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Old 04-20-2022, 04:33 AM   #1
Snowy_Syrian
Newborn Pup
 
Join Date: Apr 2022
Location: UK
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Default Playpen ideas

Sorry if this is in the wrong section, I wasn't sure where it should go!

I'm currently getting my hamster used to out-of-cage time in his playpen, which is a kids' pop-up ball pit. I give him some toys in there and sit in with him. He seems to enjoy it (he now hops straight into the mug I use for transporting him there, even without a treat to tempt him in) but after an initial explore, all he wants to do once he's in there is chew. He chews his toys, which is obviously fine, but will then start trying to chew my foot (maybe it tastes like cheese!) and the fabric floor/sides of the playpen!

I'm thinking of buying some cheap doormats to put on the floor of the playpen to stop him chewing holes in that - is that a good idea? I've also ordered him some more toys to mix it up and hopefully keep him occupied. Any other suggestions for how to make his playpen fun and discourage him from trying to chew his way out?!
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Old 04-20-2022, 06:58 AM   #2
Pebbles82
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Default Re: Playpen ideas

Maybe just put cardboard on the bottom It's cheaper and they like chewing cardboard. A hamster's sole purpose seems to be to chew out of any enclosure! However big. If he had the whole room he'd probably try to get the door open to get out! But then that's all stimulation for them.

He sounds to be having a great time in the playpen with you! Do you think he is fully hand tame now? I used to progress from the playpen to the sofa. And have sofa time. Obviously you need to be there all the time. The more clutter on the sofa the more they enjoy rummaging and hiding under things. Our last syrian used to climb the back of the sofa and walk along the top like an intrepid explorer - I had to stand there just in case he tried to jump and steer him back down with my hand. Mostly I'd just pick him up when he got to the top and put him back on the sofa again. And have a hide on the sofa they can retreat to and have a wash or something. They can climb all over you there as well (up your sleeve, down your back, lol).

But it depends if the hamster is tame enough. If not tame they'll just speed off and throw themselves off it! So I used to put a barrier (a big blanket) along the edge of the sofa with one syrian - it slowed him up enough that I could get him before he jumped.
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Old 04-20-2022, 07:41 AM   #3
Snowy_Syrian
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Default Re: Playpen ideas

Yeah, probably not quite tame enough for that yet. He doesn't climb on me when I'm in the playpen with him, just tries to eat my foot, lol! And he still jumps or tries to climb the sides if I move too suddenly. He does let me stroke him, but I think he now thinks hands = treats and is constantly twisting round trying to see if there's anything edible in my hand when I do! The cardboard is a good idea - thanks
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Old 04-23-2022, 09:08 AM   #4
NatM
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Join Date: Apr 2022
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Thumbs up Re: Playpen ideas

[QUOTE=but will then start trying to chew my foot[/QUOTE]
Thats funny LOL
My past hamster did that too, he passed away yesterday actually
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Old 04-24-2022, 03:47 PM   #5
Snowy_Syrian
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Default Re: Playpen ideas

His new toys arrived a couple of days ago. The first time I gave them to him, I wasn't in the playpen with him as it was cage cleanout day, so I was busy doing that. He seemed to love the toys, particularly the edible ones! But then yesterday, I tried going in the playpen with him again, with the new toys as well, but he spent most of the time trying to scale the sides and escape! I don't know what I was doing to upset him - I've been in the playpen with him plenty of times before, and he's definitely not afraid of my hands as he'll run towards them looking for treats. I was sat really still and only moving my hands. I don't know - maybe it's the first time it's dawned on him that the big thing in the playpen is actually alive!
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Old 04-25-2022, 06:25 AM   #6
Pebbles82
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Default Re: Playpen ideas

It's what they do - climb the sides to try to escape any playpen. Can you pick him up and handle him? If not, this is the time to get him used to touch when he's climbing the sides. Just stroke him on the back once with one finger. If he leaps or jerks around, wait a bit and then do it again. Eventually he will ignore it and carry on trying to climb and be used to one finger stroking him on the back. From there you move onto letting them walk over your hand. Hand flat on the floor palm up and him just get used to walking over it. After a few times of that, lift your hand slightly as he walks over it but let him still walk off. On another session lift your hand a bit higher - maybe 3 inches or so but still let him walk off. After that you should be able to let him walk hand to hand and hold him and he should be hand tame.

Different times can make a difference to. It depends on the hamster but I find they are highly active around 6 to 8pm and wanting to run off. But from about 8 to 10pm they can be quite dopey and even just go to sleep out of the cage. Then from 10pm onwards they are highly active again. So work out the best time of night with him!
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Old 04-25-2022, 02:32 PM   #7
Snowy_Syrian
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Default Re: Playpen ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by NatM View Post
Thats funny LOL
My past hamster did that too, he passed away yesterday actually
Sorry for your loss
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Old 04-25-2022, 02:35 PM   #8
Snowy_Syrian
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Join Date: Apr 2022
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Default Re: Playpen ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
It's what they do - climb the sides to try to escape any playpen. Can you pick him up and handle him? If not, this is the time to get him used to touch when he's climbing the sides. Just stroke him on the back once with one finger. If he leaps or jerks around, wait a bit and then do it again. Eventually he will ignore it and carry on trying to climb and be used to one finger stroking him on the back. From there you move onto letting them walk over your hand. Hand flat on the floor palm up and him just get used to walking over it. After a few times of that, lift your hand slightly as he walks over it but let him still walk off. On another session lift your hand a bit higher - maybe 3 inches or so but still let him walk off. After that you should be able to let him walk hand to hand and hold him and he should be hand tame.

Different times can make a difference to. It depends on the hamster but I find they are highly active around 6 to 8pm and wanting to run off. But from about 8 to 10pm they can be quite dopey and even just go to sleep out of the cage. Then from 10pm onwards they are highly active again. So work out the best time of night with him!
Thanks, this is very helpful. He will walk onto my hand for a treat and will let me stroke him while he's distracted with food etc - at other times he jumps or tries to twist round towards my hand (I'm guessing because he thinks I have a treat for him!). I will work on getting him used to touch in the playpen as you suggest
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Old 04-26-2022, 09:51 AM   #9
heidii
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Default Re: Playpen ideas

You could possibly try these panels on hardwood/tiled floor? Carpet could work, but I'd worry about them chewing on it. People use it to keep larger animals like guineas and rabbits in, but it could be done for a playpen-type thing.
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