Hamsters are not automatically at ease with being handled, so taming hamsters is a requirement before you can hold them. Many people, unfortunately, find this out the hard way. Has your hamster bitten you when you tried to pick it up? Are you now afraid of handling your hamster?
Fortunately there are some great techniques for earning your hamster’s trust. All it will take is some time and patience and before you know it, your hamster will be comfortable and relaxed.
The number one mistake people make is plunging their hands in the cage and trying to scoop up the hamster. Try to think of it from your hamster’s perspective. He doesn’t know you and he doesn’t know what this big thing is coming at him. Of course he’s going to defend himself and protect his space by running away or trying to bite you.
So first, you need to get your hamster to recognize that you are not harmful. To do this, you will need to help your hamster become more familiar with your hand. Step one is to wash your hands carefully so that there are no food residues or unfamiliar smells on them. Hamsters have a great sense of smell, which can make taming hamsters tricky.
Next, you should get a treat like a carrot, leafy green, or an apple to offer your hamster. Slowly place your hand down in to the cage and hold the treat a bit away from your hamster. This might take some time, but it is best to wait for your hamster to come investigate. Do this on a daily basis and soon your hamster will begin to associate your hand with great tasting goodies.
The next step is trying to get your hamster to actually step onto your hand. To do this, place your hand on the bottom of the cage with your palm up. Have a little treat in your palm as a reward for your hamster coming up onto your hand. Continue practicing this until you think your hamster has the hang of it. When he is in your palm, try lifting your hand just a little bit. No matter how tempted you are to scoop him right out of the cage, set your hand back down. Keep lifting your hamster a little higher every time you do this exercise. At some point, you will reach the top of the cage and you can remove your hamster.
Holding your hamster, especially a dwarf hamster, can be a little tricky since they are so small. Once he is comfortable with your hand, learn how to hold him cupped in your hand to keep him safe.
The most important rule of taming hamsters is “do not drop them.” First of all, they are delicate creatures that might not be able to survive some falls. Secondly, if they do survive, they will naturally be terrified to be in your hands in the future.
Move to a nice, carpeted area with a clear space. Make sure you have blocked off exits and made the room hamster-proof just in case he should get loose. Sit down on the ground and stay very still. You can pet your hamster slowly and gently and speak to him softly to get him to relax.
You might have to do this several times before your hamster truly starts to seem content with being handled. With a bit of patience and consistency, you should become an expert at taming hamsters in no time.
Source by Liz Andrews