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Old 06-18-2019, 06:23 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 1
Default Strange Hamster Behavior- Please Help


I recently adopted a new teddy bear Syrian hamster after the loss of my beloved little companion. I'm overjoyed to welcome a new friend into my life, however, I have been noticing strange behavior from her that I haven't seen in any of my old hamsters.

The first thing is her excessive bar chewing. My old hamsters liked to nibble occasionally, but this one will chew for hours upon end. It's not only annoying, but incredibly worrisome for her health. I've researched stress and cage rage (she has a good spacious cage) but it doesn't seem like that's the case here.

That leads me to the next thing- her thirst for freedom. I can barely open up the door without her trying to dash out. I give her plenty of (supervised) free roam time, either in a big playbin I've created or in her hamster ball, but none of that seems to satisfy her.

The last thing I've noticed is her strange habit of rubbing her back against things. She'll dash around the perimeter of her cage turned slightly so her back rubs against the wall. I've never heard of anything like this before, could it be a neurological condition or just a constant itch? She usually finishes up her rubbing by "somersaulting" in the corner of her cage- specifically the corner she pees in. Is she trying to coat herself with scent?

I'm just simply struggling to understand what influences this behavior as I've never seen anything like this before. Is she just a wild one, or is there an underlying problem here?
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Old 06-19-2019, 12:23 AM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland
Posts: 3,147
Default Re: Strange Hamster Behavior- Please Help

Rubbing her sides and back on things is exactly what you've guessed, she's scenting her territory. Absolutely normal even if it looks anything but normal! I love watching them when they're like that, it's ridiculous.

The bar biting and the lust for freedom are the same thing really, it sounds like she just has a lot of energy! Female syrians are particularly known for that tbh. Even though you say her cage is spacious and it may have suited other hamsters, she may not agree with you. I've seen people starting to recommend 1500 square inches for female syrians where (in the UK at least) the standard quoted minimum is 620 and I've had to do a recent upgrade myself for the same reason. Probably not what you want to hear but it is what it is.

If you post pics of your setup we can probably give you some ideas on how to make it a bit more interesting for her (lots of deep bedding is one top tip). You can also give her food puzzles or scatter feed to keep her brain active.
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