Sunday, November 13, 2011

How to tame/handle a hamster.

When you get a hamster, odds are they haven't been handled much, so you basically need to tame them. Here's how:

1. Let them get used to your scent.

A good way to do this is to:

let them sniff you
handle their toys a lot before putting them in the hamsters cage

2. Let them get used to your voice.

To do this just spend some time talking to them, though try to do it quietly; not loudly!

3. Feed them treats!

The way to most animals hearts is through their stomach. Give your new hamster some treats. A good treat to try is sunflower seeds, hamsters love them! 

tip! You may not want to feed them the treats through cage bars, this can teach them the habit of biting anything that comes through the bars, which could be your finger one day! So just open the door of the cage to give them their treat.

4. Pet them!

Now you can gently stroke them. Most hamsters seem to like being stroked down their back. My hamster, Pipsqueak, likes being pet behind her ears. 

5. Time to hold them!

When your hamsters is comfortable with you petting them, you can try holding them. There are a few different ways you can do this. If your hamster is like mine and doesn't particularly like being picked up you can:

see if they will crawl into your hand

coax them into your hand with a treat

let them crawl into something like a toilet paper tube to be transported to your hand (this is Pipsqueaks favorite way!)

If your hamster is okay with being picked up then the best way to do this is to cup your hands around your hamster and lift them up gently. 

Once they are in your hand you can let them crawl on you and you can pet them and give them treats to keep them happy. 

caution! Make sure to be careful not to let your hamster escape. If you have a roborovski hamster (the really tiny ones!) you may want to just skip holding them or only do it somewhere where there is no chance of them escaping. They are fast!

Once holding them is successful your hamster is tamed! 

REMEMBER! Hamsters are nocturnal and many are grumpy about being woken up. When you are taming them it is best to not wake them up and wait till they are awake. Syrian hamsters especially can be very grumpy about being woken up. 

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