In the charming world of pint-sized companions, hamsters scurry their way into our hearts with their endearing antics and adorable demeanor.
Hamsters are often first-time pets for children. They are nocturnal and shy, which makes people wonder if it’s possible to bond with their tiny, furry friend.
Do hamsters feel love, and do they possess a penchant for affection?
You might be surprised to know that hamsters not only like affection but thrive on human interaction. Hamsters love their owners like most pets, but they have subtle ways of showing it. They enjoy the companionship of their human parents and can develop strong bonds.
Hamsters use their sense of smell to bond with people. Spending time with your hamster helps them recognize your scent and build trust. While they might be cautious around strangers, you can train them to feel comfortable with more people.
Bonding with Hamsters
Bonding with shy hamsters can be challenging. Here’s how you can help your little friend:
Hamsters will not trust people initially and may bite new owners because of unfamiliarity. Gaining a hamster’s trust and developing a loving bond takes time. You may want to open the cage and allow the hamster to smell your hands. Do not attempt to grab the animal. Just let them smell you. Continue doing this every day until the hamster climbs into your hand. Allow your hamster to crawl into your hand, and gently pet them.
Avoid sudden movements and noise, as hamsters have poor eyesight. Repeat this daily until the hamster climbs onto your hand willingly. Then, you can gently pet it. Over time, your hamster will grow to trust not only you but anyone who follows this approach.
Gently stroking your hamster’s fur is a great way to show affection. Hamsters love to climb on their owner’s shoulder or nap inside a shirt pocket.
Hamsters can get bored in small cages with the same wheel, food, and water bottle. Responsible hamster owners make sure to take them out daily, ideally after they wake up from sleep. This keeps them active and in a better mood.
Spend Time Together
A healthy bond is about sharing experiences. You should spend quality time with your furry little hamster to strengthen your connection.
Clear communication is key to strong bonds with your hamster, as misunderstandings hinder progress. Consistency in training signals and techniques is crucial. Given hamsters’ preference for scent recognition over visual cues, employ familiar scents for communication.
When in proximity, speak in a calm, gentle tone to foster trust. Effective communication and interaction are vital for nurturing a deeper bond.
Slowly Introduce Other Caretakers to Your Hamster
Begin by greeting your hamster during feeding, watering, or treat times. Use a conversational tone to avoid startling it. Avoid leaving your pet alone with new people to prevent overwhelming them. New caretakers can ease in by placing a hand in the hamster’s habitat, helping them get accustomed to the new scent.
Petting and Feeding
Once your hamster becomes more familiar with your scent, the next step is to pet your small animal. The best way to do this is with the help of treats!
When your hamster is busy eating, you can pet him gently. The distracted hamster will start associating touch with comfort and fulfillment. This method will help your hamster get comfortable with petting.
Another approach is to hold a treat or food in your hand for your hamster to take. Avoid attempting to force-feed your hamster. Sharing food is a highly social activity for small animals, aiding in the cultivation of an affectionate connection with your hamster.
Handling with Care
Many people love cuddling their small animals, but it’s important to handle them with care. Learn different ways of handling small animals before you attempt to cuddle your hamster. Avoid stressing or injuring your hamster’s small frame.
The best way to handle hamsters is to scoop them up with cupped hands. Lifting your hamster by its tail, legs, or ears is dangerous and can cause severe injuries. Once your hamster is more comfortable around you, it may crawl right into your hands!
Playing Outside the Habitat
Let your hamster explore and exercise outside of their habitat. You can set up a small gated area on the floor with food, water, and toys. Design mazes and hiding spots for added enjoyment. Hamsters relish rolling around in exercise balls, but prevent access to small gaps where they might get stuck. Prioritize safety by securing potential hazards like electrical cords.
How to Keep Hamsters Happy and Affectionate
Here are some tips and tricks to keep hamsters happy:
Pick the Right Cage
When looking for your hamster’s cage, you will come across many different types. Each will have its benefits and drawbacks. Review this list to get an idea of which cage might work best for your new hamster.
- Mesh or wire cages are convenient to clean and have great ventilation. But some wire cages may have small openings that can let hamsters escape.
- Glass aquariums provide a safe and secure home for your hamster. However, these cages are harder to clean.
- Plastic cages provide modular compartments and tunnels that can be quite engaging for your hamster. The downside of plastic cages is that they have poor ventilation and are very tough to clean.
Get the Right Cage Size
Your hamster will want ample room to run, eat, sleep, and play in. You must find a cage that’s big enough to allow hamsters to nest and burrow in. Remember to leave room for any exercise equipment or toys that you plan on placing in the cage.
Get A Hamster Wheel
Running wheels or hamster wheels are exercise devices used primarily by hamsters and other small animals when given the opportunity. Most of these devices have ridged wheels held on a stand by a pair of stub axles. Hamster wheels allow hamsters to run even when their space is confined.
Hamsters love to run, and providing them with a hamster wheel allows them to follow their instincts. In the wild, hamsters will travel many miles each night in search of food. Some hamsters in captivity can run up to eight kilometers a night on hamster wheels, making them necessary for hamsters.
Other Toys for Hamsters
Hamsters, both Syrian and dwarf, are active creatures. They need a variety of fun toys and other items to stay happy. They will love more opportunities for exercise, play, and exploration. While they appreciate a hamster-safe environment outside of the cage, there are many toys you can place inside the cage to provide exercise. These may include chewing toys, balls, and rope toys.
Do Hamsters Have Affection for Other Hamsters?
Hamsters have feelings for their owners, but are they affectionate towards other hamsters?
The answer is probably ‘no.’ Hamsters can form deep, meaningful relationships with their pet parents, but they aren’t big fans of other hamsters, which can come as a shock to prospective hamster owners. Multiple factors like age, gender, and breed play a role in their aggressive behavior. Mature hamsters develop a territorial disposition and become aggressive.
While hamsters share general traits, breed distinctions significantly influence aggression levels. Dwarf hamster breeds tend to be more socially tolerant compared to others. For optimal harmony, it’s advisable to house Dwarf and Syrian hamsters in separate cages. Attempting to cohabit with them could result in serious conflict, potentially leading to fatal fights.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to bond with hamsters?
Building a bond with a hamster requires patience, often spanning around three weeks. When introducing a new hamster to your home, anticipate an adjustment period to the unfamiliar surroundings. Dedicate quality time and implement the advice provided in this guide to foster stronger connections and bonds.
Can hamsters learn their name?
Yes. Hamsters are intelligent creatures that can even learn their name. Practice talking to your hamster using their name, and they may respond by crawling to you.
Can hamsters cuddle with pet owners?
Hamsters love to cuddle with their owners! Despite their solitary nature, most hamsters like to be held and cuddled.
Why does my hamster hate me?
Your hamster may not hate you, but he might be scared of you. Patience is key as you allow your hamster time to acclimate to unfamiliar surroundings. Give them the space they need to become accustomed to the new environment at their own pace.