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Old 05-05-2019, 01:24 PM   #1
Sparx101
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Join Date: May 2019
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Unhappy Hi - My hamster is lunging at me 😫

Hi! So I have a 3 month old male Syrian Hamster whom I've had for a month. The taming process has been very slow and Iím trying to do this right by not pushing his bounderies Heís gotten quite used to eating treats from my hand, he sniffs my fingers and it okay with me stroking his back. However, he has lunged at me twice while I was putting his food bowl into his cage. Teeth bared and hissing. Scared the bejeezus out of me to be honest! He was like a little fluffy ninja doing a war charge! How do I not instigate this behaviour? Or help him feel more safe. The little critter has me at my wits end 😫

Last edited by souffle; 05-06-2019 at 12:27 AM.
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Old 05-06-2019, 02:10 AM   #2
alpacassei
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Default Re: Hi - My hamster is lunging at me 😫

That sounds like cage or food aggression tbh. What size cage is he in? Its most often caused by being in a smaller cage as it makes them become more territorial of their environment.

Ive only ever dealt with cage aggression in Russians so hopefully someone with more experienced in Syrians will comment soon since Russian and Syrian behaviour is very different.

Generally with Russians it’s something that fades over time as your hamster becomes more trusting of you. With my current cage aggressive ham Flurry, I have her climb into a hide and then lift her out before spot cleaning. I scatter feed when she’s asleep otherwise she tries to charge at my hands.

I have a strawberry hide thats used only for taking her out the cage so she know if the hide is in her cage and she climbs into it, its time for her to come out and play.
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Old 05-06-2019, 07:23 AM   #3
mangoandmimi
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Default Re: Hi - My hamster is lunging at me 😫

As alpacassei said it may well be that he is territorial. Although it doesn't seem as common in Syrians. Have you seen what he is like outside the cage, often territorial hams once in a playpen are absolutely fine. That might help determine what the problem is. If a food bowl is a problem it might help to just scatter feed it to be honest then he might not lunge.
But I would also be interested to know what the cage and setup is like - it could also be that he feels unsettled or afraid. Are you doing frequent cleanouts? Anything much more than a full clean every month with spot cleaning here and there would likely unsettle him if his nest or hoard disappears frequently.
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Old 05-07-2019, 01:08 AM   #4
Sparx101
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Default Re: Hi - My hamster is lunging at me 😫

My cage is 100 x 80 x 50, it was a rabbit cage that I converted! I have plenty of hides, hammocks, tubes and toys and a 30cm wheel to keep him busy. I havnt had him out of the cage yet as he isnt comfortable being picked up so it makes him a buggar to catch. He is only full cleaned every month as he has about four inches of bedding. Iíll try to hamster proof a small area of the room and see then what he is like! Iíll try to scatter feed him as well and see if that makes a difference!
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Old 05-07-2019, 01:45 AM   #5
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Hi - My hamster is lunging at me 😫

It sounds like he feels threatened by your hand in his territory. Have you recently cleaned him out. If his hoard or nest was removed he may see you as a thief! Best to just spot clean mostly. The nest and hoard can be left alone for quite a long time unless pee'd in, and then try and leave a bit of the old nest and hoard behind that is dry. Sorry if you already know that. Big weekly cleans stress them as it removes all their scent from the cage which they mark as their territory. Better to do "partial" cleans. eg substrate one week, wheel another week and any toys a different week again. But you can easily go 6 to 8 weeks without changing the substrate if you have enough in there and just spot clean the pee area (or use a litter tray which you empty every few days).

Probably best to do taming out of the cage and get him out by letting him walk into a tube with a treat at one end. Then put both hands over the end of the tube while you lift him out and put the tube down into something like a large box next to the cage and let him walk out. You can then transport him in the box somewhere safe to let him out for taming. The bathtub is a good place if you have one.

If you have a hamster ball you can just put one end of the tube in the ball and he'll walk in, then pop the lid on and you can carry him in the hamster ball to the bathtub, put the ball down in the bathtub and let him out again.

Once he is tame he shouldn't run at your hand, but still best to not clean out too much. Also disinfecting the cage isn't necessary unless there has been illness or disease, and best to avoid any cleaners that are scented as that can affect them. Just warm water is fine for the base.
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