Taming Your Hamster

Taming your hamster is relatively simple. It is all about gaining your hamster's trust and confidence. Generally hamsters are gentle and friendly animals. You too must be friendly, gentle and patient. If you hurry things, you may end up frightening your hamster and have to start things all over again.

Start by slowly placing your hand into your hamster's cage. Offer your hamster a small treat like a sunflower seed or raisin in the palm of your hand. The hamster may seem shy to start with but it's natural curiosity will diminish it's nervousness. Your hamster should come and investigate. Once your hamster starts to nibble, try stroking it very calmly and gently.

Pick your hamster up

Once you feel that your hamster is calm enough to be picked up lift it out of the cage and place it on a table. Ensure you watch it closely. Hamsters have poor vision, and may well walk over the edge. Like most other ground-dwelling animals, they have no fear of falling.

Stroke your hamster gently and talk softly, using your hamster's name. A hamster will normally learn the sound of it's own name quite quickly. Do this regularly until your hamster gets really used to you. Then you can place your hand on the table and let the hamster climb onto you.

The next stage is to place your hamster on the floor and let it wander around. Don't do this if you have a cat or a dog though! Keep a watchful eye on your hamster. Remember that they are very small creatures and can crawl into the smallest of places. Hamsters just love to nibble and gnaw - so keep your eye on telephone wires, electrical cables and furniture!

Generally, hamsters are rather timid, but can sometimes become unruly, possibly to impress on you its courage and freedom. You might become fearful of handling your hamster. Fear causes a person to sweat, and hamsters can often detect fear by their sense of smell. The scent of this perspiration causes the hamster to become irritable and, when aroused, it will scamper about, turn on its back, bare its teeth, voice its war cry and generally act aggressively. An animal behaving like this can be gentled within two or three days if an unafraid person gives it special attention, quieting its fear and suspicions. A person who is unafraid, who likes animals and treats them with gentle firmness, will have no trouble at all.

Bad behaviour also can be a result of physical discomfort, unclean or uncomfortable bedding or illness. It can also be caused by noise or excitement, too much handling or being handled by a stranger. Biting is a natural reflex when any animal is frightened or startled.

Taming our hamster takes time, attention and patience. Be gentle and caring whilst taming your hamster.