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Old 05-03-2022, 09:14 AM   #1
Slykk
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Default My first hamster

Hello everyone!

So I've been interested in getting a hamster for a few months now and I've done a lot of research on hamster enclosures and what a hamster needs (youtube, forums, etc).
I spent about 4 months building the best enclosure I could possible make, its 120cmX50cm floor space and 65cm height which allows me to have 35cm of bedding (I use Kaytee Clean & Cozy Natural), this is the best I could do to fit my room, I simply do not have more room than that.
I've made platforms for everything, I got hideouts, the best wheel possible, sand bath area, coconut fiber digging box, big cork logs, lots of enrichments and the best possible things I could find.
After everything was set up I adopted a beautiful and cute little golden syrian hamster (female) who was said to be about 2 months old (unfortunately we don't have breeders here).
She is a little used to hands from birth and so far has not bitten me at all (let's hope it stays that way).
Miso is her name (yes I love KumaQQ on youtube).
prior to my adoption she was at a typical pet-store bought cage, no depth for bedding and generally quite small, unfit for a hamster.
When I first got her she explored the cage for about 20 minutes and then started to burrow from underneath the platforms.
My problem is this, my hamster is a ghost hamster and I cant figure out how to get her to surface a little.
I've had her for about a week now, at first she would come up at around 9-10PM, then 11PM, then 12:00AM, now I just don't see her at all.
She is not motivated by food, only when its right at her face and she smells it well. She generally stays in her burrows about 95% of the time, even when she wakes up midday for a quick snack she would simply take it from her stash.
I know I am giving her a very good life, but I wish I could have some interaction with her, I only managed to get her out of the cage 3 times for an attempt of tame session (using a big mug, she wouldn't climb on my hand) and she is quite skittish, however she lets me stroke and pet her a little.
I would be fine if she woke up and went outside of her burrows but she never does, only when I'm asleep and I can sometimes hear her on the wheel when it wakes me up (and I'm too tired to get up and play with her as it would mean that I would become a zombie the next day).
Is there anything that can be done? any tips/tricks? I saw someone suggest a crow's nest at the top of the bedding but I don't quite understand how to make something like that...
Is it too soon to decide whether she really is a ghost hamster or not?
I've attached photos of her and the enclosure (german style) that I've made for her.




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Old 05-04-2022, 08:16 AM   #2
Ria P
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Default Re: My first hamster

Hello and welcome to HC!

That is an absolutely amazing enclosure. I love it!

Your hamster is very lucky and i'm glad that you adopted rather than bought from a breeder or pet store which would only encourage more litters.

I say that because i rescue and rehome hamsters and there are so many looking for a loving home.

You need to give your hamster time to settle in. I feel that you are rushing her and expecting too much of her too soon.

Everything is new to her, her whole world has changed and she needs time to find her way around. I'd only talk to her for the first couple of weeks counting from now so she gets used to your voice. She needs to learn to trust you and that can take weeks.

I personally don't like the description "ghost hamster" and find it discriminating. Most hamsters are naturally at their most active at night. It's part of their DNA.

Miso is a very beautiful girl.
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Old 05-04-2022, 08:54 AM   #3
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Default Re: My first hamster

Welcome to the forum. Miso is beautiful! I love your enclosure so much. You are so thoughtful to have done your research and planned everything before getting Miso.
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Old 05-06-2022, 04:17 AM   #4
Slykk
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Default Re: My first hamster

Thanks for the suggestions, however as I mentioned in my post, I simply don't see her anymore.
She wouldn't come out of her burrows, not even until 1-2AM and when I wake up at 7-8AM I still don't see her.
I know she's alright because I see her eating the food slowly but how can I interact with her if I simply don't see her whatsoever?
I cant stay up all night or wake up at 4 AM to check on her because it's simply impossible with my work.
I know hamsters are nocturnal and I expected her to be active at night, however I hoped that she would come out at 10PM at the very least so I could interact with her a bit before going to sleep at 12AM.
Any suggestions on this?
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Old 05-06-2022, 04:33 AM   #5
cloudy
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Default Re: My first hamster

Do you watch any Victoria Rachael videos on youtube? She had a hamster like Miso called Lenny.
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Old 05-06-2022, 04:49 AM   #6
Ria P
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Default Re: My first hamster

I had one called Ozzy. He was very independent and preferred his own company. He liked his cage set up and didn't want any out of cage time. He wasn't scared of me but didn't care much for interactions with humans.

Some have that type of personality. Hamsters do change their habits though. You could get a night vision camera in the meantime and watch the recordings next day. That way you'll see her and get an idea of what she's up to and when.
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Old 05-06-2022, 05:49 AM   #7
Slykk
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Default Re: My first hamster

Yes I do follow Victoria Rachael on youtube as well, a lot of knowledge I got from her great videos.
I will be getting a night vision camera but I hoped there might be something I could do before that to help Miso out of her constant burrow time
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Old 05-06-2022, 07:08 AM   #8
Snowy_Syrian
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Default Re: My first hamster

What an amazing enclosure. I'm not surprised little Miso is quite happy just exploring it for now and doesn't feel the need for more!

My hamster Snowy was like this until recently (I've had him about 2 months), especially when I changed his bedding from hemp to Kaytee and he found it was much easier to burrow in. But the last few days he's been showing much more interest in the outside, interacting more and wanting play sessions with me He still doesn't come out for his main night-time burst of activity until around midnight, when the room is quiet and I'm the only one there, but he has started sometimes showing his face for a while during the day as well. I'm sure your Miso will be the same, especially if she knows there's a particular time of day when fresh veggies might appear!
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