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Old 03-18-2019, 01:45 AM   #1
Ria P
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Question Hi to all hamsters and their owners

Hi, I'm an older lady who had a hamster many many years ago called Attila who did his best to live up to his name. I recently got a gray Syrian hamster called Henry who has ignored me so far and spends nearly all his time sleeping and eating in his wooden cottage with the front door barricaded. He dines around 21.00 and goes to the gym later. It would be so nice to meet him properly but how and when do I fit into his life??
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Old 03-18-2019, 08:34 AM   #2
cypher
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Default Re: Hi to all hamsters and their owners

Hi & welcome to HC
Congrats on your new ham, his behaviour sounds quite normal really & it's not unusual for them to get up around that time, when he comes out for food do you offer him any treats or give something like little pieces of fresh veg? That's the best way to begin getting them to interact more, once he's confident with that then you could start getting him out for bonding sessions in a safe play area.
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Old 03-18-2019, 10:51 AM   #3
Ria P
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Default Re: Hi to all hamsters and their owners

Hi again, yes i've tried to tempt him onto my hand with treats but he sniffs my fingers and then walks off. I think my hand cream overpowered the carrot bit so I didn't use it next time but now he seems to have an issue with my handwash or the perfume....no idea. He accepted and ate a tiny piece of mild cheese from my hand though and let me gently stroke his back a couple of times before hiding in a log. In the pet shop he couldn't wait to get out of the shared cage and was fine on my hands. He settled very quickly in his large cage but doesn't want to come out. He doesn't gnaw the bars or try to get out the door when I leave it open. He climbs and swings off the roof or sits there looking out. He seems quite sedate but does all the hamstery things like using his exercise wheels or digging in his sand pit. Maybe he's a bit of a loner by nature and likes his own company??
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Old 03-18-2019, 12:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: Hi to all hamsters and their owners

He may be put off by any scent on your hands, I would wash your hands with unscented soap before interacting with him, you could try rubbing your hands in the substrate too.
Some can be a bit more independent than others but I would just persevere, if he doesn't seem too nervous then begin getting him out, he may interact better out of the cage, give him plenty of things to explore in the playpen or other safe area & just slowly begin interacting with him.
If he's monkey barring then make sure there's nothing hard that he can fall on just in case.
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Old 03-19-2019, 03:18 PM   #5
Ria P
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Default Re: Hi to all hamsters and their owners

Hi, thank you for your much appreciated advice. I washed my hands with unscented soap and Henry climbed onto my hand to get to the piece of carrot which is progress. I tried to pick him up with flat hands but he jumped into the air and tried to hide. Maybe he's a nervous hamster or simply needs more time and gradual interaction before I can take him out of his cage to play. I had taken the top of his cage to be able to put my hands in because the door is only big enough for one hand. Once I had put his cage back together he was fine and didn't run straight into his house. All good progress and thanks again. I had no idea hamsters are such sensitive little creatures which makes them even more interesting aside from their obvious cuteness.
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Old 03-19-2019, 11:04 PM   #6
cypher
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Default Re: Hi to all hamsters and their owners

Just go slow, climbing onto your hands was a big step for him, don't be in a rush to pick him up, just keep letting him climb onto your hands for a while until he's more confident with that then move on, to begin with just lift an inch or so for a few seconds then gently lower your hands again increasing the slowly.
When he's more confident with that see if he'll climb into a tube (one hand over the other end!) mug, or something you can safely transport him in for out of cage time, I wouldn't try lifting him out with your hands until he's really confident.
They are sensitive little things & vary so much as individuals, that one of the things that's so lovely & fascinating about them!
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Old 04-20-2019, 03:45 AM   #7
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Default Re: Hi to all hamsters and their owners

Hello and welcome to HC. Congratulations on Henry. Sounds like your starting to bond, keep up the great work.
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