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Old 05-17-2019, 02:08 PM   #1
darrend9772
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Default Cage change

Hi everyone, sorry for posting another question. Weve invested in a new hamster cage as the one weve currently got is too small and its not fair on our little dwarf. How would you suggest to ease the change of cage for her?
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Old 05-17-2019, 04:10 PM   #2
Shannonmcn
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Default Re: Cage change

Keep the layout as similar as possible, transfer all the bedding from her old cage over, keeping it on top of any other bedding you might add, transfer her sleeping place over as intact as you possibly can and just... leave her to it. She will be stressed, it’s inevitable but she will be fine in a few days.

I know Serendipity has used the new cage as a playpen-thing for a while before the full transfer over which is a great idea for minimising stress but if she’s in a very small cage right now it might be better to get her out of it and into an adequate space ASAP. Depends what you’re working with.

Also; never apologise for asking questions. Ask why she sneezes, ask if she can smell summer, ask if she knows what day of the week it is from hearing the news on tv. No stupid questions here. Post post post.
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Old 05-18-2019, 02:18 AM   #3
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Cage change

Yup - I personally let them have an explore/play in it the day before moving over as have found it really helps them adjust quicker to the new cage - but some of that may depend on the personality of the hamster. It just means when you move them over it's already familiar and it's not so cold turkey.

So I fill the base of the new cage with substrate and put any new toys you have in there, plus maybe a familiar one from the old cage and let the hamster go in and explore. If they panic and want to come out again, then try a bit later. Sometimes on the second time they spend ages in there and explore everything.

When you do move them over then, you can leave the new substrate you've put in the new cage, but still move all the substrate across from the old cage and just spread it on top (cage is bigger so it will all fit) - press it down if necessary. And as Shannon says try and put things in a similar layout to as before, although that isn't always possible.

The most important thing is not to clean anything when you move them, even though it's tempting to have everything all clean and new! Just move everything over without cleaning things - move their nest across in their house too, and any hoard that's under it (if it's a really large hoard then prune it a bit). Then no big clean outs for the next too weeks.

With a nervous hamster I found that meant 2 or 3 days of skittishness rather than 10 days of total freak out! Even if they enjoy it and are happy it's still a bit strange.

You can play it by ear a bit though

I think it can help to at least introduce them to the new cage before moving them. You'll also need somewhere to put your hamster while you're moving things from old cage to new. If you have a pet carrier you can pop them in there. If not then maybe in the dry bathtub with a couple of toys but they will need someone in there as well to keep an eye or they'll get scared.
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Old 05-18-2019, 10:00 AM   #4
darrend9772
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Default Re: Cage change

Thanks for the information, we’ve set her new cage up and she’s currently in there sniffing around and borrowing
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Old 05-18-2019, 10:01 AM   #5
darrend9772
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Default Re: Cage change

It’s a hamster heaven but I’ve not installed the tubes or penthouse. How would you lay cage out? I’ve only used one platform in there also
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Old 05-20-2019, 05:21 AM   #6
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Cage change

That sounds good. Much better not to use the tubes and penthouse. With just the one shelf you will have more room for other items, like wheel, house, hideouts, floor toys etc. Assume it's the solid platform you've kept? I would also suggest removing the little pod house on the platform. They are nice, but if they nest in them they get stinky and need cleaning out a lot. Better to add a house on the base of the cage on top of the substrate, that is open underneath. You could put the pod house on the substrate as well as an extra hide as then it won't be enclosed plastic underneath.

So - wheel, good house on top of the substrate (a cardboard tissue box or shoe box with the base cut out would do so it's open underneath), plenty of substrate (they like to dig) I'd say 4 to 6" if possible. Cardboard tubes and tunnels at floor level. A chew stick. Just check she can access the shelf ok if the food and water are up there.

A big pile of torn up strips of toilet paper somewhere in the cage so she can take them to build a nest. Sometimes a larger floor toy is good too, like a cork log as that gives them some "overhead cover" when moving round the cage and is also something to climb over that's stable. And any familiar toys etc from her old cage.

You could use some of the tubes in a single short run, as a floor toy/tunnel. Although if she nests in them you might need to take them out again! If there is a good house available then she shouldn't nest in the tubes - putting a bendy bridge tunnel over the house entrance makes it dark inside and gives a tunnel entrance, so that should encourage her to use the house you provide.
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