Most of us can relate to the joy and excitement of getting a new hamster. Having them as a pet that’s apart of your family is a wonderful experience that brings happiness for many years.
Hamsters are really cautious animals so it can sometimes take them a while to get used to anything though. So if that’s the case, how long does it take for a hamster to get used to you?
It will usually take a hamster anywhere from 5-6 days to a couple of weeks to get used to you. So you’ll have to have some patience with them while they’re getting comfortable with you.
Each hamster has its own different personality though. Some hamsters will get used to you quickly while others will take their time to feel you out. Thankfully, there are some ways to smoothly speed up that process.
How Long Does It Take For A Hamster To Get Used To You?
So when it comes to how long it takes for your hamster to get used to you, it’s usually no longer than a couple of weeks but it largely depends on your hamster.
Some are shyer or less adventurous than others, so your experience may differ depending on your hamster’s personality.
As a general rule, a hamster will take around two weeks to completely get used to their new environment.
This includes you and anyone living in your house, as well as your home, and of course, your hamster’s new living space too.
This may seem like a long time to you, but for a hamster, it can take them a while to get used to, understand, and trust their new environment.
How To Tell Your Hamster Has Gotten Used To You
Just like how humans become more loving once they get to know you, hamsters will be the same.
One of the main ways to tell that your hamster has gotten used to you is they will not back away or flinch when you come near their cage.
They also won’t show signs of stress when you try to hold them, pet them, or play with them.
They will embrace your affection, and show the same warmth in return. For example, once they’ve gotten used to you some hamsters will even relax or sleep on you when you’re handling them.
Additionally, if you’re around your hamster and they spend time burrowing in their bedding, or often stretch out in order to relax, these are also signs that your hamster is happy and has gotten used to you.
How Do Hamsters Act Before They’ve Gotten Used To You?
Hamsters have many behaviors and body language that they use to show an array of emotions.
So since they can’t communicate with you with any other means, it is important that you lookout for the signals.
Before your hamster has gotten used to you, you will find that they are jittery, they may even tremble or chatter their teeth if they feel scared or overwhelmed.
If your hamster is out of their cage, then it is likely that they will run away from you, and hide in the corners of the room or behind furniture.
If you spend time holding them, then don’t be surprised if they nip at your skin in the beginning.
This doesn’t mean they are aggressive though, they are just unsure about you or the surroundings. So try not to react too quickly or make any sudden loud noises, because you will frighten them even more.
Also, just like they’re well known for running away, hamsters are also known to play dead or freeze if they feel really afraid.
This is especially the case if loud noises are going on around them. So don’t be alarmed if you approach them and this happens because it’s all apart of their reactions while they’re getting used to you, and it’s totally normal.
What Are Some Good Ways To Get Your Hamster Used To You?
Getting your hamster used to you may require a little patience, but it will all be worth it in the end. Some of the best ways to get your hamster used to you are:
- Holding your hamster regularly and giving them treats.
- Interacting with them at the right time.
- Letting your hamster get used to your scent.
- Grooming them.
Holding Your Hamster Regularly And Giving Them Treats
Try and hold your hamster regularly, however, be slow in your movements, don’t grab them, or pull your hand away suddenly.
If you want to, stretch your hand out, and then let your hamster come up to you.
You can do this at the entrance of their cage if you find that they run away anytime you try it on the floor.
Put a little treat in your palm to entice them, and once they are in your hand don’t squeeze too tight, you want them to feel safe but not trapped.
Interacting With Them At The Right Time
Only play with or approach your hamster at the right time like mainly when they are awake.
If you startle them while they are sleeping, you can undo the trust you’re building.
Also, don’t try to hold them or play with them if there is a lot of loud background noise.
Hamsters are really scared of loud noises, and you’ll make the situation worse.
Letting Your Hamster Get Used To Your Scent
Once you’ve noticed that your hamster is starting to become slightly comfortable with you, let them get used to your scent.
You can try letting them explore you as if you were a climbing frame as long as you’re in a blocked off area where they can’t escape and get lost. For example, you can try holding them while you’re sitting in a playpen.
That way if they do move away from you, they won’t be able to get over the top of the playpen and run away.
It’ll also allow them to explore that small area and if they’re starting to get used to you, they’ll come back up to you throughout that playtime.
Unfortunately, hamsters don’t have very good eyesight and because of that, they rely a lot on their sense of smell.
So let them investigate you and get used to your smell, and eventually, they will find comfort in your smell rather than be scared of it.
Grooming is a great technique that most animals use to bond with each other.
So it is a good idea for you to do the same as long as your hamster is comfortable with you handling them.
You can buy little brushes for your hamster, and when you feel that they are more comfortable around you, once a week or so get out your brush and spend some time gently grooming their fur.
If they don’t show any signs of stress while you’re doing it then try adding that activity to their normal routine.
It’ll help with bonding with your hamster and keeping them calmer as they get used to your touch.
Recommended: 11 tips for keeping your hamster calm
Will Hamsters Always Bond With Their Owners?
For the most part, hamsters will usually bond with their owners if you treat them the right way. Of course, there will always be exceptions to this.
Just like with people and other animals, not everyone is born to be very sociable.
So just because you don’t feel like your hamster is bonding with you it doesn’t necessarily mean they are unhappy, some hamsters just aren’t that social.
It is worth noting that hamsters generally only bond with one or two people, so if you are the chosen one then you are lucky.
So don’t force your hamster to try and bond with every one of your family members or friends.
It won’t work out how you want it to, and it might cause your hamster to stress more.
It’s a lot easier for a hamster to get used to you if you’re generally one of the only ones they come in contact with. There is no doubt that hamsters can make wonderful pets.
So if you treat them well, and give them the love and patience they deserve, you will end up with a new best friend who will love you just as much as you do them.