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Hamster help- time out of cage how do you do it?

(21 Posts)
verygentlydoesit Fri 12-Apr-13 16:23:43

I bought a hamster for DS 10 days ago (thank you all for the advice on where to get one from). He is a gorgeous but lively little fellow and he gives me the feeling that he wishes he spent more time out of his cage.

So far we have got him out every evening, and he has spent about 10-15 mins with DS in a dry bath, followed by a run in his ball (started with a 5 minute run, we are gradually increasing the time). He seems a confident inquisitive type, he doesn't jump at voices and when I move his cage he dashes out and climbs to the highest point to stand on his legs and see what is happening.

Initially he was very skittish, trying to dash up the sides of the bath and sliding down. Day by day he has become more tame and is taking treats from DS' hand and exploring his legs and lap. DS has picked him up very gently a few times, he seems happy enough being handled but prefers not to stay still.

I've seen some posts about people giving their hamster time out of the cage in a whole room, but I can't get my head around how this would work? I think our hamster would be rushing around all over the place, and catching him at the end may be traumatic for him. How do people do this?

Do some hamsters actually sit still while they are handled?

I would love to let him out more but other than time out in the bath or his ball I'm not sure how to make this work in a safe calm way.

All advice gratefully received.

PS I am already considering a bigger cage. We bought this, a ferplast duna large cage. It was the biggest in the shop and had good reviews. It has a good amount of space when you take the shelves into account but the actual floor space isn't that big and I think I need to replace the wheel with a larger one which will mean removing a shelf. Has anyone upgraded from this cage, to say a Hamster Heaven- was it worth it? At this rate the hamster is going to be more spoilt than DS- but I can't bear to see him peering hopefully through the bars......

ernesttheBavarian Fri 12-Apr-13 16:42:00

we let ours just run round the room, but then he managed to scale the sofa and unbeknown to us, ripped it apart to make a nest. So we let him run around the kitchen, and he managed to squeeze through a tiny gap in the vent under the fridge, and we had to rip all the skirting boards off to get him back.

In Germany the balls are a no no and you can't buy them. The woman in the shop looked at me like I was an evil monster.

So I need a new solution too. sorry, can't fix your problem, unless you def don't have any gaps, in which case yes, just let him run around, but keep an eye on him!

verygentlydoesit Fri 12-Apr-13 16:55:53

Thanks Ernest, I see I am not the only one with this problem. I can see that he may well end up disappearing under the sofa or somewhere else that proves tricky to retrieve him from! Incidentally, how did you catch your hamster after he had finished running amok?

I was a bit hmm about the hamster ball, but now he climbs into it when I offer it to him and waits patiently for the lid to go on. I have watched him closely and he seems to enjoy it, but I can't be sure which is why I would love to let him loose in a room.....

LadybirdsEverywhere Fri 12-Apr-13 17:01:03

We used to let Hammy run round the hall with all the doors shut. Minimal furniture for him to hide under.

ernesttheBavarian Fri 12-Apr-13 17:24:20

the hall is a good idea, except for us, our coat cupboard is so jammed you can't shut the door problem, plus the cat.......

verygentlydoesit Sat 13-Apr-13 11:10:40

Bumping in the hope that I might be a little less clueless when his little furry face looks at me asking for an adventure later.

neontetra Sat 13-Apr-13 11:43:48

Bath and hall were my only solutions, too. And I always used a hamster ball - they all loved it. Good luck!

minicreamegg Sat 13-Apr-13 12:00:42

I got a play pen for hamsters at Pets at home, DC's would some toys in it too. The hamster would run around in it for ages.

saintmerryweather Sat 13-Apr-13 12:07:37

Maybe a playpen would do the trick?

peedoffbird Sat 13-Apr-13 12:11:35

I bought a play pen from Pets at Home and took it back as our hamster just ram raided it and went underneath or climbed over the top!

EMUZ Wed 17-Apr-13 02:22:58

I upgraded from a duna to a hamster heaven (savic sky v similar and cheaper)
Make sure you have a big wheel, silent spinners or wodent wheels are brilliant. Mine actually now has 2 hamster heavens joined together (I can't refuse an eBay bargain) wink

verygentlydoesit Wed 17-Apr-13 16:17:23

You have a very lucky hamster EMUZ.

Do you find the Heaven much better than the Duna? We have the Duna Large, not the Duna Fun so it is pretty big (71cm), and has three levels. We've recently bought a larger wheel but the stand makes so much noise on the shelf that it sits on that we may have to remove the shelf completely and have the wheel on the base of the cage.

I've seen some pictures of wheels attached to cage roof bars- can't quite work it out though....

Decisions, decisions......

derektheladyhamster Wed 17-Apr-13 16:23:38

You could try a flying saucer instead of a wheel. It will sit on the floor so you don't have to remove a shelf. We have the duna and have attached a ferplast kora

flying saucer

verygentlydoesit Wed 17-Apr-13 16:29:46

I've actually already tried a flying saucer derek (pampered Hamster alert). He didn't seem to get on with it, kept climbing on then freezing and looking bewildered! I left it for a few days but I felt mean as he loves his wheel, so he has it back now.

Who would have thought there was so much to learn about cages and wheels. I thought I had done enough research before buying the Ferplast Large, but now I'm not sure it was the best choice.

derektheladyhamster Wed 17-Apr-13 18:45:22

We have a flying saucer AND a wheel in the cage extension blush

JumpingJackSprat Wed 17-Apr-13 18:55:04

When i was a kud and had hamsters we had the balls but also used to build mazes out of video boxes... maybe your ds could make a playpen or maze for him.

wannaBe Wed 17-Apr-13 19:10:21

I am ve envy we too have had our hamster for ten days and have been unable to get him out at all. The cage we have has some tubing and as soon as we go into the room he darts straight in there and it's impossible to get him out.

I've never owned an unhandleable pet before (I have an African Grey parrot fgs and even he is completely handleable] but I fear on this occasion we are going to end up wiith a hamster that will never leave its cage. sad he does have wheels and tubes and things so plenty to amuse him, he just won't be human oriented....

BellaVita Wed 17-Apr-13 19:17:38

Wannabe, your hammie sounds like our new one, he is frightened of his own shadow sad. Once he is out (when we mnage to ger him) he is not too bad, but one slight move towards his cage and voom he dashes in to his tube.

Our previous hamster was not like this at all and was a nosey little boy. He also escaped his cage twice and scaled the stairs to come and find me in the night - he sat scratching at our bedroom door. As son as he heard his treat bag rattle that was it he was out of his house.

EMUZ Wed 17-Apr-13 19:56:58

I adore the hamster heaven! Just much more room but it is huge
Some prefer the wodent wheel as it mimics running next to a wall as its closed in

EMUZ Wed 17-Apr-13 19:58:34

This is 2 hamster heavens joined together

thebestpossibletaste Wed 17-Apr-13 20:08:34

We have The Hamster Heaven too, I think it's great. Our hamster is now at least 2.25 years old so not as active but I found putting him in the dry bath with DD worked well, also ten mins in his ball.

A good tip if you can't handle your hamster without getting bitten is to use knitted or fabric gloves.This helped my DD when she was scared because the hamster bit her.

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