If you are patient with your hamster, he will even become hand-tame. We explain the necessary steps for this!
Hamsters are prey animals that have to be constantly on the lookout for predators such as birds of prey or snakes. That’s why they retreat to their cave in a flash as soon as something doesn’t seem right to them. You should definitely pay attention to this quality if you want to deal with your hamster.
Slow acclimatization of the hamster
Two other strong characteristics of the hamster are the joy of movement and gluttony. You can take advantage of the latter so that the hamster gets used to you and recognizes that you are not a danger.
Nevertheless, give your new arrival at least a week to get used to the new environment. In the first few days, you should only be content with observing the hamster. The little rodent needs time to get used to the new home, the strange smells, and the sounds.
Enclosure devise for acclimating the hamster
In order for your new hamster to settle in quickly with you, it is important that you provide him with a large, beautiful home that meets all of his needs. The hamster should feel comfortable in it, be able to run and hide. In addition to the right size and bedding, the enclosure equipment is also important:
Create trust in the hamster
In general, you should pay attention to these things so that your hamster builds trust in you:
- Approach the cage calmly and quietly, avoiding jerky movements.
- Talk to the hamster in a low voice to draw his attention to you. You should get into the habit of speaking to him whenever you are changing food or entering the hamster’s sanctuary for any other reason. This way, the hamster won’t be startled, because he’ll know from the sound that it’s you.
- Don’t stress the hamster by reaching into the cage. Quick or jerky hand movements cause unnecessary stress and are easily avoided.
- If you want to fill up or clean the bowls, do not try to pet your hamster at the same time.
In 3 steps: How to tame the hamster
How long it takes for the hamster to become hand-tame varies by a hamster. This depends on the individual character traits, the previous experience of the hamster with people, and its state of health. In any case, be patient with your rodent. Proceed step by step.
Step 1: Hand feeding
After about a week, you can start hand-feeding the hamster. First, give the little rodent some food through the bars. The separating grid gives him a little more security at the beginning.
Make sure that your hands do not smell of soap, perfume, or food, otherwise, the hamster will find it difficult to get to know your own smell. Always wash your hands with clear water before contacting them. You can also put an unscented paper handkerchief, which you have worn on your body for a few hours, as nesting material for the hamster in the dwelling and thus familiarize it with its own smell.
Step 2: Let the hamster run onto your hand
If the hamster already knows the scent of your hand and will happily approach the cage rails when you call and offer treats, you can go one step further. Carefully open a cage door and place your open hand, which has yummy kibble on it, on the cage floor.
Wait patiently and try not to move if possible. Then at some point, the hamster will come by itself and get the food from your hand.
Step 3: Get the hamster used to the hand
If your hamster runs onto your hand and sits relaxed on it, you are not far from getting used to your hand completely. Soon he will probably crawl onto your palm on his own, even if there is no food on it.
If your hamster is completely relaxed on your hand, you can also gently try petting it with your fingers as it sits on it. It may be that the first few times he gets a little scared and runs away. Once the hamster bites, don’t flinch. Otherwise, he gets used to attacking the hand through the sense of achievement.
However, hamsters are not cuddly animals and usually do not like being petted. Cuddling is therefore taboo, stroking is allowed from time to time. You will see for yourself whether your hamster likes being stroked or whether it stresses him out.
Proper lifting and carrying of a hamster
Does the hamster already know your hand so well that it likes to crawl onto the palm of your hand without there being any food on it? And doesn’t he flinch when you move your fingers? Then you can try to lift the hamster out of the cage.
Grab the little rodent from behind with both hands and form a kind of protective cave around it. So he feels safe and secure and can’t just jump off your palms. Do not pick up the hamster the first few times. He could flee in panic and fall to the ground from a great height. It is therefore essential to keep your hand close to the ground during the first attempts.