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Old 01-30-2021, 06:39 AM   #11
Serendipity7000
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: North of England
Posts: 21,982
Default Re: Where did you get your first hamster?

When I was 29 . He came with my boyfriend at the time when we moved in together abd must have already been about 18 months old. So he had had quite a bachelor life and a lot freedom haha. He had a two tier round rotostak thing with a lookout tower on top, no substrate but a nest. At the time the rotostak was quite a new concept and seen as the best! However he had free roamed from day one and the cage was left open all the time. It is quite amazing he survived really. He would scale curtains and pop his head over the top. We knew nothing about hamsters and the hamster was his - he took advice from the pet shop. So the nest was known to be important and a lettuce leaf used to be chucked in each day. Horrendous! I don’t remember him having any actual hamster mix but he did get loads of tidbits and free roaming probably provided some food. He would come out early evening and run all over the place. Just in the one room then after we’d gone to bed he would go back to his cage and run on his wheel all night (noisy). He’d be asleep in his cage still with the door open in the morning. I got really attached to him- he wasn’t tame and difficult to pick up but cheekily used to hitch a ride on the back of my long dressing gown (and did manage to get out of the room one night like that). As I was walking up the stairs I could feel the pull at the back on my dressing gown, looked round and there he was sitting on the end of it, bumping up the stairs hitching a ride. He lived to two years old when he developed a lump. Vet decided to operate and he died under the anaesthetic. I cried for days! Turned up at the vets with his cage to collect him the day after the op and they said sorry he died. Although they had warned this might happen. The lump was quite large though and he was getting stuck in his tubes.

He had the imaginative name of Hammy. My next one was in my fifties- actually stepsons hamster when he was 6. I remembered Hammy and fell in love with Charlie! Immediately bought another rotostak which was much bigger than the old one. I had done a bit of research and thought the cage needed to be at least 60 x 40 (which at the time was considered ok for a Syrian) and kidded myself that the rotostak was 60 x 40 equivalent because it was tall. Within two weeks I realised it was completely unsuitable- hamster peed in external tubes which kept falling off. Had cage rage (I suspected ventilation was bad too) then grew very large in the first two weeks and got stuck in a vertical tube. Did some Googling and found the Rspca minimum recommended size of 80 x 50 and bought an 80 x 50 Savic Mickey 2XL. After 10 days he was happy as Larry but I made the mistake of moving him cold Turkey and he shook for days and looked terrified.

I have learned a lot since then and we are on our fifth hamster including Charlie.
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