Hamsters are really great to have as pets. One of the common behaviors that most people notice is that they sometimes can get really stressed or scared easily.
For us owners, that means we have to make extra sure that we’re providing a good environment for them that’s calm and stress-free. That way they can live their life as comfortably as possible.
So because hamsters do get scared a lot, I did some research into different ways to help keep a hamster calm.
Then I combined that with the ways we personally use to help our hamster stay calm. So what are the ways to help your hamster stay calm?
To help keep your hamster calm:
- Keep your hamster in a big enough cage in a quiet location.
- Speak and handle your hamster gently when around them.
- Get them used to you patiently so they’re calmer when you’re around.
- Make sure they have different toys and activities to reduce their stress.
- Introduce anything new into your hamster’s cage slowly.
- Don’t make too many sudden loud noises or movements around them.
- Have some places where they can hide when they get stressed.
- Keep bigger pets away from their cage.
- Let your hamster listen to relaxing music.
- If you notice they’re stressed try not to bother them.
- Have patience when trying to keep your hamster calm.
So if you want to know more about the different ways that you can try to help your hamster stay calm and relaxed, check out our 13 tips.
Keep Your Hamster In A Big Enough Cage In A Quiet Location
Keeping a hamster as a pet is a big responsibility. They’ll spend most of their life inside of the cage that you get for them.
So you have to make sure that the cage that you get for your hamster is big enough for them to do all of their activities comfortably. They’ll start to feel boxed in if you don’t.
If your hamster doesn’t have a big enough cage then they’ll start to become stressed out over time.
So having a cage that’s the appropriate size for them will help keep them calmer.
For example, if the cage that you have for your hamster is too small you’ll notice that they’ll start climbing it more often.
Hamsters climb their cage for a number of reasons and stress is actually one of them.
So that’s why having a cage that’s big enough for them to hide, run around, and play will help keep them calm. Along with that, you should also make sure to keep their cage in a part of the house that is quiet.
When a hamster is kept in a quiet place they’ll be a lot calmer because the loud noises won’t keep them on high alert all the time.
Speak And Handle Your Hamster Gently When Around Them
Whenever you’re near or handling your hamster it’s a good idea to speak and be gentle with them.
Hamsters are small so from their view, everything around them is huge which can be scary for them.
So when you’re near your hamster and you’re talking to them, make sure to speak to them in a gentle way so they’re a lot calmer around you. Also when you’re holding your hamster, do it in a way that’s soft and gentle.
As I said, hamsters are small so even a little amount of pressure can be too much for them.
So when you’re handling your hamster, be gentle and don’t squeeze too tight, that way it’ll help them keep calm when you’re holding them.
Get Them Used To You Patiently So They’re Calmer When You’re Around
Another way to keep your hamster calm is by patiently getting them used to you.
Hamsters are prey animals, so they view a lot of things that are moving around them as something that is trying to get them.
That can make a hamster be on high alert all the time. So even though you know you’re not trying to hurt them, your hamster won’t know that if they are not used to you.
That’s why getting your hamster familiar with you will help keep them calm, especially when you’re around.
Once they are, they’ll be in a relaxed mood a lot more often. It can take a while for your hamster to get used to you though, so try not to force it and have patience with them.
They’ll come around on their own time and when they do, you’ll notice that they’ll generally be a lot calmer throughout the day and around you.
Make Sure They Have Different Toys And Activities To Reduce Their Stress
Hamsters are very active animals and when they don’t have enough toys and activities to help them go through all their extra energy, they’ll start to become more stressed.
They love to move around and use their brain so you’ll have to provide a number of different items for them to do that.
Those items that will help keep them calm as well as help them burn through that extra energy are things like:
- Chew toys.
- Running wheels.
As long as they have access to these things while they’re in their cage and your hamster isn’t trying to run on their wheel too much, they’ll be able to stay busy and be a lot more relaxed.
So to help your hamster stay calmer, make sure they have a good amount of different activities and toys to keep their stress levels down.
Introduce Anything New Into Your Hamster’s Cage Slowly
When you’re adding anything new into your hamster’s cage try to do it slowly.
Changing too many things all at once will stress them out. So if you give them too many things that they aren’t used to it can take them some time to adjust to it.
For example, when you get them new toys, put the toys in their cage slowly and one at a time, don’t just throw them all in there at once.
Put one toy in their cage for them to get used to and then once they are, try adding the other toys slowly. That also goes for their bedding and food.
If you decide to change the bedding and food they’re used to, do it gradually so the change doesn’t stress them out.
Hamsters can take a while to get used to anything and once they are used to their environment they’ll be more relaxed and calm.
Don’t Make Too Many Sudden Loud Noises Or Movements Around Them
As you’re around your hamster, try not to make too many loud noises or sudden movements. Remember hamsters get startled very easily.
So when a person many times bigger than them is being really loud or moving very quickly it’ll cause them to stay frightened more often.
Hamsters love quiet and peaceful environments so try not to shout when you’re near them or have your music or TV too loud.
That doesn’t mean you have to keep everything muted, just keep the volume down a little bit.
Just like with loud noises hamsters also don’t like sudden movements. So whenever you’re near their cage or moving things around in their cage, try to do it at a slower pace.
However, when they’re generally not around or sleeping you can move around like you normally would because they’re not going to notice you as much.
So your hamster will be a lot calmer as long as you’re being considerate about how easily they get scared from loud noises and sudden movements.
Have Some Places Where They Can Hide When They Get Stressed
Another very important item to have to keep your hamster calm is a place where they can hide.
Having multiple places where your hamster can go to when they get scared or stressed will go a long way when it comes to making sure they stay relaxed and calm.
Hamsters need small huts or hideaways so they can separate themselves from everything else and calm down if they need to.
If you don’t have enough places for them to be able to hide when they get scared your hamster will be on high alert more often.
So the best thing to do would be for you to get not just one, but a few small huts that you can spread throughout their cage.
That way they have a few options for them to run to when they start feeling overwhelmed and want to calm themselves down.
Keep Bigger Pets Away From Their Cage
If you live in a home that has multiple pets you’ll want to keep them away from your hamsters cage.
As I said, hamsters are prey animals, so it’ll be harder for them to stay calm when other pets are around.
Even though your pets might be friendly and have no intention of harming your hamster, your hamster won’t know that.
They’ll usually see your other bigger pets as a threat and will run away and hide whenever they come near their cage.
So to make sure your hamster stays as calm as possible, keep any loud barking dogs or curious cats away from your hamster’s cage.
Let Your Hamster Listen To Relaxing Music
Another way that’s not as well known to keep your hamster calm is to have them try listening to relaxing music.
Not just any music though, you’ll want to avoid anything too stimulating for them.
They’ll need calm, relaxing music. When you do play the music for your hamster make sure it’s loud enough for them to notice and hear, but don’t have it too loud that it scares them. That would defeat the purpose.
Some hamsters like relaxing music while others don’t. So if you notice any signs of stress while the music is playing go ahead and turn it off.
If you did want to try having your hamsters listen to relaxing music you can find a bunch of videos on YouTube that are specifically for them.
All you have to do is search for “relaxing music for hamsters” and you can select a few to try out to see if it helps your hamster become calmer.
If You Notice They’re Stressed Try Not To Bother Them
When your hamster is anxious the last thing you should do is try to comfort them. That means don’t try to pet them or touch them in any way.
It’s natural for us to want to comfort them when they’re scared as we would do for each other.
But if you try to with your hamster you could just be adding on to the stress they’re already feeling.
If they’re scared or anxious they’ll want to spend some time alone and away from everything else.
So it’s best to leave them alone so they can deal with their anxiety in their own way.
Hamsters are a lot more strong-willed than most people think so leaving them alone to calm themselves down will actually help them in the long run.
Over time they’ll be able to calm down a lot quicker as they get better at it and more used to their environment.
Have Patience When Trying To Keep Your Hamster Calm
All hamsters are different so while one hamster might be scared of everything, another hamster might be a lot braver. If you do have a hamster that isn’t scared of much then that’s a good thing.
They’ll be calmer most of the time and it will be easier to bond and play with them.
On the other hand, if you have a hamster that is scared all of the time that’s fine too because it’s totally normal. You’ll just have to have a lot more patience with them as they’re getting used to you and their environment.
Eventually, as they start becoming more familiar with you, they’ll start acting calmer towards everything.
It doesn’t matter if your hamster gets scared easily or doesn’t get scared as often.
Either way, you’ll have to take some time to find out what your hamster doesn’t like and what they do like. Once you figure those out, your hamster will be on the way to living a calm and happier life.