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Old 02-03-2019, 01:08 AM   #1
Jamieking86
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Default My hamster won't exercise

Hi all, I've had my Syrian hamster just over 3 week now, he's around 11 week old, hes got a hamster heaven cage with toys, a see saw, 8 inch wheel, tunnels ramps you name it.

We had a smaller cage at first, decided it wasnt big enough despite what the shop assistant said. When we first put him in his new cage he was running around like crazy, he loved it in his wheel, he was in and out of his see saw, he was climbing up the bars to get to his higher pink shelf to his treat bowl, but now we don't really see him do anything. He sleeps most of the time (which i know is normal) and gets up around 8-9pm. He might be using his wheel whilst were sleeping but im honestlt not sure.

Weve got a playpen for him too and a hamster ball. When we first put him in his pen with his toys, he loved it, he was very active, couldn't get him out of his wheel, but now he just sits in his coconut as if he's hiding from his. Same with his hamster ball, he loved that, now seems to hide behind the sofa where we can't see him. I know he's still new to us but is their anything we can do to make him exercise? We have started the taming process, he takes treats from us now, sometimes climbs on our hands but is still sceptical, he lets us stroke him if hes busy chomping on something. We even had him climbing on us on the sofa to try get used to us. I must admit we've been giving him probably too many treats to try get used to us and he's put a bit of weight on but I guess this is normal?
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Old 02-03-2019, 01:22 AM   #2
cypher
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Default Re: My hamster won't exercise

Is the room his cage is in really warm all the time day & night? It has been very cold lately & they do tend to be less active in the cold weather, even when the room is warm mine still seem to know & spend more time in bed!
Have you tried putting some substrate on top of the wheel to see if it's moved in the night? Chances are he's using it at night if it's still big enough for him to run comfortably & spins easily.
He should be putting on weight as he will still be growing, I think most of us probably give a few too many treats when taming so I wouldn't worry about that.
I would ditch the ball, most hams will get stressed in a ball & it doesn't offer them any benefit at all, if they want to run they'll use the wheel, if you don't have one in there already you could put a wheel in the playpen.
I would just persevere with the playpen, if it's big enough sit in with him & encourage him to climb on you & see if he enjoys that.
Give it time & he will get more confident.
The new cage & playpen will have interested him at first just as a novelty thing so the initial excitement does where off a bit but that doesn't mean he won't be active enough.
Are you bowl feeding or scatter feeding? Scatter feeding is one of the best ways to keep them more active.
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Old 02-03-2019, 02:16 AM   #3
Jamieking86
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Default Re: My hamster won't exercise

He is in the living room with us, so it's always relatively warm. It does get a bit nippy but if it's too cold we always put the heating on anyway. We never have the tv loud cos I was worried the tv might be upsetting him but people have said they soon get used to background noise. We have put substrate on top of the wheel and when we have, it's disappeared in the morning so but I can't tell how long he's been using it for. Sometimes he gets in, does a little jog then gets out lol. We mainly use the ball to get him in and out of his cage, it comes with a stand so we usually put him in the stand to have a run rather than knocking in to things, he did used to enjoy it but now it seems like he just sits in it, but if recommended we will stop using it. The playpen isn't big enough for us to fit in but we can buy more of it to extend it which we will probably do in the near future. I like scatter feeding and putting a little in his bowl in case he doesn't bury for it. We've just changed from hamster muesli to the harry hamster mix, we've done it gradually as recommended. Could this be anything to do with it?
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Old 02-03-2019, 02:53 AM   #4
cypher
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Default Re: My hamster won't exercise

I wouldn't think the food change would have anything to do with it tbh.
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Old 02-03-2019, 03:56 AM   #5
Jamieking86
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Default Re: My hamster won't exercise

I hope not, I read changing their food can stress them out a little. We are going to leave him in his cage for a few days without the play pen just incase we're rushing things along a little bit with his taming. Hopefully it is the cold like you said.
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Old 02-03-2019, 04:54 AM   #6
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: My hamster won't exercise

If you've only had him 3 weeks and he's had a cage change, he just needs time to adust. It can take a full two weeks after moving into a new cage, before they feel settled and may feel nervous and hide away. But hang in there as he will turn the corner and suddenly be more active.

They really are aware of the cold and do tend to stay in the nest more in cold weather.

Does he have a nest big enough? If his nest is in a coconut hut it might not be big enough to keep warm so it's really important, in this freezing weather, to ensure the temperature in the room is ok - even overnight if there's a frost. eg heat on for an hour or two in the middle of the night.

Our hamster is a bit the same at the moment, with the cold weather. Sometimes don't see him for 3 or 4 days and then he wants to be out and starts foraging for anything remotely suitable for a nest! Chewing at the cushions on the sofa or pouching any bit of paper etc (so it needs keeping an eye on what they can access!) He is constantly making his nest bigger - it's an instinct when it's colder in the air.

During the first two weeks in a new cage also, it's usually recommended not to disturb anything, or clean anything or move anything.

So if you've done any cleaning that may have set back his settling in time. For now just leave everything and add a big pile of torn up strips of plain white toilet paper, somewhere in the cage where he can forage for it and add it to his nest.

If he doesn't have a very big house, you could add a shoebox house or similar (under a shelf)? Cut the bottom out and a hole for a door and keep the lid as a lift off roof for checking inside without needig to take the house out (so the nest doesn't collapse).

Adding the odd thing they like is ok, but taking things out doesn't go down well in the settling in period.

Something like a shoebox house will give somewhere dark to go, which they need and you'll probably find he moves in and builds an enormous nest. So keep putting loads of toilet paper strips out.

Once he feels cosy and organised he'll be more interactive. And then you can start with taming more.

In the meantime, if he uses a litter tray, just empty that every 5 days or so and leave everything else. If he doesn't use a litter tray and has a pee corner/place, just spot clean that maybe once a week - take a handful of the pee substrate out and replace it with a clean handful and mix it in so it stills smells familiar.

Don't be too zealous over the spot cleaning at this stage. Poops are fine to be left unless they really start takig over the cage (they sometimes eat them or hoard them for extra nutrients, which is normal).

Weekly clean outs aren't necessary or good for the hamster as it's stressful and messes up their normal habits. If you have enough substrate in and a litter tray you can easily go 6 to 8 weeks without doing a clean, and even then it's best to do a partial clean and not clean everything at the same time.

They scent mark the cage to claim territory and find their way around so if all their scent marking goes in one go they feel lost and stressed and want to escape.

So if and when doing substrate, don't clean anythig else. You can do the wheel a different week, and any other items a different week again. Toys often don't need cleaning often at all.

Always best to leave their nest and hoard alone - unless it's pee'd in. They naturally refurbish the nest themselves if you keep putting toilet paper strips out.
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Old 02-04-2019, 12:31 AM   #7
Jamieking86
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Default Re: My hamster won't exercise

He has a house that came with his old cage, he seemed to love it in their so we transferred it over to his new cage. At the moment he's fine with it but once he grows, he'll probably need something bigger. We are constantly putting torn toilet papaer in though to make sure he is warm enough. Last night though, i think he was too warm because he came out, and fell asleep outside his house on his back with his mouth wide open, it was so cute lol.

We've done a bit of spot cleaning here and their, he likes to poo on his higher pink shelf which if he flicks, can go in between the cage and on the floor so we clean up their every couple of days. We've found his pee spot, he seems to have 2 so we cleaned their too and replaced it with fresh substrate and mixed it in, so looks like we're doing the right thing?

I've checked his house a couple times too, the roof just pops off because we've given him bit's of carrot, banana, blueberries, strawberrys etc (which he loves) which he has hoarded in their and i don't want anything like that going off and smelling, but any food we take out we always replace with his normal food. Thank you for your response, it's quite reassuring knowing he's still new to everything and still settling in, we thought their was something wrong.
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hamster, wheel, loved, put, cage, climbing, sofa, treats, ball, normal, toys, exercise, week, syrian, make, takes, process, taming, started, assistant, hiding, coconut, sits, hide, giving

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