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Old 10-16-2021, 01:52 PM   #1
Lilafernim
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Default New hamster very scatty

I got Mitzi (female Syrian hamster - 4 months old) 4 days ago, so I know sheís still very new to everything.

I collected her in her Savic Bristol with 12cm silent spinner, and have transferred her to a cage I got, itís 70cm x 50cm but Iím hoping to upgrade to 100cm x 50cm. I only got the cage just in case a rescue opportunity came along, and Iím glad I kept it because from images I thought she came with a savic plaza, not a small Bristol.

She was clearly very frustrated being in such a small home with no suitable wheel to run in. She is actually quite large so Iíve had a 21cm wheel that was suitable for my previous hamster who was very petite, but Iíve noticed even in that she bends slightly so got a 28cm one arriving tomorrow which will hopefully help.

Point is, I get sheís been cooped up so far for her life, so she probably has a lot of energy to disperse. She is coming out which Iím surprised about this early on. Sheís very jumpy though understandably, but when I have her out sheís sprinting and chewing everything! Same in her cage.

I have a large array of chew toys; wood, pine cones, whimzees dog chews, seed blocks. Loads to chew on. But she chews on everything. She hasnít bitten us yet luckily but has attempted to nip. She just never slows down!

I use a tub to get her out in and she should enter the olympics for high jump. Iím not forcing her in the tub, she goes in on her own accord and as soon as I pull it out the cage she leaps out and sprints off again. She wakes up at 7pm and some when I wake at 8am sometimes sheís still up!

I know sheís young, I know sheís been cooped up, and I know itís very early days. But do some Syrian hamsters stay forever this energetic?
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Old 10-16-2021, 06:49 PM   #2
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: New hamster very scatty

Congratulations! She’s gorgeous. As you said, it’s very early days and she will be very skitty. They need two weeks settling in time in their cage, and during that time, no changes or glean outs ideally. After that she should be more confident and relaxed. Swapping the wheel is ok but I wouldn’t start moving things around or take anything out (unless it’s an emergency like a hazard item or something). Adding the odd new thing is usually accepted.

So basically- I think it’s too soon to start taming. It’s frustrating and patience needed but best to leave her alone for at least a few more days. Ideally for two weeks - unless she shows signs of wanting to come out of the cage after a few days (eg coming to the bars or door).

Best way to start taming is just talking to her through the bar’s gently- so she gets familiar with your voice and presence. Then move on to giving the odd treat through the bars.

Too much too soon could be quite stressful for her as she needs to acclimatise to her cage and surroundings. And maybe not too much excitement too soon.

They all vary of course but it does take at least 10 days of stability before they start being tameable really and act more normal and secure. Especially as she’s not a baby so has a new owner to get used to as well.

Some female hamsters can be big chewers and quite maverick as well. So it sounds like she’ll need a large cage at some point! Cardboard egg boxes are good for them to rip up. She’ll be looking for nesting material. Until she’s had chance to build a nest and get her bearings in the cage she will be very skitty.

Just time and patience x
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Old 10-17-2021, 03:14 AM   #3
Lilafernim
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Default Re: New hamster very scatty

Thank you for you reply,

I moved her out of the cage she came in only because it was so small, and since sheís been in the new one the only things Iíve changed are just adding little ladders in places I think will help her. So hopefully the wheel wonít freak her out, I didnít really think it could be a bad thing but I guess youíre right. Because how she bends her back in the current one though itís a change I need her to have for her safety, so hopefully sheíll be thankful and not more stressed!

So far, she runs up to the door and wants to come out whenever she hears me come in, I open the door she climbs over by herself and I just use a tub to transport her. Sheís particularly scatty of us touching her so I am avoiding that for now just so she gets used to be near us first, like you say.

Yesterday though, I thought maybe Iím allowing her out too much perhaps? I had her out running freely for an hour, and she definitely calms down when she gets free roam. But if Iím in the room watching her and accidentally move it definitely panics her. Like you say, maybe this is too much too soon and I want her to be comfortable in her cage for now, so at least she knows she has got a safe spot.

It didnít help after I put her back and walked away, I heard my partner yell ĎMitzi!í And heard the cage door go 😂🙄

I do hope she does calm down, because how she is now sheís very difficult to watch, she runs so quickly and then you hear chewing, and I donít want her to hurt herself.
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Old 10-18-2021, 04:23 PM   #4
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Default Re: New hamster very scatty

Hope she settles down soon. If she does want to come out, maybe just transport her to the bathtub with a couple of toys in. You can gradually start some hand taming then.

Start by stroking her gently on the back with one finger while she's running around in the tub (they often slither up and down the sides). If she jerks round then stop - then try again a bit later. Eventually she'll accept being stroked on the back by a finger without jerking around.

Then move onto putting your hand flat on the base of the bath, palm up and just let her walk over it while she's exploring. Maybe have a tube or tunnel in there and a hidey place and scatter some treats. So start slowly. It might take a few sessions over 2 or 3 weeks or even 6 weeks, maybe twice a week. So if she gets to the point of walking over your hand then she's used to it. Next time lift your hand very slightly as she walks over it - maybe just 1cm off the floor of the bath - but still let her walk off. On the next session lift your hand a bit higher - maybe one inch - but still let her walk off. Don't try and hold her.

Once you've done that a few times you should be able to move on to letting her walk from one hand to the other by putting one in front of the other, and slightly tunnel your hands.

Once she accepts that you'll be able to pick her up without her "pinging" (ie leaping two feet in the air while wriggling free instantaneously!).

It worked really well with our first hamster. I thought he'd never be tame. But once we could pick him up easily he was tame as anything. They just learn to trust your touch.
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Old 10-18-2021, 05:28 PM   #5
Lilafernim
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Default Re: New hamster very scatty

Thank you for the great advice! Iíll do that tomorrow night probably I think sheís worn herself out this evening and gone back to bed.

I have to say Iím really proud of her from when I first picked her up. She was absolutely all over the place restless. Was bar biting, trying to nip me, wasnít sleeping.

Now she does get up at a normal time, she absolutely loves this larger wheel I got her, she actually looks healthier. I donít think she ever got given treats or handled and you can tell sheís thankful for it.

I do allow her out she loves being out, sheís straight to the door when I come in but like I say she just is very nervous of us. Iíll definitely try your suggestion but I just wanted to say Iím so proud of her.

I feel kind of sad though as I messaged the people I got her from and they donít respond, they havenít even looked at a single image I sent of Mitzi. Sheís such a lovely hamster who you can tell has just not been handled much. Iím glad sheís got someone to love her now, and itís sooner in her life rather than later.
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Old 10-19-2021, 11:21 AM   #6
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Default Re: New hamster very scatty

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilafernim View Post

I feel kind of sad though as I messaged the people I got her from and they donít respond, they havenít even looked at a single image I sent of Mitzi. Sheís such a lovely hamster who you can tell has just not been handled much. Iím glad sheís got someone to love her now, and itís sooner in her life rather than later.
I never contact people i buy a hamster from for rehoming.
They wanted the hamster out of their lives so why would they be interested in the hamster's welfare now.
Don't be sad and don't look back. The way to go is forward and Mitzi is part of your future.
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Old 10-19-2021, 12:02 PM   #7
Lilafernim
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Default Re: New hamster very scatty

Yeah, our cat Pancake we rescued and the person we picked up off of was really nice and messaged quite often.

She got rid of her because she was moving and they didnít allow the number of pets they had. They did have a ridiculous number! 5 massive dogs, whole new litter of cats, plus older cats, fish and I think they had guinea pigs/hamsters?

Poor Pancake is still a very nervous cat which Iím not surprised living with those big dogs and she had three young kids. She loves us though!

Just weird because Iíd say that woman seemed less emotional than this one, she gave pancake away for free, when we went to see her pancake was already in the case ready to go and she just wanted to give her to us and leave.

Mitzis owners wanted to say their goodbyes so itís weird they donít care now.

Like you say though I wonít hang up about it.
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Old 10-19-2021, 12:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: New hamster very scatty

They maybe need to cope and move on and it might be hard seeing photos of her now. You would think they’d like to see she was happy and well cared for but maybe they just find it upsetting. I wouldn’t worry about it. I’d just leave it for them to contact you if they want an update.

Assume you know that cats need to be kept away from hamsters! Even just the smell of a cat nearby can stress a hamster and cats can try and open hamster cages or even pull them on the floor. So cat needs to never be left in the room with the hamster and ideally not in the same room at all.

Glad she is coming on well and you’re proud of her. She will love the wheel.
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