The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care.
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Hamsters have become very common pets that people love to care for. These are great pets for people who just want to have fun animal companions that aren’t that difficult to take care of.
People also consider hamsters to be pretty good pets for kids so long as the kids are taught how to care for hamsters properly. You do need to be careful when raising hamsters since doing things wrong can cause them to get stressed easily.
If your hamster appears to be stressed even though you’re caring for it to the best of your ability, then you’re likely worried. You might be concerned about what could be causing your hamster to appear so stressed in the first place as well as what you can do to make it feel better.
Read on to learn a bit about how to calm down a stressed hamster. This should help you to get your hamster calmed down and feeling more normal.
Understand That Hamsters Can Get Stressed and Frightened Easily
Before you move further, it’s going to be good to understand that hamsters get stressed very easily. There are many different things that can cause hamsters to become stressed or frightened in an average home.
For example, you might have some road work going on outside that is making a lot of noise. If your hamster can hear all of the noise, then it might wind up acting very stressed or scared.
Those who have other pets might need to try to keep them away from the hamster’s cage. Hamsters are understandably going to be scared to death of cats and dogs.
There’s a good chance that you have many things around your house that will cause a hamster to become stressed. You might not have thought about certain things and that caused you to not take steps to protect the hamster from getting scared.
Now you know that you aren’t necessarily an unusually bad hamster owner just because your hamster is stressed. This happens to many hamsters, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t take steps to keep your hamster calm.
Below, you’re going to be able to find many ideas that will help you to calm a stressed hamster. If you use this advice, then you’ll be far less likely to have issues with your hamster getting stressed, agitated, and scared.
Keep Your Hamster in a Room That’s Away From Larger Pets
The first thing that you should try to do is find a room for your hamster cage that makes sense. You know from the information above that larger pets such as cats and dogs can scare the living daylights out of poor hamsters.
If you have a cat or a dog, then it might get curious about your hamster from time to time. A dog or a cat might get right up to the cage and try to look at the hamster.
Sometimes cats might even try to swat at the hamster or intimidate it in some way. After all, cats do seem to have natural instincts to want to hunt rodents, and even the most well-trained cat might bother a hamster this way.
Even if your pets don’t get too close to the hamster cage, it’s still going to be possible for your hamster to get scared. The mere sight and presence of larger animals that the hamster sees as predators will be stressful.
If the hamster has its own little area of the house where other pets won’t be able to get to it, things will be different. A hamster will be less likely to get stressed and you’ll have an easier time.
Find a Quiet Room for Your Hamster
It’s also incredibly important to find a spot for your hamster that is quiet. If you keep your hamster in a room where things are quite noisy, then the hamster is going to get even more stressed.
Hamsters dislike loud noises and various sounds that might be heard in certain parts of your home. If you can find a quiet room that the hamster can live in, then that’s going to be a much better situation.
There are so many noises that can cause hamsters to be stressed. Loud music and loud televisions can definitely cause hamsters to become stressed.
Some hamster owners try to keep their hamsters in the quietest rooms in the houses. Some have even gone so far as to add soundproofing elements to certain rooms to make the hamsters feel more comfortable.
You don’t necessarily have to go that far, but it would be wise to find a room where the hamster won’t be bothered as much by noises. Just try to make good choices based on the rooms in your home that are available.
Ensure That Your Hamster Has Toys
You’re going to need to make sure that your hamster has access to various types of toys. These hamster toys are more important than many people realize.
The toys are going to give your hamster a chance to reduce stress levels. When they start to feel antsy or anxious, they’re going to be able to play with the toys to calm down.
If a hamster doesn’t have access to toys in its cage, then it’s going to get way more stressed than usual. A hamster should always have access to toys such as hamster wheels.
Thankfully, there are many different hamster toys on the market that you can choose from. It shouldn’t be hard at all to find toys that your hamster will be interested in.
Some people even decide to mix the toys up now and then. They might add some toys to the hamster cage on certain months while taking others away for a time.
This helps to make it so that your hamster doesn’t get bored of certain toys. It’s a pretty good idea that can keep your hamster engaged and happy in its environment.
Add New Toys to the Cage Slowly
Of course, you should also consider that changing things out in a hamster’s cage can cause the hamster some stress. If you take all of the toys out and put new ones in all at once, then a hamster might feel overwhelmed and stressed by your actions.
It’s good to get your hamster new toys that it can play with. However, it’s going to be better for you to add those new toys to the hamster cage one at a time.
Adding a new toy to the cage and removing one can be done slowly over time. This makes it less likely that the hamster is going to get stressed by what you’re doing.
Your hamster will be able to focus more on enjoying what you’re trying to do for it. Moving too fast and changing too much at once is what seems to overwhelm hamsters.
Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to go about things this way so long as you aren’t being impatient. If you’re aware that changing things out too fast will cause the hamster stress, then you can just do things slowly to keep your hamster feeling its best.
Be mindful of this when buying hamster toys. Even if you buy a bunch of toys at once, it’s still going to be best to add them to the hamster cage slowly over time rather than putting them all in there in one go.
Handle Your Hamster Very Gently
Another thing that you need to keep in mind is how you’re handling your hamster. You might be surprised to hear that how you’re handling your hamster could be causing it great stress.
If you try to think about things from the hamster’s perspective, then it’s going to be easier to see why this is the case. Hamsters are small animals and you’re a giant creature compared to them.
When someone handles a hamster a bit haphazardly, it’s going to cause the hamster great stress. In some cases, hamsters will be scared for their lives by being picked up by a human.
Granted, most people will be able to tell if their hamsters are afraid of them. You sort of have to build trust with your hamster over time so that it can get comfortable with your presence.
If you didn’t bother to do this, then your hamster might actually be quite scared when you interact with it. Hamsters can get comfortable with their owners, but only when they handle them gently and try their best to make the experience pleasant.
Try to learn how to handle a hamster properly so that you can avoid stressing your hamster out. It’s also going to be smart to consider how you’re acting around your hamster.
Speaking Gently Matters
Speaking gently matters when you’re hanging out with your hamster. When you speak aggressively and loudly while handling a hamster, it’s going to make it feel stressed and scared.
Think about how big your voice must sound to your hamster. You already know from earlier that hamsters get stressed and scared by loud noises.
If you decide to shout or something like that while you’re handling your hamster, then it makes sense that the hamster is going to get nervous. Even if you do this while you’re in the same room with the hamster, it’s going to be a negative thing.
You should do your best to be mindful of your tone when you’re hanging out with your hamster. It’ll help you to keep the hamster calm and you won’t have to worry nearly as much.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t talk at all or that you can’t speak at a mostly normal volume. It’s more about inflection and just trying to speak gently to the hamster so that it will feel at ease during your interactions.
Avoid Fast Movements
Fast movements have the potential to cause your hamster to get scared, too. A hamster will get very stressed by a human making sudden movements or doing unusual actions near them.
For instance, you wouldn’t want to let your kids make sudden movements when handling the hamster. Some kids will do silly things and their erratic or sudden movements might scare the hamster a lot.
Kids might even think they’re being funny by trying to scare the hamster. Making a sudden movement and saying “boo” or something such as that might seem funny to a child, but to the hamster, it’s a very stressful thing.
This is why teaching your kids how to interact with hamsters respectfully is important. If you have kids and you want to let them play with the hamster, then you need to supervise and ensure that your kids are doing things right.
Of course, it’s less likely that an adult is going to make fast movements and act strangely toward a hamster for no reason. It’s pretty much common sense that things like this could scare a hamster and you likely know that you should try to be calm around a hamster to keep it calm.
Give Your Hamster Places to Hide in its Cage
Hamsters should have places where they can go inside their cages that will help them to feel safe. If your hamster is in a cage that has mostly open space, then it’s going to feel very exposed.
Placing little places to hide in the hamster cage will turn this around. Many hamster owners have said that their hamsters deal with stress a lot better when they have the ability to go hide when they feel the need to.
There are different hamster huts or hideaways that you can purchase for your hamster cage. Having something like this inside of the cage will make your hamster feel a lot more secure overall.
This is well worth looking into and it isn’t going to be hard to get things set up in any way. Whenever a hamster feels a bit nervous, it’s going to be able to escape to the hiding spot and its stress levels won’t get too high.
Hamsters that aren’t able to hide this way will feel on edge far too often. You should look into putting some hiding spots in your hamster cage as soon as possible to help your hamster to stay calm.
Consider Putting on Some Relaxing Tunes
It’s already been said that hamsters dislike loud noises. They won’t like certain types of loud music that will scare them and make them feel uneasy.
However, some hamster owners have said that putting on relaxing tunes has helped hamsters to chill a bit. A hamster might enjoy certain types of relaxing music, and it’s possible that it might even make them feel more at ease.
Of course, it’s possible that not all hamsters will like the music. Some people have had good luck when playing relaxing types of music very softly.
If your hamster doesn’t seem to like the music, then you might want to abandon this idea. You’ll have to observe your hamster to see if they seem cool with the music that you put on.
Just remember not to play the music loudly even if the hamster seems to like it. The music will always need to be played very softly or else it’ll have the opposite effect and make things worse.
Sometimes Your Hamster Just Needs to Be Left Alone
Sometimes your hamster is going to seem stressed and you won’t know why. If your hamster seems stressed, nervous, or agitated, then you should probably leave it alone.
Your hamster might just need a bit of time to itself so that it can calm down. Often, trying to interact with a hamster when it’s stressed this way is going to be detrimental.
There’s more of a chance that you’re going to make the hamster feel even more stressed. It’s not very likely that you’ll actually help to calm the hamster down or make it feel different in any way.
Hamsters are actually pretty good at dealing with stress and anxiety alone. If you leave a hamster to its own devices, then it should wind up feeling normal again soon enough.
This is why it’s good to try to be mindful of how your hamster is feeling. Even if you’d like to visit with your hamster, it might be better to wait until a time when your hamster is feeling at its best.
There are so many different things that have the potential to stress your hamster out. Luckily, there are many actions that you can take to help your hamster deal with stress effectively.
If you use the advice above, then your hamster is going to be in a much better position. You’ll be able to help the hamster stay calm and you’ll have a good time hanging out with your pet.
You can help your hamster out so that it will feel much more at ease. A lot of this is about preventing your hamster from getting overly stressed and understanding the things that can cause a hamster to become stressed in an average home.
Let your friends who own hamsters know about these tips if they’ve been struggling as well. It really can help to turn things around nicely.