having an ensuite bathroom!

She needs plenty to do at night being so active. With a lot of substrate she may busy herself digging tunnels and they like building mountains with the substrate too.

The design of your cage, with a pull out tray, probably isn't helping. The tray won't be deep enough to do a substrate clean that way, and still have enough substrate. When I've looked at those cages I always thought I would ignore the tray, and treat it as a tank and just scoop substrate out from the top with a dustpan into a bin bag (when the hamster is out of the cage!).

That will disturb and stress her, hearing and seeing her cage being "tinkered with" I reckon. I find it helps to have the hamster in a different room when doing anything other than spot cleaning - so they can't hear or smell you doing something to their cage as they get a bit anxious about it sometimes.

That can be tricky as you also need to keep an eye on them. I used to put ours in his pet carrier in the bedroom with a blanket over the top - it's a large pet carrier. He woud just go to sleep in it. Our current syrian doesn't like that and tries to chew out, so I put him in his playpen in the other room, if someone else is in there to keep an eye on him.

He goes very subdued if he can tell I'm doing some changes to his cage. And sits in a hide. Whereas normally he'd be running around or trying to escape.

It's trial and error really to see what works with her. Do you sit in the playpen with her? They can get used to you when you do that and tend to climb over your legs etc as if you're an obstacle. Legs aren't as threatening as hands! You need to keep well away from the edges though or she'lll use you as a ramp!

I would maybe focus on getting her into a regular routine of being taken out at the same time of evening, maybe every other night, feeding at the same time each night and turning the lights out before she gets active at midnight (if possible!).

If she's making a racket at night, then earplugs?! She might be better with a regular routine.

I'd try the large house asap though if you have a shoebox lying around. Sometimes they don't destroy the cardboard if it's their house. Keep giving her plenty of other cardboard items to destroy! Old egg boxes or kitchen roll inner tubes (slit those down the side so she can't get stuck in it) and toilet roll tubes.

You could also make her a treat parcel now and then maybe to keep her occupied - have you seen the video of 10 toilet roll toys?



Sometimes it's just finding something that works for them so they're happy in the cage. For our Syrians it has always been a large dark house and a good depth of substrate, plus overhead cover so they don't feel too exposed. You already have the shelf. Plenty of hidey places (eg tissue box) and tunnels at floor level can help, or an upturned rat sputnik eg. And bendy bridge tunnels.

If she only has a couple of inches of substrate she probably won't be happy. You could have split level so one half of the cage about 6" deep and the other half 3" ish, so you don't use as much. But best thing would be buy a big cheap bag and bung a load in!
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Old 05-16-2019, 07:59 AM   #13
LilRussianRebel
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Default Re: Desperately Need Help

Ive tried treat puzzles before, both hanging ones and ones she can push around but shepays no interest in them, even if I make the gaps bigger so she can stick her nose in, she doesn't bother with them.

As for cardboard she usually gets tubes and small boxes when someone orders something, which is quite frequent, I take everything off before giving it to her.

Yeah that cage design is not the greatest, but I had another argument again with my parents last night about it, they really don't value her life as much as I do, I want to make it as enriching as possible and they just don't give one, they thinking spending so much money on a hamster that only lasts a few years is ridiculous. So frustrating!!!!

I usually feed both hamsters in the morning as I usually have things to do and sometimes don't get in til late. I could try feeding her later on, the door is creaky so I'm wondering maybe if I tried it later on if she will wake up because she usually does wake up when the door is opened.

I tried scatter feeding her a few times and she does enjoy running around scooping up her food, I also have forage toys which I put treats in to keep her busy, I recentrecently bought one they say is appropriate for guinea pigs but lots of people were recommending it for Syrians, I've tied the ends up with some string so she can't go in and get stuck and she's been enjoying pulling treats from it.

She really enjoys peanuts and any kind of fruit or veg flavoured treats over items from her mix, but usually won't take either from me, if she tries to she usually tries to take it from my fingers but soon back off so I just place it in front of her gently and let her be.

I'm going to keep trying to tame her, that last session last week I'd done 3 days of being out in the pen and then 2 days not out, the other 2 days I gave her treats in the cage. To move her to the pen I use a carry box I made from a smal storage box, I just don't use thr lid because my bed with the pen is literally turn around from her cage.

I'm going to try and get a hide that the pet shop advertise for gerbils, it's made of wood and should be able to fit her as they have 2 sizes, large and small, the large one might be better for her given she's such a big girl.

I watch a lot of videos that various people post about different toys and things and when I've tried them it just seems to be that my hamsters aren't interested, my dwarf I can understand because she sleeps a lot now but cookie just doesnt pay any interest.

For cleaning her out I usually put her in the pen, ironically she seems less stressed when I clean her out than what she does when I have her out for taming, I don't have the option of putting her in another room as again timing is awful.

Hopefully I can figure something out, I've got a shopping list for my next payment lol
It's in another 2 weeks so hopefully she can hold out til then.
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:55 AM   #14
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Desperately Need Help

Oh dear - sorry to hear about the argument with parents. You don't need to spend a lot really - you can make things Cardboard is our friend! I was thinking bulk substrate would work out cheaper.

It sounds like you're doing all the right things. Hamsters vary in their personalities. Our last Syrian was very tame and would even go to sleep on my knee under a blanket (lazy!). But he would never take food from your hand, in or out of the cage. Our current one is a gannet and will take food from anyone - he's even tried to get to my mouth to get food out if I've been chewing something!

So I wouldn't take that as a taming thing or a personal thing if she won't take food from you. Often they don't like taking it from you if your hand is in the cage as that's their territoriy.

It sounds like feeding in the evening would be better - doesn't matter if the door wakes her. It's often recommended to "noisily" put their food out to wake them for evening out of cage time - particularly when the hamster doesn't normally get up till very late.

My experience of hamster toys is - that hamsters aren't interested in any toys unless it's a hidey place, tunnel or has food stuck to it! But they like their habits - their nest, foraging and hoarding and sorting out their nest and house and pushing substrate around where they want it.
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:57 AM   #15
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Default Re: Desperately Need Help

To be honest, the cage is great - if you don't use the pull out tray so you can have deeper substrate. Good size, nice shelf, perspex front. Because it's large it probably does need filling up a lot with substrate and hidey places etc.
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:58 AM   #16
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Default Re: Desperately Need Help

I would just make the shoebox house and see if it helps. Before buying any houses.
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Old 05-16-2019, 10:01 AM   #17
Superpaws
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Default Re: Desperately Need Help

Guys, I know what some people think about cages with bars. But I always let the hamster choose what cage they want to bee in. I have also noticed this 25 years i have had hamsters, that, not all of them want to bee in big cage. I have had hamsters that has literally been scared to their wits moving in to a large cage to live there. And only calmed down when moving to a smaller cage. Not all humans wants to live in a large mansion, same goes with hamsters, not all of them like to live in big cages. Some hamsters rather live in a cage that has the size of a small duna, that many use for dwarf hamsters 58x 65 cm etc. I bought my pet hamster that I named Dusty from pet store. He was living in a glass tank! Dusty literally HATES cages that are similar to tanks,such as duna's. He gets very grumpy then and gives me the look "If look could kill". He is happiest in a cage with bars. This cage is low so, the drop when he climbs when playing tarzan wont hurt him, plus he is more of a wheel o holic rather than a tarzan.. The hamster that has not wanted to bee in a cage that looks like a tank or similar to a tank,like a Duna, have always started to chew or dig so much that they have started to bleed from their fingers. Not all hamsters wants to bee in a cage that looks like a tank or similar to a glass tank, like a duna. Then it does not matter how much toys you have. They just do not want to live there...That is why I always have both cages with bars and cages that looks like a glass tank, like a Duna available...
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Old 05-17-2019, 12:02 AM   #18
LilRussianRebel
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Default Re: Desperately Need Help

I went hunting for boxes yesterday, had no luck until conveniently my order of new toys came from viovet! Both the new toys and the box are on display in her cage lol. Took all the tape off and the sticker and cut a hole in the side, put in under the shelf as close to the back corner as possible and so far I haven't heard her chewing anything! It's still early yet and I doubt she's never going to not chew again, but if it means even a few morning's of quiet than that's better than nothing!

I scooped as much extra carefresh I could from the corner and put the tissue she had ripped up previously in there and so far she's been quiet, she might actually be asleep for once lol!

Still going to look into buying some bedding in bulk to go with the carefresh, think a mix will work perfectly for me, also going to attempt to modify her cage one day soon hopefully to fix the top and make the front a door to make cleaning and access easier.

I'm also going to look into trying to encourage her to change her sleep pattern so that she comes out earlier hopefully between 10-11 so I can try the bathtub method as I feel that might be more effective than what I'm doing now.

Overall I'm happy with the way things are going for now but I'm still going to continue trying some of the things suggested, hopefully some new toys will keep her busy for a bit, they're mostly treat toys and some wood toys she can chew as well as her whimzees.

Thank you again so much for all the help and advice!!! I really am so greatful for it!
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Old 05-17-2019, 01:07 AM   #19
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Default Re: Desperately Need Help

So glad she likes the box Fingers crossed.
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Old 05-17-2019, 02:27 AM   #20
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Default Re: Desperately Need Help

Sounds like things are moving in the right direction. Well done!
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