Hamsters are often first-time pets for young children and pet-deprived folks of every age, Because hamstes are nocturnal and shy, you may wonder if your hamster likes attention. You might be surprised to learn that hamsters not only like affection but thrive on human interaction. There are different ways to show a hamster affection, but the important thing is that you do so regularly once you've gained your new pet's trust.
Hamsters and Owners
According to the book "The Hamster: An Owner's Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet," hamsters do not connect with a number of people the way other pets might. Instead, hamsters are most content spending time with one, sometimes two, owners. A hamster will come to know your scent and may be fearful of those she doesn't know. To help your hamster adjust to more than one person, let her get to know their scent, and show the other people in your home how to gain the hamster's trust.
Your hamster will not trust you in the beginning. In fact, he might try to bite you because he doesn't know you. Gaining a hamster's trust takes time. Each day, you will want to open the cage and allow the pet to smell your freshly washed hands. Do not attempt to grab at the animal; just let him smell you. Continue doing this each day until the hamster climbs into your hand. Do not lift him up just yet. Allow him to crawl into your hand for a few days and gently pet him. Never make quick movements. Hamsters have poor eyesight. and quick gestures can scare them. Once you're able to hold and pet him without him scurrying away, gently lift him by scooping him up in your hands. Hold him for a few minutes and repeat the next couple days. Eventually, your hamster will trust you and all those that follow this method.
How to Show Affection
Gently stroking your hamster's fur is just one way to show affection. You can also hand-feed her vegetables or pieces of non-sugary cereal. Hamsters love to perch on their owner's shoulder or sleep in a shirt pocket.
Importance of Regular Affection
Living in a cage can get boring for a hamster. The same wheel, the same food and the same water bottle are far from exciting. You want to get your hamster out each evening, preferably after he's woken up from his daily sleep. That way he's active and less likely to be grumpy. Sometimes hamsters will show you they want out by standing up on their hind legs when they hear your voice or they smell you near the cage.
- "The Hamster: An Owner's Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet"; Betsy Sikora Siino; 1997
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