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Old 03-26-2021, 05:10 PM   #1
Shadow Cat
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Default I bought a multi chamber house my hamster won't move into!

Good evening

About 2 weeks ago now I bought my Syrian a lovely spacious 6 chamber Rodipet house...

... And she decided to build her nest in the opposite corner of her cage under a shelf.

Now, that's no problem in itself. It's her cage, she can sleep where she likes! But I've just spent the last 10 minutes watching her run around her cage with full cheek pouches desperately looking for somewhere to stash her hoard.

Babes, there are 6 perfectly great rooms right there for your choosing! Yet I haven't seen her even go in there once.

I don't begrudge the money I spent at all, but it would be nice if she used it!

Does anyone have any tips to encourage her to move in?

Side note: I came upstairs to bed tonight to find her sitting in the middle of the floor looking at me! Did I leave her cage door open or did she open it herself? And what else in my room has she wrecked besides chewing a hole in a blanket?! These are questions for another time...
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Old 03-27-2021, 04:01 AM   #2
Merlina
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Default Re: I bought a multi chamber house my hamster won't move into!

I have had 8 Syrians over the last 18 years and not one has ever wanted to sleep in any of the houses I have tried _ they have all preferred to go under a shelf. I have had a similar style cage for some years and put in additional shelves and ledges all round but they all choose the same corner and the same shelf so there must be something that appeals to them! I have tried all kinds of houses most of which have been given to friends to try on their hamsters. The only useful one I had was a large plastic igloo I thought might be a good hide for a playpen (hamster hated it) - it is now down the bottom of my garden with a frog living in it. With my latest hamster I went for the shoe box option and he pushed it out so he could sleep behind it under the shelf! I love the Rodipet houses but just know my hamster wouldn't use it.
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Old 03-27-2021, 05:13 AM   #3
Shadow Cat
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Default Re: I bought a multi chamber house my hamster won't move into!

They're funny little creatures aren't they?!

I'm going to leave it in as it serves as another level in her cage. I took the big shelf out as she's getting older and was struggling to climb the ramp. She seems happy enough, I just think it a bit strange!

I think I should just give up understanding what goes on in her little hamsster breain!
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Old 03-27-2021, 05:54 AM   #4
LunaTheHamster1
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Default Re: I bought a multi chamber house my hamster won't move into!

put some of her favourite food in the hide, along with some of her bedding if you haven't already done so.
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Old 03-27-2021, 02:14 PM   #5
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: I bought a multi chamber house my hamster won't move into!

Hi. All our hamsters have always moved into the Rodipet labyrinth houses Robo, Syrians.

They can take a couple of days to decide to move in, depending on where they were nesting before and depending how stressed they are after the changes to the cage. The other thing I've found is the temptation to keep taking the roof off can make them bolt and move out again if you do it too much when they've first moved in!

Where was she nesting before? I usually put the new lab house in the same place as the previous nesting area, over the top of it and put the old nest in the front left hand side room. And a litter tray in the middle back section. Mostly those are the two sections they have used. They have all nested in that front left compartment - its the darkest and next to the middle back compartment. One Syrian decided to have his toilet in a different compartment further away.

I think she maybe just sounds a bit skitty. Do you have a photo of the cage with the house in? Is it blocking something else maybe? Or a bit wobbly? They don't stand on the substrate very well and can sink so either need supporting on little legs or instead have them as a kind of subterranean house so it sits on the base of the cage (I the just put a little bit of substrate inside it so it's not bare cage floor). And the substrate around it so the roof is only just above the substrate - then scoop out abit of substrate near the entrance door.

And yes put some food in it as Luna says - a smelly treat like cheese or cucumber ih the main nesting compartment and a bit of hamster mix like a hoard in another compartment.

Did you do a full cage clean before adding the house? That can stress them and make them skitty especially if the old nest and hoard are gone. Best to just spot clean mainly and not clean everything at the same time. I always leave the nest and hoard as well but prune the bottom half of the hoard eventually when I do change the substrate (usually not for a good few months with spot cleaning and a litter tray). Sorry if you know all that already!

I had one syrian who had another house in his cage as a kind of hideout and he spent almost a week moving between that and the labyrinth house deciding which one to nest in but settled in the labyrinth house . If there's no other house they usually move straight in! But if she is skitty then under the shelf may feel like a safe familiar place.

Putting the labyrinth house on little legs can work well (or some support under the sides) as then there is substrate under it and they can burrow down and bury hoards - but it works both ways.
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Old 03-27-2021, 04:38 PM   #6
Shadow Cat
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Default Re: I bought a multi chamber house my hamster won't move into!

Hi. Thanks for answering.

She's been nesting under the shelf for ages, that hasn't changed. The house that was where the multi-chamber now is she mostly used as a bathroom. I didn't do a full clean before putting it in, but although I didn't change the substrate I did change her cage up a bit. I removed the main Barney shelf as I noticed she was struggling a bit with the ramp as she's getting a bit old now (she's 18 months) and I also put in a driftwood branch for some variety. It didn't seem to stress her out too much.

Putting the house on legs is a good idea. Do you have any suggestions of how to do that? I'd worry it wouldn't be secure though. On top of the house is a ceramic hide she sometimes uses to keep her hoard (as it's in the same place it was when the shelf is there) and it's kind of heavy. The house is not quite on the cage floor but close, there isn't a ton of substrate underneath.

I wouldn't describe her as skittish, she's usually pretty chilled now. Maybe due to her age she's just stuck in her ways? She has a couple of tunnels and hides in her cage still but nothing I would describe as another house. Part of the reason I decided to get the multi-chamber is because she didn't seem to be using the house that was in there and I decided that was because she had grown bigger and it was a tight squeeze and not comfy.
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Old 03-27-2021, 05:56 PM   #7
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: I bought a multi chamber house my hamster won't move into!

Sounds like she may be adjusting to the changes. I bet she explores the new house at night and may decide to move in there. Try the smelly treat inside . It may va d confused her a bit if her toilet was the opppsife end of the cage to her nest and now her toilet has turned into a tempting house . Decisions!
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Old 03-31-2021, 01:42 AM   #8
Dodo
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Default Re: I bought a multi chamber house my hamster won't move into!

I bought the Rodipet stilts when I bought the multichamber house but it's not worth a separate order. I've bought 12mm wood dowels on ebay and super-glued them to a platform. That would probably work for your multichamber as well.
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Old 03-31-2021, 11:56 AM   #9
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Default Re: I bought a multi chamber house my hamster won't move into!

Yes I’ve done that before too . Before Rodipet made the stilts. I got 20cm long dowels and glued four to the outside of the house right up the top near the roof so the
Legs are about 12cm long (the other 8cm is stuck to the outside of the house).

Two at the front and two at the side nearer the front (can’t put them at the back of you have a sloping cage base. It holds up fine like that.

Has she moved in yet!
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Old 03-31-2021, 05:48 PM   #10
Shadow Cat
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Default Re: I bought a multi chamber house my hamster won't move into!

She hasn't moved in yet! Thanks for the tips, I will try the Dowl idea. What flue is safe for hamsters (just in case she has a nibble. She nibbles everything else!)
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