Hamsters are widely favored by their friendliness and gentleness, so they are usually kept as pets besides human beings.
Many owners take it for granted that these rodents won’t bite.
However, this is a misconception.
In some cases, if you don’t handle them properly, you may risk yourself being bitten.
This is not so worrying and you can learn some useful ways to stop the reoccurrence of biting.
The following article intends to give you an overview of how to stop a hamster from biting.
Let’s find out together.
Why do hamsters bite?
After being handled carefully, tamed hamsters aren’t easily scared. However, those wild-instinct creatures may bite anyone that tries to approach them.
There are two main reasons why a hamster bites.
As prey animals, hamsters need some ways to protect themselves from dangers. Biting is one natural instinctive reflex.
These rodents tend to bite human once they feel threatened, not because of their aggression.
Due to fairly bad eyesight, hamsters use their sense of smell to navigate. Therefore, they are likely to mistake you for a tasty morsel of food.
To prevent from being bitten, you should always wash your hands clean before touching inside the pet’s cage or approaching him.
This will remove any confusing scent lingered on your hands and prevent him from munching on you.
You can learn more about hamsters’ nature and tendency here.
Do hamster bites hurt?
Hamsters have long teeth that can bed into your skin. However, hamster bites do not do much harm. There is no need to be afraid of them.
In the worst scenarios, use warm water to clean the wound. To kill bacteria, make sure you sterilize with Betadine and keep the wound dry.
Dress it with a loose piece of bandage or you can leave it open to let the skin breathe. Don’t forget to check the bite frequently to make sure it doesn’t get infected.
Antibiotics can be useful if the wound is still swollen.
Since hamsters are kept indoors most of the time, there are few chances of catching diseases due to their bites.
Read more: How to tell if you have a sick Hamster?
How to stop a hamster from biting?
When you first adopt a hamster, be careful that it may not be used to getting into close contact with humans. Spare some time to befriend your little gnawer and let him know you.
The key to minimizing chances of a hamster biting is patience. Earning his trust is a gradual and slow process.
This is necessary in case you have adopted your pet for a long time and the attack still happens. Besides, you can do so to a shy hamster.
It may take you a short or long time to gain your hamster’s trust, so don’t be discouraged. If your hamster interacts with you faster than planned, you can shorten the stages.
Otherwise, if there is little progress, don’t hesitate to return to the previous step and spend some time on it.
As time passes by, your lovely companion will become less hesitant to you. This is worth your effort and patience.
So, you can save yourself from being bitten frequently. Unless you get familiar with the rodent beforehand, he may be startled and bite you.
So how to get familiar with your pet?
When you introduce your mouse to your house the first time, leave him alone to explore his new living environment for a few days.
Like other animals, changes in habitat are stressful for hamsters.
Once he gets used to the scents around him, the pet will feel more secure and safer.
Afterward, you start contacting the hamster so he can become familiar with your presence, particularly your voice and scent.
It is in the evening that hamsters are the most active. Therefore, you can sit near the case and talk to him like friends. Reading or singing is welcomed.
Gradually, you can put your hand inside the cage. However, don’t do that when the pet is asleep because you may frighten him.
When he is active, touching inside the enclosure without trying to touch the hamster. Instead, leave him to approach your hand.
Begin with the top of the cage or the outside of the door. Move in a little farther day by day. When curiosity triggers, the animal will sniff your hand.
Treats may do some help if you want to show your good intention.
However, watch out for overfeeding him with treats. Keep the supply of treats at a moderate level so there won’t be counter effects.
Once your hamster actively interacts with you, you can gently touch his coat and pick him up. Especially while eating food, he will let you pet him.
Remember not to use too much strength on him. Rather than grabbing him, you’d better cup your hands over its back and under his belly. This way can help you hold the pet securely but tenderly.
Maintain a proper distance between your hands and the ground. Don’t let it be too high or else the pet will try to jump out.
At first, try holding him off the ground, then move a little bit higher. To reduce the pet’s effort to escape, you can hold him facing your body.
Some useful tips
Before hamsters become completely familiar with their owners, there are some cases they need taking out of the cage for cleaning.
This may do harm to you if they haven’t learned to accept your interaction.
Below are a few tips you can apply to avoid bites without adversely interfering with the training process.
- Try using a drinking glass in case you want to pick up the rodent. Take the open end to move him to a corner and scoop up gently before tipping the glass upright.
- Be patient to redo if he tries to get away. A thick towel can do the job of the drinking glass.
- Don’t forget to wash your hands before picking up the hamster. If your hands smell like food, bites are unavoidable.
- Contrary to common practices, using thick gloves to handle hamsters can create a burden on the hamster. Moreover, if he doesn’t even get a chance to know your body scent, the taming process may risk being lengthened.
- If you are bitten, don’t shake your hand to shy the hamster away. Scolding or yelling is unacceptable. Try to calm down and put it back down with the other hand. Always bear in mind that hamsters bite humans because of fear, not aggression.
If you are bitten by your hamster, don’t be so worried. This may be his natural reaction to new owners.
It is rather simple regarding how to stop a hamster from biting. Apply our tips and you can finally win the ultimate trust of your little rodent friend.