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Old 08-06-2019, 07:29 AM   #1
skellythehammies_mum
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Join Date: Aug 2019
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Thumbs down Im confused and scared ive done something wrong.

I didn't know what to title this, so the title probably scared you.
I read the taming guide and read about the 'scented tissue' method. I've had skelly since Friday (4th august 2019) and I left her for the Friday and obviously I was really excited to start handling my little baby. On the Friday, she was letting us pick her up as we had to put her in her ball and cage that day and then on saturday I was too scared to pick her up In fear of being bitten so I got my sister to do it, she bit my sister twice which is understandable.
Therefore I left her again and on the Sunday I washed my hands and put my hands in (at 5pm may I add lol as I know the evening is the best time to handle them) and yeah she bit me but it wasn't that bad and then yesterday (Monday) I was wayyy too nervous to put my hand in again so my mum did and ofc she bit her. I gave her some carrots yesterday to just give her a treat and only today has she been eating them
Never the less, last night I had a full on melt down about it because I kept thinking I'm pathetic and a failure due to my anxiety lol and obviously I read the taming guide.
So. That brings us to today, 6th august 2019, where I started the scented tissue. I had it in my bra for like two hours lol while I went out and then I've just put them in her cage 20 minutes ago. This is where I got frightened...
So when I first put one in, she went over to it quickly then ran away scared. so I continued putting them in and then she like continuously bit them and ripped at them as if she was fighting them and I got scared because she's only 6 weeks old and I never knew if she was meant to do that. She bit the ones in her food bowl and things and it genuinely made me scared because I didn't want her to become overwhelmed with a new scent as she has made it her territory...
Its been 15-20 minutes and she's back on her wheel, doing her own thing and in her tube. She took it into her tube (where she usually sleeps on a night, not a boredom tunnel like the plastic tunnels on the cage) and left it then went back to it and started biting it again. Now she's just kind of grooming herself and things which I think I was told means she's marking her territory or something??
I just need advice because I don't know if her reaction was normal or not because clearly that's what she was going to do with my hand lol...
please somebody reassure me and give me advice as this is my first time actually 100% being a hamster mum.
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Old 08-07-2019, 05:36 AM   #2
10Minutes
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Default Re: Im confused and scared ive done something wrong.

1. In my opinion, it is a bit too soon to want to handle her if you've only had her for two days. Let her calm down for two weeks and don't try to pick her up. Leave her alone, but remember to change her water bottle and add fresh food during the two weeks.

2. Please do not put her in the ball until you have at least allowed her to settle down for two weeks. There are some people who say ball use is good, and some people that would argue against it. I'm far from an expert and I won't tell you whether it's good or bad, but I really feel that even if you want her to play in her ball, it must be after she has calmed down.

3. Please tell us what breed is your hamster.

4. Please show us a photo of the tubes you mentioned. Is there enough ventilation? Are they too small?

5. Please let us know the floor area size of your cage. If possible, share a photo.

I'm not sure if yours was actually showing excitement at finding the tissue, but she sounds aggressive in general. That's a sign of a stressed hamster which can possibly lead to complications and even death (if too stressed, it may easily become ill and die).

Please do not play with her or put her in a ball anymore until she has settled down. Do not clean her bedding out. Just give her daily water changes and add food.

P/S: You are not a pathetic failure. I just feel you haven't given her a chance to get used to her environment. Just resist the urge to play with her and in the meantime, read up more on hamster care. There is a lot of information on these forums, and the fact you bothered to ask means you are already on your way to becoming a good owner because you do care about her.
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Old 08-07-2019, 06:37 AM   #3
Isleofhamsters
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Default Re: Im confused and scared ive done something wrong.

1. I think you should have given Skelly more time to settle in.

2. If your hamster is territorial, do some bathtub bonding. My hamster was quite scared when we did things in his cage. However, when I took him out of the cage, he was a different hamster. He allowed us to stroke him and he would walk on us. Two weeks after getting him, I could already pick him up. He didn’t enjoy it much, but he didn’t attempt to bite us.

3. Please don’t use a hamster ball!
They are really dangerous and stressful for hamsters. Not to mention, they are usually way to small.

Hope this helps!
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Old 08-07-2019, 06:55 AM   #4
10Minutes
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Question Re: Im confused and scared ive done something wrong.

Just wanted to add that my personal opinion is that I won't want to use a ball for my hamster too, especially because mine is a Roborovski. I've heard that their tiny feet might get trapped easily in them, and can lead to injuries/ death, so if you asked me, I won't suggest you use a ball at all, even after the two weeks.

That being said, if anyone else thinks balls are beneficial, they can feel free to add their thoughts,I'd be happy to hear them and learn more.
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Old 08-07-2019, 07:29 AM   #5
LunaTheHamster1
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Default Re: Im confused and scared ive done something wrong.

Yes, please do let us know what type of hamster you have.
It would be best to leave her alone for now, watch from afar. Also you mentioned 5pm, did your hamster wake up at that time, or did you wake her up?
If you woke her up then that could also be why she bit you.

You are also NOT pathetic or a failure. Be kind to yourself, this is a learning curve for both you and your hamster. Give yourself a high 5 or a pat on the back for coming on here and asking for advice.
Do keep us posted how it goes.
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Old 08-07-2019, 08:22 AM   #6
RJS
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Default Re: Im confused and scared ive done something wrong.

Hi

My advice would be to step back, take a breath and let Skelly settle in for a few days and at the same time you can settle in too. All is going to be fine once you both become familiar with each other. No need to rush things.

As for the tissue, I can tell you that my hamster Theodore absolutely loves tissue and whenever I put a new little mound in his cage he will stop whatever he's doing and start chewing and gathering it for one of his nests. He almost dives into it like you would into a pile of leaves! I like to leave a pile every so often somewhere in his home before I go to bed and in the morning it will be gone. I think what you're describing is Skelly being happy to find some tissue to add to her nest. I would not assume/worry that the way she was treating the pile of tissue was what would happen to your hand. Its two different things.

Anyway, your concern shows that you care so don't worry and enjoy your new found friend - when the time is right.
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Old 08-07-2019, 09:46 AM   #7
Ria P
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Default Re: Im confused and scared ive done something wrong.

Your hamster is as confused and scared as you are and not only that, don't forget she's only a baby.

I can only add to what has already been said.

Give Skelly time to settle into her new home.
Observe her from a small distance and talk to her gently but leave it at that for now. She'll get to know your voice and will know that you are the one who gives her food and water every day.
Hamsters bite when they are scared which doesn't mean that they are aggressive by nature.
It can take a long time for a hamster to trust a human and she didn't have the best of introductions to her new home by getting handled rightaway then put into a ball.
That is not meant to be a critisism but try to see things from your hamster's point of you and you will understand.

I belong to the group of people who never have and never will use a hamster ball but i'm not trying to tell you what to do because i only know what's right for me and my hamster.

Try and relax because you are new to hamsters so don't expect too much too soon of yourself and your hamster. Everybody gets some things wrong at first. We all did and as for me, i still do. You do need patience, lots of it, to keep a hamster and to enjoy each others company.

This forum is great for learning and sharing. You will see.
Stick with us and keep us up to date.

Welcome! You are in the right place.
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Old 08-07-2019, 02:13 PM   #8
Fluffagrams
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Default Re: Im confused and scared ive done something wrong.

Try not to worry, even the most experienced hamster owners have had hamsters that have taken longer to tame but the most important thing is to go at a pace that both you and your hamsters are comfortable with.

At the moment I would give Skelly a couple of days to relax and during this time you can just concentrate on talking to her in a soft voice. You can try the tissue but I've never found that it has made any difference. When she seems calmer you can try to start handling her again... if she's feeling quite territorial in her cage then it's best to do this outside of the cage. You can use a mug or something to carry her to the area where you're going to do your taming. I often use a washing up bowl sized container when taming young Chinese but some hamsters may prefer a larger space such as a bathtub and others may prefer a smaller space such as a carrier. To start with I usually just start with stroking them gently and once they feel comfortable enough to have you touching them, then I'll try to pick them up, only slightly, just off the ground. If they try to wriggle out of my hands then I let them hop down, give them a minute or two and just try again. At this point you're trying to reassure them that you're not out to 'get' them. I keep the sessions quite short to begin with and then allow them some fun time playing in the playpen/playbox before returning them to their cage. I don't tend to give treats during the taming activities because it can sometimes make a nibbly hamster worse as they can learn to associate you with food and prefer to put a treat in their cage ready for them to find when you put them back.

Hamsters can sense apprehension so a slower approach may help both of you to get your confidence back.
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Old 08-08-2019, 03:24 AM   #9
skellythehammies_mum
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Default Re: Im confused and scared ive done something wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 10Minutes View Post
1. In my opinion, it is a bit too soon to want to handle her if you've only had her for two days. Let her calm down for two weeks and don't try to pick her up. Leave her alone, but remember to change her water bottle and add fresh food during the two weeks.

2. Please do not put her in the ball until you have at least allowed her to settle down for two weeks. There are some people who say ball use is good, and some people that would argue against it. I'm far from an expert and I won't tell you whether it's good or bad, but I really feel that even if you want her to play in her ball, it must be after she has calmed down.

3. Please tell us what breed is your hamster.

4. Please show us a photo of the tubes you mentioned. Is there enough ventilation? Are they too small?

5. Please let us know the floor area size of your cage. If possible, share a photo.

I'm not sure if yours was actually showing excitement at finding the tissue, but she sounds aggressive in general. That's a sign of a stressed hamster which can possibly lead to complications and even death (if too stressed, it may easily become ill and die).

Please do not play with her or put her in a ball anymore until she has settled down. Do not clean her bedding out. Just give her daily water changes and add food.

P/S: You are not a pathetic failure. I just feel you haven't given her a chance to get used to her environment. Just resist the urge to play with her and in the meantime, read up more on hamster care. There is a lot of information on these forums, and the fact you bothered to ask means you are already on your way to becoming a good owner because you do care about her.
my hammies a russian dwarf i think. either a syrian or russian i donít really know however i have been told sheís a robo dwarf. also, ive been told her cage is way too small for her even if sheís a dwarf, itís one of this cages you get from a pet shop so iím on way to get her a bigger cage hopefully in the next few days and slowly some toys as itís hard for me to get her things as iím still a teen and a hamster isnít my parents priority like it is mine. she seems territorial too as she always runs after my hand curiously a little whenever i add scented tissue or food. and it seems the tunnels will probably be too small too if the cage is, i canít attach a photo as apparently dimensions are too small. . when i added scented tissue for the second day, she ripped at it a little and then ignored it and went back to sleep lol.
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Old 08-08-2019, 06:57 PM   #10
10Minutes
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Default Re: Im confused and scared ive done something wrong.

What kind of scented tissue are you talking about? If the tissue is artificially scented by manufacturers, then please remove it as those artificial scented tissues are bad for her. But if you mean tissue that has your scent on it, it's ok. Preferably just let her settle down for a week before you add anymore tissue with your scent on it.

I think she's being aggressive because the cage is too small for her, hopefully she will calm down soon enough after she has a big cage. I know you are excited to play with her, but do give her some time and a try to get her a better environment. The cage should be first priority, then you can slowly work on the toys.

As she has no toys, give her plenty of substrate to play with, you need to pile it up really high (6 inches) - what bedding are you using for her? Please do not use cedar or pine wood shavings as those are bad for her.

Oh, and in case you don't have one, an exercise wheel is mandatory. You must get her one immediately, and it has to be big enough for her so that she doesn't arch her back. Hopefully someone else can comment on the proper wheel size, I find it hard to suggest one, because you aren't sure what breed you have.

If she is a robo, I don't think she should be in a ball at all. I don't own other breeds so I can't say for those, but I think the chance of injury in a ball is very much higher if she is a robo. Maybe you can try to return the ball and get your money back.

Try and get photos that will fit the dimensions? It would help a lot.

Once you have sorted out her basics, I'm sure Skelly will be very happy to have a caring mum like you.
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