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Old 10-17-2020, 09:28 AM   #1
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 3
Default Help moving house with a hammy

Hi everyone!

Iím looking for some help about how to move with my dwarf hamster, Blue. He usually lives happily in a very large bin cage, but we are driving for 10 hours to move house and I canít move him in his large bin. The bin is too big to fit with me in the front of the van, and I donít want to put him in the back because things could fall on or against the bin and heíll get hurt.

So, Iíve bought a much smaller bin cage that can fit in the front with me. I know itís not good to have hamsters in small cages, but itís not permanent and I donít really have a choice. Iíve transported previous hamster buddies in small travel cases before with no issues, but Blue is different. Heís never liked being in small spaces, even for very short times while Iím cleaning his house out, so who knows how heíll handle a 10 hour drive, Iím super worried. His travel home is about 45cm x 30cm floor space and has water, shelter and food.

Iíve tried to acclimatise him to the space while I clean his bin cage and it hasnít gone well. He gets a bit manic and runs around digging a lot and scrabbling at the walls. I guess it sounds a bit like cage rage, although heís not aggressive at all, and he doesnít get angry at me and doesnít mind me putting my hand in and giving him attention. He just seems agitated. So I tried leaving him in it for 40 minutes with plenty food and bedding, I hoped he would eventually calm down and maybe stash some food or make a nest, but he just didnít calm down at all, so I gave up and put him back in his bin cage. He calmed down pretty quick then.

I donít know what to do. Iím worried the stress of a long drive will kill him if he acts like that for 10 hours. I canít think of any other options. The kind of size bin that he would be happy with is far too big to fit in the front of the van.

Does anyone know any ways to get him acclimatised to the smaller bin for the drive? Or has anyone moved distance with a hammy previously and have a better idea how to do it?

Thanks guys, I appreciate any help!
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Old 10-19-2020, 08:23 AM   #2
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 3
Default Re: Help moving house with a hammy

A quick update on this:

I tried putting Blue into the travel box again, this time I tried in early evening since last time I tried was mid afternoon and I thought maybe if he was more awake, it would be less stressful. He seemed happier at first, I think maybe because he found the food right away and started just pouching food, but as soon as heíd pouched some food and wanted to go stash it, he started acting agitated again, I guess because he wanted to go back to his house and stash it all. So I immediately put him back.

I hate doing this, I donít want to disrupt him and stress him, but he needs to move safely! I just wish I could talk hamster and tell him heíll go back to his house as soon as weíre done driving.

Another idea I had was to connect his bin cage to the travel box via tubing and then let him explore on his own. But Iím guessing he wonít be interested in the small box when heís got his big house and his normal nest and food stash, so I donít think that will work and Iím reluctant to keep trying loads of stuff if Iím just going to stress him more

Iím getting desperate trying to work out how to do this without being cruel to Blue. Any thoughts about moving house with hamsters would be appreciated. Thanks all.
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Old 10-19-2020, 10:36 AM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Yorkshire, UK but my heart lies in Scotland!
Posts: 27,411
Default Re: Help moving house with a hammy

I think he will be fine. He has to move and you have provided for his needs on the journey. He will just fall asleep after a while so try and not stress about it.
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Old 10-19-2020, 10:45 AM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: London
Posts: 443
Default Re: Help moving house with a hammy

When you put him in the travel cage, are you putting his old bedding in with him, along with one of houses? If you can just lift up his house and nest and put it straight in the travel cage, that would be ideal and hopefully he will settle down very quickly and sleep.
Bramble (Russian dwarf) and Lily & Daisy and Rocket & Storm (gerbils)
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Old 10-20-2020, 02:47 AM   #5
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Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 3
Default Re: Help moving house with a hammy

Thanks both, this was reassuring to read.

Sushi, thatís a good idea about lifting his whole nest into the travel box. Iíd used his old substrate to put in the travel box, hoping it would have some of his scent, but not his actual nest. Iím pretty sure I could do this on the morning of the move and hopefully that would help. Maybe also move some of his food stash with it (he stashes food next to his nest usually).

Maybe at some point I should make sure Iím ready to move my own stuff lol! Iím so busy thinking about him that I think heís better prepared to move than I am!!
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Old 10-20-2020, 11:50 AM   #6
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Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: UK
Posts: 292
Default Re: Help moving house with a hammy

I agree with Sushi, I would also cover the bin so it is dark With deep bedding and try your best not to worry, I wouldn’t bother with any acclimatisation, just do it when you have to - after all the van noise, smell and vibration will make the experience totally different. I am certain he will do fine.
First time mum to a female Syrian Hamster called Polo (other mints are available) 🐹
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