First steps to take after adopting a hamster

If you choose a hamster breeder, he will give you all the necessary advice to the acclimatization of the small animal. In any case, here is what you need to know after adopting a hamster.

Bringing home your hamster

Choose a commercially available transport box adapted to your hamster. There are various types of sizes, and they are not very expensive. The hamster will feel more in security if it is in a small space that it will quickly explore. If the journey is long, give it a piece of vegetable to keep it hydrated.

Don’t take the animal’s cage for transport, it is not suitable. The bar cages allow the draughts. The baby bottles will sink during the road and either accessory could fall on the pet.

The stores provide small boxes. If you don’t live far away, it will hold. But be careful… a hamster walking around in a car can cause accidents.
If the hamster has been properly handled, you can take it directly from its box and put it in its cage. If not, open the top of the box and place it, opening on the side, at the bottom of its new cage. He’ll go out alone. Let him get used to his new environment.

During the first few hours, the hamster will probably search his cage, change everything, get organized. Let him do it, don’t disturb him, don’t take him out of the cage. You have to let him get his bearings. Some Hamster’s breeders are used to change environment, and will go to sleep after just a few minutes, others can spend hours before they sleep.

In any case, the hamster must recover from the stress caused by the changing house. It is necessary to wait until it has at least slept for several hours before starting to touch him! Ideally, leave it for at least 24 hours.

Normally the next day it will start to find its cruising rhythm and will sleep during the day. If it is not used to the noise, don’t panic, it will get used to it. After a week at most it will have been used to the new sounds of his environment.

Whatever the time it wakes up, especially during the first week; do not take him out of the cage until the evening, at the “normal” time. Hamsters get used to the schedules easily.

If the hamster has been handled a lot, in the evening you can open the cage door and it will often come to you. Don’t go looking for the hamster directly in its cage, some of them are a little territorial and risk biting you. Wait until you know him before you can do that. Let it go up on your hand or
everywhere it wants.

Handle him carefully at first, you don’t know him, and it doesn’t know you, his reactions are unpredictable (I’m not just talking about bites, but he could get scared and jump into the void or running away).

Be progressive: take it out for 10 minutes on the second day, 15 minutes on the third day and so on.

To have an animal close to man, do not hesitate to call it by its name just before taking it out, or to make a distinct noise. He will associate this noise with the output and will come by himself.

It may sound silly, but talk to him. Especially, if your pet is in a quiet room in the home, where he hears little noise. Voices can scare them if they are not used to it.

A common mistake to avoid; Set your pet’s exit time in advance. Often, with the excitement of a new hamster at home, we take it out for a very long time in the first few days… to leave it behind after a month.

The animal will have got used to going out and will have this expectation, which will no longer come. Do not take it out that the time you have declared, or the time you are sure you can devote at least three or more hours to it four times a week (you can alternate a day when he goes
out a little and a day when he goes out a lot).

Important note: Do not wake a sleeping hamster except occasionally (once a week) to change the cage for example. The stress caused by such awakenings can lead to illness and can even causing the animal’s death to occur slowly.

How to handle the hamster?

Here are the right reflexes to have…

To lift the hamster, never grab it from above, especially at first when it doesn’t know you! Hamster predators are mainly birds, it would scare them. First, gently approach your hand (not a finger stretched out!) towards the animal so that it can smell your scent, and then put both hands in
a cup around him to lift him up. Open your hands and put them flat so it doesn’t feel like a prisoner.

Don’t make these moves too slowly. Always leave an opening in your “tank” so that it can escape. If it escapes, do it again.
Be careful, when handling a frightened, nervous or unsociable hamster; always stay close to the ground, so that a possible fall would not be fatal to him. The first manipulations will preferably be done at above a bed or chair.

Notes for younger children

Parents must be careful about how their children handle the animal. If by any chance, the child hugs too hard, after struggling the hamster could bite your child. You have to know that this is not aggressiveness; it’s just a way to be free of the pain caused.

The child must also understand that he or she will not shouldn’t be afraid of his hamster for all that. The animal will not bite it again unless the child starts again.

Children should also avoid screams and sudden gestures that will frighten the animal. They must be able to recognize if their partner wants to go out or if they want to be left alone.

Taming: The basic techniques

Animals purchased from a breeder are often already more or less tamed. The basic techniques are more suitable for domestic pets.

The seed technique

hand a sunflower seed to the hamster (or any other attractive food: piece of fruit, raisins, etc.) at the entrance of his cage. Let him come and eat it without touching it. Over the days, put the seed more inside your hand to encourage it to climb on you to come and take its gain.
After a while, Hamster will associate this act with the reward.

Hand technique

while walking in the park, put your hand flat on the ground. The goal is to that hamster passes over it and stops on it. To do this, you can place sweets in it, or for example put your hand at the exit of a game (pipe or other).

When it has got used to it and there are still a few left seconds, you can start to raise your hand by closing it a little. You can also start trying to caress him slightly. You should know that very few hamsters appreciate caresses.

The forcing technique (only in some cases)

Especially for fearful hamsters with which nothing works, you can grab it and keep it in your hands, even if it struggles, keep it only for a few seconds
and then open your hand. After a while, he should stay more calmly in your hands.

Some last tips

Contrary to what we can read here and there, it is not necessary to wait a week before starting taming. The longer you wait, the harder it will be.
Leave him alone the first 24 hours, but the next day you can start the outings.

One golden rule: the more you interact with your pet, the more sociable it will be!
The hamster that attacks or bite inside its cage is not aggressive, but only territorial. If your hamster attacks your hand in his cage, let him out of his cage (for example by putting something of flat in front of the cage opening). In 95% of cases, the animal will not bite once on the way out or on you.

Never forget that you should not wake the hamster, especially suddenly. He would become afraid of it, even aggressive, and the taming would have to be done again!

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