Protecting your Hands While Handling Hamsters

17 Tips for Protecting your Hands While Handling Hamsters


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Hey, I’m Matt. I’ll never forget the time I first got a hamster. I was so excited to hold him and play with him, but I didn’t think about the fact that hamsters have tiny claws that can do some serious damage.

I ended up with a few scratches on my hands and learned my lesson the hard way.

If you’re new to hamster ownership, or just want to make sure you’re handling your furry friend safely, here are some tips for protecting your hands while handling hamsters.

1. Trim your nails

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to keep your nails trimmed when handling small animals like hamsters.

Long nails can easily scratch your hamster’s delicate skin, and they can also make it harder for you to hold onto your hamster securely. So before you pick up your hamster, make sure your nails are trimmed to a comfortable length.

2. Wear gloves

If you’re worried about getting scratched, consider wearing gloves. There are a few different options to choose from, including thin cotton gloves and thicker rubber or latex gloves.

Just make sure the gloves you choose are thin enough that you can still feel what you’re doing, but thick enough to provide some protection for your hands.

3. Use a towel or blanket

If you’re not a fan of gloves, or if you just want to try something different, you can also use a towel or blanket to pick up your hamster.

Simply wrap the towel or blanket around your hamster, and use it to scoop them up. This can be a good option if you’re worried about dropping your hamster, or if you just want to be extra careful.

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4. Don’t squeeze too hard

It’s natural to want to hold your hamster tightly, especially if you’re nervous about them getting away. But it’s important to remember that hamsters are delicate creatures, and they can easily be injured if you squeeze too hard. So make sure you’re holding your hamster gently, with just enough pressure to keep them secure.

5. Be careful with your grip

In addition to not squeezing too hard, it’s also important to be careful with your grip. Make sure you’re holding your hamster securely, but not so tightly that you’re cutting off circulation. It can be helpful to use a “cupping” motion with your hands, rather than wrapping your fingers around your hamster’s body.

6. Avoid holding by the tail

Some people make the mistake of holding their hamsters by the tail, thinking it will be easier to control them. But this is actually a big no-no.

Hamsters’ tails are delicate, and they can be easily injured if you hold them by the tail. Plus, your hamster is more likely to struggle and try to get away if you’re holding them by the tail, which can make them more likely to scratch or bite.

7. Use a hamster ball or carrier

If you’re just looking for a way to let your hamster explore while keeping them safe and contained, consider using a hamster ball or carrier

A hamster ball is a clear, plastic ball with a small opening for your hamster to crawl through. Your hamster can move around inside the ball, exploring their environment while being safely contained.

Hamster balls are a great way to give your hamster some exercise and mental stimulation, and they’re also a lot of fun to watch. Just make sure to supervise your hamster while they’re in the ball, and never leave them unsupervised for long periods of time.

Another option is a hamster carrier. These are usually small, plastic cages that you can carry your hamster in.

Hamster carriers are a good option if you want to take your hamster with you on the go, or if you just want to give them a change of scenery. Just make sure the carrier is big enough for your hamster to move around comfortably, and that it has plenty of ventilation.

8. Train your hamster to be handled

If you’re having a hard time handling your hamster without getting scratched, it may be because your hamster is not used to being handled. With a little patience and persistence, you can train your hamster to be more comfortable with being picked up and handled.

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Start by offering treats and rewards when you approach your hamster, and gradually work up to picking them up and holding them for short periods of time. With consistent training, your hamster will eventually become more comfortable with being handled.

9. Get your hamster used to being handled from a young age

If you’re getting a new hamster, it’s best to start handling them from a young age. Hamsters that are handled frequently from a young age are more likely to be comfortable with being picked up and cuddled. So if you’re getting a baby hamster, make sure to handle them frequently so they get used to being handled.

10. Use two hands

When picking up your hamster, it’s usually best to use two hands. This will help you keep your hamster more secure, and it will also give you more control if your hamster starts to squirm or try to get away. Just make sure you’re using one hand to support your hamster’s body, and the other hand to gently hold onto their tail or hind legs.

11. Be gentle

As with any small animal, it’s important to be gentle when handling your hamster. Be careful not to jostle them around too much, and try to avoid sudden movements that could startle them. Remember, your hamster is a living being with feelings, so be respectful and considerate when handling them.

12. Use a calm and soothing voice

In addition to being gentle with your hands, it’s also a good idea to use a calm and soothing voice when handling your hamster. This will help your hamster feel more relaxed and at ease, and it will also help you feel more relaxed and in control. So take a deep breath, speak softly, and try to project a sense of calm when handling your hamster.

13. Supervise young children

If you have young children who are interested in handling your hamster, it’s important to supervise them at all times. Children may not have the same level of control and finesse as adults, and they may accidentally squeeze or mishandle your hamster. So make sure you’re around to help your children handle your hamster safely.

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14. Don’t let your hamster roam free

While it’s important to give your hamster plenty of time to explore and play, it’s also important to keep them contained when you’re not around to supervise. Hamsters are natural escape artists, and they can get into all sorts of trouble if they’re allowed to roam free. So make sure you have a secure cage for your hamster, and only let them out to play when you’re able to keep an eye on them.

15. Use a hamster harness and leash

If you want to give your hamster some supervised time outside of their cage, consider using a hamster harness and leash.


16. Wash your hands after handling

To protect your hands from any germs or parasites that your hamster may be carrying, it’s a good idea to wash your hands after handling them. This is especially important if you have any cuts or scratches on your hands, as they could be more susceptible to infection. So make sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling your hamster.

17. Keep a tube of hand sanitizer nearby

If you’re on the go and don’t have access to soap and water, keep a tube of hand sanitizer nearby. This can help kill any germs or bacteria that you may have picked up while handling your hamster. Just make sure to use a hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol, as this will be the most effective at killing germs.


Is it okay to handle my hamster all the time?

It’s generally okay to handle your hamster for short periods of time on a daily basis. However, it’s important to remember that hamsters are nocturnal animals, and they need plenty of time to rest and sleep. So make sure you’re giving your hamster enough time to rest and recharge, and only handle them when they seem alert and interested in interacting.

What should I do if my hamster bites me?

If your hamster bites you, try not to panic. Hamsters may bite if they feel threatened or if they’re trying to defend themselves. If your hamster bites you, gently place them back in their cage and give them some time to calm down. If the bite is severe or if you’re concerned about infection, seek medical attention.

Can I let my hamster crawl on my face?

While it may be tempting to let your hamster crawl on your face or other parts of your body, it’s generally not a good idea. Hamsters have sharp claws and teeth, and they could accidentally scratch or bite you. Plus, hamsters can carry germs and parasites that could potentially make you sick. So it’s best to stick to holding your hamster in your hands or using a hamster carrier or ball when interacting with them.

The End (or is it just the beginning?)

Whether you’re a seasoned hamster owner or a newbie, it’s always a good idea to be mindful of how you’re handling your furry friend.

By following these tips for protecting your hands while handling hamsters, you can keep both you and your hamster happy and healthy. Happy handling!