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Old 04-04-2022, 11:22 AM   #1
Chesterspal
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Default My hamster hates me

Seems we may never get beyond this.

I have tried working in the room I have his enclosure in during the day but he refuses to even come out.

If I go into the room in the morning, when I know he is up and out, he hides under the cover to his sand box with his back to me.

He may then run away and down the hole to his house.

Any suggestions?
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Old 04-04-2022, 12:45 PM   #2
cloudy
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Default Re: My hamster hates me

I am really sorry you are feeling this way. I have heard some people describe such hamsters as 'ghost hamsters'. It sounds quite common. I saw a video about this and I will link it for you.

What is a Ghost Hamster? - YouTube
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Old 04-04-2022, 12:53 PM   #3
Ria P
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Default Re: My hamster hates me

Most hamsters sleep all day so he's not likely to come out then.

Can you set up a playpen or hamster proof an area of this room? Put down a blanket and some hides and tunnels like card board boxes and tubes.
I always tame hamsters outside of their cages on neutral ground.
I'd get a jug or some kind of suitable transport vessel, put a small piece of cheese or sunflower seeds in it and try and get him to walk into it from his sandpit. If he won't walk in and you can't catch him then leave him be and try another day. If he walks in, cover the vessel and let him out in a safe area so you can get acquainted. I'd just watch him and talk to him for the first few sessions and then move on to touch and handling. It is always a good idea to have a spare wheel for an out of cage area because hamster use wheels as stress busters when they are in unfamiliar surroundings. Keep the sessions short and increase the time gradually. I'd start off with twice weekly sessions.

With hamster you need to have a lot of patience and work with repetition until they get used to certain actions and realize that this human is not going to eat them and this jug is a hamster taxi and not a threat.

It would also help to give him/her a name, even a unisex one so you can call your hamster by a name. They do learn their names in time and will respond to them.

Just to add: i've just watched the video on ghost hamsters. My dwarf Ozzy was one of those. He wasn't scared of me and would lick me when i took him out in his mug but he would just sit and sulk in an out of cage time play area. He wouldn't run around and explore like the others so i gave up on that after trying a few times. Ozzy was a happy hamster but preferred his own company.
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Last edited by Ria P; 04-04-2022 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 04-04-2022, 01:53 PM   #4
Pebbles82
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Default Re: My hamster hates me

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chesterspal View Post
Seems we may never get beyond this.

I have tried working in the room I have his enclosure in during the day but he refuses to even come out.

If I go into the room in the morning, when I know he is up and out, he hides under the cover to his sand box with his back to me.

He may then run away and down the hole to his house.

Any suggestions?
1) He won't come out during the day, he'll be asleep, as Ria says.
2) They tend to come out when you're not in the room! When they are still shy or at night. Plus - the prefer the dark to daylight - but can be out in the evening.
3) They won't normally come out till late in the evening anyway - unless you get in the habit of making 6pm feeding time and making a little bit of cage noise. Then he'll get in the habit of waking when he knows it's feeding time. Then probably have another nap till late evening.
4) It's time and patience and some taming and bonding sessions.

How long have you had the hamster? They can be quite nervy the first few weeks, especially if still a baby.

What species of hamster is it?
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Old 04-04-2022, 02:24 PM   #5
Stanza
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Default Re: My hamster hates me

I’m seeing from this forum, that they are all such different personalities. I think just talking near your hamster cage will help as you need him to recognise your voice, but not to disturb him by doing this too often as he may not appreciate it.

When my daughter chose our hamster ‘hammy’ we genuinely thought we’d get to handle him most days, watch him run about, give him cuddles. This could not be further from the truth. He only really wakes at 9:30 - 10pm, if you disturb him before this, he rarely comes out and some nights it’s 11pm and we simply don’t see him.

If mornings are your hamsters time, all you can do is keep trying. Sit by the cage, chat, move your hands slowly in his bedding and tidy around, hopefully in time he’ll come round, become more inquisitive of you and start venturing closer.

It’s now 4 months for us and Hammy will let us stroke him, he’s normally pouching food at the time or eating a bit of fresh veg but it’s still lovely to have the interaction. We cannot pick him up yet, but he will use a jug taxi, so it’s going in the right direction.

I understand it can become disheartening when you don’t get any interaction time, but he knows your there and feeding, keeping things tidy for him, so he’ll hopefully tame a little with time. How long have you had him?

Last edited by Stanza; 04-04-2022 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 04-05-2022, 06:06 AM   #6
Pebbles82
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Default Re: My hamster hates me

Agree - keep talking to him through the bars - sounds silly but you can just chat away and they get familiar with your voice and scent. Offer the odd treat through the bars initially.

After he's been in the cage a couple of weeks you could get him out for some taming sessions and they do behave completely differently out of the cage than in it. They're territorial in the cage.

To do that you'd need a secure area like a playpen - with a few toys in - a couple of hides and tunnels maybe and a spare wheel or flying saucer wheel (30cm for a syrian, 6-7" for a dwarf).

And a means of getting him there safely. One good way is a tube and a hamster ball.

Have the hamster ball and lid next to the cage. Pop a tube in the cage with one end near his house and a smelly treat at the far end (eg cucumber or cheese). He'll go in the tube to get the treat. Put your hands over either end of the tube and lift him out inside the tube. Then put one end of the tube inside the hamster ball so he walks into the ball then pop the lid on the ball. You can then carefully carry the ball to the playpen area, set it down and take the lid off so he can walk out.

Once in the playpen he can run around and explore and you can put your hand flat on the floor palm up so he runs over it a few times, or give him the odd stroke.

Gradually he'll get used to your hand. There are quite a few tips on hand taming on the forum and youtube. That can take anything from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, but once hand tame, you can just pick them up easily and they're fine with it - without panickijg and trying to wriggle free and leap away.

Even when fully hand tame they still don't really like a hand in the cage but may accept it and just follow your hand suspiciously to see what you're doing messing about in their cage! Eg for a bit of spot cleaning and to add food.
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Old 04-05-2022, 08:52 AM   #7
velma
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Default Re: My hamster hates me

As already said, they've all got such different personalities. Which is part of the fun. I always think hamsters are a little like tiny cats. A bit aloof one minute, begging for treats the next, and not always predictable!
I have had hams who will come out in the day if they hear me and beg for treats and I've had hams who you didn't see for love nor money during the day. I've had hams who will beetle around no matter what I'm doing and I've had hams who jump at the quiet rustling of a food bag, whatever the time of the day. What I do know is that none of it is out of love or hate. Their natural instincts kick in and they freeze or run away, others are naturally more chill and have learnt what interaction means. But we can show our love for them with a comfy home where they feel safe.
One of my current hams is Robin. I've had him since the start of December. He's been a right scaredy cat since I got him. I had him in a tank for the first couple of months but needed to take him to a friend's while I was away so he went in a cage instead and that's helped - I think he got freaked by hand from above so the big front door of the cage is a lot less daunting. So he lives in that now. But... If I go in the hamster room in the evening, he stays out when I enter - he often goes to hide behind his wheel while he works out if friend or foe. When I open the cage door and he knows it's treat o'clock he'll bimble on over and take a snack from me. But if I'm working in the room in the day and I hear him come out for a drink, if I go over to say hello, even though I'm already in the room making noise, he always runs away to his nest. I think he's just on super alert in the day as in the wild there would be more predators about. And he's just woken up so is probably a little bit "what's going on?". The fun and the frustration of hamsters is you don't know what you're going to get. But, like I've found with Robin, the more I get on his individual wave length, the better our relationship is. I know when he runs away from me its not personal. I'm learning what he likes and doesn't like, what he'll put up with and not. I know he'll never be a bold hamster or super cuddly and that's fine by me. So long as he's happy I'm happy. and I'm finally working out what makes him happy so we're getting along together nicely.

You'll get there with your ham. It might not be the tiny little friendship with them in the way you thought (or like you see on the internet, comparison is the thief of joy) but it will be special in its own way.
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Old 04-05-2022, 10:17 AM   #8
Chesterspal
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Default Re: My hamster hates me

I'm reluctant to try and grab him as this might scare him off for good.

The one time I did that was when I had to change his bedding from wood to paper and he was not a happy camper. Agree I'd probably need to keep doing that and let him deal with it once and for all..... or not.

Thanks for these replies, though

I'll keep at it and may be one day we will become friends..... or, at least his version of it.
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Old 04-05-2022, 11:28 AM   #9
Pebbles82
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Default Re: My hamster hates me

Use the tube and ball to get him out at first That's a good point Velma makes as well - the type of cage can make a big difference. I'm a huge fan of a cage with a big front door as well. It really helps with interaction. Our last Syrian, Pickle, was like this for a long time - until I moved him into a Hamster Heaven sized cage with a big front door and he was much more amenable - I could leave that door open while I was there and he'd come up to the door and say hello - or walk into a snooze cube from there so I could lift him out. You're kind of on their level with the big front open door and less of a barrier between you.

What cage have you got at the moment? The Hamster Heaven is good for a skitty hamster.
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Old 04-05-2022, 06:12 PM   #10
arnoldshirl
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Default Re: My hamster hates me

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chesterspal View Post
Seems we may never get beyond this.

I have tried working in the room I have his enclosure in during the day but he refuses to even come out.

If I go into the room in the morning, when I know he is up and out, he hides under the cover to his sand box with his back to me.

He may then run away and down the hole to his house.

Any suggestions?
If you want to try another approach then continue reading. If not, that’s okay.
I know and heed the importance in washing hands before and after handling my hamster, however, I have taken this knowledge much further into my own daily interacting routine. What I do is apply some homemade liquid to my hands and rub it all over my hands like I am applying hand sanitizer. This homemade liquid is what I created for my personal use and have it near her cage always.

I purchased Nature’s Miracle Cage Cleaner and poured some inside another container (hand soap dispenser) along with water. The measurements are One Part Cage Cleaner to Four Parts Water.
Yes, it pumps out very watery but it will cover and clean your hands. The scent is also one that my hamster is familiar with (it’s used to clean her cage and toys thoroughly once a month) and this familiar scent is how I am able to interact with my hamster; even during those ‘no touch me’ moments she has. Similar to your hamster hiding and scurrying off to hide from you, mine does that at times. But I keep my hand in there while talking and moving a few things to spot clean. She eventually comes out and smells the scent of ‘not there to harm’.
I chose this hand sanitizing method because I feel the antibacterial hand soaps as well as mild hand soaps are too strongly scented to wash first with before handling/interacting with my hamster. Of course, after finishing our interacting with one another I would wash my hands thoroughly with antibacterial hand soap.
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