Though for hamster owners, biting does not happen as often as those cats or dog owners, we still need to take some precautions. In this article, I will fully explain why your fluffy suddenly bite you, how to prevent the situation, and what to do if you get bitten.
Why my fluffy suddenly bite me?
You may have long been confused that why your fluffy suddenly bite you without any sign, even when you are having a good time, and he also looks enjoyable. There are three reasons.
- Teeth grinding
Hamsters are typical rodents, whose teeth will keep growing all through their life. The feature motivates them to chew all kinds of stuff they can get so that they can grind their teeth to maintain them in a normal length range.
Restricted by their body size and intelligence, hamsters cannot comprehend you as a complete human being. In their perspective, it is just your fingers playing with them. Unfortunately, hamsters have poor eyesight, so sometimes, when you still hold your hand, they may see your finger as some post for grinding, and you will get bitten.
- Misread for food
Hamsters have poor eyesight, but they are blessed with a good sense of smell. Many hamster owners love to give their fluffy a stroke right after changing food in their cages. At this time, your hand is full of the pleasant smell of food, so that your fluffy may misread your hand as some kind of food and bite unconsciously.
Hamsters are small, fragile animals in the woods, and their only weapon to defend themselves is their teeth. When they are facing danger, their usual strategy is running away or staying still. But if the danger keeps approaching, they will bite to fight back.
Imagine that when you are trying to interact with your fluffy when he is not in a good mood, your hand is like some large predator, and this “predator” ignores all his warning postures. In desperation to survive, they will suddenly bite you and run away as quickly as possible.
How to prevent the possible bite?
Bite always occur during intimate interaction with your fluffy, so we need to know full precautions before we try to hold our hamster.
- Evaluate your hamster
Do not approach an unfamiliar hamster without any protections the first time you see him. Take time to observe him, so that you can tell whether this hamster is a human-friendly one. If not, never force him to be held. After all, hamsters have different characters, and even as a pet, their preference should be respected. As for you, this is also the most effective way to prevent you from a bite.
- Wash your hands
Washing with flowing water can effectively erase your odor, which is extremely unpleasant for our hamster. Since the odor on our hand is astonishingly complex, it can easily make our fluffy feel unsafe. Washing also largely lower the possibility that your poor fluffy treat your hand as their delicious food because of the smell. A clean hand with only your odor, which your hamster is very familiar with, can easily make your hamster feel comfortable and relaxed. So he will not want to attack you.
- Move gently and slowly
Hamsters are shy creatures, and they can be easily frightened. When you suddenly stretch your hand into his cage, it is definitely an intrusion of his territory and a threat to his life. If your fluffy seems petrified, it indicates that he is highly alert. If you keep moving your hand forward, the chances are that he will fight back and bite you.
The recommended procedure is all about moving slowly and gently. Put your hand in his cage for a while until he gets familiar with it. Lift him up as slowly as possible so that he will not be afraid of height. Always remember that the first priority of interaction is to make your hamster feel comfortable and relaxed, so keep watching your hamster’s reaction and behave correspondingly.
- Do not involve in a fight between hamsters
Adult hamsters sometimes will fight with each other for food, mate, or territory. The wild nature in your fluffy is fully activated at this moment, so they are highly aggressive and irrational, and he will attack any moving thing in his vision field. What’s worse, if your hand gets the odor of his enemy hamster, he will treat your hand as his enemy and bite and scratch you madly. Therefore, stopping the fight immediately is necessary, but never use bare hands. A pair of gloves and soft clips or scoops are good choices.
What to do if you got bitten?
Restricted by its size, the wound of a hamster will seem like no big deal. But the truth is that a bite from rodents can be extremely dangerous because rodents are a perfect carrier of many kinds of germs and viruses. Even though your fluffy has been kept in door since he was born and had no chance to contact these microbial, his teeth are long, and the deep wound would expose you under the risk of tetanus. Once you get bitten, follow the instructions below.
- Clean the wound
Wash the wound under the tap with flowing water for 15-30 minutes. Meantime, squeeze around the wound to dissipate the extravasated blood until the bleeding blood is bright red as usual.
- Smear alcohol
Iodine tincture or any other liquid for sterilization is ok. Smear it all over the wound carefully. This step may hurt a little bit.
- Bind up the wound
Bind up the wound with a small piece of gauze or Band-Aid. Make sure the area of skin can still breathe without too much air blowing.
- Go to a doctor
Show your doctor the wound and ask his advice. Under most circumstances, he will clean your wound again and bind it more scientifically. The chances are that he will give you prescriptions of antibiotics in case of infection. The worst situation is that he told you to do a Rabies vaccine injection or a tetanus vaccine injection.
Always be fully prepared before you try to touch your fluffy, and I hope everyone can safely enjoy his time with cute hamsters.