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Very scared new little hamster :-(

(9 Posts)
Picante Sat 12-Sep-09 13:19:22

He keeps jumping every time I go anywhere near him. Then I jump because he's jumped. Then he'll jump because I've jumped...

He was slightly neglected for the first week (I was told to leave him be for a few days but it may have been a bit longer than that blush).

Any suggestions? DS is so disappointed with him that he tried to dig up our dead one. shock.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Sat 12-Sep-09 16:51:42

I would persevere and try and get to know him otherwise he will never be happy to be held.

We had a scared hamster so left him a day or so to settle in and he squeaked all the time as he was so scared. And he would bite.

He was just getting less scared when he had to be put down. We had had him about a year.

purepurple Sat 12-Sep-09 16:54:37

When DD got her first hamster, the woman in the pet shop said to handle the hamster in the bath (without the water)for a little while.
DD did this and found it helped both of them. The hamster couldn't escape anywhere and couldn't jump too far either. DD wore gloves for the first couple of times.

fruitshootsandheaves Sat 12-Sep-09 16:56:03

hold him everyday. Even if just for a minute otherwise he will never get used to it. If you think he might bite wear gloves!

ours was ok to be held once you caught him but he would bite if your finger poked through the bars while trying to clean him out etc. I was told they don't have very good vision and often mistake fingers for food!

beautifulgirls Sat 12-Sep-09 16:57:48

Try finger feeding him a few nice bits just to get him used to your hand being around. Remember also that when they first wake up they are need a few minutes to wake properly before you think about doing anything with them as they are more liable to bite/get frightened when they are still a bit sleepy. Just keep trying and don't give up because he is not happy with you all just yet. Time...

JollyPirate Sat 12-Sep-09 17:01:03

We got our hamster direct from a breeder because in most pet shops they are never handled and harder to tame as a result. However, the breeder has had several hamsters from pet shops and has managed to tame them all by just spending a quiet time with the hamster everyday - usually with a bit of food the hamster likes - ours goes mad for apple. Get the hamster tame enough to take food from you and persevere with handling. Like purepurple says - you could use gloves and I also like the idea of the bath - bath + food sounds the way to go grin

StrikeUpTheBand Sat 12-Sep-09 17:09:28

He will get better. I've had loads of hamsters and many start off this way.

Good tips -

Find a large shallow cardboard box (such as the kind of pallet box you might see in the supermarket holding apples is ideal).

Put the cage in it and take the cage bit off (leaving just the plastic tray).

Using a kitchen roll and other 'toys' gently get the hamster used to you being around.

Lift the cage out to leave the empty box with a few boxes and tubes in to play with your hamster.

Always show the hamster the back of your hand before you attempt to pick them up from above - if you don't it is very scary (think like a bird of prey swooping down on them) and they may respond with squeaking in fright or even aggression.

Scooping with both hands is a good way of picking the hamster up gently at first (inside the shallow tray, and giving them ample opportunity to 'escape' should they wish).

Later on when your hamster is more confident, showing them the back of your hand (to sniff) and then picking them up from above with their nose facing towards your wrist (i.e. pick them up by the bottom!) is a good way.

Hand-walking is a favourite pastime with some hamsters. When they are confident, just letting them walk from hand to hand for ages while you talk to them gently will help them get used to your voice.

Finally, never (ever ever) attempt to pick hammy up from his/her bed (asleep or not) as they won't take kindly and may hiss (and/or bite hard) if taken by surprise in this way.

Hope this helps.

StrikeUpTheBand Sat 12-Sep-09 17:12:26

I meant to add, the above technique worked very well with one of our more nervous hamsters (who had been left for a couple of months and not been handled before we rehomed her).

Picante Sat 12-Sep-09 18:49:11

Oh fantastic thanks. I shall persevere and I really like the bath idea!

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