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Old 10-20-2021, 03:49 PM   #1
Haggis
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Cambridge, MA
Posts: 1
Default I can't figure out where my hamster's toilet area is, and some other newbie questions

Long story short, I have a Djungarian hamster, maybe about 2 months old. We just got her maybe two weeks ago and she had been at the pet store for two weeks before that.

She has a huge enclosure. She does not have a dedicated toilet spot. We used colored paper bedding, so I cannot tell just by looking where she is urinating.

She is eating and drinking water. I think she must have a room in her burrow she uses as a bathroom. She seems healthy and fine.

My question is, in this case, how do I identify where the heck her waste is?

For reference, if you look up 'Pawhut hamster cage' on Amazon (I can't link) you can see one that's grey, on casters, with three levels. She lives in that, but with the two shelf levels removed. She has about a foot of bedding, probably more.

So, the volume of her bedding is around 40" x 25" x 12".

The bedding is a mix of Oxbow wheat pellet bedding, aspen shavings, Carefree colorful bedding (not scented,) and Timothy grass (switching to something softer next time.)

I bought her the Kaytee brand toilet and their litter, because she can have some privacy and we can nestle it in a corner of her enclosure. She doesn't seem to like wide open spaces which is why I picked a small toilet rather than a larger sand bath (she has the large Nite Angel sand bath already, but doesn't use it as a toilet.)

My other newbie housing questions:

When you add substrate and bedding and such to the hamster enclosure, do you fluff it up? I have not been fluffing it up and I'm wondering if this means my hamster is doing a lot of extra work tunneling.

Has anyone here made some kind of secondary playpen that can be linked to the main enclosure?

You have to see the Pawhut enclosure I mention to get what I'm talking about here. There's a way to open the enclosure from the top but also a window in the front. The bedding for my hamster goes all the way up to that window in the front, so if I open the window, my hand is now at 'ground' level. When I do this, my hamster comes to the edge but never tries to escape. She actually seems afraid of the ledge.

Basically, my hamster seems scared to leave her enclosure sometimes. I'll sit with her, chilling, and she looks over the edge of the enclosure, and nope's out, backs away from the edge. I have brought her out using the 'hamster taxi' method from Victoria Raechel's channel. I have a little ceramic hide I lure her into and gently care it to place it down in a playpen (rope basket I can put a blanket over and keep nice and dark.) When she wants to go back in her enclosure, she goes back in the ceramic hide and goes back.

The issue is a heights issue, so I'm wondering, basically, can I set up some tubes or something to help her leave her enclosure without needing to be transported via hamster taxi?

Ideally, basically, I would want to open up the enclosure, put the tube or ramp or whatever in, and then, hamster can come hang out in the playpen if she wants, without relying on me to scoop her up to carry her via the taxi.
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