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Winter White Hamster = Home body?


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#1 Tide

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 06:51 AM

I've edited this because it was a little bit confusing originally :).

Hi, I'm Tide. I've had my male winterwhite for about a month and a half. I used sunflower seeds to tame him, the process took a little under two weeks. It didn't take him long to figure out that if he stuffed the sunflower seed(s) into his cheek he could save time. He doesn't seem to notice much when I enter/leave the room, if I walk up to his cage he runs up to the petting area and waits at the lock. When it's opened he stands up (holding onto the edge) looking around and will wadle from side to side to see what's going on however he rarely wants to climb into my hand, making it seem like just looking around is enough entertainment for him. He also doesn't like to leave his cage for more than a minute or be too far away from the cage. When my hand is in the cage, he'll play with me, using it as a step to get to high spots, or a bridge to climb a few inches out side of his door to look around (all though he never stays for very long if he willingly leaves).

My question:
1. Is he a homebody/shy or am I doing something wrong?
2. What can I do to build a stronger bond with him so that he'll want to play outside of his cage?
3. If I walk around with him in my hand, he walks in circles as if looking for a safe way down? Does that mean he's nervous? He seems to only step down when my other hand is there, so I can't tell if he want's to keep moving or is trying to escape.

Edited by Tide, 29 March 2012 - 11:51 PM.





#2 Apples

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 01:41 AM

Well I'm told hamsters absolutely love their cage, but you can lure him onto your hand with sunflower seeds and carry him out. You could also put him in a separate taming bin (just a plastic bin with some of his cage's bedding [not new bedding] and maybe a wheel) and hold him and play with him in it to get him used to it.

I think my hamster freaked when I walked around with her. I think you should just maybe sit down and let him walk on your hands and such. He's probably a little nervous hence the circling, but if you do it enough he'll eventually relax. The best way to tell if he's relaxed in your hand or not is if he eats treats while sitting on it. My hamster is quite tame and lovely, but I've only had her for about a week and she won't eat her favorite foods on my hand, but happily takes them once she's back home.

Just play with him for 15 minutes a day outside of his cage.

#3 Tide

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 04:31 AM

Thanks for the advice... I have a large plastic drawer that I keep his toys + supplies in and have tried getting him to play in there. He goes to the edges and tries to climb out. However, he's way to short so he just ends up pawing and running around frantically. I have a 20 gal that I kept fish in for a while. I wonder if he would like that any more since he can see through it easily?

#4 Apples

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 08:22 AM

He just seems skittish/nervous when outside. It's normal for him to try and look for escape. In your hamster's case, he might be trying to look for a way back home! Just fill it with some of the cage's original bedding to give it a nice smell and play with him with your hands as much as you can. Reward him for climbing on you and such. He'll get better!

The plastic drawer sounds fine. I think one of those little plastic tubs are good, too.