Taming a hamster is a big job regardless if you are a first-time owner or an expert. Each hamster is different and with very different personality. There are times when taming will come easy while other hamsters will take you on a rollercoaster ride for months. However, this shouldn’t be a reason to give up if you want to take care of a hamster.
Now that you have your hamster at home have the house set up, and have given your newest baby a few days to settle down, it’s time for a new chapter. You can also read how to take care of a hamster, especially if you are a beginner.
This article will guide you on what to prepare, do, and expect in this journey. Keep reading as I address most of your concerns. Feel free to leave a comment with more questions that you might have after.
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WHICH HAMSTER SPECIES ARE TAMABLE
Yep, the species of your hamster can affect your chance of success in taming your hamster. Syrians are the easiest to tame, dwarf hamsters can be a hit-and-miss. You can be lucky with them, but if you do run into some issues taming a dwarf, don’t give up, it’s not impossible and the same goes for the Chinese hamster.
The hardest to tame are Roborovski (Robo), it is known that it’s nearly impossible to tame a Robo, they are also known as the “just to look at” kind of hamster. If you don’t mind not cuddling your hamster and are not too affectionate, a Robo might be the one for you.
WHAT TO PREPARE
Here are some things to prepare and know to make sure that this chapter of you being a hamster parent will be smooth or less hassle as possible. You can join these Facebook groups to get some information about taming a hamster.
Leave Your Hamster Alone For A Week
After bringing your hamster home, it is very significant to leave your hamster alone for a week without disturbing it apart from replenishing the food bowl with the best hamster food and giving treats. Don’t plan to touch or play with your hamster or wake them up from sleep.
Holding your hamster for the first time
Now that a week has passed, you and your hamster are both ready to start getting to know each other. But the first time you hold your hamster, make sure that you are being mindful and careful.
Wear gloves, prepare the treats, and be patient. You should also do it no more than 15 minutes for the first time. You can read more about preparing how to hold your hamster for the first time or a Syrian hamster specifically.
You need to be patient, it’s one of the most important things you have to invest in. Setting your mind that this will be an easy job will help you overcome some frustrations along the way. Remember that this will only be hard right now, but eventually, you will get to cuddle and play with your hamster as if this period never happened.
Read about these interesting facts about hamsters to understand them more
Read Up All The Taming Options
You need to know all the ways to tame your hamster. Don’t stick to just one, not because Coffee Mug Strategy worked for many doesn’t mean it will work for you. Personally, I never tried this specific strategy because I found another way that worked right away.
Your hamster may bite you during the taming process. There are many things you can do to be prepared when it happens, we will make sure that you draw blood from biting as rarely as possible.
Hamsters bite, and it’s pretty standard. Sadly it’s one of the reasons why many hamsters are being abandoned. But hey, you don’t need to do that. Instead, learn why hamsters bite and how to solve this issue.
Hand Out Treats
While waiting for the first week to settle, give your hamster at least 2 treats a day, the best one to use is a dried mealworm. This is a way to ensure that your hamster knows about your existence. It’s best to give them treats at the same hour every day. Check this list of healthy hamster treats.
ALSO READ: Best hamster chew toys
TOOLS TO HAVE READY FOR TAMING A HAMSTER
You can buy some tools to prepare you for this process. These are easy to purchase and can even be found in your home.
ALSO READ: How to find an escaped hamster
Depending on the size of your hamster will be the size of the coffee mug. This will be used for Coffee Mug Strategy. It’s best to get the one with a holder and it shouldn’t have any chips or broken parts to avoid harming your hamster.
Gardening or Work Out Gloves
To help you tame your hamster without getting a lot of bite marks or worse, bleeding, you should have new or clean gardening or workout gloves that are thick enough for such sharp teeth.
Small but big enough to wrap your hamster around. Make sure it’s clean and washed with unscented or soap.
The taming is easier and also effective only if you can provide a good treat for your hamster. One of the favourite treats of a hamster is a dried mealworm. You should be able to buy them online or at the nearest pet store. They can be purchased in packs or buckets.
WHY TAME YOUR HAMSTER
It is important to tame your hamster to have a better connection and relationship between you and your pet. This is also a way for you to get to know your hamster very well and get familiar with their personality and attitude.
Being able to do so, will help you know if your hamster is happy, enjoying, irritated, scared, or worse, sick.
Taming your hamster is also a way for your pet to know your smell and gain their trust. Remember that hamsters can be territorial and defensive; you must let them know you are a friend.
FUN WAYS OF HOW TO TAME A HAMSTER
And now, for the exciting part, here are the ways to tame your hamster. You can try to stick to one strategy or the others, especially if the first option is not showing progress.
Before starting this process, prepare the necessary equipment, like a coffee mug, gloves, towels, and treats.
The Coffee Mug Strategy
This is the most known and probably the easiest way to tame your hamster. All you need is a coffee mug that can fit your hamster comfortably, a towel, and a pair of gloves. Here’s how to do it:
- Wear gloves, and make sure it is clean.
- Get your hamster to go into the mug from the cage. You can use a piece of dried mealworm to lure him/her.
- Put down the mug for a moment and lay the towel on your legs or stomach area, whichever you are comfortable with or how you are sitting.
- Bring the coffee mug on top of the towel and position it in a way that your hamster can climb out.
- You can use a piece of dried mealworm to make your hamster come out.
- Once the hamster is out, let him/her crawl around you for a minute or two, after that, make him/her crawl back into the mug.
- Repeat the process for about 5 minutes, and make sure to give a treat once in a while.
- Place your hamster back in its house by slowly putting down the mug on the bedding and letting it crawl out by itself.
The Bath Tub Style
Another way to tame your hamster is the Bath Tub Style. This option might not be possible for everyone since it will require a bathtub. If you can find a big plastic tub that you can sit on and with high walls to avoid the hamster climbing out, you can also give this strategy a try.
Prepare the coffee mug, a bin or small bucket, towels, and the clean tub.
- Lay down the towels on the bathtub floor, as it can get slippery. Wear gloves.
- Take out your hamster from the cage using the coffee mug. Place the coffee mug on the clean plastic bin or small bucket to safely transfer your hamster to the bathroom.
- Get into the tub and bring the bucket/bin that is carrying your hamster’s mug.
- Before letting your hamster out, add more towels around you but make sure to leave enough space, the hamster shouldn’t be able to climb out.
- Now let the hamster out by itself, and use some treats to lure him/her out.
- Let your hamster explore around you for 5-10 minutes, don’t touch the hamster, give it a treat once in a while.
- After 10 minutes, let the hamster crawl back to the mug and place the mug on the bucket/bin for transport.
- Repeat this until your hamster is comfortable enough to climb on your hand on its own.
The blanket strategy is a way to introduce your scent to your hamster. Since hamsters can’t see very well, they rely heavily on their sense of smell. The best way to stop your hamster from biting you whenever you try to hold or lift them is to make them remember your smell. Here’s what you can do:
- Wash your hands with unscented soap.
- Choose a blanket, it doesn’t have to be too big, just enough to wrap your hamster around it. Choose a blanket where the fabrics are tightly stitched together, and avoid loose fabrics that can get your hamster’s feet caught on.
- First, roll around the blanket on you or brush it on your clothes (make sure you and your clothes are clean). It’s like rubbing your scent on the blanket. Do not spray your perfume on the blanket, that’s too strong and can irritate or cause respiratory problems to your hamster.
- Next, lure your hamster to get on the blanket. You can use their favourite treat.
- Once sitting on the blanket, wrap your hamster in it to make sure they are safe to be carried.
- Now, sit on a couch or the bed or the floor. Place and slowly unwrap the blanket on your thighs or body and let your hamster get comfortable.
- Do this 3-4 times a week.
The Hamster Exercise Ball Strategy
First, you must read about the pros and cons of a hamster exercise ball and see if it’s safe enough for your hamster. Once you’ve decided, you can use this to tame your hamster. Here’s the step-by-step:
- Use the ball to lure your hamster out of the cage, and place a treat inside the ball.
- Once the hamster is safe inside the ball, lie yourself down in a comfortable place and open the ball on top of your stomach and let your hamster crawl out of the ball.
- Allow your hamster to crawl around you for 5-10 minutes to get used to your scent.
- Bring your hamster ball inside the ball and back inside the cage.
WHEN TO GIVE UP TAMING A HAMSTER
Here’s the thing, I understand if you want to make the most connection with your hamster pet or simply cuddle them or watch them fall asleep on your hand or lap. However, there’s just a moment when it’s time to throw the towel and give up taming your hamster. Here are the reasons why your hamster can’t be tame:
- It’s just their personality, just like us, hamsters can develop characters, likes, and dislikes. Don’t take it personally if your hamster doesn’t warm up with you.
- They’re old, if you get a hamster that is about 5-6 months old, it is most likely that the hamster has already developed their own likes and dislikes, is set to their mould and you cannot do anything about it.
- They are rescue hamsters who came from abusive or neglectful homes before you.
- They are a Robo. Like what I said, Robos are the hardest to tame, and that’s just it. You can be lucky, of course, but don’t force them too much.
If you have been trying for a while now, it’s probably time to give up to avoid stressing your hamster too much. Just let them live their happy hamster life, give everything they need and love them unconditionally.
Keep in mind that not all species of hamsters are tamable, so if you’ve tried and done your best but without success, it’s better to simply accept that your hamster has a different personality instead of pushing them to something they obviously don’t enjoy or, worse, abandoning them.
Now that you have the information you need, I hope you will enjoy this chapter on becoming a hamster parent. I hope you found this article about how to tame a helpful hamster. If you have any questions, let us know in the comment section below.