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Old 06-20-2019, 12:38 PM   #1
MaryRobinson
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Join Date: Feb 2017
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Default Mimi: the Syrian who just canít stop

Hi all,

So... I feel very bad saying this but... a week ago we adopted MimŪ. She’s a 1.5 year old Syrian who was living with a colleague in inadequate circumstances and when I heard, even though we weren’t really over our fur baby, Dora, who died in January, I said yes I would take her.

No, I hadn’t met her, but was told she was totally tame. And she is. Great! She came home and we left her quietly in her new, bigger house.

Then we put her in the playpen. This is a homemade one, nice and spacious, full of fun toys and tunnels. She spent the whole time dashing backwards and Firwards along the edges trying to leap out, looking panicked - though I don’t think she was. Then the digging started. Every corner, and she wouldn’t stop. No treats, toys or coaxing would stop it. No interest in her digging box. Nothing.

Today I let her free roam in hamster-proof room. All she did was get under furniture and dig. My carpet now has holes in and I was nearly in tears. I want to give her a happy life, not stress her out, but so far she’s just a hooligan and I’m seriously worried. What can I do??

Ps. She likes her house but is very tame and clambers our to get out when you open it up... so it’s not like I’m dragging her out of it! But then she goes mental and seems to hate it. I was just in tears as she wedged herself under the chest of drawers and started digging at the enclosed bit and wouldn’t stop or come out. Sigh. I’ve just put the room together again. Once I’d put her back in her house she climbed out again immediately and wanted to get down!! Argh!

Last edited by MaryRobinson; 06-20-2019 at 01:35 PM. Reason: Adding info
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Old 06-20-2019, 01:13 PM   #2
JennySTL
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Default Re: Mimi: the Syrian who just canít stop

I think maybe you should give her some time to be left alone in the new cage. She might be kind of freaked out about that transition.

What does everyone else think?
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Old 06-20-2019, 01:23 PM   #3
Shannonmcn
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Default Re: Mimi: the Syrian who just canít stop

I've had two girls like this. My carpet was just trashed with the first. I blocked off the corners with boxes, a table, more boxes, paper bags etc and just watched her every minute. I could pull her away when she got through the boxes to the actual carpet which saved it a bit. My girl now has a good bit of wallpaper peeled off the wall.

Some of them are just really really high energy and need to be exploring as hard as possible at all times. If you have a room without carpet I would try and make that hamster safe, I used a hallway but then had to block off the bottom of the doors because she would chew that too. It doesn't mean they're unhappy, some of them are just extreme hams.

Saying that, giving her some more time to settle in wouldn't hurt. She might calm down once she's properly settled. She seems like an old lady to be such a holy terror. When you do get her out again you could also try setting up cardboard mazes or leaving boxes around stuffed with paper for her to work her way into. Maybe put her wheel out during playtime too so she feels like she has somewhere secure to go if she's getting a bit frazzled. It's probably going to be trial and error till you find something that works to keep her from being destructive. I deeply loved my destructo-ham and I wouldn't have changed her for the world, I know it's a pain but you're not going to get emotionally attached to a carpet really.
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Old 06-20-2019, 02:37 PM   #4
MaryRobinson
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Default Re: Mimi: the Syrian who just canít stop

Quote:
Originally Posted by JennySTL View Post
I think maybe you should give her some time to be left alone in the new cage. She might be kind of freaked out about that transition.

What does everyone else think?
Yep... so she had three days in her new house but by yesterday was clambering out the second I opened the doors...so I put her in the run. That seemed to stress her as all she did was try to get out so I tried free ranging tonight... but still a crazy hamalam!
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Old 06-20-2019, 02:45 PM   #5
MaryRobinson
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Default Re: Mimi: the Syrian who just canít stop

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shannonmcn View Post
I've had two girls like this. My carpet was just trashed with the first. I blocked off the corners with boxes, a table, more boxes, paper bags etc and just watched her every minute. I could pull her away when she got through the boxes to the actual carpet which saved it a bit. My girl now has a good bit of wallpaper peeled off the wall.

Some of them are just really really high energy and need to be exploring as hard as possible at all times. If you have a room without carpet I would try and make that hamster safe, I used a hallway but then had to block off the bottom of the doors because she would chew that too. It doesn't mean they're unhappy, some of them are just extreme hams.

Saying that, giving her some more time to settle in wouldn't hurt. She might calm down once she's properly settled. She seems like an old lady to be such a holy terror. When you do get her out again you could also try setting up cardboard mazes or leaving boxes around stuffed with paper for her to work her way into. Maybe put her wheel out during playtime too so she feels like she has somewhere secure to go if she's getting a bit frazzled. It's probably going to be trial and error till you find something that works to keep her from being destructive. I deeply loved my destructo-ham and I wouldn't have changed her for the world, I know it's a pain but you're not going to get emotionally attached to a carpet really.
Ahhh...now thatís interesting. Sounds very familiar! So Iíve put tissue boxes in the corners and had all her toys out: vine wood, digging tower, wheel, boxes, tubes, logs, a wooden hide and cork tunnel... She ignored them all. The paper stuffed boxes sound a good idea. I just feel sheís unhappy and itís mean keeping her as a domestic animal, really- she wants to be roaming the dessert chasing boy hams!!

Yeah, I was being flippant about the carpet but was getting a bit desperate about what to do for her. She absolutely doesnít mind handling but doesnít seek it out either. I might bathtub train her next time perhaps??
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Old 06-21-2019, 01:03 AM   #6
Shannonmcn
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Default Re: Mimi: the Syrian who just canít stop

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryRobinson View Post
Ahhh...now thatís interesting. Sounds very familiar! So Iíve put tissue boxes in the corners and had all her toys out: vine wood, digging tower, wheel, boxes, tubes, logs, a wooden hide and cork tunnel... She ignored them all. The paper stuffed boxes sound a good idea. I just feel sheís unhappy and itís mean keeping her as a domestic animal, really- she wants to be roaming the dessert chasing boy hams!!

Yeah, I was being flippant about the carpet but was getting a bit desperate about what to do for her. She absolutely doesnít mind handling but doesnít seek it out either. I might bathtub train her next time perhaps??
Really all you can do is your best! Obviously we can't provide a completely natural environment for them but you can give them as many opportunities for natural behaviour as possible.

Absolutely try bathtub taming but bear in mind your primary function might be as an escape route lol Last time I tried it was something like "oh how cute she's climbing my arm, hello sweetie okay on the shoulder SO CUTE... okay wait now you're on my back and out of the bath and my arms don't bend that way AAH"
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