Hamsters are very prone to biting if they feel that they are under attack. They are small and are not that much of an inconvenience if you plan on keeping them as a pet inside your home. They do not take up much space, and they are very joyful little creatures. They eat very normal food that is quite inexpensive to buy, which means having a hamster as a pet won’t necessarily burn a hole in your pocket. However, biting remains an issue if it is not resolved in the early stages.
Why do hamster bites hurt so much?
There are many cases in which a hamster will bite a person. It is often provoked and irritated, and biting is its way of defending itself from the supposed predator. If the hamster is alarmed or feels like it is in danger, it may bite whoever it feels might hurt it.
By nature, these creatures will bite if they do not feel comfortable in their surroundings or if they are constantly on edge in the place they are living in. Loud noises and such are also a very easy way to get bitten by a hamster.
Familiarity with whoever is holding the hamster is a huge way to avoid getting bitten. If the hamster is used to your scent and your touch, it will probably not bite unless they are provoked. They will like your touch, and they will find comfort in your touch. Gaining familiarity with a hamster may be difficult initially, but once they are used to you, they will start to play and do funny things for you. They will enjoy your company. But, you have to let them get used to your scent.
Wash Your Hands
If there are unnecessary scents on your hand, the hamster might get alarmed and alert. It will start to feel unsafe and jumpy. Hamsters have a very alert and sensitive sense of smell, and they base almost any interaction with smells. If you have leftover food and such on your hands, your hamster will not be at ease. Always wash your hands before you touch your hamster. This is also good practice to avoid any unnecessary germs getting on your hamster and making it ill. Your hamster will feel so much easier being in your hands once you have washed them.
You can start by gradually putting your hands inside the hamster’s cage. The hamster will see you approaching, and it will be much calmer and prepared. This way, it won’t feel like it is being attacked, and the chances of it biting will be reduced a considerable amount.
Please do not force your hamster to come on to your hand; it will approach you when it is ready. If it is taking too long, then the hamster is probably scared, and if you impose yourself, it most likely will bite your hand.
Conditioning, your hamster is very important. You can do this by giving it treats. You can not do this too often because it will be extremely unhealthy for the hamster. But, if you do it sometimes, the hamster will build a positive association with you and your scent, and it might start feeling more and more comfortable with you.
Do not just place the treat in the cage and call it a day. You have to feed the hamster with your hand to recognize your scent and look at it positively. This is a very important step.
Cup Your Hamster
Cupping your hamster gently is very important. You can not just squeeze the little creature because it will get scared, and it will want to bite your hand to get out of it. If it is squirming, give it some sort of leverage to make sure that the hamster is feeling safe and sound. Hold it in a way that will remind it that it is in safe hands, and it does not need to be scared in any way, shape, or form. Gloves may be able to protect you, but the different smells might alarm the hamster.
When the hamster is sleeping, do not disturb it. If you jerk a sleeping hamster, it will get alarmed, and its fight or flight mode will get turned on. It will think that it is being attacked, and it will try to defend itself by biting. To avoid this, let the hamster sleep when it is sleeping and leave it be even after it has woken for some time, to make sure that the hamster is in a good mood when you go near it. This is also to make sure that the hamster is on guard and comfortable when you are going near it, and it will not feel attacked.
Do Not Overreact
When a hamster does bite you, do not overreact. Do not act like a knife was just shoved into your throat. The hamster will feel even more alarmed, and it will attack even harder. Try your best to remain as calm as possible and avoid any sudden movements, not scare the hamster. What you can do is just put the hamster back in the cage and clean the bite with some antibacterial soap. This will protect your wound from any germs.
Hamsters will bite in the very beginning. The important thing is to give them time and allow them to get used to you. Once it is comfortable enough around you, it will become playful, and the biting will stop almost completely. Of course, unless it is provoked, it will attack. Stop acting too afraid and make sure that the hamster feels safe in its surroundings. Make sure its cage is cleaned and the environment it is living in is not too sensitive. Put the hamster in a secluded space and avoid sudden movements around it to reduce the risk of getting scared.