Pet hamsters are popular because they’re pretty easy to care for. You might be a bit surprised to see how scared your hamster will be when you first bring it home, though.
Some hamsters might appear to be very wary of humans at first. If your hamster hides from you and doesn’t seem to want to interact with you, then you might be upset.
It’s possible to socialize a hamster and get it used to human interactions, though. This process does take time, but it should go well so long as you know how to approach things.
Examine the information below to learn about socializing hamsters. This will help you to get the best results so that you can have a good experience with your new pet.
Ensure That the Hamster Is Taken Care of Properly
The hamster needs to be able to feel secure in its new environment. You’re not going to be able to successfully socialize the hamster if its needs aren’t being met.
To start, it’s going to be a good idea to get your hamster a cage that is big enough. Hamsters won’t do so well if they’re placed in cages that are too cramped.
Of course, the cage doesn’t have to be comically big either. You just need a hamster cage that makes sense for the type of hamster that you’re using.
If you need recommendations, then someone at the pet store will be able to assist you. Inside the cage, the hamster is going to need to have enough bedding so that it can stay warm and get comfortable.
Hamsters should have hiding spots that they can use when they feel threatened, too. Sometimes hamsters like to use hiding spots when they just want to relax and get away.
Ensure that you give your hamster access to fresh food and water each day. Hamsters need constant access to water, but you’ll be feeding the hamster at specific times of the day.
Try to give your hamster the right foods that it needs to stay healthy. Hamsters that have a healthy diet will be easier to socialize.
Finally, you should give your hamster toys such as a hamster wheel. This allows the hamster to get exercise so that it can stay in good physical condition.
Know When to Approach the Hamster
Knowing when to approach the hamster is going to make this easier. You should only approach the hamster when it’s awake.
This means that you’ll need to approach the hamster late in the day. Hamsters sleep during the daytime, and they’re more active during the night.
You should be able to interact with the hamster a bit while it’s in its cage. Ensure that the noise level is normal and that there is nothing unusual going on in the background.
It’s possible that the hamster might warm up to being touched by you without being frightened. Give the hamster time if it seems wary, though.
As you continue to care for the hamster, the hamster will learn that you’re helpful. It’ll eventually feel more comfortable around you.
Try not to touch the hamster when the TV is playing or there are other loud noises in the background. It might scare the hamster and set things back a bit.
It’s likely going to be better to allow the hamster to come up to you. You can place your hand in the cage and allow the hamster to come up and sniff you.
The hamster may sniff and nibble on your hand a bit. Don’t be alarmed because the hamster shouldn’t be able to hurt you.
Do this a few times each day until the hamster starts to open up to you. It’ll likely start feeling more comfortable with your presence before too long.
Give the Hamster Treats
Giving the hamster treats by hand is a good way to get it to become comfortable with you. Healthy treats such as veggies and fruits will be good for the hamster.
You can’t give the hamster treats all the time, but you can give it treats in moderation. Make sure that the treats are just little pieces of vegetables and fruits instead of big chunks.
If the hamster is wary of eating treats out of your hand, then place the treats in the food dish. As the hamster becomes more comfortable, it should be willing to eat treats out of your hand.
Just note that it could take a week or slightly longer. Every hamster socializes at a slightly different rate.
Gently Handle the Hamster
Handling the hamster needs to be done gently. You can’t be rough or forceful with the hamster or you will scare it.
You can try to let your hamster walk onto your hand so that you can pick it up. If it won’t do this, then you can carefully grab the hamster by the abdomen.
Never pick a hamster up by the tail. This causes the hamster pain, and it certainly won’t make the little animal like you.
Allow the Hamster to Climb on You
Allowing the hamster to climb on you is a good way to see if the hamster is completely socialized or not. Hamsters that have gotten used to their owners might be comfortable running up and down their legs or arms.
It’ll become familiar with your scent as it continues to do this. If the hamster stops, then you can gently pet it.
Doing this in a contained area is highly recommended. You wouldn’t want the hamster to run off somewhere and get hurt.
You can’t rush the process of socializing a hamster. It needs to happen naturally by letting the hamster see that you’re not a threat.
The hamster will feel more comfortable as you continue to take care of it. You can try to get it used to you by letting it sniff your hand each day.
Eventually, it might become comfortable with being touched. It should be able to start eating treats out of your hand at this point.
Once you’re able to pick the hamster up without it being scared, you’re going to be in a good position. Just be gentle and always handle the hamster with absolute care.
You should be able to have a good time with your pet, but you don’t need to handle it all the time. If the hamster seems to want to be left alone, then it’s likely better not to bother it.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard. I also like photographing wild birds, especially birds of prey.