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To ask for help with hamster guilt

(13 Posts)
shiredweller76 Mon 16-Jan-17 20:33:22

Our 2 year old Syrian hamster died this weekend.

He always had a big cage. Lots of food and water. Good stuff. Bordom treats. Toys.

But when I fell pregnant I was warned to be careful around him and pretty much stopped handling him. He got put out of the way. My daughter - who was his 'owner' lost interest after the first 6 months or so and had to be nagged constantly to hold him. What a lonely boring life he had and he was so sweet and friendly.

I feel rotten. Pleaseake me feel better not that I deserve it.

SleepOhHowIMissYou Mon 16-Jan-17 20:42:11

They are solitary animals when adult.

Hamsters don't really enjoy being picked up. They'll suffer it. They may even climb into your hand (if they get fed) but it's not natural behaviour.

If his cage was cleaned regularly and he had lots to eat as well as a wheel to excercise and some sawdust for digging in and bedding to stash his food away, then I doubt he was bored.

Chin up!

AragornsManlyStubble Mon 16-Jan-17 20:45:40

We have a hamster (DD's, she's eight and does his care), and I handle him when she cleans him out. I'm not sure why you stopped? The only animal issue I know of while pregnant is cat faeces. I also handle her snakes and still change cat litter, I just take extra care. That said, hamsters are naturally solitary creatures and don't really require the interaction. We've domesticated them for our convincence not their enjoyment. As long as he was fed, watered and entertained then I would say he had a happy life.

AragornsManlyStubble Mon 16-Jan-17 20:48:29

That sounded abrupt and it wasn't meant to!! Please don't feel rotten, circumstances change. I really do believe that he would have been very happy living his little life his way. smile

TheProblemOfSusan Mon 16-Jan-17 20:58:29

I think hamsters are quite happy being left alone, aren't they? They're very solitary in the wild, that's why you can't easily keep two adults together.

If he was being cleaned and had food and water he was probably quite content in a safe little world with no predators to worry about.

Two years is a nice age for a ham.

Wolfiefan Mon 16-Jan-17 21:07:07

I think his life sounds an awful lot better than many hamsters. Big cage. Fed and watered and not pulled around by children.
You do have less time when you have a baby.
Agree that it was odd advice to be careful of a hamster when pregnant though?! confused

MsVestibule Mon 16-Jan-17 21:42:02

Thank you for these comments! Our hamster died last week and I was concerned that although he was well looked after, we didn't play with him much, and he only went in his exercise ball once a week. I feel better that I didn't totally neglect him - we assume that because (most) humans need interaction to thrive, that isn't the case for all animals.

SleepOhHowIMissYou Mon 16-Jan-17 22:17:10

It's human nature to anthropomorphize our pets, but animals really do have quite different needs to us.

If he was living in his native Syria, I doubt little Hammy would ever encounter a human in his day to day existence, and he certainly wouldn't choose to interact with us if he did.

I'm sure you provided everything he needed OP, don't worry.

ExitPursuedBySpartacus Mon 16-Jan-17 22:20:39

Caged animals are wrong in so many ways so I feel your pain.

I've got into a spat recently on fb about tortoises as pets.

I have a horse confined to its stable in winter.

Blossomdeary Mon 16-Jan-17 22:27:24

Don't feel rotten - I managed to kill one of the children's guinea pigs in front of them! He had D&V and the vet told me to get liquid down him via a syringe - I managed to squirt it down his windpipe by mistake and he gurgled to death in my hand. Grim.

AragornsManlyStubble Mon 16-Jan-17 22:29:37

Blossom

I have to give my rabbit his antibiotics for the first time in a minute. Am now dreading it! I never considered that outcome!! confused

Mouikey Mon 16-Jan-17 22:35:41

We have the same issue as you OP - we have a hammy who doesn't get the attention now our LO has arrived. I don't actually think he cares much; as soon as the tv is off and we go upstairs he gets up and goes on his wheel - this happens no matter what time we go to bed. It's as if he is waiting to get rid of us 😆 He is very cute and like yours has a huge cage!

altiara Mon 16-Jan-17 22:37:35

I feel guilty as ours got moved out into the study when we got a puppy. Before that hammy would wake up when she heard/smelt us and would always be out and about (liked a range of interesting food I think). Since being banished she looks like she's lost weight and looks depressed. On Christmas Day, we thought she was dying as she couldn't walk properly and was all scrunched up. But she's made a miraculous recovery and is our longest surviving hamster (2years)

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