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Old 11-13-2016, 04:54 PM   #1
PurpleGaia
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Question Help

So I've recently put Coco in a new cage and she's started to pee in her wheel which I just clean out every day but now she's started storing food there as well and she won't run on it because of the noise it makes. I was wondering if anyone else has or had this problem and could give me tips, thanks
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Old 11-13-2016, 05:05 PM   #2
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Help

Hams do things like that sometimes Have you recently cleaned her cage/nest area? If you clean out their nest and remove their hoard they get a bit worried and try and hide the hoard somewhere else. Sometimes they hoard in their potty and pee on it to deter anything from stealing the food! It sounds a bit like she is doing that kind of behaviour. Hams do pee in their wheels, and they do sometimes hoard food in their wheels - but as she is doing both it does sound like she is trying to protect her hoard. It's a difficult pattern to break sometimes. I used to remove the pee'd on hoard, and put new food out - in a more sensible place! And hope our hammy would start hoarding there instead. ie near the nest area. If that doesn't work it can help to move the wheel to a different location possibly and at the same time put a handful of new food out to replace the hoard, somewhere away from the wheel/near the nest. Generally they don't like things being moved/changing - but it can help break a habit.

Not sure what your cleaning routine is, but it's best to leave the nest in tact if you can, when doing any cleaning. Unless it's been pee'd in then try and leave as much of the old nest behind as you can and put new torn up white toilet paper strips out in a heap somewhere in the case (not actually in the nest) so your hammy can forage/pouch them and rebuild the nest. Likewise with their hoards - try and leave it when cleaning unless it is soiled. If you have to remove any of the hoard, replace it with new food in the same place (not the wheel obviously lol).

Spot cleaning is usually all that's needed, with full cage cleans only needed every 2 to 3 months, and the more depth of substrate you have, the more you can do that kind of routine (the bottom half tends to stay dry).

Alternatively - just ignore it for a bit She might decide it's not a good idea when she tries running in her wheel. I like Erin's Hamsters youtube video "8 cage cleaning tips" if you don't know it - it has some great tips on cage cleaning and avoiding stress behaviours.
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Old 11-13-2016, 05:21 PM   #3
PurpleGaia
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Default Re: Help

She's been in her detolf about a week now and apart from spot cleaning I haven't done a full clean, and whenever I do a full clean I try and keep the majority of her hoard, but her wheel is pretty close to her nest to I think I'll move it to the other end of the cage and place the food where the wheel was, see if that helps any. Erin's videos actually got me onto this forum and they are really helpful.
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Old 11-13-2016, 05:52 PM   #4
Sharkie
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Default Re: Help

I had this problem with my last hamster! It got very tedious to be cleaning the wheel all the time. I'm not sure how you can fix the food hoard, but a solution that I read about for the peeing is taking a tiny bit of already wet bedding and putting it in another space, where you'd like your hamster to go to the toilet. The point of this is to get your hamster to smell where the dirty bedding is, and since they tend to use one place as a toilet, they should catch on.

I ended up getting an actual hamster potty (I think you can buy these wherever) and doing the same trick of moving the dirty bedding. It made cleaning the cage much easier. You might be able to make your own potty, I don't know.
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Old 11-13-2016, 06:01 PM   #5
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Default Re: Help

A simple ceramic cereal bowl or similar will work just fine as a litter tray,and these can be bought for next to nothing just about anywhere
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Old 11-13-2016, 11:04 PM   #6
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Help

Definitely get a potty if you don't use one already! Ours has always used his. Although I have to put it where he decides the toilet is! When I gave him a larger house he moved his wee corner inside the house, and I think this is a natural thing for them, if they have a big enough house - to have the bathroom in a corner of the house. The German hamster houses come with "rooms" and space to fit a corner potty in, and I can see why as it seems to be a natural behaviour for hamsters to have their toilet inside the house if it's big enough. Charlie used to use the corner of the cage nearest the house when he had a small one but occasionally would pee in his nest. Now he has the potty inside the house he doesn't pee in his nest - which is good. He then ran out of space for hoards though and started hoarding in his potty! So got him an even bigger house lol with room for both - but have found he chooses to mostly hoard under his nest and does this when the substrate is deep enough.

He has started hoarding in his potty again recently and I think that's something to do with the stress of a house move. I know if I move the potty he will just keep peeing in the same place anyway, so might change the house so it's a different layout

Lucky hammy having a detolf! Moving the wheel sounds good.
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Old 11-14-2016, 03:40 AM   #7
PurpleGaia
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Default Re: Help

Thanks for all the advice guys, I do plan on getting her a potty but for the time being I think I'll put sand in a corner near her nest with some dirty substrate on it, see if that encourages her, and since her cage move she's decided she doesn't want to sleep in her house and instead has a massive nest but I think that's because she prefers more room. I went a bit mad on viovet the other day so she should be spoilt for choice soon when it comes to houses
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