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Old 06-26-2021, 05:37 AM   #1
Petite
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Default A New Hamster

Hello, hamstery folk,

I haven't posted since losing Freya in May. At that time my heart wasn't into looking after - and ultimately losing - another hamster, but there is definitely something there still tugging at the heart strings.

I'm thinking it would either be a dwarf or robo (I haven't kept a robo before). I want to downsize from my detolf because although it was a palace for Freya, it took up a lot of space in our living-room. So I am considering the Little Friends Grosvenor Rat / Hamster cage. Would this be big enough, and allow for sufficient substrate in the base? I have seen some reviews which suggest that the bar spacing would be okay for either species; what is the minimum bar spacing I should be looking at for a robo, please?

My research suggests that robos tend to be more active during the day, but I guess each hamster is an individual. We didn't used to see Freya much, but then she did have serious problems.

Not having had a robo before, I have no idea what to feed them for the best. I've always used Harry Hamster for my dwarfs, and it's all that I can buy locally. However, I could buy online along with my substrate which they also don't stock locally. I'm guessing the pieces in Harry Hamster would be too big for a robo?

I know that robos cannot necessarily be held, and I really love being able to stroke a hamster. I don't mind about gender, but is one generally more placid than the other?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Old 06-26-2021, 06:13 AM   #2
LunaTheHamster1
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Default Re: A New Hamster

Hi, sorry about Freya, but so nice to hear that you feel you have room for another hamster in your life.

Personally I think that cage is too small, I would look at min 80cm x 50cm for a dwarf but 100x 50 would be better in most cases. I think the bar spacing is 1cm on that cage, which I would not use for a robo, they like to try and squeeze through the smallest of gaps. If you were going for a barred cage I would look at one with 6-7mm spaces. If you want to add more substrate you can always tie grass mats or cardboard to the sides in one area. Robos definitely like to burrow.

Have you thought of something like the zoozone large cage, I got mine for about 40+ it is 100x50cm, you will need to mesh the top though.

I created this thread that may help you:
UK Hamster Cages 2021

I'm pretty new to keeping robos, just got my 1st one last Nov. I often see him during the day pottering about for a drink and some food and a quick spin on his wheel. He doesn't like being held but I can catch him in a jug and hold him for health checks, but he is not a fan.

I know with Syrians it is thought that girls are crazy and males more placid, but not heard the same being said about robos.

I agree, harry hamster wouldn't be suitable for robos, you are best looking online for a suitable mix, something like bunny dreams, mixerama, rodipet.
This is a thread you might be interested in about robo food:
Food for Robos

Hope that helps.
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Old 06-26-2021, 12:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: A New Hamster

Second attempt to send this message - our internet went down and I lost it, so I will try to remember what I said.

Thanks for your reply, Luna. I see your point about the cage size (although it's only a little under the recommended size, I think?) Thanks for sending your Hamster Cages thread too. I couldn't get all the links to work, but with the names entered into my browser it was easy to look them up.

Hope things are going well with your robo. Are you using the Zoozone cage?

I'm wondering if I might perhaps be better going for a Russian dwarf again. They are so deliciously soft to stroke, and I like to have a tactile relationship with a hamster!

I think I remember reading on this forum about a company who custom-make terrariums, but cannot recall what they were called. Does anyone have a better memory than me?
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Old 06-26-2021, 01:01 PM   #4
LunaTheHamster1
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Default Re: A New Hamster

Quote:
Originally Posted by Petite View Post
Second attempt to send this message - our internet went down and I lost it, so I will try to remember what I said.

Thanks for your reply, Luna. I see your point about the cage size (although it's only a little under the recommended size, I think?) Thanks for sending your Hamster Cages thread too. I couldn't get all the links to work, but with the names entered into my browser it was easy to look them up.

Hope things are going well with your robo. Are you using the Zoozone cage?

I'm wondering if I might perhaps be better going for a Russian dwarf again. They are so deliciously soft to stroke, and I like to have a tactile relationship with a hamster!

I think I remember reading on this forum about a company who custom-make terrariums, but cannot recall what they were called. Does anyone have a better memory than me?
I love my little Robo, he cracks me up with his antics, it is different having a 'just watch' hamster though. I still have a syrian though who is very tame.

I used the zoozone for my robo a few weeks ago as a hospital cage whilst I deep cleaned his marrakesh cage. I was really impressed with it. If you can get it for around the 40 I paid, that's about the cheapest cage you will find at the moment. and then you can go higher with the bedding than in a barred cage, unless you do what I suggested previously.

I think Jungle pets is the one that make their own, they may go under a different name on ebay, if that's not them on ebay as well, then they are a very similar set up.

If you can manage a bit of DIY and have access to IKEA I highly recommend Linsey's Ikea hack of the Komplement cage - listed on the cage thread. Would work out way cheaper than a custom made terrarium. I'm considering making myself one at some point if/when I ever manage to move house.

I do know of a couple of people who have very tame robos, but I think that is more the exception than the rule.
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Old 06-26-2021, 01:06 PM   #5
Ria P
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Default Re: A New Hamster

I have recently rehomed a number of Robos and two turned out to be very sociable with their new owners, enjoying being held and stroked. It does depend on their personality.

I find that generally Robos are not as suspectible to illnesses as dwarf hybrids but maybe i've come to that conclusion because i've lost two of my dwarfs at a relatively young age and have recently taken three dwarfs to the vets but never had a Robo at the vets. I've only kept hamsters for 2.5 years.

My Robo Monty is a big fat lazy Robo and lives in a Hamster Heaven which suits him well. The HH isn't much bigger than the Grosvenor and the bar spacing is fine in either cage in my opinion. The Savic Mickey 2XL has a smaller bar spacing.

I think a tank style habitat is a good option for a Robo, like the Marrakesh or an aquarium with a DIY meshed lid. 80cmx50cm is big enough in my opinion and my current foster Robo would suit the Kerry terrarium which is slightly smaller.

I don't think gender makes any difference in Robos and yes you can handle them for health checks or a stroke.They can be hard to catch but can get scooped up and will walk into something and once you have a hold of them they don't squirm like dwarfs and they don't bite. They can jump so always hold them above their habitats.

Mine eat the Bunny Dreams Expert from Zooplus. They are not prone to diabetes like hybrids.

Here's a photo of my foster Kev posing for an adoption advert photo.

I wouldn't want to be without a Robo. Hard to explain, there is something about them that's super cute and endearing.

You'll find out. Life isn't the same without a hamster, is it.
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Old 06-30-2021, 05:56 AM   #6
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Default Re: A New Hamster

Your robo is just too cute, Ria! You describe him as big and fat; would a normal size robo be okay in a HH where bar spacing is concerned? Particularly when they are very young?

Thanks to everyone for this feedback; it's really useful to have these different opinions. I know eventually I will have to make the decision between dwarf and robo, since I don't think I can push OH to accommodate TWO hamsters. It's tricky though - I've always wanted a robo, but if it turns out to be one that doesn't want to be handled, I wonder how we would cope with (for instance) having to administer eye drops or oral antibiotics. Is there a way to do this? And I do like a tactile experience with my hamsters.

I think it will have to be a ferry trip to [email protected] in Inverness, and see which one jumps out at me. But I also think I will need to wait until August, as we are likely to be going away briefly at some point (pandemic allowing!)
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Old 06-30-2021, 07:37 AM   #7
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Default Re: A New Hamster

I find with my robo, if i pick him up he just freezes so I can do what I need to, but he is obviously scared, so I only do it when necessary, e.g.. a health check.

I do get where you are coming from, I love my daily interaction with my syrian and couldn't be without one, but I do love watching my robo and seeing what he is up to. Not sure I could just cope with a look not touch hamster.
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Old 06-30-2021, 09:39 AM   #8
Ria P
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Question Re: A New Hamster

Quote:
Originally Posted by Petite View Post
Your robo is just too cute, Ria! You describe him as big and fat; would a normal size robo be okay in a HH where bar spacing is concerned? Particularly when they are very young?

Thanks to everyone for this feedback; it's really useful to have these different opinions. I know eventually I will have to make the decision between dwarf and robo, since I don't think I can push OH to accommodate TWO hamsters. It's tricky though - I've always wanted a robo, but if it turns out to be one that doesn't want to be handled, I wonder how we would cope with (for instance) having to administer eye drops or oral antibiotics. Is there a way to do this? And I do like a tactile experience with my hamsters.

I think it will have to be a ferry trip to [email protected] in Inverness, and see which one jumps out at me. But I also think I will need to wait until August, as we are likely to be going away briefly at some point (pandemic allowing!)
The big one is our resident Robo Monty who lives in a Hamster Heaven. He really is huge for a Robo.

Kev is a small foster Robo who was rescued along with his three brothers and who is now looking for his forever home.

A Savic Mickey 2XL would be ideal for a small Robo. It's the same size as a Hamster Heaven but with an even smaller bar spacing.

I would get a dwarf and a Robo if you have the space. Not every dwarf wants human contact or out of cage time. Our Ozzy doesn't. No matter which species of hamster you go for, a lot depends on their personality.

I'd check sites like gumtree, pets4homes and preloved in Inverness or en route in case someone wants to rehome a hamster. That way you would be able to find out a bit about their personality.

People who rehome try to match the hamster with people who want to adopt. I recently turned nice people down who enquired about adopting Kevin knowing fine that it wouldn't work.

It may be worth looking into.
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Old 07-01-2021, 04:14 AM   #9
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Default Re: A New Hamster

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ria P View Post
I would get a dwarf and a Robo if you have the space. Not every dwarf wants human contact or out of cage time. Our Ozzy doesn't. No matter which species of hamster you go for, a lot depends on their personality.

I'd check sites like gumtree, pets4homes and preloved in Inverness or en route in case someone wants to rehome a hamster. That way you would be able to find out a bit about their personality.
Thanks for your suggestions, Ria. I checked preloved in Inverness, and the nearest were in Fife, which is quite a long way in the car for a hamster, then a 2-3 hour ferry journey too.

I'd really like to get a dwarf and a Robo, and think I have decided what to do. The detolf is like a palace to a dwarf, so if I split in in half it would give me two 80 x 40 cm cages - only slightly under what is recommended and a good deal bigger than the little plastic boxes some hamsters spend months in in a pet shop. Of course, I would watch them carefully, and if either seemed unhappy I have a spare cage I could move one of them into.

This raises several other questions:

1 I would need to seal around the partition in the detolf. Is there a pet-safe sealant on the market?

2 With them being close together, would a male and a female unsettle each other scent-wise, or would they get used to it and ignore it after a while? Might it be better to go for two lads or two lassies?

Sorry for so many questions! I'm really looking forward to having hamsters in the house again.
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Old 07-01-2021, 06:04 AM   #10
Ria P
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Default Re: A New Hamster

I have in fact rehomed a Robo to someone with a large eco world habitat who devided the enclosure for her russian dwarf and adopted Robo.
The devider is a wood and glass sheet combo the full height of the enclosure and fitting snuggly so there is no gap.

The hamsters are fine because they can't see each other and probably can't smell much of each other either plus they are different species anyway.

I'd use a shelf of the detolf and a solid piece as well then set it up in a way that the houses and burrowing areas are at the further ends.

I don't know about a sealer but the one used for aquariums is probably ok. Someone else may know the answer to that.

As you know, we have a lot of hamsters and going by our lot only the Syrians react to the opposite sex. The dwarfs don't seem to bother and i had two female dwarfs living next to each other and a female and a male but they pretty much ignored each other. Clarissa and Edwina would look at each other or the neighbour's habitat sometimes but there was never any stress involved. Dwarf Ozzy has always been oblivious to anything outside his Hamster Heaven so may not be the best male to base an opinion on.

With two different species i don't think the gender would matter but if you'd have to go for two of the same species then, oh aye, i'd go for two lads or two lassies.
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