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Old 01-02-2023, 08:55 AM   #1
Colby
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Join Date: Jan 2023
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Question I've barely seen my new hamster (he is 7 weeks old)

Hi everyone, I'm a new hamster owner and new to hamster forums as well so please bare with me if I'm asking questions in the wrong location!

As for my question, I've had my new ham for about 3 days now which I picked up from a breeder, he's about 7 weeks old now for reference. When I first picked him up from the breeder, he seemed skittish yet okay with humans observing him, he ate, drank and groomed in his carrier while I traveled back home.

After arriving home to a much larger cage compared to his carrier(930ish sq inches and 6-10 inches of bedding to burrow) he found a dark spot behind his wheel to hide behind. He slowly ventured out to different parts of the cage discovering new things. After about 15 minutes of exploration, he burrowed down to the very bottom of his cage where he napped from the exhausting trip.

Over the past few days, he's continued to eat, drink, use his sand bath, run in his wheel etc. However the times at which he comes out have varied, for example his first night he came out at around 10pm and had a massive party in the cage, night two however he came out at around 1am which worried me, and night 3 he came out at around midnight.

I'm really just wondering how I can find a time to interact with him, as instructed I've been giving him space for his first few days and will begin putting toilet paper shreds with my scent in his cage. My fear is that he'll become a ghost hamster if I'm unable to introduce myself in time.

Questions you might be able to answer:

-Is this behavior normal for a new and young hamster?

-Will I be able to find time to interact with him, and how?

-Does this mean he will be a ghost hamster or is he just simply acclimating to his environment?

Thank you to anyone reading for your help!
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Old 01-09-2023, 01:18 PM   #2
briocheham
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Default Re: I've barely seen my new hamster (he is 7 weeks old)

hi there!!
this is very normal for new hamsters, it'll take awhile for them to develop a stable sleep schedule. it's also normal for young hamsters, as they've just been separated from their siblings and placed into somewhere very new. it's all scary for them. i've had my 2 month old female syrian for just over 2 weeks now and she is still adjusting but starting to come out roughly around the same time (anytime between 9pm-11pm) and going to bed around 6am-8am

adding the toilet paper, talking to him & sitting near him for the first few days is perfectly fine. i left my hamster alone for around 4 days before trying to feed her treats from between my fingers. keep initial interaction brief, just giving him treats like i did!

keep an eye on his behaviour if you can and you'll know when he's comfortable. fortunately, my hamster is used to humans and didn't take long to start taking food from me. she's even okay with being picked up now!

not being active much when he firsts arrive doesn't mean he will become a ghost hamster. although it's possible, i wouldn't make that assumption!

patience with new hamsters is key, as well as gently introducing yourself to them. i would also advise limiting interaction with family members as well, so your hamster does not get overwhelmed! remember to not force interaction either, let your hamster come to you when he is ready

i hope this helps
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Old 02-03-2023, 01:17 PM   #3
clacombe
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Default Re: I've barely seen my new hamster (he is 7 weeks old)

Any updates? we received our Syrian, Wally, in mid-December and he's also been a challenge to acclimate! He's adopted a severely nocturnal schedule. We only take him out 2-3 times per week due to this, and it's usually in the middle of the night. I'm hoping it may shift as well, but who knows! Sometimes if I wake up and don't want to take him out, I'll hand-feed him and pet him. He's very receptive to that, but then takes his food back to his underground hoard and doesn't come back out for a long time. We have 6+ inches of bedding, so it's easy for him to do
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Old 02-07-2023, 10:55 PM   #4
_nod
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Default Re: I've barely seen my new hamster (he is 7 weeks old)

Very normal for a new hamster. What type is he?

Hopefully his schedule will shift to have some more crossover with yours soon enough.
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Old 02-09-2023, 12:39 PM   #5
briocheham
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Default Re: I've barely seen my new hamster (he is 7 weeks old)

Quote:
Originally Posted by clacombe View Post
Any updates? we received our Syrian, Wally, in mid-December and he's also been a challenge to acclimate! He's adopted a severely nocturnal schedule. We only take him out 2-3 times per week due to this, and it's usually in the middle of the night. I'm hoping it may shift as well, but who knows! Sometimes if I wake up and don't want to take him out, I'll hand-feed him and pet him. He's very receptive to that, but then takes his food back to his underground hoard and doesn't come back out for a long time. We have 6+ inches of bedding, so it's easy for him to do
my girl is the exact same! i can't take her out much because i'm a college student and need my sleep :') if only she woke up around 10pm..
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Old 02-13-2023, 04:59 PM   #6
heidii
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Default Re: I've barely seen my new hamster (he is 7 weeks old)

Unfortunately, that's what you sign up for when getting a nocturnal/crepuscular animal. With that being said, offering a small dinner or fresh food at the same time every day (I would recommend spacing out feedings to avoid picky eating) may entice your hamster to come out.
Dwarves are more prone to come out in the day, but I recently rescued & rehomed a Syrian who would wake up at 4pm sharp and go to bed at about 12pm, with the odd nap in between.
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Old 02-18-2023, 11:39 AM   #7
clacombe
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Default Re: I've barely seen my new hamster (he is 7 weeks old)

This update might help you:

I had some people advising me to try to wake my hamster with food between 6 and 7PM each night. So, I took some scrambled egg on a spoon (or you could use fresh veggies or some other treat) and used it to make a little noise and tempt my hamster out of his sleeping area. I would let him follow the food into a bowl so I could lift him safely out of his cage. This has worked for 3 nights in a row. We've let him wander in a playpen or tub and we've handled him a bit for 20 or 30 minutes and then let him go back to his cage. He still spends most of his awake time while we're asleep, but we're much happier that we get to build that bond and play with him a bit. If 6-7PM doesn't work for you, you could probably try something on either end (5ish, 8ish). If you try and it works, let us know!
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