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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-21-2009, 01:59 AM Thread Starter
 
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Two new hamsters, totally different behaviors (I'm a little worried.)

Hi! I'm new to this forum, and this is my first post. This looks like a very helpful community, and I'm glad to have found it.
We bought two hamsters one week ago, and I know we need to give them time to adjust. I also know that hamsters have different personalities, and I'm hoping this is nothing more than a personality difference.

From the very beginning, Moorka was very active- chewed his way out of the box we were carrying him home in, kept climbing up to the top of the cage, and now that we got him a running wheel, he rarely leaves it. He is friendly and allows himself to be handled.

Hommy, on the other hand, is very quiet and hides in his hut all the time. We thought it was because of the recent relocation, but a week later, he is only coming out to eat and drink.
Is this normal?
I am inclined to attribute it to the stress of a new home, but then I see how happy and active Moorka is.

Another point- They are both from a cage that was labeled "bear hamsters." Moorka is large, black and white, longish fur. Hommy is pinkish beige and has short fur. He was the smallest in his cage. They told me he is the youngest (two months old) and the rest are 4 months. But the size difference is significant and I don't think theygrow so much in two months. I'm thinking that the smaller, quieter one is either NOT a bear, or he is small because of some health issue.

Any advice? This coming out only to eat and drink is worrying me.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-21-2009, 02:14 AM
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well they are syrian hams then, and need to be kept in different cages. they will fight to the death and one is probably hiding from the other.

Some are also just shy

They are also nocturnal so you may not be able to see them during the day.

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-21-2009, 02:24 AM
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Erm, do you have them in the same cage? They are syrians and shouldnt be housed together, it sounds like hommy is afraid of mooka. If you dont then thats fine, its just that you didnt mention so I thought I should ask.
Hommy's behaviour is totally normal, he is pretty laid back (I had a hamster like this) but like you said the move may be stressing him. He will take longer to tame but if you take the time to work on it so will he, just start by sitting near his cage and talking to him, do this 3-4 times a day, once he seems to come out of his shell you can try getting him to take a treat out of your hand. Once he does this without hesitation you can offer your treat free hand and eventually he will voulantarily walk in and you can play with him and pet him just like your other hamster. Dont introduce your freinds/family until you have done this as its important to build trust. Welcome to the forum by the way!
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-21-2009, 08:26 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your replies.
I have owned more than one hamster at a time before in the same cage, and they didn't fight. In the pet shop, all the hamsters are housed by breed- several in the same cage.
I also spoke about this with the worker at the shop, and she said it's fine to have two males together (although two females would fight.)

But aside from my previous experiences, I don't think that Hommy is scared of Moorka. They sleep in the same hut, even though I provided several choices. They sniff each other and play together.

What bothers me most is that we already have the wheel for two days and Hommy couldn't care less for it. Moorka goes on it a lot.

I guess I'm comparing their behaviors, and there is a huge difference. Is it normal for a new hamster not to come out except to eat/drink for over one week?
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-21-2009, 10:13 AM
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Yes, thats perfectly fine, it can take up to a month depending on the individual hamster. I am sorry to say though that either you have two long haired dwarfs, not teddy bear syrians (You put black bear as a tag but black bears have short fur) or you have been misinformed, syrians can live together while young but when they reach a point they become very terratorial. It also occured to me that at no point did you mention long fur, teddy bears have long fur and you may have been sold a different breed.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-21-2009, 11:51 AM
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Yeah, the last pair of syrians we took in from an owner swore up and down that they loved each other and could never be separated. One of the pair was missing an eye and had had part of it's leg chewed off by it's loving cagemate.

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-21-2009, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
 
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Rodentz- they were in a cage marked "bears" (not teddy.) The larger one does look like a bear- significantly bigger than regular syrian. They are definitely not dwarfs. I did come across long haired bears in google image searches.
The second, more timid one, might be a cream syrian, although they charged me as much as for a bear, saying he was younger and will yet grow.
I'll post pictures when I upload them.

(BTW, RodentzRule, I read a few threads on here and must say that you are quite knowledgeable and offer great advice. Are you sure you are only 13? LOL! And your English is good as well. I guess there is hope for the next generation! Haha.)
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-22-2009, 02:45 AM
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LOL! Yes, im pretty sure im 13! Thank you!
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 01:36 PM
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My two boy hamsters (chinese dwarf) came together, and I was told they live happily together. What actually happened was they lived happily together for a couple of weeks or so, and then gradually one (shai) bullied the other (castro) more and more - at first the only way you could tell was that castro hardly did anything and would hide in his hut all day (and yes, they slept together at first) - very suddenly it erupted into violence and over the course of 24 hours went from sleeping together to castro cowering on top of his house while shai prowled underneath and kept going to bite castro whenever he went for a drink/food.

I wouldn't keep them together after that (castro took weeks to 'come out of his shell', and had a couple of cuts ) but if you do keep a VERY close eye on them and be prepared to seperate quickly if needed (keep a large deep clear plastic storage box, that will do in an emergency - with the lid off, and a water bater velcro-d to the side - to give you a day to go buy another cage). Some hammies do live happily together (my two female robos do) but some never will.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-28-2009, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
 
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Update:
Thanks everyone for your input and advice. It turns out the store sold me a sick hamster. From the very beginning, he'd only open his eyes a crack when he'd go out. I thought that he just needed to get used to the light... but three days ago he just stopped opening his eyes altogether.
I called the pet shop twice- after one week of ownership and again 5 days later. The first time they said it's just personality, although I was skeptical. The second time I insisted and they agreed that I could bring him in.

I felt bad doing it, but they administered medicine right away. I was able to choose another one to take instead. I wish I didn't have to get into this mess.I would gladly take my animals to the vet if they got sick in my care. But they sold me a sick one so they should be taking responsibility.

The new one is so different. My kids don't know the difference because I chose the same color.But they are so happy to see him doing things- climbing to the second floor, playing, running around...
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-03-2009, 09:48 PM
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Sorry for your loss.
But seriously you should NEVER house two syrians together AT ALL.
If you still want to have two hamsters, then i would tell you to seperate them NOW!

Edit,
Also alot of people are telling you on this thread of what happened when they housed their two hamsters together and you seem to be ignoring that. Please do the best by your pets and listen to our advice.

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"To close your eyes will not ease another's pain."

Last edited by clairebee1; 07-03-2009 at 09:50 PM.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-04-2009, 03:35 PM
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Don't keep them together, but they might be alright if they started together...I'm so sorry for your loss RIP


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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-04-2009, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
 
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Oh, nobody died... I brought the sick hamster I bought back to the store, where they started treating him right away. I am upset about having to do that- now I will always wonder about him.

Claire- you don't know whether I am ignoring the advice or taking it :S
The lady in the store told me that they can live together, but seeing how many other lies she told me (that will be a different post LOL) obviously she was wrong.

But, the shop houses about ten hamsters in one 10 gallon aquarium. They are all over each other. I assume they wouldn't do that if the hamsters were hurting each other (because they would lose $, not because they care so much.)
These two are from the same cage in the store. At home I have a full 2 level cage. Two separate floors with a ladder leading to a small opening. The area of the cage is the size of two 20 gallon tanks stacked on on top of the other. There is plenty of room for them. I understand the aggression issues are territorial. There is plenty of personal space in their cage.

If I see them fighting, I will separate them onto different floors and close off the small entrance way until I can think of a better plan.
They did fight a little over the wheel (I have only one) so I took it away until the ones I ordered arrive.
then they went right back to being friends, searching the whole cage for the wheel together. LOL. They helped each other overturn hideaways and toys. Although they are upset and bored without the wheel, they aren't fighting. I am watching them closely.
Thanks for your concern, though.
(Oh, and these hamsters are 4-6 months old, which is probably adult. They lived together for all this time, so I am keeping a positive outlook on their joint living.)
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-05-2009, 12:16 AM
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Normally they will fight to death, by the time you see them fighting you will end up with one with out a head or a leg or something, it can be very bad, you won't have time to seperate normally they don't just get in a little skuffs until it gets serious, it is serious the first time.

What are you going to do if you have 2 hams with really deep bleeding sores or legless, how can you explain that to your kids.

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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-05-2009, 12:18 PM
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Kendall i don't think she is going to listen to wither she should seperate them or not. I do really hope she does tho, for the hamsters sake.

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