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Old 04-06-2016, 02:38 PM   #1
freyashamsters
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Default Changing cage without stress?

Hey! Willow's new Maxi Duna is arriving tomorrow and over the months I have learnt that she doesn't adjust particularly well or quickly to new environments. Do you have any strategies for preventing stress when changing cages? I have already watched ErinsAnimals' video but wanted to know if anyone on here has any further advice
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Old 04-06-2016, 04:23 PM   #2
AmityvilleHams
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Default Re: Changing cage without stress?

Keep her old substrate and definitely have lots of hiding places especially those that have her scent on them.Lots of her old toys,use the same basic supplies that she had in her old cage,etc.Perhaps keep her sand/potty area with the same old sand.

One idea is to connect both cages with a playpen and allow free roaming between those,which may be less stressful than simply putting her in the new cage right away.
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Old 04-06-2016, 09:47 PM   #3
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Default Re: Changing cage without stress?

You could try letting her play in the new cage a few times before doing the swap & when you do change keep all the substrate, nesting material, even some food hoard so it all smells as familiar as possible, move her house, wheel & toys over & if possible keep the layout similar.
The main thing is to give them time to adjust, some can take a couple of weeks & it's best not to interfere in that time, don't keep changing things unless something really isn't working, just do minimal spot cleaning & only interact if she seems keen until she's had time to make herself at home again.
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Old 04-07-2016, 12:21 AM   #4
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Smile Re: Changing cage without stress?

Thanks guys! I'll try and save some substrate. I can't put all her things in as she is using an open nest at the moment, so I'll save all the nesting material and put it in the house that was in her cage anyway. I think that last bit was particularly helpful as whenever her cage is cleaned, Willow 'untames' herself for a few days purely out of frustration. I'll leave her for a few days so she can get used to her surrounding before I handle her as this may stress her out more. Also, as the cage is second hand, do I need to disinfect it? My issue with this is that I currently don't have any pet-safe disinfectant, our bottle just ran out lol
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Old 04-07-2016, 12:32 AM   #5
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Default Re: Changing cage without stress?

If you can quickly get some vinegar and water,that would work just fine as a disinfectant just be sure not to heat the vinegar as that releases fumes that are toxic to birds but I'm not sure how they'd affect hamsters
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Old 04-07-2016, 09:07 AM   #6
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Default Re: Changing cage without stress?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmityvilleHams View Post
If you can quickly get some vinegar and water,that would work just fine as a disinfectant just be sure not to heat the vinegar as that releases fumes that are toxic to birds but I'm not sure how they'd affect hamsters
I actually used soap and water and it's was fine
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Old 04-07-2016, 03:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: Changing cage without stress?

Vinegar and water just sterilizes more,but as long as you use unscented soap it does a good job too
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Old 04-07-2016, 03:33 PM   #8
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Default Re: Changing cage without stress?

Is she all moved over now? Our hamster gets very stressed at any changes, but his cage move went well. I let him play in it a couple of days before the move, so presumably it smelled a bit more familiar when I moved him in. Half filled the base with new substrate, then put all his old substrate on top of it (needed more in the bigger cage) and tried to keep his layout as similar as before - eg house in the same position and wheel in the same position. Even though it was a different wheel, he liked it straight away. He was a bit nervy for a week or two - mainly at coming in and out of the cage, but seemed happy in it, if a bit reclusive at first.

As Cypher says, the main thing is to not really change anything for the first couple of weeks and give your hammy time to get used to it.

Have linked Erin's Hamsters cage cleaning tips video - it really helped our hammy! I've changed my cage cleaning as a result.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jVnEjrXbww
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