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Old 05-01-2019, 05:55 AM   #1
Kirk10
Newborn Pup
 
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 3
Default New Hamster Owner

Hi guys!
I'm new to the hamster world, just got my first hamster on Monday evening. She is a black and white Syrian hamster at 8 weeks old. When I got her home, while transferring her into her new cage, she bit me and drew blood! She was very distressed and for quite a while all she did was frantically bite the bars and seemed to be looking for any way of escape!! It was quite distressing to witness. She calmed down eventually and started to explore her new surroundings, using her wheel etc. She slept all day yesterday for 12 hours. When she woke up she seemed happier and more curious, coming up to the bars when spoken to and having a good look. Later I opened the cage and she was at the door straight away. I put my hand in so she could smell me and she bit me twice, so I shut the cage and continued to talk to her now and then.

Do you have any advice on what I should do to encourage a friendly, happy and healthy hamster?

Thank you.
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Old 05-01-2019, 07:43 AM   #2
Amethyst_ice
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Location: Birmingham
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Default Re: New Hamster Owner

Hello,

Welcome to the forum and the world of hamster owning (though many of us would probably say they own us!)

This all sounds perfectly normal behaviour for a new hammy. The world is scary, big changes and she is just being defensive.

There are many ways people suggest bonding but I would say let her settle into her home for another day or two. She will scent everything and start to get used to the sounds around her.

After that you could let her climb out into a box or a ball and just let her run over your lap on the sofa, gently stroking her if she runs on you and slowly build up trust like that.

The biggest way to a hams heart though is treats and food! You could offer some small treats or veg from her door, without trying to pick her up so she associates your hand with nice things and not to bite

Good luck and looking forward to seeing your relationship grow
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Old 05-01-2019, 11:57 AM   #3
PurpleKat
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Midlands
Posts: 134
Default Re: New Hamster Owner

They can be very scared to start with, everything is new and smells different and strange.
They are prey animals so approaching from above might scare them.
It can take time for them to trust you, but they are food orientated.
Find something they love, and offer it to them.
They will slowly take food from you and let you stroke them.
You have to take things slowly and on their terms.

Also if they do escape or you're picking them up, scoop the butt in a cupping motion and have food for them. Its the least scary for them and the easiest way to hold them. You can cup them, then gently hold, using your thumb for security.
I wear long sleeves or a hoody with taming, they can use it to grip to you and if they are nippy you can move your fingers in for your safety.
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Old 05-01-2019, 01:52 PM   #4
Kirk10
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Join Date: May 2019
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Default Re: New Hamster Owner

Hi, thanks for your replies. When Willow woke up this evening I gave her some time then put my hand in her cage she bit my fingers again!! but then she did eat some broccoli from my fingers so suppose that's progress!!
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Old 05-02-2019, 01:52 PM   #5
PurpleKat
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Default Re: New Hamster Owner

It takes time and daily doing, but it's worth it when you see there happy little faces.
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Old 05-02-2019, 11:04 PM   #6
Kirk10
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Join Date: May 2019
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Default Re: New Hamster Owner

Willow is now letting me stroke her while she is eating! Which is such a big improvement!! I've found out she isn't too bothered by cucumber! But loves broccoli! I'm feeling more positive now! Am going to try getting her out on Sunday when I clean her cage. Maybe let her play in the bath! Any tips? Am slightly nervous about doing this!!😄
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Old 05-13-2019, 08:33 PM   #7
Thin Lizzy
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Location: Lanarkshire, Scotland
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Default Re: New Hamster Owner

Hello Kirk and welcome to the forum.
It sounds like you and Willow are starting to bond. You've made great progress.
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