How to Tame an Adult Hamster

John Howard/Lifesize/Getty Images

Forming a bond with a very young hamster is a relatively easy task, but trying to tame one that has already entered adulthood can be slightly more challenging. But with patience and a systematic approach, you can slowly gain the trust of your pocket pet as you bond with him during the taming process.

Your Scent

Hamsters have poor eyesight, but their sense of smell is highly acute. The first step in taming an adult hamster is to get him accustomed to your scent so he eventually recognizes you immediately. Wash your hands thoroughly before putting them in his cage. If any traces of food are detectable on your hands his natural survival instinct may kick in, causing him to bite. Continue to place your clean hands in his cage for several days in a row.

Your Touch

In order to tame an adult hamster you also have to get him used to being touched. Once he has become comfortable with having your hands in his cage, gently begin to stroke his back, being careful not to be too rough or to move too quickly. You can increase the length of time you pet his back each day until he seems to not mind the contact between the two of you.

Treats

To show your hamster that your presence leads to something positive, offer him some treats directly from your hand. According to Hamster Club, once your hamster is comfortable he should be willing to climb into your hand and sit there while he enjoys his treat. At first, allow him to just sit there in your hand close to the bottom of his habitat and then gradually begin to lift your hand higher and higher in preparation of interaction outside of his cage.

Playtime

Introduce your hamster to a plastic exercise ball by placing an open one inside his cage for him to explore. Once he gathers enough courage to hop in, close the ball and let him run on the floor for a few minutes for a few nights. Then Harvey Hams recommends sitting on the floor with the ball in your lap and opening it so your critter can get used to walking on you. Doing this enough times will help tame your pet by showing him that you are not a threat, and instead signal fun things to come.

Photo Credits

  • John Howard/Lifesize/Getty Images