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Old 05-31-2020, 05:01 PM   #1
Chicleteer
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Default Leaving Syrian alone a few nights a week

Last January my little Chiclet passed on to the rainbow bridge, and I am thinking of getting another Syrian. I would appreciate some advice, however, on the following: my personal situation has changed, where I am now away 2 or 3 nights a week, which was not the case before, and since I live alone, the new hamster would be by itself those nights. Of course I could leave plenty of food and water, and I do feel that the cage is secure (I have a Prevue Pet Small Animal cage, and Chiclet never escaped from it). However I am concerned that (A) itís really not safe to leave a hamster alone in the house overnight, and (B) would it be stressful for the hamster to see me and (hopefully) interact with me some nights and then be completely alone other nights? I used to take Chiclet out every night and sit with her on the floor in her play area while she ran around joyfully (I hope) hamstering away, often running under and around my legs, sometimes snuggling between my back and the wall and having a good grooming session. We really had a nice relationship! I get a little sad, remembering it even now....

Sorry to digress. Anyhow, Iím hoping to have an interactive relationship with the new hamster (if he/she will permit it), but I donít want this situation of my being away overnight at times to be a source of stress or confusion.

I will add that I do have a pet-sitter in the neighborhood who used to come in each day or evening to feed and check on Chiclet back when I did have to go out of town for a longer period of time, and she could certainly be a resource here, at least most of the time (when sheís not out of town herself).

Iím very interested in and would appreciate any input on this. I donít intend to go forward with getting a new hamster if itís a bad idea under these circumstances, as hard as that would be. Thanks for any help you can give.
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Old 05-31-2020, 10:08 PM   #2
Ria P
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Default Re: Leaving Syrian alone a few nights a week

I am on a 24hr shift right now and normally my partner who is at home, would have been away overnight as well.

Our hamsters live in escape proof cages, have two sources of water and plenty of food available to them at all times.
Our Syrian likes to share our breakfast but comes out of his nest for brunch instead on mornings when i'm not home.

I don't think hamsters get lonely or worry when home alone because their home is their habitat and as long as they're happy in there they are fine.

I do need to mention that all my hamsters are self contained little animals who like their own company and the one who is more sociable with humans is a bit of a daytime hamster who likes out of cage time with me during the day and often sleeps during the night.

I don't know how it would work with a hamster who wants out every evening and bar chews to get attention.

You could enquire at a rescue where the personality and habits of a hamster are already known to find a quieter one and sometimes breeders advertise retired show hamsters with a quiet and independent personality that may be more suitable.
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Old 06-01-2020, 05:38 AM   #3
Chicleteer
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Default Re: Leaving Syrian alone a few nights a week

Thank you, Ria P. Those are helpful insights. I’m thinking of using 2 water sources, one being the water bottle and the other a self-refillable water dish, which I think is very well designed (someone mentioned it on this forum; it’s the Dahey Drinking Water Feeder for small pets), and which is designed so it doesn’t topple over.

As far as the ham wanting out-of-cage time, I’m aware that I may have helped create that situation and expectation by allowing Chiclet lots of time outside the cage initially and all along. It might have helped (and helped my own schedule as well) if I had more limits on it.

In the U.S., there are so few breeders! I wish there were more. I was unable to find one driving distance from Massachusetts, so if anyone knows of one, I’d be very interested. My plan was to get one from a family-owned pet store that specializes in small animals, and who seem to take much better care of the animals than the big pet shops are apt to. Right now, with the virus, they’re not selling live animals, so I’d have to wait anyhow.

Thanks very much for your feedback, Ria! And I hope Master Henry is doing well these days. I really enjoyed his past correspondence with Mistress Poppy....
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Old 06-01-2020, 10:03 PM   #4
Presley524
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Default Re: Leaving Syrian alone a few nights a week

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicleteer View Post
Thank you, Ria P. Those are helpful insights. Iím thinking of using 2 water sources, one being the water bottle and the other a self-refillable water dish, which I think is very well designed (someone mentioned it on this forum; itís the Dahey Drinking Water Feeder for small pets), and which is designed so it doesnít topple over.

As far as the ham wanting out-of-cage time, Iím aware that I may have helped create that situation and expectation by allowing Chiclet lots of time outside the cage initially and all along. It might have helped (and helped my own schedule as well) if I had more limits on it.

In the U.S., there are so few breeders! I wish there were more. I was unable to find one driving distance from Massachusetts, so if anyone knows of one, Iíd be very interested. My plan was to get one from a family-owned pet store that specializes in small animals, and who seem to take much better care of the animals than the big pet shops are apt to. Right now, with the virus, theyíre not selling live animals, so Iíd have to wait anyhow.

Thanks very much for your feedback, Ria! And I hope Master Henry is doing well these days. I really enjoyed his past correspondence with Mistress Poppy....
I'm from Maine so I understand the rarity of breeders and hamsters in rescues around here. You could also look on Craigslist of a family rehoming one. That way you could still adopt one that you can know a bit about its personality. As I'm in college, I would stay at my grandmother's three nights a week (since she lives closer to my school) my hamster wasn't completely home alone, my sister would go in to check water and food, but not take them out. My hamster is still very tamed. She never seemed to notice my absent. I personally think that as long as there is plenty of water and food left out and you're 100% sure they won't escape their cage, they should be okay to be left for a few nights.
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Old 06-01-2020, 11:06 PM   #5
Ria P
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Default Re: Leaving Syrian alone a few nights a week

I'm away overnight regularly for one night at a time up to twice a week.

Are you going to be away for 2 or 3 consecutive nights?

If that's the case, i personally wouldn't feel comfortable with that because i'd worry about my hamsters even though they should be alright with it.
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Old 06-02-2020, 01:40 AM   #6
Ithuviel
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Default Re: Leaving Syrian alone a few nights a week

Personally i don't know if hamsters miss the presence of humans. Sometimes i think that i'm "forcing" mine to interact with me. (i'm not waking them up or anything but i play with them when they are awake)
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Old 06-02-2020, 06:16 AM   #7
Chicleteer
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Default Re: Leaving Syrian alone a few nights a week

Thank you, all. I'm starting to feel better about the situation. No, it would NEVER be two consecutive nights, definitely not without my getting the hamster-sitter involved. (She's a neighbor and does pet-sitting/dog-walking as her retirement "career." I do feel confident about the cage. And I do think I'm projecting emotions on the hamster that it may or may not have. Maybe Chiclet was coming out of the cage to please me more than herself...? Kind of kidding there, but I do know hamsters are accustomed to independence and some solitude.
I will check out Craigslist and see if I can locate some possibilities nearby!
Again, thank you, folks, for your input. This forum is such a good place to connect and learn.
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Old 06-02-2020, 03:33 PM   #8
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Leaving Syrian alone a few nights a week

I think some of it depends on the hamster’s personality and how bonded you are with them. A more retiring hamster may be fine with the arrangement. An attention seeking maverick who wants to be out every night may not be as adaptable to it but in that case I would go with as large a cage as you can and I would suggest getting two hamsters. I currently have two Syrians - their cages above/below each other - and have noticed they go into a sort of sync. If one has a drink - the other one does. If one comes out then the next night the other one is pestering to come out.

When we had Charlie he was very bonded with us and our almost every night. If we went away for a couple of nights, he pined and looked awful. To the point we took him on holiday with us once.

But you’re talking about getting a new hamster and could have a relationship whereby you get them out maybe twice a week and more of a familiarity and chatting type thing then a close bonded thing of snuggling every night.

I think it could work but my only concern would be they like routine - food out at the same time each night. Lights on and off at the same time each night. You could set the lights and tv on a timer maybe (good burglar deterrent as well).

If your friend could come in to put out food the nights you’re away that would be better. And at least with another hamster in the house there would be a presence (separate cages of course).

They would soon get into a routine of you being there every few days and someone else coming to feed on other days. When I’ve had a pet sitter coming in to feed, the hamsters have hidden away sensing it was not me/us. But they might get used to a regular pet sitter.
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Old 06-04-2020, 09:13 PM   #9
Chicleteer
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Default Re: Leaving Syrian alone a few nights a week

Thanks for your ideas, Serendipity. I think starting out with a routine that I can stick with would definitely be helpful so that the hamster gets used to what to expect. I sometimes wonder if I really spoiled Chiclet, spending so much time with her and getting her used to it on a nightly basis. It made it hard for me to go away at all without feeling terribly guilty and worrying about her. (Yet, for all I know, she was enjoying some peaceful "time off" while I was away!)

I like the idea of a timer for lights and TV noise. That would add both to their sense of routine and also perhaps a sense of somebody being in the house.
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Old 06-05-2020, 05:21 AM   #10
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Leaving Syrian alone a few nights a week

I think I would be a bit concerned at leaving them in an empty house with no-one going in at all, so pet sitter going in to feed would be better than leaving extra food possibly.
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