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Old 12-25-2023, 10:19 AM   #1
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Dec 2023
Location: UK
Posts: 1
Default Advice On New Syrian Hamster (male)

I brought home my hamster (no name yet!) from a pet shop on 23/12/23 and as soon as I placed the box he came in from the pet shop into his new home, he came right out and started exploring. He didn't seem scared, but more curious on his new home. I observed him from the outside of his box and was careful to not initiate any touching or talking (until today) to help him settle in.

I will provide some pictures of my hamster for reference. I'm unsure of his age as the pet store never told me, so I'd appreciate if anyone could make any guesses! I will try and ask the pet store staff of his age the next time I visit. My hamster is about 4-5 inches in length with even, soft and quite shiny fur. I'm so sorry if the pictures aren't clear, my only light source was my lamp and I didn't want to turn my flash on to avoid scaring my hamster.

From what I observed, he's been sleeping around 14-15 hours a day and gets somewhat active during the middle of the night. He runs on his saucer (not for long though), urinates in the sand bath provided, drinks a healthy amount of water and he burrows in his bedding a lot. I'm not sure if this is all normal since I don't know his age so I don't know what to expect.

Earlier today, I offered him some lettuce and seeds and he willingly takes them from my hand, but when I put the food in my palm he ends up nibbling my fingers (I presume he's checking if it's edible since my fingers might smell of the food?) and doesn't walk on my palm to retrieve the food. When my hands are around him, I try to move slower than I usually do so I don't startle him, sometimes he jumps and flinches from my movement but he doesn't run away or hide. I've kept my hand flat and still in his bin-cage for about 15 minutes as I heard it can help my hamster to know I'm not there to hurt him. He moves around my hand and sniffs it occasionally, but doesn't touch it or walk on it. I also speak softly to him so he can adjust to my voice and familiarise himself with me. I've heard of the bath tub method when attempting to tame a hamster. However, I think it might be too early to start that on my hamster since I'm not yet at the stage where I can even touch him.

My ultimate goal is to tame him and help him to be comfortable around me. I've heard it can take months for a hamster to trust you, and my biggest fear is that my hamster will never trust me or that I won't take proper good care of him (even though I do my best to make sure everything is right for him). How do I know if he's happy? How do I know if he's beginning to trust me? I have so many questions and so little experience, but I'm determined to learn! I've had a look at some threads, but I think all hamsters are different and as someone who isn't so knowledgeable on hamsters I'd love some advice and suggestions from the community!
Pookie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2023, 07:35 PM   #2
Hamster Pup
Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 120
Default Re: Advice On New Syrian Hamster (male)

as long as he isn't running away, you're definitely on the right track, and he sounds like he's doing normal hamster behaviors which means he's happy.
Does he have an upright standing wheel? I know he's new and you probably haven't had time to buy everything yet, but Syrians require an upright wheel of at least 11 inches.
once you get him all the proper accessories and he has a bit more time to settle, I think you'll see improvements very quickly. It already sounds like he's quite comfortable with you!
keep in mind that some hamsters will never like to be touched or held, even if they like you. My Syrian didn't mind at all when I lifted her out of her cage, or put her back in, she was constantly begging me to take her out to play and she definitely wasn't scared of humans, but she still disliked being held/touched for more than a few seconds at a time. she just didn't have patience to be still!
keep offering treats, and doing what you're doing. There are little things that can help such as putting a tissue in your sleeve for 15 minutes and putting it in the cage, but the biggest thing that will help is giving him some more time to settle. If you still don't see improvement, after a full week, you might want to consider starting the bathtub method but really every hamster is different, and you'll want to pay attention to his body language to make sure he's ready for it
good luck!
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Old 12-29-2023, 10:10 AM   #3
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Dec 2022
Location: Georgia
Posts: 8
Default Re: Advice On New Syrian Hamster (male)

such a cute boy ! if u need help with buying a bigger wheel, i recommend the searches for "hedgehog wheel" "11-12 inch rodent wheel" "adult rat wheel" as for some reason when i was searching for mine the immediate "hamster" in my searches would show up for saucer wheels and tiny metal barred wheels... be careful not to get those sand trimmer ones ive never heard good things about them either !

niteangel has wheels on their website with 11-12 inch options on most of their wheels [ they're a little costly ] but they also sell a pedometer to keep track of how much he runs if that interests u...

i cant remember where i got mine but it took a lot of research and googling [ and the saucers r mostly used in petshops ] so dont feel bad about it !

your hammie seems to be enjoying his new home more than mine initially did [ this is my first time owning one anyways ] and i think u will / already are a very great owner !
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