Hamsters are generally cute and easy to handle. However, one thing hamster owners should keep in mind is that their pet needs time to get used to them before they can fully enjoy handling and playing with it. This will ensure everyone enjoys the experience and no one gets hurt.
How to get a hamster used to you?
Be gentle with your hamster
If you want to win the trust of your new pet, then you need to give him time to think about it. Hamsters are naturally shy and suspicious creatures, so they will likely be afraid of you at first. If you’re too pushy or insistent with them, then they’ll just run away or hide. It takes time for them to become adjusted to their surroundings and accepting of you, but that doesn’t mean that it will take forever.
Don’t try to force your affection on him
Your hamster may like you eventually, but forcing yourself on him is not the way to do it. Ever since they were first domesticated, hamsters have been wary of humans and more likely to run from them than get cozy with them. If you try to make him love you by chasing after him, then he’s going to be afraid of you. It will take a long time for your hamster to trust you, but if you leave him alone when he runs away from you, then he’ll be more likely to think that you’re a safe person.
Make the first move yourself
If your hamster is still nervous around you, then let him come to you instead of going after him. When you see your hamster out and about in his cage or running around a room, don’t immediately run after him. Instead, go sit in a chair or stand still, and see if he comes to you instead of running away from you. If he does come over to you, then pet him very lightly on his back or side so that he can get used to being touched by you.
This way, when your hamster is finally relaxed enough with you to sit on your lap, then he won’t be so afraid of physical contact.
Feed him treats
Food is a great way to win over any animal, including our adorable hamsters. Every time you see your hamster out and about in his cage or running around the room, give him some food as a treat. Don’t make a big deal out of it or try to force him to eat from your hand, but just leave a little food nearby and let him discover it. After a while, he’ll associate the presence of food with you being safe and non-threatening.
You want to have fun with your hamster, but you don’t want to be rough with him. Hamsters are surprisingly fragile creatures, and they can be injured if handled too roughly. Instead of chasing after your hamster and trying to pick him up, try playing with his favorite toys instead. If he likes a wheel or a ball on a string, then that’s a great way to get your hamster used to be around you.
The more time that you spend with your hamster as a fun, non-threatening presence, the closer that he’ll get to you and the more likely he’ll be to trust you.
Build up your patience
Getting a new pet is exciting and we want them to like us as quickly as possible, but hamsters need time to adjust and get used to their surroundings. It will take a big commitment on your part to stick with your new fuzzy friend and let him come around on his own instead of forcing the issue. With time and patience, you can win over even the shyest hamster and turn him into a loving companion.
Here are some additional tips on how to get a hamster used to you:
- Keep the first encounter short and sweet. Don’t spend more than five or 10 minutes with your new pet, especially if he’s very nervous around you. If he seems comfortable enough, then try having another short playtime session in a few hours.
- When you do play with your hamster, don’t expect him to come running up to you right away. He’s likely to be very shy at first and will probably run off when he sees you or hide in his bedding or behind furniture. You have to be patient and just wait for him to feel comfortable enough to come out and play.
- Keep your hamster’s cage in a well-lit area, but avoid direct sunlight. Hamsters are nocturnal animals who are used to the dim light of the night, so having their cage in a brightly lit room will confuse them and stress them out. Make sure that they have plenty of places to hide, but also that they have enough light to see after dark.
- Clean up after yourself. Even if you don’t clean out your hamster’s cage every day, at least make sure that you keep it tidy and free of dirty bedding or food debris. Hamsters are very sensitive creatures who can get sick if they eat things that are dirty or contaminated. Cleaning out their cage regularly will make them feel secure and happy overall, even if you are still figuring out how to get a hamster used to you.
- Keep your new pet’s cage in a safe place away from other pets. Even friendly dogs and cats can be threatening to new hamsters. Make sure that you have your new furry friend’s cage out of the reach of other pets, so they can’t get to him or pick on him. Also, make sure that any pet doors are kept firmly closed so there’s no risk of an animal getting inside and scaring your hamster.
Getting a new pet can be scary for both of you, especially if you’ve never had a hamster before. However, with commitment and patience, you can turn even the most nervous and shy hamster into your loving new friend. You just have to treat him right and give him some time so he knows that getting close to you is a good thing. If you follow the tips in this article, then you should see a big difference in how your hamster reacts to your presence. Just be patient and give it some time!