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Old 04-13-2022, 09:49 AM   #1
TobyC
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Join Date: Nov 2021
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Lightbulb Syrian Hamster baby

Hey guys! Recently got a male Syrian from pets at home and hes very skittish. Now I get hams can be unsure when they first come to a new environment but hes struggling with handling, and concerned that the shop has scared him in a way from being held. He is only 10 weeks old, so pretty young! He has a good set up in his cage, plenty of burrow area, plenty of hides etc.


Need advice on how we can help him relax and settle a bit. He gets startled on a small things such as the glade air freshener in the bedroom.
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Old 04-13-2022, 10:57 AM   #2
LunaTheHamster1
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Default Re: Syrian Hamster baby

Congratulations on your new hamster. It's very early days, give him chance to settle in.
Think of it as he has just been taken from everything he knew in to total new surroundings, he has to learn it's safe for him. Let him get used to you at his own pace, I promise you it will happen.

I would strongly recommend you get rid of the air freshener, these can be toxic to hamsters. Not worth the risk in my opinion.
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Old 04-14-2022, 11:45 AM   #3
Lilafernim
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Default Re: Syrian Hamster baby

I think people also tend to say ones from pets stores can take longer to settle in because they tend to be handled less. My Syrian who I got on preloved took ages until she was less jumpy, she’d feed from my hand after a couple of weeks but she wouldn’t sit in my hand until over a month had gone. Sometimes they can be very nervous.

Please don’t take offence by this either but I haven’t seen you post before and if you got him from pets at home they can give terrible advice. For a male Syrian they need minimum 80x50cm cage and 6-8inches of paper bedding plus a large hide. Not like those strawberries or tiny ones they sell although ones like the coconut hide can be good additionally to a big hide. Also, a 28cm wheel.

Like I say, I’m not trying to presume anything and could be wrong, just I think it’s better to know this all earlier rather than later. Also it may help your hamster taming process occur quicker because they’ll be more comfortable. Sometimes pets stores don’t always give the right info.
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Old 04-14-2022, 12:14 PM   #4
Stanza
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Join Date: Jan 2022
Location: Essex
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Default Re: Syrian Hamster baby

Hello, we brought our male Syrian from pets at home early January, it took him almost 6 weeks to settle before we could really stroke him in his cage. We use a plastic jug to taxi him to his play pen. It’s nearly 4 months now and he’s just let me hold him.

I’d just keep talking to him when your feeding / cleaning, use his name. Try not to make any quick hand movements or reach over the top of him if he does come out to see you. Start offering little treats you can hold out to him. He’ll slowly start to relax and get used to his new surroundings, early days at the moment.
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Old 04-16-2022, 05:19 AM   #5
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Syrian Hamster baby

Hello. They need a good two weeks to settle into the cage - it's a big change of environment for them. So during that time, don't clean out the cage or disturb things. The hamster needs to make it his own, scent mark things to claim them and find his way around, and decide where he's going to build his nest, and get it how he wants it.

During this time you could talk to him through the bars and offer him treats through the bars. I wouldn't try to take him out for handling during this two weeks, unless he comes to the door and shows signs of wanting to come out - then you could let him walk into a hamster ball, and use that to carry it to a safe place for some taming sessions. When not hand tame they can easily escape or "ping" (wriggle free and leap 2 feet in the air at the same time). So don't carry him by hand at this stage. Or if you do, hold him low so he can't fall far.

Some people use the dry bath tub for initial handtaming - or you can rig up a playpen area.

If he's had some cage disturbance or cage cleaning then start the two weeks again from scratch. He needs to build familiarity with you as well, so the sound of your voice and your scent when nearby talking to him.

The only thing that's smelly is their pee and they tend to choose a corner of the cage as a toilet. If it gets bad you could "spot clean" that pee area after about a week - that';s just taking a handful or two of substrate out and replacing it with a new handful or two. If he does choose a corner of the cage as a toilet, the easiest thing is to buy a corner litter tray and put chinchilla sand in it - you put that in the corner he has chosen and he will use it Then the rest of the cage stays clean and dry and you just lift out the litter tray and empty it once or twice a week. Don't worry about poops - they're not dirty or smelly. they're like little hard seeds and they sometimes eat some as well (they have two stomachs and can redigest nutrients from their poops). If they start taking over a bit you can just pick some out but should be fine to be left for at least two weeks.

So give him his settling in time. The change in their behaviour after two weeks can be quite amazing as they feel familiar in their cage and have built up confidence.

Having said that, baby hamsters are easily scared by loud noises (a door closing etc) - but will soon adjust to that.

The air freshener needs to go - sorry - that is really harmful for them in the same room - hamsters have a very sensitive respiratory tract - a much stronger sense of scent than we have - and can be prone to respiratory problems. So nothing scented. He needs good air quality. Assume it's one of those plug in ones. Could you just move it to another room?

These are the corner litter trays I use. A baby hamster can sometimes pee in their nest as well but they soon grow out of that. Spot cleaning mostly is the way forwards, and not changing all the substrate at once. I never throw away their nest or hoard unless pee'd on as they are very precious about that. If you do find, in a couple of weeks, he's pee'd in his nest or hoard, then you will need to remove it but try and leave a dry bit behind so something still smells familiar. Then put new nesting paper out in a pile in the cage (not in his house) so he can forage for it and take it back to the nest to rebuild it. Also if you have to remove any pee'd on hoard, replace that with a handful of new food in the same place. This is to avoid abnormal behaviours. If anyone steals their hoard they start peeing on it to deter thieves! So then it's a vicious circle. Replacing the hoard with new food can avoid that.

So the main things to keep him happy - plenty of substrate (at least 4" deep - ideally nearer 6") - it may use a lot but stays clean longer - so you only need to change it maybe every 2 to 3 months and then only need to change half of it. this avoids stress for the hamster as you're not removing all their scent. If using the litter tray it should stay clean and dry.

A permanent pile of nesting material - torn up strips of plain white toilet paper are best. They pouch it and build a nice big nest. If it goes down, add some more and he'll keep taking it.

Easy access to water bottle and food (no wobbly ramps that collapse). Put fresh food out every day, even if he hasn't taken all the food - about a tablespoonful a day. Check the water bottle every day to check it's letting water out ok (just tap your finger under the spout). It's even a good idea to have two water bottles in case one stops working. Change the water every day or every other day. Maybe hide the odd treat in the cage for him to find at first to tempt him to use it more. Sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds are popular treats, and a chew stick (they need that for their teeth).

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Last edited by Serendipity7000; 04-16-2022 at 05:28 AM.
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