Isn’t it super fun and cute when you have a furry little hammy? You want to caress and pet it, and even cuddle it to show your love and affection. After all, hamsters are one of the most adorable animals.
However, every animal is different. And the big question is, do hamsters like to be held? In order to find out, you need to know about their personalities, as well as how to handle them and what to generally expect when you pet a hamster.
Do Hamsters Like To Be Pet?
The answer to this question will vary from hamster to hamster, as all of them have different personality types. Some hamsters will try to pull away, while others might not mind being touched. So, your pets’ temperament plays a huge role in whether they like to be petted.
Generally, hamsters are not very comfortable when being held or touched a lot. In fact, their natural instinct is to try to escape when you pick them. Hamsters are prey animals; naturally wired to escape from predators, so they are very alert and know how to escape quickly. Because of this, they also tend to get threatened easily.
Apart from this, hamsters like isolation and are considered solitary animals. They often like to be left alone in comparison to being held or touched.
But remember, your hamsters’ personality is key here. Some independent hamsters will never stay put, no matter how much their owner tries to pet them. But some hamsters can slowly get accustomed to being held and will start to ease with time.
You should generally expect them to skit away or squirm out of your hand. But with gradual hand-training, some hamsters will start to get comfortable and may even enjoy being held for some time.
How to Hold a Hamster?
First, you must know that hamsters are timid creatures. They are very small, and it is very easy to scare them especially when they see big hands coming their way. The best way is to approach them in a manner that makes them feel safe and secure.
Holding your hamster the right way is very important when training them to get comfortable. Scooping them up in your hands at once will scare the little furball at first. So you have to train it on a daily basis to help shake off its’ initial fear.
When you first bring your hamster home, don’t immediately try to hold it. Take some time, at least 12 to 24 hours, until you try to pet it.
Always make sure you approach the cage slowly and let it acknowledge your presence, rather than taking the timid creature by surprise. You can use a treat to welcome the hamster into your hand. Speaking to it and engaging with it in a warm, friendly voice is also a nice gesture. You also have to make your hamster feel comfortable in your presence so you should hang around the cage and let it get familiar with you.
After you offer your hand every day, you will start noticing the fear vanish away. Let it sniff your limp hand and it will start to acknowledge that you’re not a threat. In case, it nibbles, do not jerk your hand away as it could startle the animal. This is just a way for hamsters to test their environment.
Once your hamster does not seem to freak out anymore, you can try to cup it in your hands. As hamsters are nocturnal, it’s best to do this activity in the evenings when they’re wide awake. Even when you start picking it, only do so gradually, and lift the hamster a couple of inches above the ground at first. If you quickly lift it, you’re going to scare it. The key to taming your hamster is to take it slow.
You can cup the hamster in your palm with time. It’s best to let it climb onto your hands itself. And once it feels secure it will start to do so on its’ own.
Remember, not all hamsters will be okay with it. Some simply never like being petted.
Where do Hamsters Like to be pet?
It’s best to use your index and middle finger when you pet a hamster. Lightly caress the back of your hamster making gentle and comforting strokes. Make sure you are not rough or sudden. This should generally be relaxing for your hamster.
Things to Remember
There are a few safety tips you must keep in mind when you start petting or holding your hamster.
Always wash your hands first, especially with unscented soap. You don’t want your hamster mistaking you for food and trying to nibble or bite you.
If you really want to hand-train your hamster, do it every day. If you don’t regularly do so, it is going to feel scared and a frightened hamster may bite. In order to avoid such accidents, let your presence be known gradually and regularly.
Too many people trying to hold your hamster is always going to scare it. Hamsters are able to bond with 1-2 people at maximum so it’s best to restrict hand-holding to those selected people.
Lastly, make sure you are not forcing your hamster into your hands. It’s best to respect the hamsters’ personality type and take cues from how it reacts to your touch. At the end of the day, whether your pet hamster likes being touched or not will depend on its’ temperament. As a loving owner, you can learn its’ likes and dislikes and treat your hammy accordingly.