Hamsters are cute and pleasant furry pets that make our day more cheerful and interesting.
Those cute actions and behavior make us laugh, sometimes they want us to hug them, and sometimes they lick us.
Hamsters lick their owners as a sign of respect and love. Although sometimes when they lick us too often it can also mean that they have a lack of sodium in their body. If the diet is not adequate, then the hamsters want to lick you all the time.
In today’s article, we will learn why hamsters lick, whether is it safe and what are the ways to prevent them from doing it.
Why do hamsters lick you?
When hamsters lick you, it is a sign that they love you and have great respect for you.
Licking from hamsters is a great affection for you, but it can also mean a lack of salt, especially if it licks your hand too much.
When the hamster licks you non-stop, he enjoys the salt on your hands, it can even cause the hamster to become addicted to licking your hand.
But when the hamster starts licking other things around him, his cage and objects then it is a sign that something is wrong with his health.
Hamsters may be deficient in sodium if always lick around. Hamsters need salt to live normally.
A lack of sodium affects everything from the muscles to the nervous system in hamsters.
What to do if the hamsters have a lack of salt?
When hamsters are deficient in salt, you will need to give them more salt in their diet, as well as other ways by licking the salt off your hand.
There are several ways to add more salt to them, so let’s read them right away.
If the hamster has a lack of salt, you should increase its salt through salty licking.
More specifically, your hamster needs to lick a block of salt in order to have enough salt in his body.
When using salty licks you should do it very carefully, because they should not be given too much salt.
Too much salt is harmful to their kidneys and can easily cause kidney damage, putting the hamster’s lifespan in danger.
Our recommendation is to give them a salty lick, but not too often, preferably at intervals of a few days.
You will most easily know if they need a new salty lick after his actions, or rather if he starts licking you again all the time, you as the owner.
Give them more salty food
If your hamster has a lack of salt then you need to make changes in the diet, you need to give them food with a higher amount of salt.
You will achieve this best if you look at the composition of the food you already give to hamsters to eat every day, determine which food has little salt and replace it with another with a higher amount of salt.
Then monitor his actions again over a period of time to see if he continues to lick you too often and if he licks everything around him.
If he doesn’t lick you too much then you have guessed the amount of salt he needs.
Is it okay for hamsters to lick people’s fingers?
Yes, it’s perfectly fine if hamsters lick their owners’ fingers, it’s a sign of respect, love, and affection from your furry friend.
Licking by hamsters is good and cute, although sometimes it can be a bad sign, ie health problems.
If your hamster licks you too often it could be a sign that something is wrong with his health, such as a lack of sodium.
How safe is it if hamsters lick you?
Licking from hamsters is completely safe for humans, so you should not be afraid, feel free to let them do it.
Hamsters can indeed spread diseases such as meningitis, hantavirus, and leptospirosis, but this only happens if they have previously caught these diseases from other animals.
If you keep your hamster at home, the chances of transmitting these diseases are very small.
When you keep a hamster at home, only through another animal that was already infected, a certain disease can be transmitted to your pet, and then to you.
Just in case, after licking from the hamster, it is best to wash your hands with soap to avoid transferring any infection from your pet, although this is very rare since they are very clean animals.
If you have any lotion or perfume applied to your hand, wash it first, as hamsters are very sensitive to smells and it may bother them or change the taste of your hand.
Any ingredients on your hand can be dangerous and harmful to their health.
Do hamsters bite when they lick you?
Yes, hamsters can also bite when they lick you, but there is a difference whether it is out of affection or aggression.
If they bite you just a little gently then it is because of affection, while if they bite you hard to draw blood on your finger or hand then it is aggression.
Let’s take a closer look at the different ways hamsters bite.
Hamsters can bite you when they lick you, that’s completely normal, but it’s more important how they bite you.
If they just gently nibble on you, it’s because of affection and because they like you.
Gentle nibbling shows that they are happy with you, and feel comfortable, just like when they are with their mother.
Sometimes it can gently bite you if there are food or oil residues on your fingers, which the hamster likes and therefore bites you.
When hamsters lick you and start biting you aggressively, then it is not good.
When they bite aggressively they can make you bleed, which is not a pleasant experience at all.
In such situations, the hamsters are either upset, or you have angered them with some action.
If you come very quickly and roughly, it can cause fear in the hamsters and they will quickly bite you hard, so always approach your pet slowly and gently.
Are hamsters allowed to lick your lips?
Yes, hamsters will lick your lips if you let them, but this is not safe for you as the owner.
Because by licking your lips, the hamster can more easily transmit possible diseases.
When they lick your hands, you can wash them later, while with the lips it is a little more difficult.
How to stop hamsters from licking you?
It’s honestly not easy to stop the hamster from licking you.
Since hamsters show love and affection by licking in this way, they cannot speak.
If you prevent them from licking you, it will be very difficult for them to accept it, and they will feel offended and sad.
If the hamsters start biting you then you need to prevent them from licking you.
There are several ways to do this and get your pets to stop licking you.
Here are some of them:
- move away when he wants to lick you
- give them a toy instead of your hand to lick
- pull your hand back when they want to lick you
Of course, weaning from licking is very difficult, and your hamster will really feel hurt, but sometimes, unfortunately, it has to be done.
Of course, keep playing and having fun with your hamster, but don’t let him lick your hand.
By playing and talking, show the hamster that you still love him even though you won’t let him lick your hand.
How do hamsters show that they love you?
Hamsters make friends with their owners, show love and respect to them, and do so in various ways.
Here are some of the ways hamsters show their affection for you:
- the hamster will run around you
- it will come to the end of the cage when you enter the room
- he will love to cuddle and play with you
- it will start to stretch to let you know it wants you to pick it up
- he will always be calm and will not show teeth and aggressiveness
- it will move past you for you to pick up to play with and hold
These are just some of the many ways in which hamsters show affection and love for you, over time you will notice some other signs of affection yourself.
Frequently asked questions
Why do hamsters lick themselves?
Hamsters use licking to improve their hygiene. They lick their whole body which keeps them clean and neat, they are known as clean animals.
Why do hamsters lick their cage?
Most often, hamsters lick their cage so that they can get to know the environment where they live more easily. Although sometimes licking the cage is a sign that they want to go outside to play and hang out with you, or just to get out of the monotony.
Read more: Hairless Hamsters – What You Need to Know
Hamsters use licking to express love and affection, although it can also mean a lack of sodium in the body.
When hamsters lick you they enjoy it and of course, we as owners feel nice and comfortable.
But if they start biting you when they lick you then you need to wean your pets from doing that.
Hopefully, your pet is just licking you and not biting you.