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Old 05-16-2015, 06:18 AM   #1
Senior Hamster
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 577
Default Crowded cages

All of my cages are pretty crowded with lots of toys, I always thought this was fine - until a comment on here a little while ago about another users cage being too crowded (the cage in question was much less crowded than mine), so now I'm unsure whether crowded is good?

Most of my hamsters seem quite happy with lots of hidey places, it's actually Basil I'm wondering about. I say this because I've had him the same amount of time as Albert (I got him 1st March) and we've made not much progress at all in taming. He was less nervy than Albert when I got him, he actually crawled out onto my hand after a few days, but now he's in a larger cage with LOTS of hidey paces, he will very rarely come to me. Alberts cage is just as busy, but he will come to me now and doesn't hide away. I'm just wondering if it's worth taking some things out of Basil's cage, to make access for me a little easier and maybe help me interact with him more? Or is this backwards logic, making the space more open for an already nervous hamster. I just feel im failing him a little, because out of all my hamsters he seems to be going backwards I know taming is a bit like this anyway, but it seems to be all backwards with him and I'm not sure where im going wrong.
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Old 05-16-2015, 07:01 AM   #2
Autumn Hamstery
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Leeds, England.
Posts: 1,527
Default Re: Crowded cages

Hi Heather,

Crowded cages aren't recommended due to there being no natural running space. Hamsters would run miles in the wild and even though they have a wheel they should also be able to run in their cage to add up their running distances per day.

I'd only give Basil one or two hidey places, if it was me i'd choose one. This at least gives him somewhere to hide, but also more room to run around. They feel comfortable in dark places so this could be why he's hiding a lot.

I'd try him without his hiding places for a while, it might take him time to settle though. but if there's no change in 2-3 weeks time and he's showing signs of stress then i'd add a couple more back in.
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Old 05-16-2015, 07:20 AM   #3
Dwarf whisperer
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Join Date: May 2014
Location: Wales UK
Posts: 24,789
Default Re: Crowded cages

My cages tend to be a bit crowded too! I think I'm like you Heather in that I really like to give them lots to do & plenty of places to hide out if they want to. It isn't ideal for taming but I think you can still tame them with a full cage it just takes a bit longer.
If you are going to take some things out of Basil's cage I'd do it slowly, maybe take one thing out first leave it for a while to see how he responds & then take out something else to give yourself better access & less places for him to hide.
Can you get him out if you want to or is it a bit of a struggle? If he'll climb into a box or cup or something without having to chase him around the cage then you could try leaving the cage as it is & take him out for taming, give him something nice so he knows it's something to look forward to!
Slave to Zak.
Always loved, never forgotten, forever in my heart
T'ycor, Ziggy, Zephyr, Flynt, Mickle, Little Whisp, Zen, Zeki, Tinwë, Zylvan, Míriel, Calyanwë, Gusto & Meri
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Old 05-16-2015, 10:35 PM   #4
Thin Lizzy
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Lanarkshire, Scotland
Posts: 15,575
Default Re: Crowded cages

Dwarfs love hidey holes and cover.
Cypher's cages might have loads but she's done them in a way that her hams are able to move about quickly and happily. You only have to watch her videos and they move very fast.
I would go with her advice on taking out one thing, leave for a while to see how he responds. Removing too much at once might stress Basil out.
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