How to tame a hamster?
Handling and interacting with a pet is one of the main reasons for having one.
And with hamsters, it’s no different.
Having just bought a new baby hamster at the pet store and bringing it home, the urge to start handling and petting it is huge.
After all, it seems so cute and cuddles. And perhaps, it might seem shy or scared in its new environment, and you want to comfort it?
Unfortunately, that is the last thing you should do.
Table of Contents
How to Tame a Hamster in 5 Steps
1. Give Your Hamster Time to Adjust
The first thing you should do is nothing. While it is okay to be around the hamster, you should be silent.
Also, please do not get any part inside the cage or try to get its attention.
You should place the hamster in its cage and give it time to adjust to its new life.
For how long should you leave your hamster alone?
It is recommended to leave the hamster alone for 3-7 days. This goes for both Syrian and dwarf hamsters.
Luckily, the hamster will give you some obvious clues that it is ready to know its new owner.
A comfortable hamster will be eating, drinking, and playing when you’re around and when it does so, you can move to #2.
Additional Tips For Getting Your Hamster To Adjust:
- Put a light cloth over the hamster house for the first day or two. This allows it some initial privacy.
- Make sure there are not any loud sounds around the hamster.
- If you have children under the age of 10 it is advisable to keep them away from the hamster during this time.
- Respect its sleeping cycle. Play with it in the evening when it is awake and never wake it up in the day to play with you.
- Remember a hamster is like any other animal. Just like having the best dog beds will help puppies adjust, having the best environment for your hamster will help it adjust.
Are Hamsters Good Pets for Kids? Check out this video!
2. Be Around and Introduce Yourself to Your Hamster
When your hamster starts getting comfortable, it is time for you and your little fluffy friend to get acquainted.
It would be best if you started speaking with your hamster and getting your hand in the cage at this stage.
However, we are not ready to start touching our hamster yet.
MUST READ: Can Hamsters Chew On Cardboard?
How to Become Friends With Your Hamster
As mentioned, you should start talking softly with your hamster.
In addition, you should start getting your hand in the cage.
Do so by starting to change the food and water daily and replacing old toys with new toys.
You should also start removing soiled bedding.
And most importantly, you should bring treats to your hamster. Try to get it to eat from the tip of your hand (as in the picture below) but never reach out for the hamster – let it come to you instead.
A bond will start to develop between you and your hamster at this stage. This is completely natural as it is only natural to trust someone that treats you well.
As for yourself, you will get a lot of joy from watching your little hamster enjoy and use its small teeth to digest the treats.
All in all, step #2 is all about your hamster getting used to your hand in the cage.
3. Start Touching Your Hamster
During step #2, you should never try to touch your hamster.
Although you have probably had contact, this has been the hamster touching you.
Now we should try to make it comfortable with you touching it.
To do so, you should start giving it treats from the palm of your hand.
How to Tame a Hamster Quick Guide
1. Place your hand inside the cage with an empty hand
2. Let your hamster approach and sniff your hand
3. If it nips your hand, slowly pull back – do not make any sudden movements no matter what happens
4. When it is comfortable, place a treat in your palm (seed usually works well)
5. When your hamster becomes comfortable climbing your hand and going to your palm, try to lift your hand slightly.
Your hamster may become wary and jump off, but keep doing it as long as it will still climb onto your hand. If it gets wary of climbing onto your hand, go back to step 4.
Here, the time frame can vary from a few days to up to a month, depending on your hamster’s age and personality.
Check this video for more tips:
4. Start Picking Up Your Hamster
When you can comfortably lift your hamster off the ground, it is time to start picking it up.
How to Lift a Hamster
- Have it cupped in the palm of your hand 
- The other hand should be over their back
When doing so, make sure you do so just above your lap or another soft surface if they jump or fall off.
Over time, the hamster will get comfortable, and you can let it crawl from one hand to another and up your arms.
See more tips here:
After all, your hamster is very curious, and what could be more exciting than getting to know its owner?
PS: Syrian Hamsters are slower than dwarf hamsters such as the Winter White and Roborovski Hamsters and are thus easier to handle .
Leaving a hamster alone for too long can have negative impacts on its health and well-being. To provide the best care for your pet, it’s important to understand their needs and limits. Gain valuable insights by reading ‘how long can you leave a hamster for‘ and be a responsible pet owner.
5. Become Best Friends With Your Hamster
By now, the hard work might be done, but the task is not completed.
Like any other relation with living things, you should regularly pick up and play with your hamster.
… most love being rubbed on the belly.
And will make the two of you best friends in no time!
Now you try it.
Taming your hamster gives considerable benefits to you and your hamster.
It does take some time, but as the old saying goes, “everything worth doing is worth fighting for.”
And we hope our guide will make it somewhat easier to achieve.
- 1. How to Handle, Hold & Tame a New Hamster [Internet]. Caring Pets. Available from: https://www.caringpets.org/how-to-take-care-of-a-hamster/handling-taming/
- 2. Owning a Pet Hamster [Internet]. vca_corporate. Available from: https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/owning-a-pet-hamster
How do you tame your hamster? Let us know in the comments below!
Alina Hartley is a small-town girl with a ginormous love of bearded dragons. It all started with Winchester, a baby bearded who was abandoned at the shelter by his former owners because of a birth defect that caused one front leg to be shorter than the other. Alina originally went to the shelter looking for a guinea pig, but one look at Winchester and it was love at first sight. From that day on, Alina has dedicated her life to learning everything she can about bearded dragons. She loves helping new beardie parents start their incredible journey with these magnificent reptiles.
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