running back and forth

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running back and forth

Post  Rachel on Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:49 pm

There is a behavior in hamsters that I mainly see in dwarf species but I am sure it may develop in syrians as well. When they repeatedly run back and forth in front of their cage, not like pacing, it is faster. I always thought this behavior was due to boredom, I've only heard about it and seen it on TV and I thought hey that hamster is bored, give him stuff to do. Now I am not so sure. The lastest batch of hamsters from the group of nine hamsters ( 4 babies ( turned out to be one male, three females), 3 females ( 2 pregnant, more babies ensued) and two males) all were brought to me in the same cage. Quite a few of these hamsters exhibit this behavior at night. I have a wheel for all of them, I even added tubes, houses, chew toys, paper shredders, climbing ladders, etc. They ignore these items and just run back and forth all night long. So my next thought was, they are doing this because they are in glass aquariums ( with screen lids) and they can see what is in front of them and not the glass in between them. I placed them in a cage with bars with the wheel and toys and all, and they still ran back and forth all night long. It's like they can't stop from doing it . And it seems strange that of all the hamsters I have had here, that have come in and out, I have never seen this before until this family of hamsters. I am beginning to think this behavior could be genetic, it does almost seem obssessive compulsive. I wish I could do something to relieve them of this, since they seem stressed as they do it, at least it stresses me to watch them as they do it. I've even tried having them rolll in theit exercise balls for about a half an hour before night time to work off some extra energy, and they still run back and forth all night. *sighs* If anyone may have some insight on this behavior, I would gladly appreciate it. Also, I placed them back in the larger aquariums since the cages didn't make a difference.
Thank you

Rachel
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Re: running back and forth

Post  Rachel on Sat Dec 29, 2007 10:20 pm

I forgot to mention that the hamsters (Campbell's) all have dust baths in their homes too. Many times these turn into their toilets, but some do use it properly and roll and bathe in it. They really do have a lot of stuff and stuff to do.

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Re: running back and forth

Post  Mad2Physicist on Tue Feb 10, 2009 2:02 am

I don't know why they do this, but I have heard that in the wild a Campbell's dwarf will run about eight miles a day. Maybe this is just the way these particular hammies like to get that exercise? Pumpkin prefers his wheel (his favorite, of course, is supervised running around), but it is possible that some don't like the wheel and just want to run.
Of course, it is also possible that they are doing it for some other reason; I am not really an expert on hammie behaviour.

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