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Old 11-18-2021, 02:24 PM   #1
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 18
Default New Hamster Extremely Anxious

I got a Syrian hamster yesterday who I estimate to be about 3 months old. Iíve had 3 dwarf hamsters in the past and obviously they were somewhat skittish when I first brought them home but when I was in the room with them they just wen about their business and explored the cage, even on their first day. My new hamster (Lazslo) however, was extremely anxious when I brought him home yesterday. He tried to jump out of his carrier when the lid was still closed and then when I was putting him in the cage he jumped from the carrier and fell into his hide; he was unhurt but just stood in the corner and stared at me until I left the room. Heís been eating, using his wheel and exploring but every time I walk into the room he just stops dead and stared and then when I turn away and turn back he has goons into hiding. I know itís very very early days yet, but as he is my first Syrian Iím just worried about wet tail. Iím going to give him at least a week to settle in before taking but Iíve never had a hamster his nervous before so Iím a bit worried. Any tips for putting him more at ease when I enter the room?
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Old 11-18-2021, 03:24 PM   #2
Senior Hamster
Join Date: Sep 2021
Posts: 409
Default Re: New Hamster Extremely Anxious

There will be more experienced people on here who will message but Iím about 6 weeks (maybe?) into owning Mitzi, a Syrian hamster I adopted at 3 months old also. Do not worry as itís the first day!

I also made a post around a week in as every time I put my hand near her she was like an Olympic high jumper. Theyíre just very nervous, new place, new smells, new people.

Just talk to him so he gets adjusted to your voice and slowly start introducing treats from your hand. It helps if you rub your hand on the bedding so the smell is more familiar.

Just as you say, leave him for about a week before doing drastic, but please donít worry in the meantime. Mitzi for me is still getting used to sitting in my hand, I can scoop her but as soon as she realises she jumps still 😂 she just has a box on her cage I use to transport her out the cage in so sheís not jumpy at all in that.

I had a Syrian before Mitzi as well and have had Russian dwarf and robos in the past but I would say I have a soft spot for Syrians. Once Lazslo becomes more adjusted hopefully youíll see what I mean!
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Old 11-19-2021, 12:54 AM   #3
Hamster Antics
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 23,533
Default Re: New Hamster Extremely Anxious

They need to be left alone for the first 2 or 3 days. To adjust to the surroundings and new cage. Maybe wait for 2 or 3 days before chatting to him through the bars. It will also take a good 10 days to 2 weeks for him to fully settle, so during that time, don't clean anything or adjust the cage or change anything in it or it'll freak him out and set things back. But after the first 2 or 3 days you could talk to him gently through the bars occasionally, so he starts to get familiar with the sound of your voice and your scent.

So maybe keep a distance from the cage for a couple of days.

If he's 3 months old he'll have had a couple of changes already so maybe more scared and nervous than, say, a baby hamster who is just going to his new home for the first time. Although Syrians can be very nervous and skitty at first.

After 10 days or so he'll be confident in his cage and in a routine and his behaviour will change. He still won't be tame and may still "ping" (when they wriggle free and leap 2 feet in the air!) so if you get him out for some taming at that point it would be better to get him out in a tube.

Put a bit of smelly food at the far end of the tube and put the tube in the cage near his house - with the end with the food furthest away from the house. He should walk into the tube, then you can pick it up (with your hands over both ends) and lift him out in it. But you'll need something next to the cage to put the tube down in. Eg a box with sides high enough he can't jump out. So he can walk out of the tube. You can then carry the box to where you want to let him out to do some taming (eg the dry bathtub with the plug in and a couple of toys/tunnel etc).

I found the easiest thing was to use a hamster ball. Ie have the hamster ball next to the cage and put one end of the tube into the ball, keeping my hand over the other end. They walk into the ball from the tube. Pop the lid on straight away. Then carry the ball (carefully!) to the bathtub, set it down and take the top off so he can climb out. That way you don't have to lift him out of the box.

You might want to wear gloves at first, lifting him out in the tube, in case he pushes at your hand if it makes you jump - so you don't drop it.

I used to find when they've had enough of being in the bathtub they would get back into the ball as if to say "take me home now".

But take it steady with taming - maybe every 2 or 3 days so he still has chance to do his own thing in between.

Meanwhile you could do the tissue trick. Put a few sheets of plain white toilet paper up your sleeve or down your bra for a couple of hours. Then tear them into strips and add them to the cage (nesting material to forage for). He'll take some for his nest and get used to your scent.
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Old 11-28-2021, 03:55 AM   #4
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 18
Default Re: New Hamster Extremely Anxious

Thank you so much for your advice! I tried the tissue tip and I think it worked! I scatter feed him so whenever Iím in the room he just snuffles about looking for food and glances up at me sometimes but he doesnít freeze as much or run away. Although one day he got up early and I hadnít fed him yet so while he was awake I opened the lid (he lives in the Linnmon cage so the lid is quite heavy and creaks a tiny bit when I open it) and he stood up and froze so I just left him he and then he ran off. I also tried to put a blueberry in one day and he sprinted at my hand because I think I scared him. Apart from that heís doing well, I can get close to the cage and he doesnít freeze as much but I think it will just take a while for him to feel comfortable. Thanks again
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cage, hamster, iím, room, syrian

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