It’s finally the end of my new hamster’s first week! I have decided to pick the name Alfie, and I think it suits him! He’s settling in really well. It took him most of the week to feel safe in his cage while I was in the room, but now he’s beginning to get acquainted to his surroundings and the different noises in my house.
I’ve discovered that Alfie is only six weeks old as opposed to the ten week old hammy I was told he was. He’s quite small but is growing fast and is an absolute scoff! He eats like a pig, and will probably turn into one too, if I don’t cut down his food supply soon! He still stays in the tube most of the time, sleeping and storing his food there, but I have noticed that he’s beginning to come out more now, towards the end of the week, which is a sign that he’s settling in.
I’ve begun the taming process with him (slowly but surely!) and now he even takes a treat from my fingers. The first two days that I had him, I left him alone completely, and then on the third I started talking to him through the bars of his cage. This may sound crazy, but I wanted him to get accustomed to my voice! All I did was ask him if he liked his cage, introduced myself, told him a bit about my family and our house and asked him if he liked the food I’d given him (which he obviously had done!) I did this so that he’d get used to my voice, but also my presence. And now when he hears my voice or if I even just come over to his cage, he expects nice treats and hopefully soon, a cuddle! So don’t laugh in my face when you read that I talk to hamsters! It’s just another part of taming! (To see how you tame a hamster, of any breed, visit my “taming hamsters” page)
Anyway, on the fourth day, I did exactly the same thing. Then the fifth day, I finally made contact! I took a tiny piece of a yoghurt drop and held it between my thumb and my index finger. I held it up to the opening of the tube and waited for him to come and smell it. He finally came over and after a few minutes of hesitation, he decided that there was no danger and took the treat. It was great and so exciting!
I soon learned, however, that as Alfie is what you could call a teenager, he wasn’t too happy to be woken up early! On the sixth day, I came to give him his treat, but what I hadn’t realised was that I had just woken him up from his early evening nap! When I went to put my hand in his cage with the treat in it, he made hissing and clicking noises at me and I knew well enough to leave him alone. Something I’ve realised is that Syrian hamsters, though they are renowned as children’s pets, are far less tolerant then their cousins, the dwarf hamsters. I don’t think Pip’s ever given me a warning sound like that or looked like he was being threatened. It’s just interesting to make the comparison between the two!
Of course, Alfie isn’t a vicious little thing! Actually, he’s far from it and I can’t wait to spend more time with him and tame him, just as long as I don’t get on his bad side! Next week I shall bring you more news of his progress, and I’ll try and find out some of his likes and dislikes. You never know, he might even be tame by then!