10 Steps to Tame a Hamster

Hamsters are curious creatures and make great pets. But sometimes, they may take a while to warm up to their owners.

If you want to tame your hamster, you’ll need to spend some time introducing yourself and letting it get used to your presence and your smell. Help your hamster feel comfortable by giving it a safe place to live, offering treats, and showing love. 

If you’re here to learn how to tame a hamster, we’ve got you covered. Here we will discuss our top tips that’ll help you with the moodiest hamster.

Let’s dive in!

Steps to Tame a Hamster

Check out these interesting steps below:

1. Let Your Hamster Adjust

When welcoming a new pet into your home, it’s important to provide them with a comfortable adjustment period of about a week. During this time, your hamster can acclimate to its new surroundings at its own pace.

Ensuring that your furry friend has all the essentials for a stress-free habitat is crucial. Here are a few steps you can take to facilitate your hamster’s smooth transition and help them settle in comfortably.

2. Give Your Hamster a Comfortable Home

You must provide a nice home for your new hamster. Set up a suitable cage with some absorbent bedding to make your hamster feel at home. This also allows your new hamster to use the restroom in its cage. You’ll need to clean the bedding every day and replace it once a week for maintenance.

Be sure also to keep a water bottle in the cage. Your hamster needs to drink fresh water to stay healthy.

3. Feed the Hamster

Hamsters are obligate omnivores, which means they need an animal-based and plant-based diet. The most popular thing to feed hamsters is dried hamster food pellets. You can also supplement your hamster’s diet with raw fruits and vegetables as a treat. Hamsters need about 10 grams of dry hamster food twice a day.

For a treat, consider giving them small pieces of peaches, broccoli, cauliflower, or bananas. Do not give your hamster anything acidic (like onions) or citrus (like lemons or oranges) because it can upset their stomach.

When you bring home a new hamster, take things slowly. Patience is key when taming your hamster, including during feeding time. Simply place treats in the cage and give your hamster space to enjoy them without pressure. This approach helps your hamster feel more at ease around you.

4. Don’t Push Yourself

Wait at least a week or two before trying to touch your new hamster. You need to give your pet some time to feel safe and settled in its new home. Don’t try to force any interaction with your hamster for the first week.

Sometimes the taming process can take a bit longer. You need to be calm and patient in the beginning.

5. Introducing Yourself

Help your new hamster recognize your voice. When you’re near your hamster’s cage, try talking to your new pet in a soothing voice. It’s natural if the hamster is scared of you at first. Stay calm and patient.

Consider spending a few minutes near the cage every day. Speak softly to your hamster and, if possible, open the cage door to allow your hamster to become accustomed to your presence. Be cautious to prevent any potential escapes.

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6. Pick Your Hamster Carefully

Before you pick up your pet hamster for the first time, you should clean your hands thoroughly. Remove any scent of food that may be on your hands. You don’t want your hamster to bite you.

You can also wear gloves when picking up your hamster if you are afraid of being bitten.

Begin by gently placing your hand inside the cage. When your hamster is alert and active, introduce your hand slowly. Allow your hamster to sniff your hand and refrain from sudden movements. If your hamster appears frightened, withdraw your hand gently and give it more time before attempting again about a week later.

Note: Don’t pull away when your hamster makes sudden movements when you are handling it. You are only going to scare it away.

7. Offer Treats

Feed your new hamsters with yummy treats. Associating you with treats will help your pet feel comfortable around you.

You can also rub the treats in your palm so the hamster can recognize your scent. Continue doing this for a few days. Once hamsters show curiosity, they are easier to tame. Hamsters can show interest by coming up to the bars, and you can coax them further by offering a treat.

Sometimes you need to wait until hamsters are fully awake before you approach them. You shouldn’t invade their personal space like their nest or bedding area.

Try feeding them extra treats through their cage, and once they are content, you can place your hand calmly inside. You can offer them to sniff the palm of your hand. Try to keep your hands still, as any abrupt movement may scare them. Don’t worry if your hamster is a little reluctant at first, and continue the process.

Your hamster will soon get used to your scent. It is also a good idea to mix up the treats you are offering and encourage them to try new foods.

8. Strengthening the Bond

Try to make your hamster feel safe. Be sure to read your new hamster’s body language – if it backs makes squeaking noises, or backs away from you, put it back in the cage. If it appears interested in you and approaches you, then feel confident in continuing your taming process.

You don’t want to force your hamster into doing things that might scare it away. This could affect the bond you’re trying to build. Always make sure your hamster is happy with the bonding process. If you’re in a rush, it may take even longer to tame your hamster.

Protip: Don’t rush things, and be patient.

9. Continue Interacting with Your Hamster

Be sure to spend quality time with your new hamster.

The more you interact, the more your hamster will gain confidence and curiosity in your presence. This process nurtures a bond and helps you both become comfortable with each other. Over time, your hamster will grow friendly and tame, solidifying your connection.

10. Show Your Hamster Love and Affection

Do not ignore your hamster. Remember that you have a little friend who wants to play with you. Give your hamster love and affection, and don’t forget to offer yummy treats. This is the most important part of taming a hamster.

The more you love and play with your hamster, the calmer it will be.

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Addressing Specific Issues

Taming hamsters can be tricky, so let’s discuss problem behaviors and how to tackle them.

How to Handle a Biting Hamster – Find Out!

If your hamster accidentally bites you, this means that they are anxious. Biting is often a natural response to fear for small animals like hamsters. Give it some time before you re-approach it. Keep talking to your hamster and let it smell your hand occasionally. You can wait until your hamster doesn’t seem anxious and pet it gently.

Hamsters may also bite if your fingers smell like food. As mentioned before, be sure to wash your hands before handling your hamster.

Possible Health Problems

Taming sick hamsters can be challenging, making it crucial to identify potential health issues. Due to their small size, closely observe your hamster for any signs of serious illnesses. Although many hamsters are generally healthy, their small bodies can succumb to health problems swiftly.

The biggest health issue among hamsters is diarrhea. This condition needs immediate attention since hamsters can die from dehydration. The telltale sign of diarrhea is when your hamster’s rear end looks wet and brownish.

Another common medical issue for hamsters is the protrusion of the eyeball from the socket. This is caused by an eye infection or by physical trauma. If your hamster’s eyes are bulging, take it to the nearest vet immediately.

Problems Among Pets

Hamsters are territorial creatures, which means that they may not prefer to share their cage with other pets (including hamsters). If your hamsters are fighting among themselves, they can be hard to tame. You need to provide separate cages for all your hamsters. You also need to provide more treats so they don’t fight over table scraps.

Handling a Wild Hamster – What You Need to Know

There may be an instance when you need to handle an untamed hamster, like cleaning its cage. To manage this, position a cup in front of the hamster and gently guide it into the cup. Typically, curiosity will lead the hamster to crawl into the cup. If this approach doesn’t succeed and you must pick up the hamster, consider using gloves or a thick towel. Keep in mind that this can be stressful, potentially causing the hamster to resist handling even more. So, exercise extra care and prioritize gentleness throughout the process.

If your wild hamster bites you while you are handling it, know that it didn’t want to hurt you. The hamster just felt scared or threatened. Try not to overreact by yelling or harshly lifting your hamster. If you do, it will become afraid of you. Instead, place it back in its cage calmly and wash the bite with warm water and soap.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take for a pet hamster to adjust? 

Hamsters behave well once they’ve adjusted to their new environment. It usually takes up to two weeks for a hamster to get used to the new environment and people.

Are hamsters a good pet?

Hamsters make great pets because they are low maintenance, interactive, and super fun to play with and watch! They enjoy bonding with new people and are a load of fun. If you are ready for the commitment and the care, then go for it! 

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Nadine Oraby

My name is Nadine; I am a passionate writer and a pet lover. People usually call me by the nickname “Joy” because they think that I am a positive and joyful person who is a child at heart. My love for animals triggered me to create this blog. Articles are written by vets, pet experts, and me. Thanks for visiting. Your friend, Nadine!

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