Your new hamster will probably be nervous when he or she first gets to its hamster cage . The move to a new location can make your hamster frightened and confused. Here are some things you can do to help your hamster get used to his or her new home.
Set up the new cage
Before you bring your new hamster home, make sure you set up the cage. See the article How to Set Up Your New Cage for some tips. In general, you want to put the cage in a quiet place away from other pets. Then you want to put all the stuff the hamster will need inside it – bedding, water, and food. Once it’s all set up, you’re ready to introduce your hamster to its new home.
Bring the New Hamster Home
Let’s say you’re bringing a new hamster home in its carrying box. If the carrying box is not too big and you can open the top of the hamster’s new cage, put the box inside the cage. Then open up the carrying box and wait. Let the hamster come out by itself.
Once the hamster is out, take the bedding material that was in the carrying box – there’s probably not a lot – and put in your cage. Your hamster will recognize the scent. This will help to make it more relaxed in its new home.
Your hamster needs to investigate its new surroundings. So give it some time! This is most important. If your hamster gets spooked when it’s first looking around, it may become fearful of its new home. It will then hide in the bedding more than it should.
You may want to even cover the new cage with a light piece of fabric. This will give the hamster some quiet and some privacy so it can explore its new home. By the way, don’t use something heavy, like a towel, to cover the cage, because your hamster might think it’s for chewing.
Even if you don’t cover the new cage, make sure you, your family, or your friends don’t try to pet, touch, or hold the hamster when it first gets home. There will be plenty of time for playing with your hamster once it feels at home in the new cage.
How Your Hamster Will Get Used to the Cage
After a little while – it may do this at night – your hamster will start to explore. It will check out all the corners of the cage, figure out where the food dish and water bottle are, where its exercise wheel is, and what toys are available. It may even take a quick spin in its wheel to burn off some of its nervousness.
Then your hammy will start doing some nest building. It will move around some of the bedding to make a sleeping area and then decide which part of the cage will be its bathroom. It may even move some of the hamster toys around.
It will typically take about a week for your hamster to get used to its new cage and feel comfortable in it. During this time, you should just watch and talk to your hamster. You can hold your hand up to the cage and let it sniff you. This way it will get used to the sound of your voice and your scent. By taking things slowly, you and your hamster will get off to the right start.