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Old 11-30-2020, 09:21 AM   #1
gettons_1980
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Default Hamster scratching woodden tray and inside coconut house

Hello there,

I have 1 year old white russian hamster female (that up until June used to live with another female of the same age since they were very little, until I had to separate them all of a sudden as one was clearly dominant over the other) that is all good and healthy.

Over the past month or so I noticed she would scratch when in the coconut house, so I thought there was something in there. I have also cleaned the coconut house inside thinking there might be some smell that would make her nervous. However she does that from time to time, and I have not found an explanation yet.

What really concerns me though is that today she started scratching the woodden layer (she has a cage like this https://uploads.zoobio.de/resize/pro...1070x1000.jpeg) out of the blue. I tried to calm her down with some fruit, she stopped for a little, and then started again. I notice she also would go on the wheel fairly vigorously too. It's 4:20pm now and she normally does not that at this time.


Do you have any idea what's going on? Other than that she is fine, but I am just a little concerned. Now she seems to have stopped scratching.
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Old 11-30-2020, 09:54 AM   #2
NibblesTheHam
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Default Re: Hamster scratching woodden tray and inside coconut house

My syrian sometimes does this too, then I added some new toys and enrichment, and he's mostly stopped, so maybe you should add in some more enrichment too?
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Old 12-01-2020, 01:34 AM   #3
cypher
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Default Re: Hamster scratching woodden tray and inside coconut house

Regarding the scratching in the coconut house do you mean scratching at the house or scratching herself? If she appears to be scratching herself then she may just consider it a good place to sit & groom.
How much substrate do you have in the cage? The shelves are high with the potential for falls without a very deep layer of substrate, even up to the top of the glass.
If she’s scratching at the wooden shelf you could put some hemp mat on it.
Can you upload a photo of your cage set up then we may be able to make suggestions that would help.
Does she have a large enough wheel that spins freely? An inadequate wheel or one that doesn’t work properly can often be the cause of odd behaviours & problems.
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Old 12-01-2020, 05:05 AM   #4
gettons_1980
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Default Re: Hamster scratching woodden tray and inside coconut house

Hi,

I will post a picture of the cage asap.
In the meantime I will answer your questions:

- she scratches at the house (not herself)
- the substrate is fairly high, say 10cm. And made of paper bedding, and a mixture of timothy hay/coconut husk chips to complement
- she has two wheels: a small one (which came with the cage) and a bigger one (which I purchased later as I wanted to give her a bigger one due to the reasons you mentioend). Initially I took out hte small one, but noticed she would not use it much. So I put back the old one and it's pretty clear she likes the smaller one best.
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Old 12-01-2020, 08:13 AM   #5
cypher
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Default Re: Hamster scratching woodden tray and inside coconut house

I wouldn’t worry about her scratching inside the house, actually even scratching the shelf really, it’s a natural behaviour for them to dig & scratch at things, does she have sand bath, it is important that they have one & she would be more likely to have a good dig around in the sand than bothering with scratching at the shelf.
Which wheel did you get, some don’t spin as easily as others & that might be why she prefers the smaller one, or it might be the style, some do better with an enclosed type wheel rather than an open fronted one..
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Old 12-01-2020, 09:16 AM   #6
gettons_1980
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Default Re: Hamster scratching woodden tray and inside coconut house

Quote:
Originally Posted by cypher View Post
I wouldn’t worry about her scratching inside the house, actually even scratching the shelf really, it’s a natural behaviour for them to dig & scratch at things, does she have sand bath, it is important that they have one & she would be more likely to have a good dig around in the sand than bothering with scratching at the shelf.
Which wheel did you get, some don’t spin as easily as others & that might be why she prefers the smaller one, or it might be the style, some do better with an enclosed type wheel rather than an open fronted one..


Hi there.
Yes she has sand bath. And the wheel I purchased is this one here https://www.rodipet.co.uk/exercise-w...ise-wheel.html

Also, attached is a photo of the cage.
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Old 12-01-2020, 10:05 AM   #7
cypher
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Default Re: Hamster scratching woodden tray and inside coconut house

I’m surprised she doesn’t like the rodipet wheel, the other wheel doesn’t look too small really though so leaving both in should be fine.
Can you lower the shelf in the cage? There appears to be a big potential for falls in the cage, high shelves & tall cages aren’t really suitable for hams especially the smaller species which can easily fall & injure themselves.
I would top up the substrate as much as you can, lower the shelves & if she tends to bar climb maybe put some cardboard, grass or hemp mats around the bars to prevent that & the potential for falls that way.
I don’t see much in the way of a house, just little hideouts (unless I’m missing something) they do need a large enough house ( something the size of a shoebox is good) best with more than one room but even one room if it’s big enough with no base on top of the substrate.
You could add in more enrichment too, maybe some cork tunnels or tubes, even bendy bridges are safe to climb on & make extra little hideouts too.
Things like millet & flax sprays are good & if you don’t already scatter feeding will help to keep her busy in a healthy way.
Have you had a look through the cages thread, you may get some more ideas there.
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