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TAMING

and

HANDLING

From personal experience, we believe this is the quickest and most effective method for taming a hamster. Note that you may need to adapt this method to suit your hamster, or a different process altogether may give better results. It is possible to tame almost every hamster, regardless of whether they enjoy being handled. While the enjoyment will likely remain the same, all hamsters can become more tame.

 

Some hamsters may prefer to avoid human interaction, and they are known as "ghost hamsters". You will never see a ghost hamster; they hide when you enter the room.

 

If you suspect this, ensure they are rather than being a late riser. Purchase a camera to put inside or facing their enclosure so you can observe the hamster, but they can't reach it. The camera will help you notice any issues and check them regularly.

Our Method

When completing the following process, ensuring your hamster is entirely comfortable with the current step before continuing to the next is vital. Try to use high-value treats at first, but if possible, use more healthy options later on to reduce the chance of obesity.

  1. When you first get your hamster, resist the urge to interact for 4-7 days to allow time to settle in.

  2. Talk to your hamster for 5-10 minutes each night, this allows them time to get used to your voice and be comfortable with your presence.

  3. Now offer them a treat, one or two a night. Do not approach with the treat, but move a few inches away and let them approach you. If they run or do not approach you after about 30 seconds, don't pressure them and drop the treat. Calmly shut the enclosure and try again the following night. Repeat this until they approach you confidently and immediately and take several treats.

  4. Start to stroke them as they take the treat, distracting them as best you can by ensuring that they are either taking the treat from you or eating it. Repeat until they are happy for you to stroke them with or without distraction.

  5. This step may take a while, but take your time. Place a clean hand flat in their enclosure and keep their head away from your hand by keeping their interest on a treat. Lure them onto your hand with the treat. At first, this will take time, and the first foot will be a challenge. Make sure to reward them if they touch you at all with even one paw to start with. Please do not force them on; this will set you back significantly. Once you can get them to sit on your hand while eating, you are ready to move on.

  6. Once they are on your hand, you can slowly lift them about one cm off the ground. They will not like the sensation the first few times, so lower your hand to the floor immediately after. Take your time and allow them to get comfortable.

  7. You are nearly there! The final step is to lift them to your body. Be sure to do this while seated and with them close to the ground. Slowly lift them towards your chest, using two hands. In this position, allow them to walk freely across both hands, like a treadmill.

 

Most hamsters will never stay still but will be comfortable walking on your hands by the end of this process.

Top Tips

It helps if you refrain from making sudden moves throughout the taming process, and it is crucial that you never grab your hamster. Doing so will break any trust you have built and set you back, often frustratingly, to a slower rate than initially. 

 

Even with tame hamsters, we strongly disagree with grabbing or picking them up with just one hand and highly recommend scooping them up with two hands to avoid discomfort.

Remember never to hold your hamster on their back unless you perform a health check. This is a very vulnerable position for them to be in.

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