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Old 06-12-2021, 06:50 AM   #1
shane
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Default Do hamsters love thumbs?

Tobias (a Syrian) and I are at the stage where he will let me hand feed him treats and Im trying to encourage him onto my hand. The thing is, he seems to be obsessed with my thumb. If I dont hold a treat on the front of my hand he stiffs around my thumb and tries to give it an exploratory nip. It doesnt seem to matter how well I tuck my thumb away, he goes looking for it.

Hes not aggressive and Im not overly worried (weve only been together for two weeks), its just a bit curious and when I pull my thumb away it spooks him, so I was wondering if anyone else has had the same experience?
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Old 06-12-2021, 02:34 PM   #2
VOESSY
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Default Re: Do hamsters love thumbs?

Haha, I recognize this behaviour with Maximus. He doesn't do it anymore, but the first few times I offered him treats he'd go for the thumb every chance he got. I am clueless to why!
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Old 06-13-2021, 10:29 AM   #3
shane
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Default Re: Do hamsters love thumbs?

Ah, I guess I just need to wait for this little phase to be over
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Old 06-14-2021, 03:03 PM   #4
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Default Re: Do hamsters love thumbs?

Same with Remy! He seeks my thumb everytime.

Also, couldn't resist, another Essex fam! High five, phaha!
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Old 06-16-2021, 07:55 AM   #5
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Default Re: Do hamsters love thumbs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Imogen View Post
Same with Remy! He seeks my thumb everytime.

Also, couldn't resist, another Essex fam! High five, phaha!
Should that be a thumbless high four?
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Old 06-16-2021, 05:11 PM   #6
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Default Re: Do hamsters love thumbs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shane View Post
Should that be a thumbless high four?
Haha, that was a good one!

How is Tobias doing?
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Old 06-19-2021, 08:44 AM   #7
shane
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Default Re: Do hamsters love thumbs?

Tobias is doing well, he's still very timid but he's getting used to my hand being in the cage. He's also stopped looking for my thumb so it looks like it was just a phase. Instead he now keeps going to nip my fingertips, I think he's starting to learn that my fingers aren't treats though, and it doesn't scare him so much when I pull away

How are you getting along with Remy?
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Old 06-19-2021, 09:14 AM   #8
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Default Re: Do hamsters love thumbs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shane View Post
Tobias is doing well, he's still very timid but he's getting used to my hand being in the cage. He's also stopped looking for my thumb so it looks like it was just a phase. Instead he now keeps going to nip my fingertips, I think he's starting to learn that my fingers aren't treats though, and it doesn't scare him so much when I pull away

How are you getting along with Remy?
Not the best phaha!
I've had Remy for about half a week over 3 months, I've tried so much to make him come out and on to my hands but he just likes a quick sniff then scurries away!

I've tried from sitting by him and talking to him, ruffling my hands gently over the substrate to get him used to a human hand to trying to feed him the odd occasional healthy (non-sugary) treat from my hand (which he does take but that's it, he just eats it and doesn't bother with your hand which is better than before).. but, I don't think he'll be the type of hamster to like being held like some. I guess he just has a shy personality! I am trying out the tissue trick now though, will focus on that for the next two weeks.

He's so jumpy though, I always make a sound when I'm approaching him when he's on the wheel so he knows I'm coming but he sees me and he does a backflip off his wheel and stares me down like "bro, can you not". Haha!

He's never aggressive or shows any sign of truly being afraid. I can hold him when it's an emergency and he's fine (like the time he escaped out of my room.. and I have two cats. Oh dear lord that was stressful.), he just gets utterly confused in the whole process and keeps trying to walk off but he never bites or makes screams.

As a kid I had a hamster named Jenny in 2010, she loved being held and before I dove back into another hamster (after being banned from them... apparently they "stunk too much" proved my family wrong on that though. we just didn't clean her enough, feel so guilty about that!) I assumed all of them could warm up to your hand but, after many years of researching I came to understand animals are of course just like us! Have many personalities, but yeah haha, guess he's a more just admire don't touch guy. But I'm fine with that, he's so charming to watch!
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Old 06-19-2021, 09:19 AM   #9
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Default Re: Do hamsters love thumbs?

Quote:
Tobias is doing well, he's still very timid but he's getting used to my hand being in the cage. He's also stopped looking for my thumb so it looks like it was just a phase. Instead he now keeps going to nip my fingertips, I think he's starting to learn that my fingers aren't treats though, and it doesn't scare him so much when I pull away
I read this but it slipped my mind as I just progressed into a whole story about my hamster, how rude and selfish of me, oops! I do that a lot!

Looks like he doesn't want the taste of thumbs anymore then! Did you manage to keep both your thumbs in tact? Haha! Maybe he finds your fingertips a bit more tasty, probably a midnight snacc. Sounds like taming is going your way now! It's awesome gaining the trust of tiny creatures, right? We don't deserve such lovely animals!
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Old 06-19-2021, 09:43 AM   #10
shane
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Default Re: Do hamsters love thumbs?

Nah, it's good to hear other people's experiences!

Yep, I still have two thumbs. He hasn't actually bitten me, he's so gentle - even when taking food - that I have time to avoid the nip.

Now you mention it, the tissue trick seemed to help (if it's what I think it is). Last weekend I put a couple of wads of toilet paper under my armpits, that was when it was still summer and I was a bit sweaty so I'm sure the paper smelt a lot like me (gross I know! ). I shredded it, put it in his cage and the next morning he'd taken nearly all of it into his house and burrow, even though he's not bothered to collect any (paper) substrate to make a nest. Since then he comes to check out my hand even when I'm not bribing him with a treats.
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