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Introducing Teddy!

I have decided to call our adopted Syrian 'Teddy' as I think he is described as a teddy bear hamster.  His name in the shop was Remmy but the shop said they gave that to him.  So he is already confused!   He is in a big tank with a mesh lid (that OH fashioned out of cake cooling trays!).  But I think I have it wrong - I am aware I have built a home suitable for a mouse 'with stuff all piled up' as someone here once described (and I took that to heart then and it worked excellently for my mice).  But I fear hamsters prefer open space and things to climb?  I'd love some advice guys?  I want to do right by him.
You google best hamster environments and I don't trust any of it.  
I am torn between leaving him alone to settle in, moving him to the ruffy2 - (it has bars = climbing), taking it all out of the tank and trying again with some climbing walls.  He does have a nice big wheel which he uses.
He made me anxious initially as he didn't seem to drink anything but I have put a bowl of water in as well as a bottle and he goes to that frequently.
And he is a bit shaky when he is just waking/going to sleep.   But he is an older man.
He is very polite with food.  I put my hand in yesterday with a pea on it and had to nudge it to him to take,  he seemed a bit unsure what to do with it.   I'll give him a piece of carrot today.  But he already has our hearts.
Mum to Bosley the rat and Teddy the hamster.
Never forgotten - my lovely fancy mice Jill, Kate, Eve, Kris, Sabrina, Dylan, Kelly, Abby, Tiffany, Natalie and Alex and wild mice Harry and Wills and Charlie the gentle-man Rat.

Comments

  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,285
    Aw, a newbie! Welcome to Teddy. I only ever had one syrian Sarah and he was housed in a narrow barred cage called the Savic…... :-*  Can`t remember the name of it now? It was the one with the black narrow bars and the blue base with the large door on the front? Having said all that, all of my other (dwarf) hamsters I kept in a Gabber Rex Perspex tank. I feel the Zoozone 2 would be ideal for a Syrian but that`s only because I prefer hamsters NOT to climb or chew bars. That`s just my preference though and chances are, Teddy wouldn`t do either, unless he was intent on learning.

    A large enough glass tank with a decent wheel sounds fine. Was he returned to the store or sold as an `older` hamster? If he was returned, he might have been kept in a small barred cage by his previous owners, but if that`s not the case, he may have never known anything else but living in a glass tank. 

    The Ruffy cage sounds ideal though and possibly the better cage. Is it bigger than the tank he`s in or smaller? If he`s not inclined to have a `go` at the bars, it might be worth switching, but not a full cage clean, just wait until he`s fully awake and switch everything over. The same bedding, flooring, keep the wheel in the same end and maybe add a full length shelf at one end over where he sleeps with a ramp (not a runged ladder) as ramps are great (and safer). Hamsters shoot up and down a ramp but would find a ladder tricky. 

    Hope this helps a wee bit 
  • AnnBAnnB Mouse
    Posts: 1,006

    Welcome Teddy.

    My last Syrian did like to climb bars and hang upside down so I was glad the cage didn't have a high roof and I made sure he had a soft landing if he ever did fall. It was also a cage with narrow bar spacing and luckily he never did try to chew the bars.

  • SarahnashSarahnash Lemming
    Posts: 346
    Teddy was brought in as his owner was an elderly confused lady who couldn't look after him.  The barred cage he lived in at the shop was the one he came in with (25x30x50cm) and I took that with me so he had bits of his world until I changed over (taking bits of his bedding with him). Your Savic sounds like the sky metro, which I eyed up as a possible - front opening is good.  The ruffy (and obviously the tank) have top entry.  But at that time I wanted to reuse what I had.  
    The tank is an Ikea Deltof glass display cabinet (163x38x37cm) on it's back I used for Harry and Wills (much longer than his cage or the Ruffy).  But of course no rungs to climb or attach items to.
    Things I read suggest hamsters need a lot of space but also I read too much space stresses them!  Or is that other types of hamsters? And I always go overboard on sizes - tank big, flying saucer big. 
    I will go with the ramp ideas and I ordered some Trixie wooden house things with ramps and I'll keep him in the tank for now,   thank you for thoughts.
    Mum to Bosley the rat and Teddy the hamster.
    Never forgotten - my lovely fancy mice Jill, Kate, Eve, Kris, Sabrina, Dylan, Kelly, Abby, Tiffany, Natalie and Alex and wild mice Harry and Wills and Charlie the gentle-man Rat.
  • SarahnashSarahnash Lemming
    Posts: 346
    And another thing...mice and rats never had wood shavings and I think its true for hamsters?   He is on carefresh natural as I thought he could burrow and form tunnels with that.  Is that stuff Ok for hamsters?
    Mum to Bosley the rat and Teddy the hamster.
    Never forgotten - my lovely fancy mice Jill, Kate, Eve, Kris, Sabrina, Dylan, Kelly, Abby, Tiffany, Natalie and Alex and wild mice Harry and Wills and Charlie the gentle-man Rat.
  • SarahnashSarahnash Lemming
    Posts: 346
    And more... my mice and rats get excited when their house changes.  Are hamsters the same?  I understand transferring a bit of used bedding is important but do they relish new houses, equipment, infrastructure?
    Mum to Bosley the rat and Teddy the hamster.
    Never forgotten - my lovely fancy mice Jill, Kate, Eve, Kris, Sabrina, Dylan, Kelly, Abby, Tiffany, Natalie and Alex and wild mice Harry and Wills and Charlie the gentle-man Rat.
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,285
    Sarah, Carefresh is fine. I used a similar type one but it was discontinued. Then there is that white paper based one called Fitch. This is a favourite with all small rodents and is sold online in bales. Check out Hamster Central.com forum.  :)  I`m a member on there but don`t post much these days as I`m hamster-less.  :( 

    No, it wasn`t the metro cage I had, it was similar to the Savic Ruffy....just can`t remember the name! These days, I would always use Zoozone  type-tanks as I love my Gabber Rex and used it for all of my drawfies. Only Chinese hamsters are mouse-like climbers with the same agile abilities. Otherwise, climbing hamsters can cause themselves harm, especially if they slip and get a paw trapped in a door or land awkwardly.

    I would say try and do spot cleans rather than full cage cleans too often and never use those strong disinfectant sprays. Fine if a hamster has wet tail, but otherwise, I find wiping or washing toys and around the cage with damp kitchen towels and hot water is fine. I also never removed the hamster while doing my spot checks as it was all a play time and "what the hell are you dong to my house"!!! 


  • AnnBAnnB Mouse
    Posts: 1,006
    My Hamster was fine about cage cleans except for his bed. He used to put a lot of effort into making his bed so I always used to leave some of the old, familiar smelling bedding for him. He was rather a chilled out Hamster so he didn't seem to get terribly excited about new things like the Mice do but he did like some nice fresh vegetables and his wheel.
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,285
    I never used to touch the nest area either Ann except to lift off the shoe box (this was turned upside down so he could dig beneath the floor!) and my wee robo would make a ball nest deep down in the corner! I would always just remove anything I thought soiled and replaced it with a handful of fresh, but would also leave some clean carefresh by the opening and he would collect this himself. It was funny just watching him do his housework! 

    Hamsters won`t poo or pee directly IN their nest, but usually in a corner nearby. Teddy will soon show you where his loo is and you can remove any soiled Carefresh, give it a wipe over and then throw a handful of fresh over it. 

    My feeling is that replenishing substrate and bedding all the time causes stress to small rodents. It would be like someone prodding us at 3:00am and removing the duvet and puting the lights on! To remove unnecessary stress, all that`s required is spot cleans and a wee bit of holding back sometimes. I feel the old mantra of totally emptying a cage base and replacing all the bedding/substrate etc....just isn`t necessary. It also saves money. Hammy isn`t bothered!
  • SarahnashSarahnash Lemming
    Posts: 346
    That is brilliant advice, thank you both for taking the time. Teddy has ignored his new wooden house and is just sleeping in the back right corner. His toilet is in the front right corner. En suite!
    He showed a good interest in us tonight, I put your flat hand in which he sniffed, nibbled, decided it wasn't really food and climbed on with all 4 paws. I made no attempt to pick him up and he shuffled off again. Result!
    OH on the other hand had him climbing the roof. There were words.
    :((

    I love your analogy of duvet at 3am RM, puts it in perspective.
    I might try the fitch bedding, I like the carefresh clumping but it smells a bit strange, particularly when Teddy has wee’d on it.
    Mum to Bosley the rat and Teddy the hamster.
    Never forgotten - my lovely fancy mice Jill, Kate, Eve, Kris, Sabrina, Dylan, Kelly, Abby, Tiffany, Natalie and Alex and wild mice Harry and Wills and Charlie the gentle-man Rat.
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,285
    The paper based beddings are definitely better than wood shavings, I agree on that. Although I have used good quality shavings in the past, these were well prepared before using by removing them into open boxes and rotated outside by hand and then left to `air out` to remove that pine smell new shavings give off. Not everyone has the time or wants to bother with such practices, but I felt it entirely necessary. I`ve also used Hemp horse beddings for the mice which worked brilliantly. Aubiose was the hemp I used and I still aired this in open plastic storage boxes a few weeks before use. I kept a box under the table just to be able to take a handful now and then when I needed to scoop out any wet areas or just replenish some. 

    On the wooden house....get yourself a shoe box! Remove the lid,turn the box upside down, cut a couple of doors in it and you have a better bed box with no floor and can also be chewed or replaced when necessary, although my Syrian never chewed his. I used cardboard boxes for all my hamsters and I can tell you, they are the best little sleeping huts! You can also use children`s safe water based paint to decorate them if you wish! I never did, but the option is there if you feel arty!

    Great news that he`s walking onto your hand for a wee kiss! 


    :x
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