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Hamster Care
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Hamster Basics
Beginners' Guide
FAQ

Handling your hamster



Handling your hamster
Taming your hamster

There are several ways you can hold and pick up your hamster. Here are some of the most commonly used methods.

1. Lower a container/jar into the cage and let your hamster climb into it. This is the safest method that ensures that your fingers do not get bitten by a hamster.

2. For tame hamsters, you can also place both hands together to form a cup like a scoop to slide underneath the animal and lift it up of the cage. You can also slide one hand under your hamster and cup your other hand over the top of it.

3. Another common way to hold a hamster is to lift it by the scruff of the neck (i.e. by the skin on the back of its neck). This method is debatable as some books claimed that it is absolutely safe and humane, while other books warn that this method will harm the hamsters. If your hamster shows any signs of discomfort with being held by this method, practice other ways, such as supporting its full weight on your hand, to hold your hamster.
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Taming your hamster

Taming and handling your hamster is a gradual process of gaining confidence. Most hamsters can be tamed if you spend time with them regularly. In general, younger hamsters are easier to tame. If your hamster still persist in biting you, it may also be a sign of other factors causing it stress, such as illness, overcrowding and fighting with other hamsters. Here are some helpful dos and don'ts in taming your hamster.

Taming Dos
  • Establish a routine where your hamster will know that you are feeding and playing with it. It may even look forward to the next play time!

  • Small treats given to your hamster after playing with it will help your hamster gain confidence in you and know that you mean no harm.

  • Talk/whistle to your hamster and they may learn to recognise your voice.


Taming Don'ts

References:
A Step-By-Step Book About Hamsters by Anmarie Barrie (T.F.H Publications,1987)

Dwarf Hamsters: A Complete Pet Owner's Manual by Sharon Vanderlip (Barron's Educational Series, 1999)



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