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SaBBaS


enthusiast
Location: Madrid, Spain

Total posts: 215
Posted:heyall
the other day, my gf and i just couldn't resist the temptation, and bought a lovely hamster!! not one of those typical yellow-brownish ones, it's pretty dark and sooooo nice...
we even bought a nice big cage, with lots of tubes to climb and play...

now, here's my question: we bought him (yes, it's a he) yesterday, and he is still extremely scared when i try to touch him. is it normal? how can i take him out of the cage, because i really don't want to hurt it, but i heard that if you don't touch your hamster and play with it, they can get quite depressed, and i want a happy hamster

so, any ideas? any other things i need to know or would be funny to know? i'll post a pic when i have one, he is soooo lovely...


Don't you destroy your enemy by making him your friend?? - Rev Bem (Magog), Andromeda

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bender
GOLD Member since Nov 2001

still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 6979
Posted:heh that's sooo cool man! maybe he's just sad that he hasn't got a name just yet - i sugget 'pee pee' as in 'ULTRA pee pee!' you could train him to do cool stuff and stuff.
probably not to do with fire. or big dogs.


Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always

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_Stix_


_Stix_

Pooh-Bah
Location: la-la land

Total posts: 2419
Posted:My hamspter was called Crocket - coz he looked like a pototo crockette when I got him..

he was cute as cute could be.. but MAN did he BITE! You could handle him no problem - then I think he used to get bored.. and wham! jaws clenched into the softest bit of skin he could find and HANG on! not good really..

but.. awww!! we used to have a hessian type wallpaper (nicer than it sounds) the little bugger used to go walkies all the way up to the top of the wall then looked around desperatly wondering how the hell he was gonna get down! Out came the ladders - every time - used to drive my dad wild!

he died tho.. cats and hampsters don't mix very well

the only thing I can suggest is just try, and keep trying.. maybe tempt him with a bit of food.. but be careful he doesn't associate fingers with food..

also don't forget they are naturally nocternal.. so he may be a bit grumpy during the day.. I wold be too enjoy..


I honour you as an aspect of myself..

You are never to old to storm a bouncey castle..

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simian


simian

110% MONKEY EVERY TIME ALL THE TIME JUST CANT STOP THE MONKEY
Location: London

Total posts: 3149
Posted:hamsters kick ass. not literally of course. that would be silly.

its natural for a hamster to be scared of you. you're bigger than it, and it doesn't know you. They get shown loads of educational videos about the dangers of taking sunflower seeds from strangers, so they're a bit paranoid.

i suggest shrinking yourself to hamster size to become less intimidating, and going and getting drunk with it to increase your hamster\owner camaraderie.

Alternatively just give it sunflower seeds and don't shout at it, put it in your mouth or throw it into walls.


"Switching between different kinds of chuu chuu sometimes gives this "urgh wtf?" effect because it's giving people the phi phenomenon."

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Mistress Aurora


Mistress Aurora

Hot Schtuff
Location: Stillwater,OK/Wichita Falls,TX

Total posts: 1032
Posted:Ok I never had a hamster, but I did have a gerbil. They both have to get used to human touch. Our family named him Skippy and he was black and white spotted kinda like a holstein cow(dairy cow).

Skippy had to get used to being physically handled before he would allow us to hold him and take him out of his cage.

We started out by just putting our hands in the cage and letting him get used to us and gently pet him. But don't corner him alot with your hand, or he may associate your hand as being threatening and he may bite. And like MisStix said don't associate fingers with food.

Best time to do all the handling is when he starts becoming active in his cage. You will know when he is "active".

Running here and running there digging around in bedding.Speaking of bedding...This is just a suggestion and would require you to see how he takes to it.

Our family used to buy stuffing that craft stores have in the bag and pull some out in a ball for Skippy. We would drop it into his clean cage and he would make that into his lil "nest" he would dig a hole into it and make a backdoor exit for it. That way at night and during the day when it was winter he could stay warm. Skippy also loved toilet paper rolls.

Hope that helps yall out. But just start out getting your hamster used to humans and start out just petting him and letting him associate your hand with pets and cuddling and being nice to him so that way he will eventually start letting you do more.

Hope that helps, if not say so or just ask more questions, and I'm sure the rest of us fellow HoPpers would be glad to help you out.

Toodles



RISK: Do not follow the common path; Go where there is no path and leave a trail.

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Paddy


back from the dead...sort of
Location: 4341'N 7938'W

Total posts: 884
Posted:Hamsters are very jittery things, and it will *definitely* take more than a day for it to get used to you. I've had three, so I've had a fair bit of experience.

Just as everyone else mentioned, be quiet and gentle, and don't make sudden movements. As Mistress Aurora mentioned, baiting with food is good at first, but after you pick it up, make sure to pet it for a while. Otherwise, it will only come to you for food and not for comfort, and it will remain shy unless you have a treat.

Most of all, give it *patience*. It takes a fair amount of time and dedication. Don't rush things, and good things will happen. Like most things, I suppose.


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birdgirl
BRONZE Member since Jun 2003

member
Location: scotland

Total posts: 48
Posted:Read its diary,then youll know exactly how it feels and what to do about it,make sure you do this whilst hes down the pub or out with his mates
cos hell hath no fury like a hamster scorned!!Good luck!!


spig--------Its not big and its not clever.

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frostypaw


Great balls of fire
Location: Tunbridge Wells, Kent

Total posts: 643
Posted:quote:he is still extremely scared when i try to touch him. is it normal?Definately normal!

Takes them ages to get at all used to you - and even then they're still worried all the time.

Best to try feeding it from your hand - you'll have to hold the food in your open palm and just leave your palm inside the cage - that'll get it used to your scent.

Then try leaving your hand inside the cage when you're watching telly/whatever and once it starts crawling over your arm etc you should be fine picking it up. Soon enough he'll be a happy chappy

Make sure you don't corner him or chase him around - until they've got the hang of getting a hamster ball up to decent speeds they don't enjoy being chased!

Our hamster was called Bunny. Was most confused.


I can SEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

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Paddy


back from the dead...sort of
Location: 4341'N 7938'W

Total posts: 884
Posted:Who has ever had a pet rat?

I never did, 'cause I was only ever saw someone else's rat after having all my three hamsters, but if I had to pick between the two, I'd get a rat in a second. They're way more playful, and far more intelligent. They actually remember who you are, and will greet you by running up your arm and licking your face (so cute)- as opposed to hamster which just accociate hands with food. Rats are also way more agile and innately curious. Really good pets!

I've heard a lot of people don't like them just because of their tails, but I think they feel pretty cool...


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Mistress Aurora


Mistress Aurora

Hot Schtuff
Location: Stillwater,OK/Wichita Falls,TX

Total posts: 1032
Posted:I don't mind any rodents really. I think it would be kool to have a pet rat.

My mom used to have some baby squirrels as pets. They are like rats only with bushy tails

I think it would be neat to have a chinchilla or a ferret



RISK: Do not follow the common path; Go where there is no path and leave a trail.

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ViciousVixen


member
Location: Oklahoma City, OK, USA

Total posts: 103
Posted:I want a squirrel!!! I've always thought they would make great pets, and they're so cute!

I've had a hamster, a mouse, and about 100 gerbils in my lifetime. Those gerbils are like rabbits, I swear. I feel guilty now because we didn't take care of them very well. But I suppose it's better to let kids learn responsibility by having a rodent than by getting them a cat, dog, or something larger. Just gotta make sure the kids is feeding the rodent and giving it water like they should, cuz they forget about those little animals easily.


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Sir_Sheep


Sir_Sheep

old hand
Location: Chester, UK

Total posts: 725
Posted:Squirrels rearely make good pets, they retain too much of their 'wild' nature too often. But I've never personally kep then, so I'm not an expert...

Your hamster will get used to being handled, if it happens often enough, and its a pleasant experience (ie it doesn't end up being splattered against a wall when you shake him off your finger). How old was he when you got him? I'm guessing he was weaning age or just beyond (16 days). So if that is the case, he hasn't been exposed to a lot of human contact.

Be gentle with him. No sudden movements. The easiest way to catch him is to place one hand over his body, then using the other 'scoop' him outta the cage. Don't be alarmed if he rolls onto his back and starts making a noise like somethin out of a horror movie - he's too busy screaming at you to sink his teeth in. Never, ever try to pick him up without supporting the weight of his body with a hand placed underneath him.

Also, never try to lift him diretly out from his nest in the daytime, hamster are nocturnal, they get grouchy if they're woken up. But wouldn't you if someone woke you up, dragged you outta your nice warm bed? Get him to wake up first, and move away from his nest before attempting to lift him.

Go for small but regular sessions of being handled, they will get annoied if handled for excessive periods of time.

Any other questions just let ask


Spoiling Christmas for small children since 2003.

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King Of Bongo


King Of Bongo

addict
Location: Berlin

Total posts: 522
Posted:quote:Originally posted by SaBBaS:
he is still extremely scared when i try to touch him. is it normal?

i heard that if you don't touch your hamster and play with it, they can get quite depressed, and i want a happy hamster hehehe... u just know what I'm gonna say.
But i wont. spec cos children can view this forum.
"runs for cover"

y a ver si quedamos antes de que me largue al EJC, estas por madrid?


Your life is ending one minute at a time...
So live it.

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SaBBaS


enthusiast
Location: Madrid, Spain

Total posts: 215
Posted:heheheeeee, i'm in love with the little thingie... and he's getting used to me now, he has started sniffing at me without jumping away every few seconds... hmmmm perhaps it was the shower i had...
another question, this time about nesting materials: is cotton ok?? i read that cotton wool is a very big no no, because they tend to eat it and die, or amputate limbs(sp?), but it didn't say anything about normal cotton...

viciousvixen, i thought about a squirrel too, but i was told they smell a lot and perhaps, as sir_sheep said, retain too much of their "wild nature"...

KoB, you dirty old man... as bryans mother said: aaaalways thinking about sex, is it big, is it small, will girls like it...
si men, a ver si quedamos algun dia de estos, cuando te vas?
thx all for your input, it's always nice to learn new and interesting things...


Don't you destroy your enemy by making him your friend?? - Rev Bem (Magog), Andromeda

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Dentrassi
GOLD Member since Apr 2003

Dentrassi

ZORT!
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Total posts: 3044
Posted:can you train him to tap-dance? that would be pretty cool....

"Here kitty kitty...." - Schroedinger.

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frostypaw


Great balls of fire
Location: Tunbridge Wells, Kent

Total posts: 643
Posted:quote:is cotton ok?? i read that cotton wool is a very big no no, because they tend to eat it and die, or amputate limbs(sp?), but it didn't say anything about normal cotton...Not entirely sure... but I think cotton is cotton is cotton if you know what i mean - the bedding stuff is dead cheap and they don't need loads anyhows

oh... have you stopped throwing away toilet roll middles yet? our's made most of it's nest out of chewed up 'tube, and they make a very effective way of carrying it around

I want one again now thinking about it! i miss the little bugger.


I can SEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

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Sir_Sheep


Sir_Sheep

old hand
Location: Chester, UK

Total posts: 725
Posted:Bedding material should be something warm and comfy, but non-absorbant. Whats the point of him having a wet nest. Any pet-shop will stock a wide selection of things, such as shredded paper, paper wool, print sheet (don't use newspaper, the ink ain't to good for the little critters).

If you can find anything like it, a compressed square of cotton-like-stuff or hay (called Happi Mats over here, I think) are ideal. Not only do the animals have a warm, dry bedding material, they have to shred the material themselves - provides environmental enrichment for them.

For the substrate used in the bottom of the cage, avoid using cedar (causes respiration problems) and avoid anything that contains dust (can lead to eye/respiration problems again).

Toys are good, but don't clutter his cage. Vary the toys he has in there. Wheels are always good (a wild foraging hamster can travel miles in a night looking for food).

Erm, anything else?


Spoiling Christmas for small children since 2003.

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Magnus


member
Location: Bath, UK

Total posts: 279
Posted:I heard that it takes a hampsters heart rate 8 hours to return to normal after being handled, but I bet that's lab hampsters that aren't used to it.

We currently have a hampster in the office, as my boss has gone on holiday. It is a boy hampster called Elizabeth.

My little brother had a Russian Hampster. Life expectancy three months, this is a pet that really is just for xmas However due to the advances of modern petfood technology it lived for nearly two years. Unfortunately for the last year it developed a rather large tumour. We did take it to the vet, but he said the hampster seemed happy enough so no need to end its life. When it died it was more tumour than hampster.

And that is all that Magnuses know about Hampsters.


Magnus... pay it forward

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frostypaw


Great balls of fire
Location: Tunbridge Wells, Kent

Total posts: 643
Posted:quote:Unfortunately for the last year it developed a rather large tumour. We did take it to the vet, but he said the hampster seemed happy enough so no need to end its life. When it died it was more tumour than hampster.awwwwwwwwww! :S

sad hamster death stories ahoy.

Bunny hung herself


I can SEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

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Psyri
SILVER Member since Apr 2003

Psyri

artisan
Location: Berkshire, UK

Total posts: 1576
Posted:I've had a few hamsters before... and when I first bought them they were afraid, well before I had even purchased the one I wanted I held him bwefore he made a suicidle jump to the floor and tried legging it, lol. It takes em time to get used to you. Handle em bit by bit until they get used to you but be careful. If it is the typical Syriaqn hamster (biggest) then you are more likely to get nipped cos they tend to be more agressive than Chinese or Russian hamsters.

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