Are Hamsters Friendly?

hamsterhappy.co.uk is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Affiliate links may be used on this page and in hamsterhappy.co.uk articles, but they do not impact on the price that you pay and they do help me to get this information to you for free. Read my privacy policy for more information regarding affiliates.

Lots of people who are considering getting a hamster ask me ‘are hamsters friendly?’ Well they certainly can be if they are properly trained and socialised. But, if they haven’t been trained and handled from a young age, they may not be friendly. Some hamsters can be aggressive and may even bite.

Some Hamsters can be Aggressive

When a hamster is startled, scared or not used to being handled, it may bite. Hamster bites can be very nasty. That’s because of their extremely sharp and long two front teeth. They almost work like razors or scissors. This can be painful and there can be a lot of blood as they can be deep bites.

What to do if you get a Hamster Bite

If you get a hamster bite you should wash the wound immediately in cold water to make sure that the wound is clean. If you ever get bitten by a hamster and it clamps on, do not shake it! This will make the bite worse. Try to gentle remove it or pry the hamster off with the other hand. Do not shout at or even worse scold or hit the hamster if it bites. It will not understand why it is being told off since the bite was a natural reaction to fear. Hitting or scolding a hamster will make it even more aggressive.

Most hamster bites are out of fear or because they think that your fingers are food. It’s a good idea to wash your hands thoroughly before you put them in so there is no confusing food smell!

How to Train a Hamster to be Friendly

If you know that a hamster is aggressive you might need to take precautions such as wearing gloves when you first start to handle it. However, this may mask your smell which a hamster will get used to and learn to trust. It’s a better approach to get the hamster used to you very slowly and this type of exposure to humans often has very positive results. It could take a number of weeks say 4-5 for your hamster to get used to you and used to being handled.

  1. Spend time being near to the cage (week 1).
  2. Start to place your hand in the cage for positive things like adding food to his bowl (week 2).
  3. Start to hand feed to hamster treats such as sunflower seeds. Be slow, gentle and patient (week 3).
  4. Try approaching the hamster gently and petting the hamster if he will let you (week 4).
  5. Finally you can see if the hamster will jump onto your hand and be handled (week 5).
do hamsters smell

My Hamsters have all been so Friendly!

I am lucky because I trained all of my hamsters in the above way and they were all extremely friendly. My hamster called Benji used to love to run up my arm and even through my sleeves!!! He only ever bit me once in the two and a half years and that was an accident because I had my hand in food!

You might also like to read:

1 thought on “Are Hamsters Friendly?”

Leave a Comment

Related Posts

Hamster as a Pet

Hamster as a Pet

If you’ve ever wondered if a hamster is the right pet for you, here are some points to consider before you commit. There are a number of advantages to owning a hamster. They require very little maintenance and upkeep – as they live in their own self-contained cage, they don’t need the attention that dogs…
Should I get a Hamster

Should I get a Hamster?

The world is full of beautiful animals that can serve as wonderful pets. One creature in particular becoming more popular these days are hamsters. If you are thinking about getting a pet but want to explore your options, this article will help you decide if a hamster would be a great addition to your home.…
Hamster Tips

Hamster Tips

There is plenty you need to know if you’re considering adopting one of these furry rodents as a pet. We have put together a list of helpful hamster tips that will help keep your hamster happy, healthy, and safe! These tips are perfect for first time hamster owners. You will learn how to housebreak them,…