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taming a hamster

(23 Posts)
lori88 Sat 21-May-11 16:42:25

my lovely wee hamster was pts at the beginning of the year. my husband bought me another hamster for valentines day, and while he's a wee sweetie, he is WILD.

i'm not inexperienced with hamsters, this is my 4th, but i just can't seem to tame him at all. on thursday, i managed to "hold" him for the 1st time- i lifted him out the cage, he jumped out my hands onto my leg (i was sitting on the floor with the cage in front of me) i picked him back up, held him for 10 secs, then he jumped onto my other leg, ran over my knee to the floor, and tried to bolt. i quickly scooped him up- he went mental, and i quickly popped him into his ball so i could clean out the cage. this is the closest contact i've had with him in the 3 months of owning him. its a nightmare trying to get him out the cage to clean it.

if i put my hand in the cage, he violently BACKFLIPS away from me. if i hand him "big food" ie apple or carrot, he'll kind of "karate chop" it out my hand, then go collect it from where it lands. if its something small, like a wee yoghurt drop or something, he'll eventually snatch it, before bolting or backflipping away from me.

i'm wondering if anyone has any tips for me, as although thursday was a "breakthrough", it just seems to be taking sooo long. my other hamsters were tamed within a week or two, except no.2 who was a bit damaged- couldn't drink from a bottle, i had to hold him, tip his head back, & tip minute amounts of water down his throat so he wouldn't dehydrate, would always run in circles etc. he was tame from the start (probably just didn't have a clue what was going on, poor wee bugger). the vet reckoned he was just a bit "special"- his words, not mine- & reckoned all i could do was let him get on with it. but anyway, i digress...

RustyBear Sat 21-May-11 16:51:18

I used a handling tube with my hamsters - a Jaffa cake tube is ideal as you can eat the Jaffa cakes it's just the right diameter, and you can cut the open end off if it's too long. If you put the tube in the cage, the hamster will usually run in, as they like dark places. Then you can gently lift it out and sit with it on your lap, with a treat in your hand near the open end of the tube, so the hamster can get used to your smell & come out in his own time

lori88 Sat 21-May-11 16:56:19

i use a tube to transfer him from his cage to his ball, but its a bit of a faff as the minute i lift it, he goes mad trying to get out the tube, i'm a bit wary incase he falls out the end & hurts himself. i'll give that a go though, see if that helps.
thanks very much smile

aristocat Tue 24-May-11 22:39:19

crikey OP you have got a wild one there ..... i have 2 dwarf hamsters and they are very tame, the girl actually stands on her hind legs waiting to be picked up smile
we have had 14 hamster babies this year (but thats another story!) and none of them were biters. we handled them very often, i thought that was why, perhaps we were just fortunate.

good luck and i hope he is more tame smile

lori88 Thu 26-May-11 14:11:09

i managed a 3 second hold last night before he went nuts lol guess i'll just need to persevere smile

14 baby hamsters??? wow- cute, but rather you than me lol

bellavita Thu 26-May-11 14:16:56

Blimey, he is wild.

Our boy hamster likes to nibble our eyebrows - very gently I may add, he sits in our laps and let's us stoke him, he is always been kissed by DS2.

If you let him go from one hand to the other - as if you are stroking him but with a full hand around him and as he walks out of the hand, he should walk into the palm of your other hand, so you just keep changing them over, this is supposed to calm them down - this is what the man in the pet shop told us to do.

lori88 Thu 26-May-11 17:08:19

bellavita, i've tried. he just leaps blindly off my hand, or has a hissy fit & wriggles out my grip lol

he's sooo different to my last hamster, harvey. i sat harvey on my (then 4 month olds) leg, and held my sons hand in a stroking action, & harvey never bothered, he loved the attention. not something i'm going to do with bailey lol

i've tried everything i can possibly think of, he's just not having it, the antisocial wee sod smile

when we bought him, the woman got him out, he went wild & leapt out her hand, landed on the floor,& went ape when she tried to pick him back up. took her about 10 or 15 mins to get him in the box. i thought to myself "aww, poor wee hamster, he's just a baby, he's absolutely terrified, obviously not used to being handled, poor wee thing " etc... i was wondering why she kept asking if we were sure we wanted that one, and why she declined all my offers to help hahaha

bellavita Thu 26-May-11 17:34:41

Oh dear.... I am not sure what to suggest then apart from taking him back and asking for a refund or exchanging for another - tell them they have sold you an out of control hammster grin

lori88 Thu 26-May-11 21:33:07

oh, i couldn't do that !!! maybe there's some sort of borstal for psycho hamsters lol :D

aristocat Fri 27-May-11 14:40:52

hopefully he will change and perhaps realise that its no good fighting you smile all the best

BTW we didnt have 14 newborn pups in one litter ..... we thought we had 2 boy hamsters until one day i discovered 5 pups in their house hmm well we seperated them the next day but Ben (the girl hamster) was pregnant again already and 20 days later she had 9 more pups shock

obviously they have never been together again and all my babies have left home sad it was lovely helping her to look after them not sure if a pic still on my profile

anyway - good luck lori with your wild one

lori88 Fri 27-May-11 16:58:43

aww, they're really cute, aristocat smile

aristocat Fri 27-May-11 18:11:56

i know, but couldnt keep them all sadly, worried that we would be over-run with them grin

MittzyTheMinx Fri 27-May-11 18:21:38

lori, we have a psycho hamster too! When I bought ours the winter white screeched at the pet shop lady and bit her and she laughed and shrugged it off as having woken him up.

What she should have told us is he is completely bonkers, constantly trying to escape, will only really be handled at all by me (he is DS's really) because I don't care if he bites me and appears to be a hyper maniac hamster on E's and Whizz grin

He does the gymnastic thing to avoid being handled and does a squeaky growl sometimes!

His redeeming qualities are that he is cute, adorable and sooo pretty smile, he goes wild in a ball and has eyes that melt you smile. He is a small fluffy, fat white ball of attitude!

So, no tips but I do sympathise.....

lori88 Fri 27-May-11 19:45:14

aristocat- that's why i only have male syrians- as cute as wee dwarf hamsters are, i couldn't cope with 100 of them lol in saying that, i thought i was smart getting males as i'd heard females could be hormonal & snappy... yeah, that worked out well grin

mittzytheminx- feeling better knowing i'm not the only one haha grin

Blondeshavemorefun Sat 11-Jun-11 16:03:20

he just needs a firm hand grin

i have been known to train hammies for friends (and even strangers)

gently handling and firm stroking help - to get them out of the cage regularly, esp when new, we do maybe 5/10 times a day so that they get used to coming out and saying hello and being held

when they are babies i start by wearing gardening gloves, so if they bite, it doesnt hurt and with regular stroking they start to trust you

rebelpunk Tue 05-Jul-11 20:15:42

still no luck with the wee sod. once the baby's asleep i'll be cleaning him out & getting my hands seriously chomped trying to socialise him once again smile

rebelpunk Thu 07-Jul-11 16:26:34

he wasn't for having it at all sad

however, last night he did accept sultana's which i held through the bars (progress smile )

anyone else have any idea's?

bellavita Thu 07-Jul-11 16:47:42

We must just be so lucky with DS2's hamster. Have you tried putting your hands in in the sawdust before holding him? How about asking the pet shop you got him from?

DS has just taken his out of the cage (he was asleep but woke him up) and was cuddling him. He passed him to me and I put his little face next to mine, gave him loads of kisses and he just snuggled in.

rebelpunk Thu 07-Jul-11 17:01:54

i'm a bit reluctant to ask them, the woman was worse than me at getting near him lol

oh, the days of an affectionate hamster... seems so long ago now grin

bellavita Thu 07-Jul-11 17:07:55

<<lightbulb moment>>

Ours likes Sainsbury's Taste the Difference white chocolate and raspberry cookies... perhaps you could give them a whirl?

rebelpunk Thu 07-Jul-11 17:18:53

i suppose i could try them to bribe him...
although is chocolate not poisonous?

aliceliddell Thu 07-Jul-11 17:32:10

bellavita - eyebrow nibbling <goes all unnecessary and soppy>
My friend thinks they are crap pets because all they do is 'bite you and run away'. Our one (Bob whose name is called Karen) just bites. He can't be arsed to run

bellavita Thu 07-Jul-11 17:38:17

He has hamster chocolate drops... In fact he eats anything. Toast with jam or marmalade, loves licking plain yoghurt off our fingers, hob nob biscuits, cake crumbs.

Even my mother loves him. When I speak to her she always asks how we all are and then says "how is my other little friend...?" in fact he is going on his holibibs to her house next month whilst we are away. This the mother who would never let me and my brother have any pets!

They are lovely pets.

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