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Hamster advice urgently needed!

(8 Posts)
SeniorWrangler Tue 13-Sep-11 22:45:28

Henry, our seven week old hamster, has lived with us for ten days. He was nicely docile on arrival. On day one we handled him, but he has been in the cage ever since, an extensive plastic affair with lots of tubes and rooms and so on. Feeling a bit guilty about this, I spent half an hour teaching him to take flakes of food from my hand earlier today. He was very shy but I did manage to tame him a little. Tonight I said to DH that we should have another go at handling him before he goes completely feral, and made DH have a go. It was a disaster. He leapt out of DH's hands 3 or 4 times, and ended up biting him very badly. Henry is now hiding behind the wheel and quaking with fear despite me trying to make amends by offering him a strawberry top. I am worried he will have internal injuries after dropping four feet several times. What on earth do we do?? Will he be OK? If so, how on earth do we tame him after this? We had a couple of dwarf hamsters before by the way, but that ended up in a terrible homosexual hamster-to-hamster rape incident and even though we separated them, they were both pretty vicious despite our best efforts all the way along.

SeniorWrangler Tue 13-Sep-11 22:49:09

Apparently he is now running around his wheel so I am thinking he has not crushed all his internal organs whilst diving for freedom.

I am glad DS2 didn't see the incident - he is already nervous enough of the poor creature.

cornsillx Wed 21-Sep-11 20:37:07

When our hamster had a fall we took him to the vets. The vet found an injury which was treated and he is now fine. Best to get the vet to check him out.

ginmakesitallok Wed 21-Sep-11 20:40:21

If he's running around then chances are he's fine. As for taming him - take things very slowly. I miss my hamsters...

notjustme Wed 21-Sep-11 23:56:22

Same kind of idea as with rats - get him a nice safe hamster pouch (old pillowcase cut down to a smaller size would do fine) - instead of forcing hands on him, let him sit in the pouch and get used to your hands being around - feed him some healthy treats (tiny pieces of fruit etc) in the pouch, stroke him, let him climb over your hand in the pouch etc. Try not to make frantic grabs at him etc - Take things very slowly.

Regular handling is a BIG must especially with animals like hamsters which are not exactly human orientated as it is, and very quickly revert to an unsocialised state if left to their own devices. Try and get him out every day if you can, even if only for a few minutes. The 'modular' style cages do you no favours - it is too easy for them to fort themselves in and encourages them to hide away.

BoffinMum Fri 30-Sep-11 23:16:46

We tried that but he has remained timid and now made a break for freedom (see other thread).

I think It Was Not Meant To Be.

But I am worried about him now ....

Grumpla Fri 30-Sep-11 23:24:49

If he's on his wheel etc, I think he's probably ok physically! Hamsters are pretty resilient little things.

You just need to slow down a bit. Poor thing is probably a bit confused! Hand-feeding him for a fortnight or so would be a good start, stroking gently without trying to pick him up. Can you get some of those special hamster choc drops? Encouraging him to sit on your hand (within the cage) is a good prelude to actually picking up.

When he seems confident and happy, pick him up gently but firmly, settle him on your lap (more treats!) and be ready to return him to cage if he becomes distressed. It's a good idea to put cage on floor, lift him onto your lap - then you are all much nearer the ground if someone does panic!

Don't shriek / flap / stand up if he tries to escape, this is much more likely to result in bites and drops!

This is how I tamed my beloved hamster many years ago, after a very nervous start she was incredibly tame and friendly. I adored her.

BoffinMum Sat 01-Oct-11 08:18:32

Seemed quite tame during adventure roaming around sitting room last night, and while not happy to be handled, more inquisitive and perky than in previous weeks. I will try putting my hand in the cage today.

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