Taming Your Hamster

Taming your hamster can be a daunting task to start with, but with time and patience and lots of treats most hamsters will become quite friendly.


How to tame your hamster Step 1

Once your hamster has settled in it is time to start the taming process. This varies from hamster to hamster, for some it will only be a few days until you can start taming but for others it may take a few weeks. You will know when it is time to start taming when your hamster is happy to be out and about with you next to the cage, and does not run and hide at the sound of your voice.

To begin with you need to get your hamster used to your scent. The best way to do this is to simply place your hand in the cage and play with the substrate, just do this gently so you do not startle your hamster. You can also pick up the toys in the cage and then place them back. By doing this you are placing your scent into your hamsters home, and since hamsters rely on their sense of smell over their eyesight this is very important.



How to tame your hamster Step 2

Once your hamster is comfortable with you moving things around their cage and placing your hands in their substrate without panicking then it is time to move on to the next step. From now on treats will be your best friend. to start with you need to have some of your hamsters favourite treats. My treat of choice is sunflower seeds. Start by offering your hamster a treat from your hand, this will go one of two ways. Either your hamster will take the treat from you or they will no, if they don’t, just simply place the treat on the ground and let your hamster pick it up. Continue to do this until your hamster is not afraid to take the treat from your hand.

photo (7)

photo (5)



How to tame your hamster Step 3

The next step is to place some treats on to the palm of your hand and allow your hamster to walk onto your hand to eat them. To start with your hamster will likely stash them in their pouch and eat them in peace on their own, but be patient, eventually your hamster will be happy to sit on your hand to eat the treats. Once this is the case you can start to lift your hand about the ground (being careful not to lift it too high as hamster will jump if frightened). You can then start to move your hands to allow your hamster to walk between them.


How to tame your hamster Step 4

Once you have got to this stage you are on the home stretch. This step is all about getting your hamster to trust you, just allow your hamster to walk between your hands offering treats and gently petting them. It wont take your hamster long to become trusting of you at this stage, just be careful to not make any sudden movements or loud noises that will potentially scare your hamster.


Useful Tips

Always start the taming sessions with clean dry hands, your hamsters sense of smell is amazing and food residue may lead your hamster to nibble on your fingers.

You may find it useful if you have a timid hamster to place your hamster in a mug or tube and place them in an empty bath tub with you, this will give your hamster chance to smell you and crawl over you without having a hand in your hamster face (some hamsters find this less threatening).

Also using a playpen or a large cardboard box works well to help with taming. This will also give you room to scoop up your hamster into your hands rather than grabbing the hamster from above. By using this method you are less likely to be bitten.

Good luck taming Your hamster. Leave any questions or comments below!


Feature Photo credit: Yukari* / Foter / CC BY-SA