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Did I stress him out too much?

Discussion in 'Small Animal Chat' started by Knighterist, Feb 10, 2020.


  1. Knighterist

    Knighterist PetForums Member

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    Hi, I'm new here. I just started my journey on syrian hamster ownership and found this place to be an excellent place for advice!

    I have a worry that I hope someone can help me or tell me how I should approach this.

    Tonight I came home to my hamster and he was active for a while so I gave him some food and a treat stick. He ran on the wheel for a while and as he went off to eat his treat stick I heard and thunk and he was just lying still. He had his head in the paper tube and I thought he died. When. I tried to investigate he jumped and squeaked at me aggressively. Did I stress him out too much? I am so scared of getting him wet tail or my home is unsuitable for him. Will he forever hate me? Please help! :'(
    He has come out of his house but is super still and won't go do anything I'm super worried about him :(

    Thank you in advance

    Edit:
    I think the dehumidifier noise was a bit too much for him. I have moved it around the corner and moved him into a corner and placed a pillow and cardboard around the back of his cage to try to minimise the sound and vibration noise. He's come back out of his house and is now rabbidly running on the wheel. Fingers crossed I wake up to less watery windows and a happy hamster...
     
    #1 Knighterist, Feb 10, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020
  2. Engel98

    Engel98 PetForums VIP

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    He may have fell off a shelf/bars/wheel and scared himself. Kind of like if we fall over we kind of sit/lie there for a bit to process what's happened and to determine if we're hurt. Same sort of thing.

    How long have you had him? How long has he been in the room with the dehumidifier?

    It's likely he just scared himself silly so I wouldn't worry :D

    I have 4 hams so if you need any help just shout.

    What's his cage setup like? Can I have a photo? As you're new to hamster ownership there may be a few things you may not be aware of. For example proper cage size, proper wheel size. Safe bedding and toys etc.
     
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  3. Knighterist

    Knighterist PetForums Member

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    Thank you so much for coming back to me on this. I had him since Saturday and I thought I read up all I could and have prepared myself for it. I had the dehumidifier since last night and he ran all night on the wheel with the dehumidifier on slightly further away and I put cardboard around his cage to try to isolate him from the sound. I even bought sound proofing foam for that (arriving in a couple days time) so that I can have the washing machine on over the weekend etc. I really want to be able to take great care of him, I know my studio isn't the most amazing place and I am ready to engineer it to suit him.
    The cage is a large cage from Pets at Home and said to be Syrian ok, about 55cm long, 30cm wide and 20cm deep I think...I will add a picture when I get home tonight. He's got a few chew and wooden toys and a paper tube from Pets at Home too.
    I am looking at a larger silent wheel for him, since he's Syrian and the wheel with the cage is just shy of 7 inches it is just ok for him for now and I want something he can grow into. Any silent spinner suggestions?
    Also how much is 10g of hamster feed for him if using Harry Hamster Tasty Mix? I have so many questions! Sorry!!!

    Thank you again!

    Also I am still looking for a name for him....
    IMG_20200209_153227.jpg IMG_20200209_153231.jpg
     
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  4. ForestWomble

    ForestWomble PetForums VIP

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    Hello,

    I recommend this wheel: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kaytee-Spi...1433421&sprefix=silent+spinner,aps,220&sr=8-1
     
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  5. Engel98

    Engel98 PetForums VIP

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    Ok the cage is too small. 80x50cm is the minimum size agreed upon. You could get a indoor rabbit cage and mesh the bars. You're right about the wheel, biggest size I've seen a pet shop stock is 7". I'll link below the one my lot use.

    Sawdust/woodshavings is controversial but generally advised against as the phenols (what give pine the smell) are toxic and can cause resp issues. Kiln dried can be reactivated when urinated one, again releasing phenols. I'd suggest paper bedding carefresh or Kaytee clean and cosy. Amazon sell fitch in huge bags as well as megazorb (wood pulp) and aubiose (hemp marketed for horses).

    For the meantime I'd fill the base to the top with bedding. Shredded plain paper and tissue will work as bedding materials too. I'll add photos of my setups below, if you see something that you like I'll find a link for it or tell you where I got it from.

    As for the mix I'd suggest getting some electronic kitchen scales. Not only to weigh food but to also weigh your ham. I'd aim for 1-2 times a month. Any drastic change in weight can be a sign of problems before they become obvious. Adult Syrians (6+ months) are anywhere between 150g-250g.

    Don't worry about all the questions, it's the best way to learn :) as for names...as soon as I saw the pic I thought pipsqueak or Pablo. Just ideas :D

    He may not be used to the noises of the household yet, that'll come with time. My robo had a mini heart attack when I first used the hoover, now he doesn't batter an eyelid. Take your time, it's all new to him, he will adjust.

    The wheel: Trixie 61011 Rotating Ferris Wheel Hamsters, Plastic, ø28 cm, Assortment: Random Colors https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00365P9NY/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_P4BqEb5V5BXQZ

    IMG_20200210_220414508.jpg IMG_20200210_220332380.jpg IMG_20200210_220108501.jpg IMG_20200210_220157264.jpg
     
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  6. Knighterist

    Knighterist PetForums Member

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    Thank you everyone so far! I got super worried he will hurt his back overnight and popped into pets at home and they recommended a fly n saucer which I obviously bought because I wanted a silent wheel asap and wanted to make sure he's not hurting his back tonight. It doesn't bend his back upwards but he now runs at an angle! He seems to be enjoying it (until dehumidifier came on I guess).
    Regarding cage size Pets at home assured me that the cage size is fine. I think I'll give him a little while in this one before getting a bigger one since I'm still home furnishing tetrising for a good spot for him (seriously I moved the bed and everything around on my own just for him).

    Regarding his cage layout I feel the new saucer definitely has a huge foot print...
    IMG_20200211_214518.jpg

    I'm still trying to find the best place to put him...I have placed him in a quiet corner which I hope will isolate him from the noises of the bathroom fan and dehumidifier. The problem is I am trying to deal with my landlord's denial of a damp issue as well and I think he doesn't like that noise at all since he stopped playing now...:(

    Regarding the bedding, I got wood chippings in bales for substrate and paper shreds as bedding. The same as he has lived in during his time at Pets at Home...I thought maybe it would make it one less thing for him to stress and get used to it I keep to the kinda substrate and bedding he is used to and know...

    I got a better picture maybe of him, he seems to be ok with me opening the cage door and taking pictures of his handsome self... IMG_20200211_220443.jpg
    He looks like marble textured...Anyone think the name Marble would suit him or does it just not to off the tongue as well as Ham or Hammy?


    Thank you again!!!
     
  7. ForestWomble

    ForestWomble PetForums VIP

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    I'll reply propaly tomorrow, but just wanted to say I love the name Marble. :)
     
  8. Knighterist

    Knighterist PetForums Member

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    Thank you! I shall call him Marble!
     
  9. Engel98

    Engel98 PetForums VIP

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    We can only advise you, we can't tell you what to do. Not everyone has the space or money in the beginning or its circumstances so don't worry.

    Pets at home advice is a bit iffy. They told me the metal bar gerbilarium (their small one) would be fine for him as well as a mouse cage...I wouldn't even fit all his things in there :( as I said they're there to sell you a product and their knowledge is out of date. They've tried to sell me fluffy bedding and said if he couldn't reach the water bottle don't bother putting it in just throw in some kiwi everyday o.o

    As I mentioned pine is controversial some say kiln dried is safe, others say it's not. If it works for you it works :) in time I'd still upgrade the cage. When everything is sorted as you won't be able to fit a 11" wheel in the current cage.

    Marble sound like a great name :D
     
  10. ForestWomble

    ForestWomble PetForums VIP

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    The wood chips and paper bedding are fine, minus one hamster I've used wood chips with all my hamsters and gerbils and never had a problem, I feel that wood shavings are the best option, unless the individual has an allergy to it of course, as I found paper substrate which I used for one hamster was smellier and had to be changed more frequently, also I feel the hamsters and gerbils can make better tunnels in wood shavings. :)

    Keeping Marble in his current set up for a while is fine, but I would recemmened getting a bigger cage as soon as you can, as he is stressed at the moment keeping changes to a minimum is what you need to do, hopefully having placed him in a quiet corner he will get used to the noise of the dehumidifier after a while.

    How is Marble today?
     
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  11. Knighterist

    Knighterist PetForums Member

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    Thank you for all the advice! I woke up to the pitter patter of Marble thundering away on the wheel this morning! He is so happy with that wheel I think more than the old one.

    I did chicken out last night and bought new bedding off Amazon (Kaytee clean & cozy, apparently pets love the softness). So maybe he can have cozier evenings (I've left storage heater running all day and night for him and I installed new DIY curtains to hopefully help keep my home warm for him. I got so worried it got cold last night that I chucked a whole load of paper bedding into his cage.

    Just now he was standing on the same spot for ages after he chattered his teeth beforehand. I went through the whole "omg what did I do wrong is he unwell/scared/stressed?" So I turned off dehumidifier and I popped two pieces of carrots in his cage and he bounced onto it swiftly...I topped up his dish and he was sniffing my hand as I put the dish back in. Is he being picky or greedy? There was still food in his dish and he jumped right into the bowl when I put it in?! I thought since he's got food already surely he isn't hungry but he was so eager to get his bowl filled! He has picked out the good stuff like sunflower seeds and green biscuit bits but left a lot of stuff in the bowl so was just just wanting the "good stuff"?

    I think he's still insecure about the dehumidifier and bathroom fan sounds since I turned it back on and he's back to standing still :( I guess I'll have to run it for a little bit every night and a bit more and more rather than as a constant thing. Also that being pretty inactive outside his little house should it be a cause of concern? I read many people say that hamster not curious of surroundings etc is a bad sign or sign of illness. :O

    I have stuck some foam into a piece of cardboard and put that around the side of his cage that faces the room, a bit like his privacy screen...Would that make him feel too isolated and not want to be friends with me? Or maybe he'll get bored looking at cardboard scenery?

    I never asked what are your hamsters called and what are they like?
     
  12. Engel98

    Engel98 PetForums VIP

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    One thing you'll learn with hamsters is there's no such thing as too much bedding! He'll probably be very snuggly in it and make a nest and you won't see him for a while. But that's normal.

    Chattering the teeth has many meanings. Sometimes it can be that they're not happy about something. Or simply wearing their teeth down. Or a clicking sound means that they're happy. Note this clicking sound is different if it's because of resp issues.

    The standing still means he feels threatened but if they're like a meerkat when they do it, it means they're trying to figure out whats going on.

    Oh food bowl, rookie mistake which every hamster owner is guilty of. Don't refil the bowl until it's COMPLETELY empty. This will force them to eat the bits they're not keen on. Sunflower seeds are very fatty hence why they like them.

    Everything is new to him at the moment so him being hidden away and not coming out much is pretty normal... I didn't Niko much for the first couple of weeks and I rarely saw Ghost. He just needs time to settle.

    Personally I wouldn't have bothered with the screen. May work for the settling in period though help dampen the sound and eventually he won't need it.

    Niko my robo is so laid back he's practically horizontal. Complete opposite of what a robo should be. Very friendly and will happily sit on your shoulder while you watch TV. He craves human interaction.

    Lilith is one of my female Syrians and she too loves human interaction. When I first got her she was very skittish but now she's chill and is very curious to what's going on.

    Ghost is skittish at the moment but we have some nice cuddles when he's feeling brave. Getting there slowly with him. He's a Syrian.

    Athena is my other female Syrian and she's quite vocal, especially when in heat (which is every 4 days with hamsters). She was quite shy when I got her but will now come to the door and jump out onto my lap. She's quite active and likes lots of enrichment as she gets bored easily.
     
  13. Knighterist

    Knighterist PetForums Member

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    I think he was scared or something because of all the noise I turned it all off last night and I figured maybe I need to lay off a little like not going to try to interact with him so much when I get home maybe he's still trying to settle in. He seems to get very still when I try to approach him sometimes so maybe he just feels that I'm too much. It's the first week so I think maybe I need to really just back off to just a daily hi and a treat.

    How did you manage to tame your hammy family? I feel that maybe I'm going about it wrong and so Marble doesn't like me lurking about him. I read a long lost somewhere that you can leave a scented (of self) tissue in his cage and he can get used to your smell...Are tissues safe with hammies? Will that be too "dusty"?

    Oh that food bowl I will not give him more tonight xD I felt so conned by Marble!!!! I did give him fresh water last night and replaced a bit of bedding I'm the corners of the cage since I thought maybe he thinks he smells and he's upset about it.
     
  14. Engel98

    Engel98 PetForums VIP

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    Here is what I do for taming. I can't say if one thing works better than the other. I always make sure the ham is comfy before going to the next step.

    Always put scented (my own) tissue in the cage. Leave ham Alone for 3 days. During this time only refill food and water as needed. Talk to hamster so they get used to your voice.

    After, put your hand in the cage with food on it, wait a couple of minutes if ham doesnt approach, pop treat on the ground and leave. Do this a couple of times a day until ham gets curious and comes over and takes the treat off your hand.

    From there try scooping ham up slowly then go from there :)
     
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  15. Knighterist

    Knighterist PetForums Member

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    Ohh the tissue trick...I have been "wearing" a tissue all day...Going to it in his cage tonight. Should I just rip off a piece of the tissue I'm wearing and put that in there and contunue to "wear" the tissue? (Now that I wrote it out I think out of context it sounds gross and weird...The things I do for Marble...)


    Edit: guys I'm worried about Marble...He hasn't come out of his house today after running around the wheel this morning...I am wondering if it has something to do with the standing still thing...I heard some scratch noises but not sure if it's my junk in the room I'm quietly moving or its him :( is he going to be ok? I've put tissue in there already.

    Edit 2: nose spotted poking out of the mass of bedding he has stuffed into his little house sniffing loudly and going back in. Marble's alive!!
     
    #15 Knighterist, Feb 13, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
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  16. Engel98

    Engel98 PetForums VIP

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    Nah just put the whole tissue in and add some more in a few days.

    Don't worry about not seeing him you probably did hear him moving about. Hamsters do sleep a lot and mostly during the day. Just leave him be, if you disturb him and wake him up you'll make him grumpy and more likely to bite...that's how I got bit by ghost...hamsters aren't morning people. He can hear you, it's all part of the process. It's fine, honestly.
     
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  17. Knighterist

    Knighterist PetForums Member

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    I read him a book as well very softly...It's 7pm ish so I was half expecting him to be getting to his daily hamster business such as conning me into giving him fresh food and running his wheel :s
    Haha I got bit by him already once in the shops when I wanted to see how his temperament is to strangers and once when I was told I can handle him on day 2 (P@H maybe I shouldn't have believed that...My fault).


    Edit: he's now sitting on his wheel munching on last night's carrot chunk...Yea Marble, don't waste food!
     
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  18. Engel98

    Engel98 PetForums VIP

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    Yeah. It depends on the individual Hamster. More confident ones you can start to handle sooner. Niko would take food off me on day 3, ghost didn't do it until day 9. Ghost has only just started to come to the bars when I'm there and come out voluntarily, Ive had him a month. Sometimes it's slow progress and that's ok.

    You'll find that each ham has a different routine and it will change between now and when he's settled in. I only really heard Athena and Lilith at night when I first got them. Now I know Lilith will get up mid afternoon and go back to bed around 6pm and will then be back up at 11-12 and will go to bed at 8am.

    Niko is different. He was more active at night when I first got him. Now I know he'll be up 10am to midday, then again at 4-5pm and will get up at 11pm and be running all night until 5-6am.
     
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  19. Knighterist

    Knighterist PetForums Member

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    Oh wow I am so ignorant at this...Genuinely thought it was like nocturnal as in night comes and he's like party time! :(
    So far I've been getting off work around 6 but running cross town getting more and more DIY or hamster related stuff and get back by 8 something so tonight I was early and freaked when I didn't hear much or see him.
    I guess I need to observe him more and learn more...You know your hamsters so well!!!
    Right now hrs staring blankly at outside world at the top shelf of his cage. Not sure if he is scared of my scent and avoiding my tissue that I put in the middle of his cage...:s
     
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  20. Engel98

    Engel98 PetForums VIP

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    You're not wrong. Nocturnal means active at night. In the wild hamsters would be nocturnal, excluding the roborovski which is crepuscular, which means awake at dawn and dusk. It's how they've managed to adapt in the wild. They're mainly desert animals or living on the edge of deserts in semi vegetative habitats.

    Syrians became domesticated in 1930s. While the uk first saw robos in the early 90s. They can adapt to our routines. There's no threat to stop them coming out during the day :)

    They only way to know them is to observe and spend time with them! He's probably curious to what's going on. He'll get used to the tissue don't worry :3 he's probably thinking what is it and How'd it get there?!
     
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