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Old 09-17-2019, 09:16 AM   #1
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Canada
Posts: 10
Unhappy Please Help: Desperate to Escape

I lost my dear Hamlet, and adopted a new hamster. My new hamster, Hamwise, is focused on a single thing--escaping his cage. Every minute is devoted to this. I have him in a 3/4 detolf, and he won't stop chewing at the divider which I didn't even think he'd be able to get his teeth into. I'm going to try blocking the bottom of the divider off with stones, so that he can't get at it. The last option is disassembling it and putting in plexiglass as the divider and to protect the wooden bottom which he is also chewing. But I'm afraid he'll chew that too. Beyond that, I guess I could get an aquarium? But I won't be able to get one with nearly as much space.

And that still doesn't solve his desperation to escape. When he's not chewing his way out he's standing on things trying to get to the lid and trying to push his way out of the sides. It's his only activity. He has enough space, he has bedding to burrow in, enough food which is scattered, a wheel to run on, tunnels, several hides, and a ton of cardboard and other chews. I thought it may be a stress response so I wrapped the cage in a towel (leaving breathing space) and largely let him be for a week hoping it would feel safe, to no avail.

I'm getting as desperate as he is. I'm severely mentally ill and mid-relapse, and the stress of this is only making me worse. I don't know what else to do. None of my previous hamsters have been like this. What can I do??
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Old 09-17-2019, 12:17 PM   #2
Ria P
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Location: Wiltshire, UK
Posts: 2,201
Default Re: Please Help: Desperate to Escape

This must be a very stressful situation for both of you.

What kind of environment did Hamwise live in before you adopted him?

Could it be that he's getting a scent from a previous hamster who lived in in his enclosure?
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Old 09-17-2019, 12:56 PM   #3
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Canada
Posts: 10
Default Re: Please Help: Desperate to Escape

Unfortunately I have no idea what his previous life was like. All I can imagine is that it was stressful for him, but he hasn't been settling in with me.

I cleaned everything quite thoroughly before putting it in his enclosure which was also well washed. Most of it was double-washed, once after Hamlet passed and once before I put it in with Hamwise. So I don't think he could be getting anyone else's scent. And I've made sure to keep bedding that smells like Hamwise with him, not over cleaning.
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Old 09-17-2019, 01:34 PM   #4
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Location: North of England
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Default Re: Please Help: Desperate to Escape

When you say a 3/4 detolf, do you mean that a quarter of it is blocked off with a partition? Just wondering why.

How long has he been in the detolf? It can be stressful moving environment and different cage size. Usually takes a good two weeks and during that time, not moving anything or changing things or cleaning apart from spot cleaning the pee.

It is possible he can smell scent from your previous hamster - the detolf has wood ends and the lid will have a wood frame - the wood frame on the lid would absorb scents more than other things that can be washed - and there may be scent on the mesh too.

I'll hang fire to see how long he's been in the cage before suggesting anything like it could be scent.
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Old 09-17-2019, 02:09 PM   #5
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Canada
Posts: 10
Default Re: Please Help: Desperate to Escape

Yes, I blocked off a quarter so that I could use the last one as storage. I have a very small space that I'm living in, so being able to store his mountain of cardboard to chew was important to me. It also I thought would make the enclosure slightly smaller and easier for me to manage with my disabilities.

It's been a little over a week since he moved in. The detolf is new, my previous hamster didn't live in it. So the only scent could have come from toys. But I only kept those that were washable, the bendy bridge that belonged to Hamlet for example I did not keep.
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Old 09-18-2019, 04:46 AM   #6
Hamster Pup
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Midlands
Posts: 200
Default Re: Please Help: Desperate to Escape

Could still be settling down into the new habitat. It could have been a really small enclosure before they were in so having all that space could be weird.
My syrian took about 2 weeks to settle into her detolf.
I found that puzzle toys could help distract them from wanting to escape.
Egg cartons, toilet roll puzzles, even walnuts or peanuts to keep them busy.
Proud protector of hamsters. Always learning.
Always in my heart Caroline & Elaina & Frigg & pancake
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Old 09-18-2019, 06:16 AM   #7
Adult Hamster
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 368
Default Re: Please Help: Desperate to Escape

The late Dali used to be like this. She would chew bars for hours in desperation to escape, I moved her to a 2ft X 4ft aquarium and she managed to find away up the 2ft high sides and out the lid. The only environment I could keep her safe in was the exo terra I still use with my small animals. The plastic bits proved chew proof and the lid was secure. The front opening doors make taming a sinch. I know they're not cheap but if it's a cage that is built to lasts and really keeps its value if you think you'll resell later down the line.
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divider, chewing, space, stress, bottom, escape, hamster, desperate, cage, wrapped, response, chews, thought, sides, wheel, scattered, food, bedding, run, activity, ton, hides, burrow, tunnels, cardboard

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