Hamsters are very timid animals that are always cautious both with the environment around them and with their owners.
They love to play with their owners, but sometimes when it’s time to feed them they don’t want to eat from your hand.
Why doesn’t my hamster want to eat from my hand?
Hamsters do not want to eat from your hand if they are scared or if it is still too early because they are not used to you. Hamsters may not want to eat from your hand if they don’t like what you are giving them.
In today’s article, you will learn why hamsters do not want to eat from your hand and how to succeed in gaining their trust and allowing you to feed them.
Why doesn’t my hamster want to eat from my hand?
As we said at the beginning, hamsters are sensitive and fearful, which is completely normal behavior of animals that are constantly prey in nature.
Hamsters do not like to eat from your hand for the following reasons:
- not used enough
- past stress
- because of a certain smell on the hand
- because he has poor eyesight
- he doesn’t like food
Since there are several reasons, we will explain them in detail, so you know why hamsters refuse to eat from your hand.
Hamsters don’t want to eat from your hand out of fear
Hamsters are afraid of your hands, because you look very big to them, and your hand looks like a claw that came to grab the hamster.
The hamsters need time to understand that you don’t want to do them any harm, that you just want to give them something to eat.
When the hamster gets used to you and your hand, then things will change and he will want to eat without running away and without hiding.
Hamster taming and building trust is a gradual process that takes place differently for all hamsters.
The hamster is not used to eating from the hand
If the hamster is still too young and has just arrived in your home, he will not know what you are actually doing with your hands.
But once he realizes that you want to feed him and you don’t mean him any harm, then it will be easier.
At first, your hand seems a bit dangerous to the hamsters, and that’s why they don’t want to let you feed them at first.
Stress from the past
If the hamster has had a bad experience in the past when being held, he will not want the same thing to happen to him again.
Hamsters may have had a bad experience before you get them into your home, so it will take time for them to forget what happened in the past and the stress they experienced.
However, just be gentle and take your time and the hamster will forget its bad past and start letting you feed it out of your hand.
Because of a certain smell on the hand
Hamsters have an excellent sense of smell and can recognize odors that they may not like. If your hand smells of an odor it does not like then the hamster will not want to eat from your hand.
If you have another pet in your home and your hand smells then the hamster will not want to eat from your hand.
Therefore, every time you plan to give the hamster to eat from your hand, you should wash it so that you do not get into a situation where your pet does not want to eat from you.
Because he has poor eyesight
Hamsters naturally have very poor eyesight and they cannot see you when you reach them with your hand, it looks like something dark and scary to them.
They will therefore immediately run away and will not eat from your hand.
Therefore, every time you approach them and want to let them eat from your hand, you should first start talking to them so that they recognize you by your voice and then slowly approach the hamster with your hand.
He doesn’t like food
If the hamster does not like the food, it may refuse to eat, and you will think that it does not want to eat from your hand.
It doesn’t mean that the hamster doesn’t like you, it just might not want to eat at the moment, try later, maybe then it will want to feed it.
Hamsters know how to choose food very well, they eat first what they like the most, so if there is something tastier to him in the cage, they will not want to eat from your hand.
Hamsters will not want to eat from your hand if you give them some food that they try for the first time, or if the food is too old and the taste is not good at all, then your pet will refuse to eat.
When the hamster is sick, it will refuse to eat from your hand, it is completely normal behavior of your pet.
To know if the hamster’s refusal to eat from your hand is a sign of a disease, watch out for the following symptoms:
- when there is no appetite to eat in the cage
- when he starts losing weight
- when he does not eat and acts lethargic
- when he is hiding in his hiding place all the time
These symptoms along with a refusal to eat from your hand are an indication that the hamster is sick, and you should take it to the vet to be examined.
How do I teach my hamster to eat from my hand?
Hamsters are a bit difficult to train, but that doesn’t mean you can’t teach them to start eating from your hand, you just need patience and attention.
At first when you bring your hamster home do not immediately touch it or let it eat from your hand, wait a few days for it to get used to your voice and smell.
So here are some steps to successfully train your hamster to eat from your hand.
Start moving very slowly
When you want to give food to the hamster, you should move very slowly, because any fast movement can only scare the hamster.
Since hamsters cannot see well when you move slowly they will recognize you by your smell and voice and will not be afraid.
When you see that the hamster is not running away, give it some food from your hand and then just as slowly remove your hand and pull back.
Choose the best time to let them eat from your hand
Hamsters don’t always want to eat from your hand, especially when they wake up.
When he wakes up from sleep, make sure that he does not immediately come to your hand and eat, the hamster needs a few minutes to half an hour to calm down before you start feeding him.
The best time of day to give your hamster food from your hand is in the morning or evening when it is awake and active.
Patience is the key
Training hamsters require patience to get them used to eating from your hand. The hamster will need time to get used to your presence and your hand.
He will refuse to eat from you at first, but gradually as he learns your scent he will slowly allow you to feed him from your hand.
But the most important thing is to be patient and not give up on training and be sure that you will succeed.
Don’t change the habit
Do not frequently change the habit or the way you offer food to the hamster from your hand.
The hamster will get used to the way you approach it and if you change it you will have to do it all over again, re-training, and so on.
Any change to the already established routine of giving food from your hand will only confuse the hamster and may frighten it unnecessarily.
Give the hamster the food it likes to eat the most
To convince the hamster to start eating from your hand more easily, offer him some food that he will most like to eat, even though it may not be the healthiest option for him.
Hamsters love to eat seeds and nuts, so you can start with that type of food.
Through food, you will be able to make the hamster eat from your hand the easiest way, however, with animals, it is the best way to overcome their fright and fear.
How do you touch a hamster without biting?
All hamsters are different, some are more aggressive, while others are less aggressive.
Therefore, in the beginning, if your hamster is aggressive, it is best to use gloves to handle it.
Once the hamster gets used to your hands and smell, you can remove the gloves, it is best to do it gradually so that you can build up your pet’s trust.
Why do hamsters spit out their food when you hold them?
When a hamster spits out its food when you hold it, it is completely normal hamster behave.
He does this because he keeps collecting food in his cheeks and then spitting it out or putting it somewhere else.
It means that it has nothing to do with your hand or that it does not love you.
How do you tame a hamster fast?
Training and taming hamsters require patience, so at first don’t touch him, just talk to him gently and slowly.
Then start giving them food from your hand to entice them to eat and at the same time get them used to your smell.
Next is to start holding the hamster in your arms and occasionally letting him out of the cage to run and play which will make him happy.
With these steps, you will soon be able to tame your pet and gain his trust.
Hamsters are very small and timid animals that need time to get used to eating from your hand.
They will be cautious and reserved at first, but with persistence and enough patience, you will succeed in training the hamster to eat from your hand.
Be gentle and keep talking to the hamsters so they can get used to your voice and smell to recognize you when you give them food.
Hamsters are animals that are a little more difficult to train, but with persistence, you will certainly succeed in winning them over and getting closer to your pet.
Eventually, he will allow you to feed him from your hand, which will be great for building further trust between you and your pet.
Read more: Can hamsters eat hay? All You Need To Know