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my new hamster

Adjusting to a New Home

Cammie is very scared inside her little box from the pet store. She is scratching and trying to bite her way out. I think about the best way to introduce her to her new home. I finally decide to take off a tunnel on one side of the cage, so I can gently hold the box up to the open hole and let her crawl in. It takes a few minutes before she sticks her head in the "doorway" and starts sniffing around. After another few minutes, she puts one tentative foot inside, then another, and then quickly backs up into the box again. Too scary, she thinks. But right away, she tries again. Finally, after a while, and just before my arm collapses from holding the box against the cage so long, she completely enters the new cage. Quickly, I remove the box and re-attach the tunnel and wheel.

Hamster Rule #1: Always step one foot at a time into a "danger zone," being sure to back up several times, before risking all four feet down.

cammie in wheel

Cammie, who thought she was headed back into the box, finds, instead, something new - a tunnel that leads to a "purple room." Hmmm! What should she do? Well, she takes a tentative step in this wheel, then another, and another. Pretty soon, she is running as fast as the wind! But wait a minute, she sniffs around in the wheel. Cammie notices some bite marks from a previous hamster. Well, that settles it - Cammie started biting there too, because once a hamster bites something, all future hamsters must also bite the same spot.

Hamster Rule #2: Whenever you enter a wheel, run until you drop.

Corollary to Rule #2: Always run as noisily as possible. The squeaky wheel gets the cheese, or some such thing...

Hamster Rule #3: Always bite places where previous hamsters have bitten.


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