Advanced search

Nervous hamster

(6 Posts)
Northernlight Fri 10-Sep-10 15:58:49

Our hamser is sooo nervous! She shakes quite a bit when she's in her cage and you approach her, flinches etc.

When handling, she's perfectly tame, no biting etc, but doesn't seem to enjoy being handled.

We've had her since November last year, i'm worried she'll never be 'comfortable'.

She's very well looked after, clean cage, treats, fresh food and gets let out to run around in her ball for around 1.5 - 2 hours, 6 evenings a week.

Anyone have any ideas on how to make her less nervous?

OP’s posts: |
sparkle101 Sat 11-Sep-10 18:07:36


Is it a syrian hamster? There are a few things to try when you are handling hamsters and apologies if you are already doing them.

Firstly, make sure you don't pick her up straight away after she has just woken up - best to leave a couple of minutes before handling, preferably offer her a treat to encourage her to come over to you. Very important to talk to her all the time - she will get to know your voice and understand how she is going to be handled and associate a reward with your voice so be more likely to accept cuddles.

Make sure you wash your hands before handling her as their eye sight is very poor but their sense of smell is very good so if they can smell food, or another animal, on your hands they may be a little more alert than normal!!

Also, when you pick her up, scoop her from underneath rather than picking her up from above - in the wild - when hamsters get attacked they are carried away by birds, therefore if your hamster cannot see what is happening they are more likely to bite you or feel less happy with their surroundings.

Female hamsters are normally more fearful than male ones so she could just be typical girl.

Do you know how old she is? Shaking is sometimes one of the signs of old age. Is she happy and healthy in herself? No signs of wet tail or other illness? Is she kept in a room away from too much hussle and bussle and away from children poking her?Is her room temperature consistent?

I remember someone in a pet shop saying to me a hamster shouldn't be in a ball for longer than 30-45 minutes due to issues with their spine and posture - this could cause the shaking, although saying that none of the my hamsters have suffered ill effects from being in the ball for that long.

Hope this helps, good luck!

Blondeshavemorefun Sat 18-Sep-10 22:45:11

dont show fear or nervousness when you go and pick up

be bold

get out often, so go and pick up,have a cuddle with firm strokes and then replace and maybe an hr later do the same, so that they get used to you

agree 2hrs a night is a lot for a hammy to exercise in a ball, so i would do for 30mins

c0rns1lk Sat 18-Sep-10 22:47:41

we don't put ours in the ball - she hates it. She is the cuddliest hamster but will bite if disturbed from sleep. I used to put my hand in and let her sniff it when we first got her - she was very nervous and squeaked loads.

maddannafizz Tue 28-Dec-10 22:45:29

Hi. leaving her in th ball that long is not good. Should be ten to 20 mins [at the most] each time. She cannot tell you when she wants to stop and the ball traps her there, she has no choice but to roll and move forwards. It does not mean she is enjoying it. This has probably caused trouble with her spine. I would get her checked and stop the ball for a while. I let mine run in the kitchen whilst I sit with them and make sure there are no wires to chew and that they don't go behind anything. I made with the kids some boxes with holes in them and our hammy loves to run in and out of these. She has a bowl of proper hamster sand, and a shallow bowl of pistachio nut shells which he likes to crunch about in. I don't relly want to be playing with the hammy when I am tired at the end o the day, but this is how I exercise her as I hate animals in cages [hence hers is very large. If you just want to use the ball, then make sure she has lots of fun things in her cage [like a hanging bit of corn or broccli on a astring, or a bowl of special hamster sand, or a little box with a few holes in it], then let her have a few short rolls a day with breaks rather than leaving her alone in the ball for ages. Hope this helps and that you take my advice about the ball.

Soups Sat 22-Jan-11 14:32:02

That sounds far too long to be in a ball. The intructions that came with ours said 30 mins at most.

Oddly ours didn't like being handled much until we got a much larger cage. He now has lots of floors to climb around, when he's away from his nest it usually means he's happpy to chat and have a stroke.

We also have a petting cage

Many of the reviews aren't good because the bars are low for a syrian. But then again the instructions stated it's not to leave them unattended in! Our Syrian can just about touch the top with his nose, when standing on his hind legs.

In the evenings we let our Syrian have a run in the ball, then put him in the petting cage with some toys. If they're nervous make sure they have something in there that they can hide under. Having the petting cage makes it easy for us to pick up Hammy for a few moments and put him down when he gets uncomfortable. We've found that over the last month he's happier and happier to be held.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in