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Old 10-11-2020, 04:23 PM   #1
Grinewin
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Join Date: Oct 2020
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Default Is My Hamster Bored or Just High Energy?

Hi! I've been lurking here for quite a while but I adopted my first hamster in about 15 years last month and finally have something to post about.

My hamster, Egg, is most likely a hybrid dwarf (she seems to be a pretty equal mix of the species and I've read most ww/rc dwarfs are in fact hybrids here in the US at this point). I adopted her three weeks ago from a shelter and she's living in a DIY cage that's just shy of 800 square inches. She's adapted to her new home very quickly and I didn't have to do any taming with her -- the first time I gingerly offered her a treat, she took it with no hesitation and then proceeded to climb all over my hand. I now handle her with no issues daily. She seems to be on the higher energy end of the scale, like a lot of dwarfs.

My question is -- how can I tell the difference between a hamster that isn't happy in their enclosure and a hamster that's begging for attention by scaling the mesh at the top of the cage? I've had to rearrange the cage several times because she was monkey-barring all over the lid (also made of mesh) and kept falling. Now that she can't reach the mesh, she scrabbles at the plexiglass and wood sides of the cage. She doesn't do it constantly -- she loves her wheel and foraging for food and she gets about an hour in her playpen every day. A lot of the time, said scrabbling and climbing seems to be triggered by her seeing me near the cage. But when she could reach the mesh, I could often hear her monkey-barring in the middle of the night, when I was nowhere near it.

I just want my new hamster to be happy, but I don't have the experience needed to know if she is or not. I am planning on upgrading her cage within the next few months, but it would help my conscience if I knew she wasn't totally miserable while I worked on it.
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Old 10-12-2020, 12:02 AM   #2
cypher
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Default Re: Is My Hamster Bored or Just High Energy?

It does sound as though some of her behaviour is attention seeking, she obviously enjoys her time out of the cage, it sounds as though she’s getting plenty but if you can give her any more that might help a bit.
Can you post a photo of her cage & set up? There may be thing we could suggest that would help keep her busy & occupied when in the cage that could help.
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Old 10-12-2020, 02:50 AM   #3
Maker
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Default Re: Is My Hamster Bored or Just High Energy?

Do you handle her in the playpen, she might be wanting human company/hands? Just wondering if she gets this in the playpen or not?
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Old 10-12-2020, 11:25 AM   #4
Grinewin
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Default Re: Is My Hamster Bored or Just High Energy?

I do handle her in the playpen, usually, but only for a few minutes. I like to use her playpen time to do things like sift her sandbath and clean her wheel (where she uses the restroom). I can try handling her more and see if that helps, but she's so speedy, it's hard to know whether she enjoys it or not. Whether she's in her cage or her playpen, she seems to want to escape, and when she's in my hands, it's all I can do to keep her from yeeting herself off of me and landing hard on the ground (I'm always sitting on the floor, but still!).

Here's a link to a picture of her cage. I appreciate the help! She's got a ten inch wheel, a sandbath, several hides and paper roll tunnels, and I scatterfeed every other day and put treats in a puzzle toy for her every night.

https://ibb.co/Nj8w6M3
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Old 10-12-2020, 11:09 PM   #5
cypher
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Default Re: Is My Hamster Bored or Just High Energy?

The cage looks fine to me, I doubt that she’s bored really, just a very energetic ham, often wen it seems like they’re intent on escaping everything it’s more just natural behaviour exploring boundaries rather than an intent to get out!
Females can be very energetic & just need loads to do, I’ve only had one female Russian & she would often want to spend the whole day in. her playpen & go mad bar climbing & sitting on top of her water bottle to get attention if I had to go out & put her back in the cage! That amount of out of cage time isn’t practical for a lot of people but I think it might help if you can give her more if she seems to want it. They are often too energetic to want to sit & be held but will enjoy using you a climbing frame so you can still interact like that.
Overall I wouldn’t worry too much she doesn’t sound stressed or really bored or anything like that, just do what you can to keep her occupied & she should be fine.
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Old 10-12-2020, 11:37 PM   #6
Grinewin
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Default Re: Is My Hamster Bored or Just High Energy?

Thank you for helping an anxious new hamster owner out! I've read that female hamsters can seem impossible to please, but I didn't want to use that as an excuse to throw up my hands and give up, you know? Luckily for Egg, I'm at home all day, so I'll try letting her run around in her playpen more often (and I'll keep working on upgrading her cage!)
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Old 10-12-2020, 11:50 PM   #7
cypher
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Default Re: Is My Hamster Bored or Just High Energy?

I’ve been keeping hams for over ten years now & still get anxious about doing what’s best & right for each individual one so you’re not alone there & it’s obvious you care very much about her & will do everything you can to make her happy.
I just found this old thread that might be helpful for some playpen ideas even though some of the photos are a bit hard to see now with the photobucket logo thingy!
Let's see your playpens!
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Always loved, never forgotten, forever in my heart
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