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 Post subject: Hamster advice
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 2:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:28 pm
Posts: 2439
Please can you help regarding our fairly new hamster?

Basically, he likes to chew the cage. I'm not sure whether this is normal or not. Getting him out of his cage seems to have reduced the problem. However, I noticed in the last few days his fur on his face has developed a parting. At first I thought he was developing a bald patch, but now I think it is where his face has rubbed up against a bar, causing the fur to flatten slightly each side of the bar. He obviously chews on the cage when we are asleep, as I'm not aware of him doing much when we're awake.

What has been your experience regarding hamsters? Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Hamster advice
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 2:45 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:47 am
Posts: 3310
Location: Warwickshire.
Totally normal behaviour in my experience. Do make sure there is something in the cage like wood or a mineral block for him to gnaw on as they need to keep the teeth from growing too long. The meaning of rodent is a small nibbling or gnawing animal.


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 Post subject: Re: Hamster advice
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 3:44 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 1:21 am
Posts: 2125
Indeed - hamsters love to chew, it's their raison d'ĂȘtre. Ours always ignores the wooden sticks we put in the cage and until recently insisted on gnawing away at the slight gap in the plastic around her water bottle, until one day we found a perfectly shaped hole alongside the bottle and no hamster in sight! Fortunately we got her back and installed her to a bigger, more secure cage which she is now attempting to vanquish by chewing at the bars on the first floor.

If your hamster ignores wooden chew sticks, you could try hanging up a hamster treat with tightly packed seeds etc. which they love but really have to work to get off. That might help to wear those teeth down. And plenty of exercise in a hamster ball might stimulate him and make him less likely to gnaw at his cage.

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Marylou


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 Post subject: Re: Hamster advice
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 4:46 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:22 am
Posts: 3664
Yes, a similar thing happened to us...DD hamster escaped from a hole in the cage just at the moment DH had pulled up the skirting board revealing a perfect hamster size gap....and then had to spend 25 minutes pulling up the floorboards and waiting with a pink fishing net whilst uttering various expletives....he then took DD to the pet shop and bought their whole section of logs, treats on a stick etc which he thinks has done the trick, but the hamster still likes to have a frenzied chew on the bars ....you just need to keep an eye on the holes they are making !


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 Post subject: Re: Hamster advice
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 10:56 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:19 pm
Posts: 6257
Ok whilst we are on small rodents. What about guinea pigs? Are they good pets, easy maintenance, can they stay outside etc etc etc. DS2 is insistent that this is what he wants for his birthday, I am very reticent (too like rats) and would prefer a rabbit.

Any thoughts and sorry to hijack OT.


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 Post subject: Re: Hamster advice
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 11:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
Posts: 4608
Having had both I would say guinea pigs are a lot easier than rabbits - smaller and easier to handle for a child. I have any scars to prove that rabbits scratch!


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 Post subject: Re: Hamster advice
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 7:10 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:22 am
Posts: 3664
We've got an house rabbit who is absolutely gorgeous and likes nothing better then to sit on my lap reading all your posts ! He's 8 now and has arthritis, is blind in one eye the list goes on...so in that respect is rather like a dog and needs lots of space to run around and general care. Guinea pigs are more self care and we have 4 who also live in the house :shock: don't worry in an indoor cage...although they like a little mooch around ...they are just the sweetest things, purr when stroked, easy to pick up and nice for kids to feed chopped up veg, as they love their food ...... I just love their cute but inane faces.....can you tell I'm an animal lover ?!


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 Post subject: Re: Hamster advice
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 9:34 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
Posts: 4608
I should also have said that guniea pigs don't dig holes in the garden. Grrr. Goes off to fill in another hole.... :shock:

In answer to your earlier question,I think guinea pigs can be kept outside all year, but they would need covering up and somewhere sheltered, I would think. We used to bring ours in during the winter, which is OK if you've got space, but I don't think ti is absoluetly necessary.


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 Post subject: Re: Hamster advice
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 9:36 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:22 am
Posts: 3664
You can also buy little leads if you fancy taking them for a walk.... :shock: :lol:


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