Hamsters are perfect pets for those who are pet deprived, and they are not just for small children. Because these animals are shy by nature, some owners may wonder if the hamster enjoys affection.
It’s a common question, and you just might be surprised by the answers you receive.
Yes, your hamster enjoys affection. It is a crucial aspect of pet ownership. The hamster loves an affectionate owner, and they are happiest when they are receiving regular human interaction.
There are several ways to show the pet some affection, but the most important part is gaining the hamster’s trust.
Establishing a Connection Between Hamster and Owner
A hamster does not connect with you in the same manner as another pet will. Don’t use the same tactics that may have worked when you first brought home your cat or dog.
The hamster is going to be fearful of anyone that they do not know. That’s why it is best to have them spend time with one (or maybe two) owners at first.
The pet needs to get used to your scent and become more comfortable around you. If you would like to help the hamster become accustomed to spending time with more people, teach them the proper methods for gaining the animal’s trust.
Don’t allow too many people around them at a time and let the hamster get to know their scent.
How To Gain Trust
Don’t worry if the hamster does not offer up their trust in the very beginning when they are first brought home. This is a very common occurrence.
It takes the hamster some time to get acclimated. In fact, you should not be surprised if the hamster tries to bite during the early going. They are not trying to attack you. This is merely a defense mechanism because they do not know you.
A hamster owner needs to be willing to put in the necessary time and effort because their new pet is not going to fall in love with them overnight. Each day, you need to visit the hamster in their cage.
Make sure that your hands are freshly warmed and give the hamster a chance to smell them. Do not try to grab the hamster with your hands, either.
Give them the chance to come to you and smell you. Repeat these steps each day until the hamster comes to you directly. Once they are comfortable with you, they will crawl into your hand.
Don’t lift the hamster up once he decides to come to you. Give him a few days to keep crawling into your hand. Gently stroke the hamster and do not make any sudden movements. Making sure that the hamster is not fearful is of the utmost importance.
A hamster is going to have very poor eyesight, so this contributes to their level of skittishness. Any quick movements or gestures will frighten them severely.
As soon as the hamster lets you hold him and pet him without taking off, this is your chance to gently lift them. Use your hands to slowly scoop them and repeat these steps over the next few days.
This is the method that should be used by all owners, and it should be repeated with anyone else who is looking to gain the animal’s trust.
Showing Affection to the Hamster
There a few different ways to show affection to your hamster, and gently stroking them is just one of them. Some hamsters may also enjoy smaller pieces of cereal (non-sugar), and you may also enjoy hand feeding them various veggies.
A hamster that is truly comfortable with their owner may even decide to perch themselves on your shoulder or take regular naps in your shirt pockets.
Why Is Affection Important To The Hamster?
Put yourself in the hamster’s shoes for a bit. If you had live in the same cage all day, life would probably get pretty boring to you, wouldn’t it? The hamster is no different in this regard.
They are playing on the same hamster wheel and eating the same food day in and day out. They drink the same water bottle every day, and their lives are not always that exciting.
The onus falls on the owner to do something about it. You will need to make sure that the hamster is giving plenty of affection and entertainment.
They like to sleep during the day, so be sure to get them out of the cage for some adventure each night. Allow them to get their full daily sleep first, though. No one likes to be woken up from their slumber.
The more sleep the hamster is able to get, the less grumpy he is going to be when he is first woken up. If the hamster starts to stand up on their hind legs when your voice is in earshot, this is usually a sign that they want out of the cage.
Hamsters may also stand on their hind legs when they can smell you close by.
The truth of the matter is that the hamster loves affection just as much as anyone. Their strong sense of smell compensates for their poor eyesight, allowing them to make stronger connections with their humans.
An owner that is looking to create a bond with their hamster will be leaning on that sense of smell.
There are other tips and pointers that can be offered to any owner who wants to make sure that their bond remains strong.
After all, a relationship with your pet is just like any other relationship that you will build throughout the course of your life. It takes consistent effort and thoughtfulness on your part. Read on to learn more about these additional hacks:
Talking To The Hamster
The more the hamster hears your voice, the more likely they are to become comfortable with you. When the hamster is active, you’ll want to talk to them in a very calm and soothing voice.
This method will also work wonders during the initial bonding process. If you have a loud tone of voice, this is something you’ll need to work on. The hamster could become frightened.
Don’t rest on your laurels once the hamster has developed a bond with you. Keep talking to them on a consistent basis. They love to hear from their humans, even when they cannot talk back.
What About Other Hamsters?
Some might fall into the trap of believing that their hamster needs to hang out with someone else’s. Your friend or loved one brings their hamster over, they both hang out and become the best of friends, right?
In reality, this is one of the worst ideas that you could come up with. While hamsters develop strong relationships with their humans, their feelings towards other hamsters are not positive.
Even if the hamster seems lonely inside of their cage, giving them a new “friend” is never optimal. The hamster is a very territorial creature. They will view the new arrival is an intruder.
In most instances, they are going to defend their territory. Obviously, this could end badly for the hamster and its owner. It is best to keep them separated.
Of all hamsters, the Syrian breed is the most aggressive. If two Syrian hamsters of the same gender are placed in the same cage, there is a high likelihood one will be injured or killed.
While the Dwarf hamster is believed to be a kinder creature, that does not mean that they should be placed in the same cage either. It is possible to bring them together after some training, but this is not highly recommended.
Switch Up Their Toys Often
This is another way to keep the hamster happier and strengthen your bond with them. Don’t make them stare at the same two toys every day.
If you are not adding toys to the cage on a fairly regular basis, the hamster is likely to become bored and despondent. This will put a major damper on the relationship that you are trying to build.
They need a wide variety of toys and plenty of items to chew on. Their teeth never stop growing. If they are not given chew toys to help them with this problem, they will begin to gnaw on the bars of the cage.
This is not good for their development. Lots of new tubes and small compartments should be added to the cage regularly so that the animal does not have a chance to get sick of their current toys.
That’s why it helps to place yourself in the mindset of the hamster. Would you be happy sitting in the same dirty cage and playing with the same old toys, day after day? Of course not.
The hamster is no different. The more effort you put into making their living area nice, the more affection they are likely to show you. They need interaction and fun toys to play with when they are looking to keep to themselves.