It has long been every hamster owner’s dream that my hamster can hold his food, sit in my hand and eat as those popular hamsters do in YouTube videos. However, most hamsters do not really enjoy such interaction naturally.
But the good news is that we can teach our fluffy to interact with us. In this article, I will teach you how to tame your fluffy step by step, so that you and your fluffy both enjoy the relationship.
What if I never tame my hamster?
The worst situation is that you will get BITTEN. Hamsters are in fact very aggressive animals, especially when they are facing with danger, which is really a large variety of items and incidents for these sensitive, fragile small rodents.
This indicates that if you do not let him know you are harmless, every daily schedule including cleaning the cage and refilling the food bowl will expose you with the risk of getting bitten because your hamster is rather hostile.
The less bad situation is that your hamster’s life span will be limited. Since you never tame him while living with him, your hamster will live with tremendous stress surrounding by the scent of human beings. The stress in the long term can lead to all kinds of diseases, including lethal “wet tail”, which has been scientifically proved to be mainly aroused by psychological stress.
In conclusion, you may not wish to have intimate interaction with your fluffy, but adequate taming is still necessary.
How long does it take to tame a hamster?
Since their character varies from hamster to hamster, the taming time also differs. Clever and amiable ones may take only a week to fully trust you, while some solitary little things take their whole lifetime to find the balance of relationship with human beings. But never rush or give up easily; after all, hamsters are never smart or sentimental creatures. Taming itself is kind of interacting, just enjoy your time with him.
3 Steps of taming your hamster
There are two necessary kinds of stuff you should prepare ahead.
- Healthy treat
Food always lures your fluffy towards you, so it is essential to prepare some extra treat for him.
If you choose to buy commercial hamster treat in a pet store or on Amazon, many dealers would strongly recommend the treats rich in sugar, fat and attractant. There is no doubt that your fluffy will love these treats very much because of their natural instinct, but these kinds of treats will finally destroy your hamster’s health.
They will stop eating daily main food with plain flavour, and phagostimulant will be such a burden for their kidneys. But commercial treats from organic materials and rich in fibre are choices.
In fact, making a delicious and healthy treat for your fluffy at home is really easy. According to my own experience, there is a large variety of food that is attractive to our hamster. Cut carrot, cucumber, banana, apple or kiwi fruit into slices and dry them in your oven. Here you got one of hamsters’ favourite.
It is also an excellent choice to make some nutballs. Use a rolling pin to smash some oats, peanuts, walnut or any nut your hamster likes. Then mix in some sugar-free plain yoghurt, and knead the mixture into small balls, so that your fluffy can hold and enjoy the treat.
- Thick gloves
Since your hamster is still untamed, it is never too cautious to prevent you from getting bitten. A pair of thick knitting gloves is strongly recommended, which can protect you and let your familiar with your scent at the same time.
- Get acquainted with each other
The basic operation is to put your gloves on, stretch your hand slowly into his cage and hold it still, until your fluffy shows no signs of panic. This can be done any time you like, but at the very first stage, do not do this too often in case your fluffy got shocked.
The step aims to get your fluffy familiar with your unique scent and stamp a secure guarantee on this specific scent in their impression.
This is also a good opportunity for you to profile the characteristics of the chubby fluffy. Is he conservative or adventurous? Does he like to get along with human beings or prefer to be alone? According to the answers, you can arrange your own reasonable taming schedule.
- Use the treats
(1) Reduce the amount of main food slightly
A reduction of 20% works best for my hamster, and you can adjust your own proportion. The main purpose is relatively raising the attraction of the healthy treats, so do not starve your fluffy.
(2) Use treats in stripe shape first
To make your fluffy feel safe and protect you from possible injuries (though with gloves), we should use the stripe-shaped treats first, including dried carrot or cucumber stripes.
The hamster will start eating from one end and gradually approach you. Try to give him a gentle stroke in the process if he shows no hesitation in moving forward to your hand. Once he stops marching, stop your movements. Repeat the whole process until you can freely touch him.
Now it is finally time for intimate interaction. Offer your hamster with medium size treats like nutballs I have mentioned above, which can be held by their front feet and takes a little while to finish eating.
When he fully immerses himself in the treats, put one hand behind him in case of potential escape, and use another hand to cup him. Then lift him upward away from the ground gently and slowly. If he struggles, stop for a little while, or if he struggles extremely unwillingly, let him go and repeat the process for another time.
Most hamsters are clever or greedy enough to learn to lie in your hand after training for a couple of times.
(4) No negative punishment
For cats or dogs, punishment is effective, but for hamsters, they cannot understand the whole game rules with their tiny brain. Therefore, repeating practice is the best teacher, so be patient. After all, even your fluffy still refuses to lie in your hand casually; he will not hurt you any more in the process of training. Any progress is good news.
Above is how do we tame a hamster. Follow the instructions, and I am confident that you can finally get an amiable, adorable fluffy.