You’ve got a hamster! Congratulations! You will share many memories together and have each other’s back when the other is not having a great day. The fact that you landed in this article means that you are going the extra mile to provide the proper care for your pet, and for that – thank you!
I can only imagine how excited you must be to spend time with your new best friend, spoil it, and give it cuddles. But hold your horses! Before you attempt any physical contact, you need to know that it might not be the best idea.
Don’t worry; this phase will pass. You will eventually be able to hold your hamster when it’s ready and when it’s safe to do so. In this article, I will show you how to hold a hamster for the first time safely and properly.
CAN YOU HOLD A HAMSTER WHEN YOU FIRST GET IT
It’s highly recommended NOT to attempt to hold your hamster the moment you bring it home. During this moment, your hamster feels vulnerable, scared, and suspicious. The best thing you can do is let your hamster into its cage and leave it for up to a week.
Let your pet settle down, get familiar with its new home, and spread its scent everywhere. Only approach the cage when refilling the water and food bowl and dropping off treats.
This is a very sensitive moment between you and your hamster. This is where you start building that relationship and trying to gain your pet’s trust. When you approach the cage for basic tasks, wear thick gloves (something similar to gardening or garage work).
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HOW TO HOLD A HAMSTER FOR THE FIRST TIME
Before we start, you must prepare a few things before you start holding your hamster. This includes: thick pair of gloves, treats, and a coffee mug.
You should also ensure that other pets are locked in a different room. If you have a young child, brief them about the situation, so they don’t startle the hamster.
Now that your hamster has enjoyed solo time for an entire week, it’s time to introduce yourself properly. Remember that gaining your hamster’s trust won’t happen overnight, and you will most likely have to do these steps for a few weeks or months.
- Lure your hamster out of the cage. You can use a tasty treat (dried mealworms, cooked lean chicken, boiled egg white). Make sure to wear gloves.
- Lead your pet to the coffee mug and pick them up with it.
- Cover the top of the mug with your hand to secure it.
- Sit on the ground of the bed/couch to ensure a soft landing spot in case your hamster jumps or runs away.
- Allow your hamster to run around the surface or even on top of you as they get to learn your scent.
- Use treats to keep your hamster calm and happy.
- Please do this for 10 to 15 minutes maximum. You may increase it for up to 30 minutes gradually.
WHY DO I NEED TO WEAR GLOVES
Hamsters are naturally aggressive. However, this is not because they hate you. Hamsters are prey in the wild. They have this instinct to fight anything that seems to be dangerous or might cause harm to them.
There’s a high chance that your hamster will try to bite you as a knee-jerk reaction to be defensive. By wearing gloves, you won’t get hurt, and no blood will spill during your physical interaction with your pet.
When you’re feeling comfortable, you may try to hand your hamster a treat and see how they will react (e.g. will they attack you or charge at you?). Please remember that not all hamsters can be tamed. Meaning not all hamsters will be cuddly types of pets.
After you try to tame your hamster and build the trust bond, you might have to give up and accept that your pet prefers to be alone (which is highly expected for a hamster since they are solitary animals). If that’s the case, you can still hold your pet, but wear that pair of gloves.
TIPS ON TAMING A HAMSTER
There are a few ways to make your hamster stop biting you and start trusting you. We have a guide on how to tame a hamster. Whenever you do these steps, it’s best if you have some tasty and healthy treats for your hamster.
When you hold your hamster and allow it to smell, you will play a massive part in building a relationship. Hamsters can’t see very well, so they rely on their nose to remember the people they come across.
You must give your hamster space before you hold them the first time and introduce your smell. Be patient, and everything will work.
I hope that I answered your question about how to hold a hamster for the first time.