Register FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Navigation
Front Page
Forum
Gallery
Wiki

Ads by Google


Go Back   Hamster Central > >

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-23-2018, 07:25 AM   #1
lou89
Newborn Pup
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 2
Default Hamster Heaven Penthouse Issues

Hi guys,

Ive had a Syrian hamster for a week and could use some advice regarding her using the penthouse at the top of the cage as her nest, toilet and generally the place she spends the vast majority of her time. I know its early days but its really looking like we wont have a healthy toilet trained hamster if the penthouse remains her nest so something needs to be done.

Looking at reviews for the cage it seems like a lot of people experienced the same problem and said they just removed the thing. Id appreciate advice for the best way to go about it though since I already tested blocking her access to the penthouse for a short period of time, it did not go well. So what would work and not stress her out?

I was thinking while shes out of her cage Id remove the tubes entirely (to be put back minus penthouse a few days later), put lots of bedding from the nest into the new house/hut along with a bit of food then put her back in the cage. Does that sound OK? What do I do if she freaks out about not being able to get back to the penthouse again? Will I be able to put the penthouse back in the future or is it too likely she'll go back to her current behaviour if I do that?

Also any recommendations for a new little house that hamsters typically like using as a nest (shes completely uninterested in the 2 bright huts in the cage)?
lou89 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2018, 01:53 PM   #2
cypher
Dwarf whisperer
 
cypher's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Wales UK
Posts: 23,305
Default Re: Hamster Heaven Penthouse Issues

This is a very common problem due to the inappropriate design of the cage unfortunately & the cage is best used without the tubes or penthouse, just block the holes off.

She will be stressed initially when you remove the penthouse & tubes but you just need to give her time to settle down again, putting some of the old nest material in a new house will help her settle, try not to worry if she seems unhappy about it just wait for her to settle, if you remove it then put it back again it will result in the same problem & more stress.
Give her a nice big house (a cardboard box like a shoe box or something is ok if you don't have a good size house) with no base laid on a good deep layer of substrate so she can burrow down & make a proper nest & she should be fine soon enough.
The sooner you do it the better really & doing it while she's out of the cage is the best way.
__________________
Slave to Mriel.
Always loved, never forgotten, forever in my heart
T'ycor, Ziggy, Zephyr, Flynt, Mickle, Little Whisp, Zen, Zeki, Tinw & Zylvan
cypher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2018, 02:27 PM   #3
Coco61
GrannyHam
 
Coco61's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: London
Posts: 3,828
Default Re: Hamster Heaven Penthouse Issues

Cypher's right. This is what I did with my hamster heaven.
He used the 2 room house on the right as his nest area.

IMG_0279.JPG
Coco61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2018, 04:56 PM   #4
Serendipity7000
Hamsters University
 
Serendipity7000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: North of England
Posts: 18,350
Default Re: Hamster Heaven Penthouse Issues

The others have said it all really - the penthouse is a useless piece of plastic! As are the external tubes. Might be ok in a playpen as a toy What you've suggested doing sounds absolutely fine - remove it and the tubes while your hammy is out of the cage and pop the new house in. I would suggest keeping some of the old nest from the penthouse and putting that inside the new house - if it's pee soaked just try and salvage a bit of dry nest even if it's a bit whiffy. And put a new big pile of toilet paper strips somewhere in the cage (not actually in the house) so your hammy can forage for it, pouch it and take it back to build up the nest again. Ideally the house should be open underneath and sat on top of the substrate with at least 4" depth of substrate (they like to bury hoards under their nest).

My tip would be to get a largeish house and put the litter tray inside it - this has always worked for me - it happened by accident when I gave our last hamster a large flat roofed house to double up as a shelf and he moved his pee corner inside the house - so I moved the potty in there. Have done that since and they do seem to like having a toilet area inside the house.

A shoebox house can be good for that - cut the base out of the shoebox and keep the lid as a lift off roof and cut a hole for a door (door at one end of the long side is good as they tend to pee near the door at the back - which is where I used to put the potty - and nest at the end furthest away from the door where it's darker). Then you can just lift the lid to remove the potty/litter tray to empty it - every 5 days or so.

Alternatively just a decent sized house and put the litter tray somewhere in the cage - in one of the corners - but you may have to move it as they only use it if you put it where they've chosen to have a toilet - it's usually a corner of the cage when you have a standard sized house.

Rodipet also make good houses but they're not cheap. I have the labyrinth house for our syrian (and he does use his potty inside it although recently I had to move the potty when he started hoarding in it). But that is too large for the hamster heaven (had that size of cage previously) as it takes up too much floorspace. Coco has the two roomed granite top house which is good and about the size of a shoebox I think

Yes your hammy may have a hissy fit for a week or so after the change - on the other hand if they really like the new arrangement the hissy fit may only last one evening! And they do like a nice big house that's dark inside so they can build a really big cosy nest, hoard their food under it and snack in bed - and then go for a pee without having to come out of the house - ensuite bathroom. A flat roofed house also makes another level to put a food bowl on eg. If you put a bendy bridge over the entrance of the house it will tempt your hammy inside it because it makes it nice and dark inside - and this also makes a ramp up to the roof.

If you can do all this without moving/changing much else in the cage it will be less stressful as well - eg leaving the wheel where it is if you can and most of the toys although you may have to move one or two things to fit the house in probably.

I would also suggest only keeping one shelf (the solid one) to make room for the house and wheel. Or if you have a large-ish flat roofed house you can do without both shelves as the roof doubles up as a shelf. Rat sputniks also work well in that cage as they hang quite low and can be climbed into from floor level - they also give a bit of overhead cover so they don't feel too exposed if you remove the shelves.

For a good basic house, the Ferplast sin guinea pig house is very good - it's not big enough to fit a litter tray inside but a nice size for a nest (far too small for a guinea pig). It fits together like a jigsaw and has no nails or glue plus the roof lifts off. It would need a bendy bridge over the door really though because the door is quite large as intended for a guinea pig. It is also quite tall for that reason so best sat on the base of the cage rather than on the substrate - with some substrate inside instead and substrate around the outside. If it sits on top of the substrate it could squash a hamster if they tried to tunnel under it.

However it doesn't seem to be available anywhere any more - can only find the huge rabbit house or the tiny hamster version of the sin (far too small).

If you want to make the changes now then maybe go for a shoebox house if you have a cardboard shoe box around! Otherwise I would wait until you have the house as once they move they don't like further change. If it's a smooth wood house it's a good idea to paint it with plastikote paint which is petsafe and water based - costs about 4 for a little pot and you just paint it on with a paintbrush - it dries quite quickly. This makes the wood wipe clean and prevents staining if they do have an accident in house.

They are very funny when they move into a new house - I've always found they spend the first night making a real racket inside it - no idea what they do - scratching the walls and banging around!

These are some of the rodipet houses. You can use google translate to read things! The house Coco has is the second one down. The piece of granite is very good as it helps keep their nails short - it's rough granite. I don't have the granite topped house but have the separate piece of granite at the bottom of that link which I have on a shelf under the water bottle so it roughens their nails when they go for a drink - or you can put the food bowl on it for the same reason. The postage is about 8 though.

https://www.rodipet.de/shop/haeuser/rodipet-granit/
__________________
Serendipity7000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2018, 09:51 AM   #5
lou89
Newborn Pup
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 2
Default Re: Hamster Heaven Penthouse Issues

Thanks for your help guys.

I think I’ll go with the shoebox option as suggested since it’ll fit the litter tray in and it means I can sort the change sooner rather than later. I’d love to get one of the Rodipet houses, I’d actually already had a look at those the other day so it's good to see that people are happy with them, I’ll leave that for a future purchase though.

It’s annoying so many of the parts that came with the Hamster Heaven are a bit useless, does make it strange that the cage is so well reviewed.
lou89 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2018, 10:21 PM   #6
cypher
Dwarf whisperer
 
cypher's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Wales UK
Posts: 23,305
Default Re: Hamster Heaven Penthouse Issues

The basic cage is fine, it's a good size & the big front door is great so that's probably why it has good reviews, I tend to bin just about all the extras that come with most cages anyway!
__________________
Slave to Mriel.
Always loved, never forgotten, forever in my heart
T'ycor, Ziggy, Zephyr, Flynt, Mickle, Little Whisp, Zen, Zeki, Tinw & Zylvan
cypher is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
penthouse, back, cage, nest, put, hamster, its, id, days, shes, time, advice, toilet, bit, thinking, bedding, food, tubes, lots, remove, minus, house/hut, house, recommendations, behaviour

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Parts of this site powered by vBulletin Mods & Addons from DragonByte Technologies Ltd. (Details)
Copyright 2003-17, Hobby Solutions Inc.
All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:44 AM.