Hamsters are small and sometimes very shy. Some hamsters don’t mind being held, but others don’t like it so much that they might bite if you’re not careful.
Do hamsters like to be held? Each hamster is different, and how much they trust you will depend on their personality.
Before you pick up your hamster, you should make sure to get to know it well.
You need to earn your hamster’s trust before you can handle it. This can be done by getting close to your hamster and feeding it from your hand.
If you just got a new hamster, you should wait a few days before playing with it.
Do Hamsters Like to Be Held?
Hamsters can be taught to like and be okay with being picked up.
They are shy by nature, so the first few times they are held, they might be scared.
Hamsters are prey animals, so when a giant hand swoops in and tries to grab them, they are likely to panic and try to defend themselves by biting.
(If they don’t know who you are).
How much your hamster likes to be held and how long it takes to train him will depend on what kind of hamster he is.
Some hamsters like to be held, while others may only be able to stand it for a short time before they want to get back on the ground.
Even though hamsters may never get used to being held, they are still happy to be near you in other ways.
But if you get your hamster used to your hand and the idea of being picked up, he will feel more comfortable around you and won’t be afraid of you.
If you do this, your chances of taming your hamster will go up by a lot.
The more you pick up your hamster, the more you will get used to it.
If you played with them every day and picked them up, they would soon start to trust you and know that you won’t hurt them.
How to Hold Your Hamster
Holding your hamster correctly is essential for gaining his trust and avoiding a nasty bite.
Although grabbing your hamster to pick him up appears to be the simplest method, it can be unsettling and frightening for him.
Cupping your hands under your hamster to lift him is the best technique for picking him up.
Keep your hands cupped around your hamster as you lift him to act as a sort of cave, preventing him from jumping or falling off and injuring himself.
Next, bring your hamster up close to your chest or lap to make him feel more secure. It would be best if you allowed him to peer over your hands.
When handling your hamster, you should always sit close to the ground in case he falls or decides to jump out of your hands quickly.
If you just got your hamster, it’s best to wait a couple of weeks before starting to pick them up.
It is best to start building trust and rapport with them by letting them smell you when you feed them. They will become accustomed to your scent after a few weeks.
When you first start handling your hamster, it’s normal for them to be a little uneasy and want to move away from you.
You must continue to handle and pick up your hamster in order for them to gain your trust and become accustomed to being handled.
How Often Should You Hold Your Hamster?
To keep your hamster in check, handle and play with him once a day.
If your hamster is new to you, you may need to gradually increase the amount of time you hold him.
This could imply that your hamster initially only tolerates being held for a few seconds.
Be patient and continue to handle him on a daily basis to help extend the time he will allow you to hold him.
Maintaining your hamster’s trust requires consistency.
If you don’t handle your hamster on a regular basis, he may become distrustful and fearful of you.
Playing with them once a day will help your hamster become accustomed to your voice and scent and recognize that you are not a threat.
If you go on vacation for a week or two, you may have to reintroduce yourself gradually, but depending on how long you’ve had your hamster, they should begin to recognize you by your scent and voice.
If you go on vacation, ask a friend, family member, neighbor, or pet-sitting service to look after your hamster so you can be sure they are fed and well cared for.
If you leave your hamster alone for more than two days (48 hours), they may run out of food or knock over their water bottle.
The Dos and Don’ts When Holding Your Hamster
The Dos and Don’ts of Hamster Holding
- Before handling your hamster, thoroughly wash your hands with unscented soap. This will prevent your hands from smelling like food, which may result in your hamster nipping you.
- Talk to your hamster softly. This makes him feel more at ease in your presence.
- Allow your hamster to sniff you before you hold him. This will demonstrate to him that you are not a threat. You can tell if he wants to be picked up by his reaction.
- Hold your hamster correctly by gently but securely cupping your hands under him.
- When holding your hamster, keep him close to your chest or lap to make him feel safer.
- Never punish your hamster for biting or urinating on you. He is not malicious; he is simply scared or nervous. Return him to his cage and try again the next day.
- Don’t try to pick up your hamster by chasing him around his cage. This is stressful for him and makes him more likely to bite back.
- Make no sudden movements, or loud noises, or simply grab your hamster to pick him up. Keep your cool and use the cupping method to hold him.
- Never lift your hamster too high. When handling your hamster, always sit down and keep him close to the ground. That way, he won’t hurt himself if he falls or jumps off you.
- Do not startle your hamster to hold him. This is bound to irritate him. Instead, wait until he is already awake, or gently speak to him to gently wake him up.
- If your hamster is clearly unhappy or stressed, do not force him to be held. Hissing, raising paws, growling, showing teeth, and nipping are all signs that your hamster does not want to be touched.
- Don’t yell or raise your voice around your hamster because it may startle or irritate them. They are more likely to bite if you raise your voice because it may frighten them.
Training your hamster to be comfortable with being held
You can still train your hamster whether or not he will stay in your hands. Hamsters are skittish, jumpy furballs, so they won’t be around for long. Still, some may remain in your hands.
But, in order for them to stay put, they must first understand that your hand is a safe haven and that they are safe there.
So let’s take a few quick steps. This is a normal part of the taming process, and you can learn more about taming your hamster here.
Keep in mind that the hamster can be tamed in a matter of days or weeks. It varies from hamster to hamster, so give him some time.
Tips for Holding Your Hamsters
Treats are the most effective way to boost your hamster’s confidence in your presence.
Giving your hamster treats will help him associate your presence with something positive and recognize that you are not a threat.
In other words, your hamster will recognize that when you approach him, he will be rewarded.
This demonstrates to him that you will not harm him and that he should not be afraid. If you continue to do this, your hamster will come to trust you.
When you want to hold your hamster, it is also a good idea to handle him while he is awake.
Avoid startling your hamster by shaking his nesting box or swooping in to pick him up while he’s sleeping.
This will frighten your hamster and give him reason to bite you.
Wait until your hamster is awake, or gently speak to him or offer him a treat to rouse him from his slumber.
Before handling your hamster, wash your hands with unscented soap to get rid of any food odors. This reduces the possibility of your hamster biting you.
You could also rub your hands in the bedding of your hamster to transfer his scent to you. Because hamsters have poor vision, they rely heavily on smell.
If your hands smell similar to your hamster’s, he’ll be more at ease around you.
So, do hamsters enjoy being held? Well, I think it’s safe to say we get more out of it than they do.
Of course, most of the above steps are common sense, but just because they are small doesn’t mean you should take advantage of their size.
Treat a hamster gently and respectfully to ensure he has a happy little life with you.