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Old 01-11-2015, 08:25 PM   #1
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 5
Smile Tips on getting my hamster more used to me?

Hey everyone!

So about 2/3 months ago I bought my first ever hamster - a female Syrian. I was wondering if anyone could give me any tips on how to get her more used to me? Because at the minute she seems like she's still really wary of me - she always runs away from me, will only come near me when she's out of the cage if I'm completely stationary and won't even let me touch her to pet her without running away. She's also really jumpy still. I heard that it takes time to get hamsters used to you, and because this is my first hamster I have no idea if 2/3 months is a long time for her to still not be comfortable around me but it seems like ages lol!

Just to let you guys know what I have done to try and help tame her:

When I first got her I left her alone for a couple of days, I never wake her up during the day but if she is awake/it's night time I'll periodically put my hand in the cage to just let her sniff it (which she always does...she runs to the cage door when I open it and sniffs my hands but she just runs away when I try to touch her ) and then I leave her alone, I give her treats most times I put my hand in the cage, when I have to pick her up I always scoop her up with both hands underneath her so she doesn't feel threatened by a giant hand coming over her and grabbing her, when I get her out of the cage I normally put her somewhere where she can climb on me and get used to me...but only if she wants to, I don't force her I even put some tissue paper up my sleeve and then put it in the cage because I read somewhere that that was a good way to get them used to your scent. She refused to go near it for most of the day and then the next morning when I went to check up on her she had shredded it into bits so obviously she wasn't impressed XD

Anyway sorry if this post is too long, I just wanted be thorough. I'm only a beginner at hamster-owning so any advice is very much appreciated

Carley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2015, 04:15 PM   #2
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 25
Default Re: Tips on getting my hamster more used to me?

hello Carly

firstly, you are doing a really great job of taming your hamster. Each hamster has their own personality and depending on where you got her, a rescue, pet shop hamster will make a huge difference to how long they take to tame. A lot of the time they are not handled a lot if they have had a bad start, this makes a huge difference. Please be patient and keep doing what you are doing.

keep talking to her, so she recognises your voice, make sure her cage is somewhere quiet and away from sunlight, draughts and where people walk past often, ie by a door.

the more you handle her the better she will become, honestly she really will get better, and the fact that you can pick her up and she comes to you is really great, you are doing everything right, she is lucky to have you!. Also the fact that she shredded up the tissue is a good sign, that's what they do to make their beds!.

Also don't forget that their cage is their territory, it is quite normal for them to run away if you put your hand in. I have had my rescue hamster for 10 months, she was 4 months when I got her, and she still runs away from me when I put my hand in her cage!!, she is a cheeky little thing, but with lots of patience, treats, lots of out of the cage play time with you will really help. it really is a great feeling when these little hammies start to respond and trust you, by the sound of it she does already, well done.

hope this helps!
missyme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2015, 09:41 PM   #3
Thin Lizzy
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Lanarkshire, Scotland
Posts: 15,455
Default Re: Tips on getting my hamster more used to me?

Hi Carly Welcome to HC!
Some hamsters take longer to adjust and tame. All hamsters are different.
About the tissue, the fact she shredded it is good, she would've had to have held it in her paws and her mouth to shred it. She would've smelled your smell. If she hadn't liked it, she wouldn't have shred it, she'd have left it/ignored it. Try it again!
She runs up when you open the cage door and sniffs your hands - if she didn't like you she wouldn't do that. Next time she runs up to you - praise her, tell her what a good girl she is, offer her a treat and if she takes it praise her again. I always encourage mine, talk to them , praise them, they love that!
For stroking her, try using a baby toothbrush, the brush bit is so soft, let her sniff it and then gently use it to stroke her.
She seems to be jumpy when you put your hands in her cage, she probably senses you're nervous and this will make her nervous. Always talk to her.
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Old 01-15-2015, 10:18 AM   #4
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 5
Default Re: Tips on getting my hamster more used to me?

Thank you both very much for the advice and encouragement! It's nice to know that I'm actually doing the right thing with her
There's one more thing which I'm unsure about which is when I spot clean her cage. I normally do it every day or sometimes every other day but I always have to destroy the the nest that she makes with her bedding and wood shavings because that's where she mostly poos and I always feel bad for doing ruining the nest that she took the time to make XD - is it right to be doing that or is there something else that I should be doing? I can't think of what since it seems wrong to leave her nest so dirty until the end of the week when I do the big clean and disinfect everything etc. If anyone can help with that I would be very appreciative
Carley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2015, 10:24 AM   #5
Hamsters on the Brain
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
Posts: 6,459
Default Re: Tips on getting my hamster more used to me?

It's more likely that the poos in her nest are the ones she saves to eat. Really. They have 2 kinds of droppings, one that's not fully digested that they have to re-eat to extract all the nutrients. It's the same things as cows chewing their cuds only they can't bring it back up from the stomach so it has to go all the way through.

How big is her cage? You might want to ease off on the full disinfection every week like you've been doing. Spot cleans should be plenty if she has enough space and bedding and even at a big clean you can put back any bedding that isn't heavily soiled so that she still has her scent on it. That's how they know they're on their own territory and it helps them to feel safe
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