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Old 05-08-2021, 12:33 PM   #1
Imogen
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Exclamation Hamster fell!

Hi there.

This post is a little bit of a worrying one but I must know.

2 days ago I finally managed to handle my hamster in my hands and therefore felt it was okay (since he was okay with me picking him up) to let him lose in my room. I made sure under my door was blocked off with a blanket that was stuffed really well into the crack to stop him getting out.

Anyway, I kept my eyes on him every 2 minutes and made sure I listened for him doing his little scratches in my room since he loves digging.

Anyway, the time I take my eyes off of him for like 5 minutes he's all of a sudden gone! I lift up my whole bed, check under my wardrobe which is easy to look under and is safe and he's not there... I notice my blanket had been slightly moved and there was a small gap created so I started panicking and hectically running about. It wouldn't have been such a problem since my whole house is safe in terms of furniture wise but... I HAVE TWO CATS!

I noticed one of my cats watching under one of my familys wardrobes. This cat luckily isn't the killer out of the two of mine but more of the gentle player of small animals and doesn't intend to hurt them. But that didn't stop me from shaking and panicking.

I found the little guy in the corner. I reached my hand under and he randomly disappeared, I thought he had scurried off somewhere!

I heard clawing but I didn't know where it came from, I thought he was right in the corner behind the wardrobe leg so I gently moved the wardrobe forward, to then find him climbing up the back of the wardrobe! I didn't want to move it back because I thought I might do it too much (as it was kinda heavy) and I'd squish him. He managed to stay climbed up until he slightly moved and he fell completely all the way back down to the bottom!

He was about eye level with me, and I'm 5'7 in height so it was quite a drop! I got even more frantic when I saw him drop down because I completely squinted my eyes as I heard his claws scratch the wardrobe during the drop. He managed to run to the other corner of the room that was the opposite side of where I made my cat go to (since she sits on the windowsill and stays away from me since she's a rescue and is quite scared of humans and avoids us at all costs).

I managed to grab him and he seemed ok, besides a little small spec on his hand where he might have caught himself on something but it was very small and like a needle pin prick so I think he might be ok there.

Is there anything I should be concerned about? I checked him over for about 3 minutes but he was moving quite a bit as he seemed kinda stressed out from the whole situation where I was frantically trying to chase him and pick him up before one of my cats got him or he got lost again.

I know this is 100% my fault as I shouldn't have took my eyes off him. It's very irresponsible of me and I now don't even trust myself to let him free roam my room. I can't currently afford a play pen and the 16 one from pets at home has VERY bad reviews of hamsters squeezing through the bars or climbing up and out. I don't really want to have to sit in the playpen as I let him out when I'm cleaning out his bin cage, I have to move him to somewhere else as he can easily jump out from his cage from having 10cm burrowing depth which I will NEVER decrease whatsoever. So he ends up being stuck in his small animal vet carrier case for like 10 minutes and he's always trying to escape or going in circles and I feel awful. He does not like the bath, and let alone that my family do not want me putting a pet in our bath, especially a hamster since their wee can smell pretty bad and for 10 years I've been banned from owning a hamster because of their wee. So the bath option is a no no. And I don't have any spare plastic boxes.
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Old 05-08-2021, 12:58 PM   #2
Jeir
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Default Re: Hamster fell!

A...long while ago, I had a hamster drop from a much higher height than that, unsupported. He was fine, but a little spooked. They are surprisingly hardy animals for their size, although long drops are very much not recommended.

What you need to do first is to calm down. Accidents happen. Leave your little one in his cage for now and just observe him. He'll likely be upset, so it may take a while to settle.

From the sound of things, he slipped down rather than fell, and as he was still running around after, at most he was spooked more than anything. Give him time to settle and check up on him a bit later (perhaps with his favourite treats). He'll be tired after his little adventure, but will likely recover in a short while with no ill effects.

Of course, in the unlikely event he does show some issue (limping, refusal to eat/drink), a vet should be consulted.
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Old 05-08-2021, 02:25 PM   #3
Imogen
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Default Re: Hamster fell!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeir View Post
A...long while ago, I had a hamster drop from a much higher height than that, unsupported. He was fine, but a little spooked. They are surprisingly hardy animals for their size, although long drops are very much not recommended.

What you need to do first is to calm down. Accidents happen. Leave your little one in his cage for now and just observe him. He'll likely be upset, so it may take a while to settle.

From the sound of things, he slipped down rather than fell, and as he was still running around after, at most he was spooked more than anything. Give him time to settle and check up on him a bit later (perhaps with his favourite treats). He'll be tired after his little adventure, but will likely recover in a short while with no ill effects.

Of course, in the unlikely event he does show some issue (limping, refusal to eat/drink), a vet should be consulted.
I've left him be for the last 2 days besides checking in on him and making sure his water (since he has a bowl instead of a bottle) is clean and nice and cold. I've gave him a treat and he took it right out of my hand, I haven't seen him drink yet but I haven't been awake to see him have any so I'm going to try and see if I catch him drinking tonight.

As you say, I definitely need to calm down. I think I'm still very stressed over losing him for a short time and knowing my cat could've got him. He was "fighting" the treat that's hanging up in his cage and nibbling it so he seems okay there as well.

If I see anything wrong I will definitely be contacting the vet that's for sure.
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Old 05-09-2021, 03:31 PM   #4
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Hamster fell!

They can cause a lot of alarm can't they?! I remember when we got our first syrian we had an open plan kitchen/living room and I couldn't catch him. Of course he went behind the fridge! We had to virtually dismantle one end of the kitchen worktops to get him out.

I think free roaming is ok in a hamsterproof room but you need to have constant observation - you turn away for a second and they are off. They know! They wait for you to look away.

The main concern would be not having cats in the same room at all. The cats need to be out of that room. Cats and hamsters don't mix and cats will try and get at and kill a hamster. It can also be very stressful for the hamster.

I have never had a hamster pee in the bathtub! And tbh if they did it is so easily cleaned. But I agree they don't like it - it is really just for taming sessions it is useful.

They tend to always want to escape playpens as well and soon get bored in one, so free roaming can be good if you can hamsterproof the room.

I used to have ours on the bed with blanket barriers at the edges but they can easily escape from there. The sofa is a good place and you can keep an eye on them there - but not if the cat is in the room and depends how active the hamster is.

Ours likes to scale the back of the sofa to the top and I then lift him down again. His main goal at various times is to jump off but I just lift him back to a safe area again. We have various obstacles on the sofa for interest - a blanket to run under, the odd toy or tube or hidey place.

I would just block off the bottom of the wardrobe if you can. But they do need constant observation.
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Old 05-10-2021, 08:09 AM   #5
Dodo
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Default Re: Hamster fell!

At first my hamster hated the play pen. As in, he would chew the corners and wash himself compulsively. You could tell he was so stressed, it was awful. I stopped doing it for a while, then got him back in, with lots more messy things (empty boxes, wrapping paper, large expandable tubes, etc.). At first I'd only leave him a few minutes. He loves it. In the evening when I come in the room he paces his cage waiting for me to bring him out, and can enjoy the playpen for 30-60 minutes easily. I think if you get him used to it progressively, and he is not a crazy escape artist, playpens are great, cheap, and safer than free roaming.
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