Are you wondering if your pet hamster likes to be petted? Are hamsters scared of us and don’t like us to pick them up? Do hamsters like to be petted?
Yes hamsters love to be petted, They love the attention they get from this act and it also soothes them and makes them feel safe. Petting your hamster is the perfect way to bond with them.
Whilst hamsters do like to be petted it is very important to learn the signs that they give off when they want to be left alone and also where they like to be petted.
In this article I will cover everything you need to know and look out for.
Where Do Hamsters Like To Be Petted?
Hamsters like to be petted on the back gently with your index and middle fingers. Do not try to turn them over and stroke their tummy as they do not like this.
When stroking them make sure you use slow gently strokes because if you are rough with them or make sudden movements you will scare them and they will start to show signs of stress.
Sometimes your hamster might fall asleep whilst being stroked as they feel very relaxed. If this happens stop stroking them and slowly return them to their cage.
Recommened Reading : Does your hamster make a clicking noise when you stroke them? If yes find out what this means here
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How To Pet A Hamster
It is very important to pet your hamster the correct way from start otherwise they might get scared when you go to pet them and they will keep trying to run away from you and possibly bite you. They will bite you because this is a defensive move from them when they feel threatened.
Don’t worry the process to pet your hamster is easy to learn and your hamster will bond with you more. To pet your hamster the steps are
- Clean Hands – Make Sure Hands Are Clean, Before you try handling your hamster give your hands a good clean. Make sure not to use soap that is very smelly as this might scare your hamster. If you try to handle your hamster with dirty hands you might have a scent that will scare the hamster.
- Put Hand In Cage – Open the hamsters cage door and slowly put your hand inside with your palm facing upwards, Wait for your hamster to come to you. If after a minute your hamster has not come to you slowly move your hand towards them.
- Don’t Scare Them – Do not try to grab your hamster as this will scare them, predator will grab hamsters and we do not want them to think we are a predator.
- Wait For Hamster – Wait for your hamster to crawl on to the palm of your hand. When they are there you can lift them up slightly and hold on to them
- Pet With Other Hand – Now you can slowly move your other hand in to the cage making sure not to scare your hamster.
- Start To Pet – Now With your index finger and your middle finger slowly stroke your hamster on the back starting from just below the neck all the way down to its tail. Keep the stroking smooth and slow.
- Keep Hands Close To Cage Floor – Hamsters will naturally try to wiggle and jump off your hand, keep your hands close to the cage floor to ensure they do not hurt themself if they do fall off your hand.
- Pet For No Longer Than Two Minutes – The first few times you pet your hamster only do it for no longer than two minutes. It is a new experience for them and should be done in small amounts at first.
- Carefully Place Hamster Back – After two minutes stop petting and place your hand on the floor of the cage and wait for the hamster to crawl off.
Every hamster is different but after a few days your hamster should come to you as soon as they see your hand in the cage.
When they have become confident with you, you can pick them up and start to remove them from the cage when petting them. Just make sure you have a good hold on them as we don’t want to drop them.
The below video shows you the above steps
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How To Hold A Hamster
If you have a hamster it is very important to know how to hold them properly, You need to make sure you do not scare them as they will not like to be handled and they could bit you.
You will need to earn your hamsters trust which will make it much easier for you to hold them as they will feel safe.
The steps you need to take to hold a hamster are
- Make sure your hands are nice and clean. Hamsters have a good sense of smell and they could be put off by some smells that could be on your hand.
- If the hamster is inside an ornament tempt them out with some food, Never try to pull them out of an ornament, this is their safe space.
- Place some food in the palm of your hand and wait for the hamster to come and eat the food from your hand. This will make them associate you with food and make them more willing to come to you as they know they will get rewarded
- Using a cup that is large enough for the hamster to get in, place it next to them and wait for them to climb in, when they are in lift them up and put them back down. This will get them use to being picked up.
- Place some food in one hand, when your hamster is eating the food from your hand scoop them up slowly from behind and lift them about 2-3 inches from the ground.
- At first only lift them for a few seconds, then after a few times you can increase the amount of time you hold them
- Begin by only holding your hamster inside his cage, then when they become more comfortable with you handling them you can hold them outside the cage
Below are some tips you need to know about holding a hamster
- Pick them up when they are sleeping
- Remove them from where they sleep (Their Safe Spot)
- No fast or sudden moves as this will scare your hamster
- Never pick up the hamster from above
How To Tame A Hamster
The best way to tame a hamster is to hand feed them. this way they will relate you with food and they will be happy every time they see you.
Always let your hamster come to you, never try to grab your hamster as this will make them scared of you.
Encourage your hamster to climb on your hand and up your arm as this will help them to become more comfortable with you.