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Old 07-13-2021, 03:00 AM   #1
Imogen
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Question How to capture a new hamster who is very skittish?

Hi there.

As you are all mostly aware, on Thursday I fetched home a Russian dwarf named Oreo.

He's been hiding under the same substrate for two days straight and hasn't come out. I would like to capture him to do a quick check over to make sure he's okay as today will be the third day I haven't seen him at all with my own eyes. A note on this too: he hasn't even come out to use his wheel or anything else... he's been stuck under the same substrate all the time. I've been up all night and as I'm writing this it is 11:05am in the morning, and I'm exhausted but too late to sleep now. I haven't had a glimpse of him all night either! And I'm completely sat over the other side of the room - I'd definitely still be able to see him though, his enclosure is near enough to see in.

How do I go about this without making him harder to trust me? I don't want to just reach in and grab him which will frighten him - is there any calmer approach to go about this? Do I just scoop the carrier under the bit he's hidden in and hope I do a "catch the fish" type of thing? But that doesn't really sound good to me either. He definitely wont come out on his own accord if he knows I'm there, and if he sees me he'll flee straight away and out the carrier if I try to lure him in with treats and step out for a bit (or better yet I completely miss my chance...)...

Any recommendations?
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Last edited by Imogen; 07-13-2021 at 03:06 AM.
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Old 07-13-2021, 06:25 AM   #2
Ria P
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Default Re: How to capture a new hamster who is very skittish?

Hamsters forget very quickly. I had to trim Betsy's nails and the only way i was safely and quickly able to do that was to scruff her (she wriggles otherwise and bites the clippers) which doesn't hurt them when done right. I thought that she would never trust me again but the next day she happily climbed onto my hand like nothing unpleasant had happened.

What i'm saying is that sometimes we have to do things we would rather not.

I'd remove items around where he's hiding first while talking to him calmly then slowly remove the substrate till you see him. If you're worried that he may bite, wear gardening gloves so you won't be nervous yourself. If you can, scoop him up in your hands or have something ready for him to run into. I'd transfer him into a deep enough glass jar to get an initial allround look of him but it would be better to check him over properly by holding him in your hands over his substrate or a box with a pillow, in case he jumps off.

If he's perfectly fine and just shy then don't feel bad. You don't know him yet or his habits so its better to make sure that all is well with him.

I have a reclusive dwarf but when his fresh food has gone in the morning that's good enough for me. If ever the food remained untouched it would be very out of character and i would go looking for him immediately using a very direct and insensitive approach of digging him out.
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Old 07-14-2021, 04:59 AM   #3
Ria P
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Default Re: How to capture a new hamster who is very skittish?

What's the update on Oreo?
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Old 07-21-2021, 07:22 AM   #4
Imogen
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Default Re: How to capture a new hamster who is very skittish?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ria P View Post
What's the update on Oreo?
Just saw this, so sorry Ria. Posted a new forum just now on Oreo.

Oreo is proving difficult. Please help. x
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