Learning to build a good relationship with your hamster is a good part of having one as a pet.
You may not think you’re intimidating at all but to a much smaller animal such as a hamster, you are a giant to them and its something to consider when building a relationship with them.
Indeed when you put your hand into their cage to try and pick them out, it’s only natural that they retreat away from your grasp to where they feel is a safer corner of their home.
So getting the knack of luring your hamster out of their cage is something that is necessary but takes time to learn. But it is an interaction that is critical to their relationship with you and to help them to get to know who you are.
So what are the best ways of luring out your hamster out of its cage?
Here are some quick tips to get them out;
Don’t lure them out during the day time
Don’t disturb them and try and lure them out during the day time when they are sleeping or are sleepy. During this time they are quite irritable and so it is better to leave this until the evening. After 6pm is usually a good time to do this and means they are more amenable to coming out. After being in their cage they are usually keen to come out and exercise.
Get them out of the cage on a daily basis.
In order to get them more familiar with what you want to do, the practice of luring them out needs to be done everyday. Once they get to trust what you are doing, then luring them out becomes that much easier.
Be gentle with them
Be gentle with you handling and the way you speak to them. They had loud bangs and noises and so anything that will startle them will set the process back.
There are different methods you can use to lure them out.
The tube method
If you cage that has plastic tubing one way to lure them out is to lower the plastic tube into the cage enough to encourage them to climb up it. Make sure the tube is closed at the other end. Once they have climbed into the tube they will more often than not, want to climb to the top and back so whilst they are in the process of doing this. Pull the tube out of the cage and place the end either into your hands or into a hamster ball so they can come out. I’ve found this a particularly effective way of luring the hamster out of the cage, particularly at the start of our relationship with him when hasn’t known us so well. Once they are in the hamster ball, you can pull the tube out and close up the ball ready for them to run.
Picking them up with your hands
This often takes time to get to this place and they need to learn to trust you. To get to this, they will need to become familiar with you and know that you aren’t going to harm them. Start by stroking them everyday and spending time just at their cage. Eventually you will get to the point where they feel able to let you pick them up. When you do this remember to be as gentle as you can.
What happens if they are hiding away and don’t want to come out?
If they are hiding away in a corner of the cage or their hidey home then there are some methods you can use to lure them out into the open.
Using treat packages
If your hamster is hiding in their hidey house then a trick that many owners use are treat packages to lure them out. If you have one of these then crinkle it up in your hand your hamster will hear it and fingers crossed, they will come out at the sound of it. You will need to give them a treat as a reward so that they know to come out next time. If you don’t they won’t fall for the same trick next time. You can then use a tube to get them out or attempt to pick them up with you hand.
You can also just give him treats inside the cage. Get your hamster to eat off your hand and help them to understand that when you put your hand in their cage it means that treats and food are coming and it is not a danger to them.
They are prey animals and so think the worst is going to happen to them and so are always on their guard.
Get your fingers smelling of food
Put your fingers in some kind of food packaging and get them smelling of food. A bag of chips is a good one. Then put your hand in their cage and rub your fingers together and speak gently to them. If they can get the smell of your fingers this may do the trick and they will be intrigued by what your fingers smell like and follow the scent.
It takes time to build up trust with them and doing the following actions will help;
- Regularly spending time with them each day
- Speaking gently to them
- Giving them treats in their cage from your hand.
- Not being rough with them when you handle them
By doing these actions, the whole process of luring them out of their cage will get easier and easier.
Image source: Wikipedia