Well despite officially being night time for hamsters, Tiggy was quite active this afternoon and we thought we should take the opportunity presented to us in encouraging her out of her out of the tubing. Fortunately we’d come across some good advice that was not to give hamsters places to hide away until they’re trained. A thousand thank yous to the Hamster Central website for giving us the confidence to reconfigure the cage to a much more basic state. It was out with the house, out with the tubes and out with the log – for now – until she’s trained.
This still leaves the hamster in a far from austere cage, as there are still two levels, the wheel, chews and so on. The massive benefit is that Tiggy will now be accessible wherever she chooses to make her nest, which will in turn allow us to interact with her regularly and tame her as the days progress.
As it transpired it required some amount of contact with her to move her out of her cage while we modified it and then back in again. Fortunately we’re well prepared for such manouveurs as we have a hamster fort and a hamster enclosure fence which are ideal to place a hamster in while working on the cage. This interaction worked to our advantage as although Tiggy remained nervous, as we encouraged her in and out of her various environments she began to let us stroke her and even – briefly – hold her to place her back in her cage.
We’re certainly not there yet, however the absence of nips from the ham is a sign that if not entirely at ease she doesn’t regard us as predators either. This encounter has tired us all out, as we’ve retired to the couch while Tiggy, after a spot of running on the wheel – the first time we’ve seen her on it in days – has retired to the shady area under the first floor.
The road to training a hamster may be long but I feel there’s been a confidence boost all round and we’re now in good stead towards the goal of a happy and tamed ham.