Register FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Navigation
Front Page
Forum
Gallery
Wiki

Ads by Google


Go Back   Hamster Central > >

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-15-2019, 10:05 AM   #1
Bosse_Hamsterdam
Newborn Pup
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Sweden
Posts: 14
Unhappy Do I really have to get up in the middle of the night to tame my shy hamster?

I got my Syrian Bosse two and a half weeks ago, when he was five weeks old. He is in a Detolf cage with deep (25 cm) bedding in one end.

My problem is that he stays burrowed under the bedding throughout the day and evening and doesn't come out until after midnight. He is quite shy and cautious, and I'm guessing that he's avoiding us, and prefers to be out when it's dark and quiet.

The first night after we brought him home he came out at 8 pm, the next evening it was 10 pm, then 11, and now constantly around midnight - 12:30 am. So in my optimistic mind this indicates that his normal time to wake up could be between 8 and 10, and his current late habits are due to shyness. I actually hear him being active and eating under the bedding from 10 pm most evenings, although not constantly.

What I've been doing during the past two weeks is to stay awake until he comes out, and then talk to him and just be around, to get him used to me. After a few days of just talking, I started to give him treats through the meshed cage lid, and he's been gradually more willing to take them. Then one day I put my hand in the cage some 30 cm away from him, and he came to take the treat from me. So there has been progress! (Although right now we're having a bit of a backlash..)

BUT now I started working again after vacation and I can't afford being dead tired every day. Yesterday I went to bed early and set an alarm for 12:30 am and got up to get on with the taming. After that it was really hard to get back to sleep, and today I feel like crap. I can't go on like this, I have kids to look after as well! Also, as it is now, my kids don't get to see their new pet, ever

Here are the different options I thought of myself:

1. Persevere with the late nights, and hopefully after a while he starts expecting very tasty treats when I'm around, and I'll be able to coax him out from his burrows when I hear hime being awake earlier in the evening.
This would be ideal in many ways but I'm already exhausted and today was my first day back at work, it's not going to get any easier.

2. Remove, or cut down on, the deep bedding, to make him more available to my taming attempts.
I don't really like this option because it would mean disturbing his safe space, and it would totally stress him out. BUT if he would live in a house instead of in tunnels it would be much easier to try to coax him out with delicious treats, and also my kids would be able to get a glimpse of him sometimes.

3. Try to take him out into a smaller container for taming (during the night when he's out and about) to speed up the taming process.
I don't really like this either, I would expect him to just get stressed and nervous and maybe it would just make things worse.

So I came up with three bad options, please give me a fourth one that's better
Bosse_Hamsterdam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2019, 11:58 AM   #2
LunaTheHamster1
Adult Hamster
 
LunaTheHamster1's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 328
Default Re: Do I really have to get up in the middle of the night to tame my shy hamster?

I don't think you will like what I am going to say. I found with hamsters that when you first get them, they wake up and can be quite active early evening, and then as they get more settled in they stay asleep/underground later and later. So for example with my luna when i got her she was up about 7ish, then 8ish then nearer 9. But as she got older it got later and later, anywhere between 10pm and midnight. it was great when the clocks changed in the winter and I noticed she got up earlier when spring came, but then the clocks changed and within a few days it's like she knew and she went back to 10.30-11pm. At the moment she is awaking up anywhere between 11 and midnight. I am shattered! I do see her up and about in the mornings sometimes though. So, sorry I don't really have a 4th option. I do know some people will try and make their hamsters wake up earlier but I do not believe in this or encourage it. I would rather let my hamster be a hamster and do what she wants to do on her time. Someone else may have better advice, but this is all I can tell you from my own experience. So, yes I am not sure how you go about taming a hamster that sleeps late - could you do it just on weekends or the nights you don't work?
__________________
Cosmic Hamsters YouTube Channel
LunaTheHamster1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2019, 03:49 PM   #3
Bosse_Hamsterdam
Newborn Pup
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Sweden
Posts: 14
Default Re: Do I really have to get up in the middle of the night to tame my shy hamster?

Thanks but only staying up on the weekends won't help at all because
1. He will never be tame with that few interactions.
2. I get up the same time every morning because my kids wake up early now that they are used to school hours.

Tonight it feels totally hopeless. I never knew it would be this difficult, and I've spent many many hours doing research before getting him. Hence the nice detolf with the deep bedding.

And soon it's 1 am and he's not up yet.
Bosse_Hamsterdam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2019, 04:35 PM   #4
Serendipity7000
Hamsters University
 
Serendipity7000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: North of England
Posts: 18,972
Default Re: Do I really have to get up in the middle of the night to tame my shy hamster?

Hi there You're thinking on the right lines. It does take them a couple of weeks to settle in and it sounds like he is a shy nervous type anyway.

So I had something similar - you can't get them out if they're hidden under bedding! I would definitely go ahead and reduce the amount of bedding until he is tame. It is what I had to do. A good option is to give them areally good house in the detolf, that mimics an underground burrow, then they tend to move in. I have a labyrinth house for our hamster and that works every time, but any large house will do. Large enough to build a big cosy nest and to fit a litter tray inside (because when they have a large house they tend to move their pee corner inside the house too). Basically it allows them normal behaviours so they can nest, hoard and pee in chambers of a "burrow".

A shoe box house is fine. Cut the base out of the shoe box, a hole for a door on one of the long sides (near one end is best ratherthan in the middle as then it's darker at the other end). And use the lid as a lift off roof. I am sure you'll have space in the detolf for one. Then put a smelly treat inside (eg cucumber or cheese) and he will probably move into the house within a couple of days. It can really help if you put a bendy bridge tunnel over the entrance too - the tunnel tempts them to go in the house and it makes the house darker inside. Put a corner litter tray in the back corner opposite the door with chinchilla sand in. Any dish will do but corner litter trays fit easily and stop splashes at the back.

So - then you know where he is! And can tempt him out of the house with a tube over the door with a smelly treat at the far end. He will walk into the tube, then you can put both hands over the ends and lift him out in the tube. It's easier if you have a hamster ball as you can then put one end of the tube in the hamster ball, keep the other end covered and he'll walk into the ball. Then pop the lid on and you can carry him in the ball to a safe place to let him out for some taming and interaction (eg the dry bathtub). Just put the ball down in the bath, take the lid off and he'll walk out. Having the odd toy or tunnel in the bathtub helps.

Timing:

Most people find it is best to get them in a routine of being woken up at feeding time - eg around 6pm. They will then get in the habit of knowing it's feeding time around then and start waking up for the food. Make a bit of noise putting the food out - a bit of slight clanging etc so it wakes him up.

Our last syrian was very shy and lazy and would never come out voluntarily - I always had to tempt him into a tube - and he was fully hand tame.

So substrate - yes reduce it so he isn't hiding away. Maybe 5" deep. With the house, you can have it sitting on about 2 to 3" of substrate and pile the other coupleof inches round the outsideof it - so it's part underground. You can channel out/scoop out a bit of substrate near the entrance.

Then try and do feeding time at the same time every night. And at that time, tempt him into a tube and have him out for some hand taming. A playpen area is also a good area for taming as you can sit in it as well and they run over you and get used to your presence and scent.

He is coming out late to avoid everyone! They do vary but I found activity varied at different times of night. eg 6pm our hammy was incredibly active and fast. 8pm was his naptime and he was easier to handle and more interested in going to sleep under a blanket than making a run for it. 10pm onwards they are very active and a bit harder to tame as in "night mode". But whatever time is best for you putting food out. I find the earlier the better seems to work - our hammies seemed to be waiting for it from 5pm onwards. Our Syrian then wants to sort his food and go back to his house and is more interested in coming out around 7pm to 8pm (when he's in that mood!).

It doesn't matter if he's super active at the time you get him out, let him burn off some energy and take the taming slowly, with the occasional stroke while he's out.
__________________
Serendipity7000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2019, 03:32 PM   #5
Bosse_Hamsterdam
Newborn Pup
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Sweden
Posts: 14
Default Re: Do I really have to get up in the middle of the night to tame my shy hamster?

Thank you for your replies! I've decided to take it slow for now, and am staying up every other night to interact with him, and go to bed early every other night, so I don't lose my mind.
The last few nights he's seemed more confident in the cage. If I put my hand on the meshed lid he doesn't mind at all. He takes treats through the lid and investigates my scent with his little nose.
However, tonight I decided to take it to the next level and put my hand in the cage with a pumpkin seed. He was on his way in my direction but as soon as I put my hand in he froze and held his position for at least 5 minutes. Then he went back to his safe corner and stayed there while I kept my hand still for another 10 minutes. After that I just left the pumpkin seed where my hand was and walked away. But he still hasn't moved (it's been another 15 min), that's how freaked out he is from my hand being half a meter away
I will keep at it, although I wish I didn't scare him so easily.
Bosse_Hamsterdam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2019, 03:39 PM   #6
Serendipity7000
Hamsters University
 
Serendipity7000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: North of England
Posts: 18,972
Default Re: Do I really have to get up in the middle of the night to tame my shy hamster?

They don't really like a hand in the cage - especially from above - they can behave completely differently out of the cage.
__________________
Serendipity7000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2019, 03:53 PM   #7
Bosse_Hamsterdam
Newborn Pup
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Sweden
Posts: 14
Default Re: Do I really have to get up in the middle of the night to tame my shy hamster?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
They don't really like a hand in the cage - especially from above - they can behave completely differently out of the cage.
Ok, Iíll try to put together a smakligs box with bedding and a hideout and try to move him there using a tube later this week. Does that sound like an ok plan?

Heís out now looking for his food (I sprinkled it around the cage) and he doesnít care that Iím sitting next to the cage talking.
Bosse_Hamsterdam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2019, 03:53 PM   #8
Bosse_Hamsterdam
Newborn Pup
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Sweden
Posts: 14
Default Re: Do I really have to get up in the middle of the night to tame my shy hamster?

Smallish! A smallish box.
Bosse_Hamsterdam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2019, 12:54 PM   #9
Bosse_Hamsterdam
Newborn Pup
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Sweden
Posts: 14
Default Re: Do I really have to get up in the middle of the night to tame my shy hamster?

Update: He now takes treats from my hand when it's in the cage, and most nights he doesn't seem to mind my hand/arm being in there at all, he just goes about his business and comes to investigate whether I have any new treats now and then. Also, he's been getting up slightly earlier (11 - 11:30) so I try to stay up every night, although there are exceptions. Things are slowly moving in the right direction, but to my kids, our new pet is still invisible. Luckily, they're quite happy to just help out with feeding and cleaning out the sand bath. So far..
Bosse_Hamsterdam is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
day, bedding, taming, evening, kids, treats, cage, night, weeks, back, today, constantly, late, started, coax, give, awake, make, hear, easier, options, shy, midnight, deep, nights

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Parts of this site powered by vBulletin Mods & Addons from DragonByte Technologies Ltd. (Details)
Copyright © 2003-19, Hobby Solutions Inc.
All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:44 PM.