How to Handle a Hamster
Flickr/Steve & Jemma Copley
Proper hamster care should include frequent handling to keep hamsters friendly and to provide them with opportunities to socialize outside of their cages. Hamsters must be handled gently, with care taken to ensure that they do not escape and become lost in the owner's home. Children should handle tame hamsters with parental supervision only.
How to Pick Up a Hamster
The safest way to pick up a hamster is to lower a container into the hamster's cage and encourage the hamster to climb in. Most hamsters will readily climb into a small carton or box. If the hamster is reluctant, it can be gently scooted along with one hand while the other hand holds the container. This method is the least stressful for the hamster and is unlikely to result in biting. Once the hamster is inside the box or carton, it can be lifted out of the cage.
Tame hamsters accustomed to handling can be picked up by using two cupped hands slid under the hamster's belly like a scoop to lift it out of the cage. When carrying the hamster outside its cage, hold it in the palm of one hand and cup the other hand over its back to prevent it from jumping away.
What Hamsters Like
Most hamsters learn to enjoy handling, especially if playtime comes around the same time every day. Talking, singing or whistling to your hamster will teach it to recognize the sound of your voice and expect treats or play when it hears you. Hamsters will enjoy handling more if they receive small treats during playtime or immediately after returning to their cages. Unsalted popcorn and fresh kale are favorites of many hamsters.