Mythic Hams

SYRIAN HAMSTERS

HANDLING HAMSTERS...

My hamsters all get 'playtime', handling, supervised out-of-cage-exploring-time, ball time, play-box time. All hamsters are different, some prefering to sit and watch the world go by whilst others like to zip around and explore absolutley everywhere.

 The *best* bit of advice I am going to give may be this -

ALWAYS make sure your hamster is awake before you even attempt to enter it's cage, nevermind pick it up.

 

 Let sleeping hamsters lie - or at least give them fair warning before going to pick them up. Lots of people get bitten simply because they have scared the poor hamster out of its wits, namely trying to pick them up when they are still snuggled up fast asleep in their nest.

 A simple tap on the cage door before you open it and calling your hams name should be enough to rouse them.  Mine often wake up when they hear me come into the room.

PICKING THEM UP ?

 

 

When picking up a hamster especially a young, new or nervous animal it is usually best to use two hands and 'scoop' them up gently wherever possible - rather than trying to 'grab' at them one-handed.

 

 

 Picking up a new hamster this way is much less likely to freak them out as they can see you coming

Always make sure your ham knows you're there and that you don't make them jump.

 

 

 

Always hold new or nervous hams close to the ground / over their cage base - basically make sure there is not a long drop if they do decide to make a leap for freedom.

  HOW TO HOLD ?

Young hamsters in particular are usually not ones for simply sitting still...  A good method for keeping an active buzzy hamster amused is simply walking them fom hand to hand. You simply hold them in one hand and then offer the other hand - and repeat - and repeat ! 

 

  I have always found this a particulary useful exercise when getting young hamsters used to hands and being held !!

 

 It's usually not long before my baby hams are as daft as my adults and tame enough to allow me to easily pick them up one handed...if I can get them before they climb up my arm that is. 

I believe it's common sense to handle a hamster regularly and give them time away from their cage both for their 'mental' well being as well as for exercise.

 

Remember any animal that is in a cage all the time cannot really be expected to become or indeed remain 'tame'.

 

Regular handling also means any problems or health issues will be noticed sooner rather than later.  

Manda 2009  

                        TAMING A HAMSTER...

 After advice on taming and befriending your new pet ?

 It's a pretty easy process in most cases especially with young animals but they are all different and some take longer to calm down tha others.

 

 

 

"Taming" from scratch should not really be necessary if your new pet has come from a responsible breeder. Your new pet should have already have been handled and so it will not be a whole new experiance -  just a new human or two to get used to.

I find it best to take thing slow and steady, let them get used to you. Small regular sessions of handling will help gain trust and build their confidence. Simply feeding tidbits and treats and talking to your ham will help to build up their trust of you.

Curiosity normally gets the better of them in the end and they soon come to realise you mean them no harm.

Almost every house has a suitable hamster playpen already in it - it's called the bath ! The bath is a good place to let your hamster have a roam around without being able to get itself into any trouble or make a break for freedom. For those afraid to handle a new hamster / particularly a more skittish hamster sitting in the bath with them may prove a good way to establish a bond. It will allow them to climb on and explore you - without the fear of them running off. 

If you have a 'second hand' or 'rescue' hamster it can be a whole different experience. In any case to me it's as with any other animal. It's all about you getting used to each other and making 'friends', gaining your new pets trust and building a bond. The method below is just one way I use to sort out 'difficult' hamsters.

THE HAMSTER-BALL METHOD...

IDEAL FOR SKITTISH HAMSTERS AND OWNERS !!!

The Hamster Ball Method...

 Once your new Hamster is settled in start by feeding treats in the evenings once your Hamster is up and about, and talk to them. This gets them used to the sound of your voice and reinforces your hand being a 'bearer of good things' and so a positive thing rather than a new scary thing trying to stroke them or pick/scoop them up.

 Look at it from a Hamsters perspective - could well be that the last time they were 'scooped up' was from the pet shop and they ended up in a whole new weird place !!! 

 After a few days feeding treats and talking at your new furry friend you can start trying to get Hamster to step into hamster ball which can take a while for them to be brave enough to step in - so be prepared to just stand there holding it a while while Hamster plucks up it's courage to come check it out ! -

 

Once they're in let them have a run round for 10 minutes or so, then let them hop back into their cage. This is important, once they are used to the ball and know they will be returning to their cage Hamster will feel OK about hopping in for their nightly run-around.

 

Once they're used to a nightly 'run'...when they've had their whizz around room in the ball, sit down with them kneeling (still in ball) then open it - so they can wander onto your knee and be petted / stroked and generally get used to you (treats come in handy here if they need tempting out !) but because the ball is still there it gives them somewhere to dash back to if they feel scared...

 

Doing it this way has worked well for me with nervous Hamsters.

If you're afraid of loosing them then you can try this method sitting in an (empty) bath that way there's no dnager of them running off and getting lost but they can climb on you and have an explore.

Once they get the idea of the 'ball' and are OK with being stroked it's an easy step to get them to climb onto your hand to get into their ball, slow and steady does it really...

                       Eventually you WILL get used to each other !!

 

Hamster will sooner or later come to the conclusion 'hands/people' are a good thing or at the very least not a scary thing - and you become more confident that you're not going to get bitten for your troubles !  

Basically it's all about building up trust.

Well that's one of the ways I've used to get 'difficult' Hamsters sorted out.

Hope it helps someone !

                                                    Manda 2009