Cydniey Buffers (cydniey) wrote,
Cydniey Buffers

there is just no reasoning with a hamster

no matter what i do, Spot will not stop obsessively chewing on the bars of her cage. i've tried negative reinforcement (with a spray bottle set to the gentle setting) which she just got used to. i've tried distraction by giving her treats or putting her in another part of her cage. nothing works. i've even tried talking to her. no go. and i don't like to just get her out and put her in her ball, because that would be positive reinforcement and would make things worse. she would chew when she wanted to go out. i've tried giving her chewy things. she loves them, but still goes for the bars. from what i can tell, she isn't doing any damage to herself. i check her teeth and gums often. and i try talking to her more. she stops for five minutes and then starts again. she also doesn't run her wheel very often and because of the lack of exercise and my spoiling her with fresh veggies and chew sticks, has become a Very Fat Hamster. i mean it. she is huge. not too big to fit through the toobs on her cage, but holding her is a two hand job when she wriggles. and pulling her out of her cage, you can forget about. there is no getting a grip on that fat furry wriggling mass. you have to wait for her to come to you. we trained her to come out a secret hole in her cage when we open access to it. i know she's smart. so why can't i stop her chewing on the bars?

it upsets me when any of my animals start showing OCD behaviors, it means i'm not doing all i can to make their lives full. this is especially hard with rodents, and so far, i've been lucky. this Spot creature is my first real challenge in this arena.

rats are so much smarter and so much easier. eventually i will find the perfect rat cage again in my life and have another rat. they are such cool animals to have around. so long as they are the tame ones. i hear it isn't at all pleasant living with feral rats. and i believe it.
Tags: spot

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