Hamsters are furry little pets to have around. They are cute and affectionate companions for you and your children. Hamsters do not also take much of your space and are clever creatures.
However, a hamster can also bite, especially if scared. While these creatures have tiny teeth and the damage caused is not as extensive as that of another pet, it is never fun being bitten by a hamster.
If you already have a hamster that bites or are planning on buying one soon, here are five useful tips that you can use to prevent this behavior.
1. Build Trust With Your Hamster
The main reason why hamsters bite is because they are not used to being handled regularly. They bite out of being afraid, as opposed to being aggressive. You need to build a positive relationship with your hamster as a way of minimizing its aggressive behavior.
Hamsters are most active in the evenings, and this is also the best time to bond. Practice sitting near the cage and get him to adjust to seeing you around.
Hamsters are highly sensitive to smell. When your hamster learns to see you around, he will get used to your scent.
Talk to your hamster regularly so that he gets used to your voice as well. Signing or reading will also help in building trust with your hamster.
Remember, your hamster may be stressed from adjusting to new surroundings, such as a new cage. Give your hamster enough time to adapt to the new surroundings. As a precaution, avoid touching your hamster in these early days.
2. Handle Your Hamster the Right Way
Once a hamster gets used to your presence, you may start touching it. However, make sure to go slow on how you handle your hamster as it may get scared and bite you.
Hamsters get nervous when they smell unfamiliar odors. Wash your hands carefully with unscented soap before picking up your hamster.
This will help to clean any unsettling odors on your hands that your hamster may pick.
Avoid grabbing your pet from the top as this would apply pressure on their back, thus prompting it to bite. Grabbing your pet may also give the impression that you are a predator, and hence will perceive you as a threat.
The best approach is to scoop it up on bare hands. While wearing hand gloves would ideally protect you against bites, their unusual smell might alarm your hamster, making him more likely to bite.
3. Give Your Hamster Treats Before Picking Up
At this point, you may have identified the kinds of treats your hamster is fond of. Alternatively, try and give your hamster apples and sunflower seeds as they are a hamster’s favorite.
Place these treats on your hand to entice your hamster. Such treats help to gain the hamster’s trust.
4. Hamsters Need Social Life
Hamsters can easily get lonely, especially if they are held in a small and bare cage. To break this loneliness, provide your hamster with play toys such as wooden blocks.
Chewing on wooden blocks, avoid injury to your hamster’s teeth. Introducing another hamster may also help to break this loneliness.
You can do this by putting the new hamster in a smaller cage that can be housed in the existing larger cage. Allow the hamster in the larger cage to run loose and interact with the new hamster.
5. Don’t Stress Out Your Hamster
Avoid stressing your hamster as this will trigger biting behavior. Allow a new hamster sufficient time to adjust to the new environment, cage, and individuals. These can be sources of stress.
Avoid handling your hamster while he is asleep. Hamsters rest best by sleeping and by disrupting their sleep, you risk being bitten.
Learn to talk to your hamster in a calm and gentle voice. As your hamster adjusts to this soothing tone, he will feel more comfortable around you.
Does a Hamster Bite Hurt?
Although hamsters have small teeth, their bite can be surprisingly hurtful. Anybody who has ever been bitten by a hamster will tell you it is not a pleasant experience.
Are Hamster Bites Dangerous to Humans?
A hamster bite can be dangerous as it may result in a localized infection. If the infection is not treated, the wound may act as a conduit for the introduction of bacteria into the body.
Can a Hamster Bite You While Sleeping?
A hamster can bite you while sleeping, though this is very unlikely. Hamsters mainly bite as a reaction of feeling threatened. Usually, when a hamster is asleep, he is relaxed and less likely to feel in danger and hence less bite.
How to React to a Hamster Bite?
If a hamster bites you, try to stay calm and avoid shaking him to release the grip. This will only make the hamster more scared and probably bite you again.
Avoid also shouting at your pet as this too will scare him the more. Instead, put the hamster down as gently as possible. Use an anti-bacterial solution and warm water to clean the bite.
Ensure the wound is dry. Dress the wound with a clean bandage. Check for any swelling on the wound. Take antibiotics if the swelling does not subsidize.
Hamsters make for the perfect pet. Hamsters are cute and affectionate creatures, making them popular with adults and children.
However, hamsters get scared very easily, and this causes them to bite. If your hamster bites you, try to build a positive social relationship. Sit near its cage so that he can get used to your scent and presence.
Avoid grabbing your hamster as this will provoke him. Instead, handle him gently by cupping him in your hands. Create a low-stress environment for your hamster to avoid stressing him.
If a hamster bites you, avoid hitting or yelling at him. Maintain calm and always remember that your pet may be biting because it is fearful, and not out of aggression.