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Old 08-23-2017, 04:53 PM   #1
Quacky
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: England
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Default Important question about my hamster.

Me and my girlfriend are quite worried at the moment, we got Jaffa around 2 ish months ago now, she came to us in a small pet store standard cage (my mums friend didn't want her anymore)
Thing is, we upsized her cage to large DIY cage, maybe 3 times bigger than her old one. At first she was fine, being curious, enjoying the cage, and now recently she seems to have begun to go a bit mad, frantically scratching at the bottom of the cage and biting it to the point of drawing blood, we aren't sure from where but she definitely has. We decided to maybe give her more things to do and all the other normal suggestions we would get for something like this. But today shes been almost acting crazy over getting to the part where she was scratching, we put a tunnel over it, she chewed straight through the tunnel to try and get there and acted almost aggressive towards us because we were trying to get her away from it to not let her hurt herself.

Right now, shes back in the cage she came to us in, because we can't keep her in there the way shes acting. Is there such a thing of hamsters not being able to settle into any other cage other than the one they grew up in from a pup? We aren't sure if anythings wrong with her, but its really worrying seeing our little hammy like this.

Any help is appreciated about this, we are at a loss of what to do.
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Old 08-23-2017, 06:10 PM   #2
Fluffagrams
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Default Re: Important question about my hamster.

It can happen that some hamsters find larger spaces overwhelming which can cause changes in behaviour. I've come across it a couple of times with my Chinese and often if you give them a more manageable space, they'll settle down again quite quickly.

Has Jaffa settled down since you put her back in her smaller cage? If so, I'd leave her in there for a while, keeping an eye out for other behavioural changes that might suggest that there's more to it. If she settles back down again, it may be a case that the cage you upgraded her to is a little bit too big for her and she may benefit from something smaller. That doesn't necessarily mean that she has to stay in her small pet shop cage forever but perhaps an upgrade to something that is not quite as big could work for her.
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Old 08-23-2017, 06:27 PM   #3
Quacky
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Default Re: Important question about my hamster.

Shes completely settled down now, running on the wheel attached to the cage, even just sleeping in plain sight in the corner of the cage. We have a bin cage we made for her thats a bit bigger than the pet store cage but nothing compared to the other cage. We're going to fix the bin cage up because the mesh it a little bit too sharp and dont want to cause any damage to her if she managers to get up there onto lid where it is then we can see how she does.
Thanks for your reply, it helped a lot!
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Old 08-24-2017, 05:56 AM   #4
Hekomi
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Default Re: Important question about my hamster.

I wonder if you can use the larger cage as a playpen for now? Have her spend some time in it every night to play, then go back to the smaller cage she's settled in.

Upgrading her slower, to the bin cage you mentioned, might benefit her too. Not all hammies appreciate such huge spaces immediately, but I find that a graduated entry helps a lot.
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Old 08-24-2017, 09:26 AM   #5
Quacky
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Default Re: Important question about my hamster.

I dont think I'd trust her not going straight back to the place she was scratching if I put her in there even for a playpen, we're going to fix it up so she cant see the part she was going at. I guess some hamsters do just like having smaller places, although as an owner I cant help but feel bad
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Old 08-24-2017, 10:04 AM   #6
Fluffagrams
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Default Re: Important question about my hamster.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quacky View Post
I dont think I'd trust her not going straight back to the place she was scratching if I put her in there even for a playpen, we're going to fix it up so she cant see the part she was going at. I guess some hamsters do just like having smaller places, although as an owner I cant help but feel bad
Please don't feel bad although I know how easy it is to slip into that, particularly as we're often told that 'bigger is always better' but you've done what is right for her and that is the main thing. I always say that no two hamsters are the same in what they like and dislike and why would that not apply to their living environment too? If you think about it, not everyone will want to live in a big manor house and might prefer a comfy cottage or a stylish apartment and I think that this can be the same for hamsters.

The way I'd approach upgrading her is to give her at least two weeks to settle back into her old cage and then look at introducing the new bin cage to her for shorter periods of time to start with and then when it is time to upgrade her, use all of her used substrate in the cage and keep the layout fairly similar.
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Old 08-24-2017, 11:19 AM   #7
Quacky
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Default Re: Important question about my hamster.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fluffagrams View Post
Please don't feel bad although I know how easy it is to slip into that, particularly as we're often told that 'bigger is always better' but you've done what is right for her and that is the main thing. I always say that no two hamsters are the same in what they like and dislike and why would that not apply to their living environment too? If you think about it, not everyone will want to live in a big manor house and might prefer a comfy cottage or a stylish apartment and I think that this can be the same for hamsters.

The way I'd approach upgrading her is to give her at least two weeks to settle back into her old cage and then look at introducing the new bin cage to her for shorter periods of time to start with and then when it is time to upgrade her, use all of her used substrate in the cage and keep the layout fairly similar.
Thanks, it is easy to slip into the 'I'm a bad owner for giving my hamster a small cage' even if its for their own good. Shes happy at the moment in her old cage, I'll give her 2 weeks like you said.
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