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Old 04-06-2019, 10:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
Emc's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Dublin, Ireland.
Posts: 477

Hamsters often present with OCD-like symptoms - but they're often stereotypical behaviours due to boredom. I don't think it'd be unreasonable to state that easily an upwards of 90% of hamsters in captivity are kept in unsuitably sized and inadequately set up enclosures. It's a very common problem in Syrian hamsters especially; they require over 1,500 square inches of space with over 12" of substrate, and absolutely require natural set ups... but most keep them in 40g tanks (or less), with hardly any substrate and plastic toys galore. Boredom worsens symptoms of OCD, but many hamsters who's owners claim "have" OCD actually don't, and just aren't being house appropriately.This is an issue across many species, not just hamsters. Like zoo animals; they'll have repetitive behaviours/routines that present as OCD, but they're just bored and not adequately stimulated.

I think it's difficult for us to assess Jingers situation without knowing the full extent of the issue at hand; what's her cage set up like? how many hours is she allowed out of her cage to play (not bonding time; but free roam time)? What type of enrichment does she have; is she kept on fleece, and if she is, does she have the opportunity to dig?

She could absolutely have OCD, or she could just be incredibly bored. Nevertheless, in animals with OCD, boredom will worsen the symptoms exhibited - so we will need her enclosure size, her set up, how much time she's allowed out of her cage, etc in order to provide you with recommendations on how to lessen the behaviour she's currently presenting.

ETA; I have to ask from your profile pic; does she live by herself, or does she live with the other hedgehog?...

Last edited by Emc; 04-06-2019 at 10:27 AM.
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