If you’re getting your pet hamster for the first time, it’s best to get one that’s already tamed. However, there are unavoidable circumstances that a biting hamster will fall into your possession. Perhaps your cousin moves into a new place and he or she can’t take an unruly hamster along. Or the pet sitter you left your obedient hamster with mishandled your pet rodent enough that it’s now frighten even of you. There are a handful of reasons, and usually you have no control over them.
Don’t worry though, because there are ways to tame a biting hamster.
Why Hamsters Bite?
Before tagging a hamster as unruly, it’s best to know why a hamster bites. For all you know your new hammy isn’t really bad; it just doesn’t know how to act around you. The number one reason a hamster bites is that it’s not used to being held since young. Be careful buying your pet hamster from pet supplies store that breed hamsters by the hundreds. Most likely, these hamsters lack enough human interaction to be tamed. Also, know that hamsters are small prey animals. So when they’re frightened, hamsters often flip out and bite the closest moving thing they can see. If it’s your finger… ouch!
Moreover, know also that hamsters have poor eyesight. To recognize the person that’s holding it, a hamster sometimes resort to using its taste buds and licks, or acts as though it’s about to bite, your finger. And since your hammy can’t quickly recognize between your finger and a drumstick, it’s best to wash your hands thoroughly before handling your hamster especially if you’ve just finished your fast food.
Can You Tame a Hamster?
Since there are a lot of reasons a hamster may want to bite, you might want to ask if there are ways to stop the bad behavior. Luckily, there is. And like other animal training, you have to take it slow and gentle when training your pet hamster. Try these steps to tame your new hammy.
1. Give it time to adjust - When you just got your hammy from a pet supplies store, give it time to adjust to its new home. Do not handle it within 24 hours.
2. Introduce your scent - Hamsters identify their owner through familiar scent. So slowly introduce your odor by putting your hand in the cage close to the hamster. Do not handle it yet as it may bite. After all, you can’t rush anything during the first meeting.
3. Try the waters – Once you see your hamster feeding and going about its business even if your hand’s waving inside its cage, it’s time to try the waters. Try to pet the hamster gently without sudden movements that could frighten it. Repeat this plenty of times until your hamster is used to being petted.
4. Hand feed hammy - Bribe your hamster by giving it treats on your palm. Be patient to wait for hammy to move closer and actually take the food from your palm. Later it will be comfortable enough to eat on your palm.
5. Home stretch – Now that your new hamster is feeding on your palm, it’s time to take the home stretch. Pick it up slowly and let it cross back and forth between your palms. Hold it near you and very low on the ground in case it decides to jump.
By constantly associating yourself with your hamster and showing nothing but TLC, your unruly hamster will be tamed sooner than you think.
Pet Hamster Cage Supplies
When taming hamsters, it’s best to get pet supplies that can help you to tame your hamster too. You need treats to bribe your hamster, toys to play with your hamster, and the all essential pet supplies like hamster cage, water bottle, substrate, and cage décor.
Remember, to avoid reverting your hamster to its old unruly habit, leave it only to a certified pet sitter if you need to be out for a while.