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Old 02-04-2020, 02:38 PM   #1
Shadow Cat
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Default Playpen woes

My hamster has bags of energy, I want to give her free roaming time but it's not safe to just let her loose in my room. I set up a playpen with a vinyl table cloth laid on the carpet and used plastic storage cube sides (you know the kind?) held together with zip ties and duct tape to make quite a large pen.

After two minutes she seemed more interested in trying to eat her way out of the corners than actually running around as intended. I put plenty of tunnels and houses and toys in there but alas, all she wanted to do was chew. I persisted yesterday and she was out for about thirty minutes, but by the end she seemed very agitated and bit me when I tried to gather her up to put her back in her cage.

I would like to build a more solid pen out of wood or something but I would have nowhere to store it when not in use.

Does anyone have any ideas of alternative materials, or ways to stop her trying to escape? I don't want her to chew what she's not supposed to and either hurt her teeth or ingest something she shouldn't.

My last hamster was lazy and chill, I'm not used to such a high maintenance little lady and it's stressing me out to think I'm not giving her what she needs.

Last edited by Shadow Cat; 02-04-2020 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 02-04-2020, 03:06 PM   #2
Petite
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Default Re: Playpen woes

Perhaps you could still build a more solid one out of wood, but make it collapsible ie with sides that slot together so that you dis-assemble it when she's not using it. That would just leave you with four pieces of wood to store.

Another idea might be to use some small toys with edible treats in; that might keep her more interested in the toys themselves rather than trying to be an escapologist. (Erin's hamster videos suggest how you can do this with pine cones, but there are a lot of ways this idea could be used.) And long tubes from Christmas wrapping paper kept our hammy occupied for a long time, especially when two were crossed over so that the upper one acted like a seesaw. Before we did this, she would spend a good while trying to find her way out, (and could do this quite effectively by climbing the vertical bars), but she found tubes far more interesting.

Our play pen, by the way, is one of those folding metal ones, which doesn't take much room to store when collapsed.
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Old 02-04-2020, 03:16 PM   #3
LunaTheHamster1
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Default Re: Playpen woes

a simple and cheap thing to try would be a cardboard box - you could just collapse it flat when not using it. It will get chewed eventually and need replacing, but costs nothing.
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Old 02-04-2020, 04:41 PM   #4
LunaTheHamster1
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Default Re: Playpen woes

ohh i was just thinking whilst i had my Star out roaming around, i have two big pieces of cardboard that i put across the floor at the end of my bed then she can roam around in the space from there to the bedroom door - it is hamster safe then, do you have anywhere that you could do something like that? Then i just tuck the 2 pieces of cardboard out the way when I have finished.
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Old 02-05-2020, 01:31 AM   #5
Shadow Cat
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Default Re: Playpen woes

The layout of my bedroom is such that I'd need a pen on all 4 sides, or at least 3. I wondered if she's agitated because she's out in the same room as her cage and can smell it and wants to get back? Perhaps if I make the pen to go around her cage and leave the door open with a ramp so she can go back in if she wants to that might be better.
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Old 02-05-2020, 12:43 PM   #6
Ria P
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Default Re: Playpen woes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow Cat View Post
Perhaps if I make the pen to go around her cage and leave the door open with a ramp so she can go back in if she wants to that might be better.
Sounds like a very good idea if you have the space to do it. I'd close the door though when you are not around because some hamsters are very imaginative when trying to escape or so i've read.......Not my lot, I actually "staged" an escape to get my lazy Syrian boy interested in out of cage time.
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Old 02-08-2020, 04:01 PM   #7
Shadow Cat
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Default Re: Playpen woes

So, just now Peggy LIFTED UP her playpen and snuck out underneath. I mean... She is a) freakishly strong and b) the devil in hamster form (I'm only partially joking...). Her cute fluffy little butt is doing my head in at the moment. I am running out of ideas! Until I can figure out a way of securely penning off an area of my room she's gonna have to stay in her cage. As if she lifted a side up and crawled underneath!
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