Do Hamsters Like to Be Held?

If you have bought a hamster for the first time, you might be wondering, “do hamsters like to be held” or not. In reality, it all depends upon the characteristics of the particular hammy that you own. Each hamster has its personality and character, just like us humans. 

Here, we will talk about this matter and some other associated aspects with the overall personality of these hamsters. 

Do Hamsters Like to Be Held or Not?

The answer to this question is not very simple as it might seem. In short, you can say yes, but there are various other factors at play here. First, you need to make them comfortable before you hold them. 

These little critters are prey animals, so they don’t feel comfortable when someone holds them in her hands. As a result, they have an instinct to try and escape or to pull away. However, once it is entirely satisfied with you, it will definitely like your touch. 

hamster on hands

These hamsters tend to bond with their owners, but not all hamsters go down this way. Different hamsters have various personality traits, and you need to take them all into account.

Apart from that, once you have tamed your hamster, handle it constantly, or the bond you have developed might get cold pretty quickly. Then, consequently, you will put in more effort and tame them again. 

Personality Traits and Habits of Your Hamster 

You need to keep in mind there is not much difference between pet and wild hamsters. And the thing is, they are rodents that are not that easy when it comes to domestication, especially if you compare them with other animals like dogs. 

They are afraid all the time

Out there in the wild, a hamster has to keep running for its life till it breathes its last. So, every bigger animal chases it. 

Therefore, it needs to smell and hear extremely well and be on alert at all times. This is precisely why it has evolved to come out at night when there are fewer chances of any attacks from its predators. 

Your little hamster has it in its instincts to be afraid of anything and everything. So, they will jump off and run away if they feel threatened in any way.

They prefer solitude

In addition to that, these hamsters live a solitary life. Some hamster species can live together, but there are only certain circumstances for that. 

So, it’s better to keep them separated at all times, even if you have those Dwarf hamsters that might look utterly harmless upon sight. 

You have to make them comfortable with your giant hands, but you will have to be extremely patient and consistent. 

Understand and respect your hamster’s personality

Your hamster might be very active and independent in its personality. This is something you cannot tame no matter how hard you try. Don’t force your little hamster to do anything at all. 

You can give it as much time as possible but don’t force an issue onto it. You will notice that your hamster will always have something interesting to look at, and he would want to grab that. If that is the case, let it go. 

Doing this will allow you to build a relationship of trust with your little friend. You will notice your hammy will not bite if you take this path and enable it to do whatever it wants. Moreover, you can bribe it with its favorite food. 

It might only stay for a few seconds in your hand, but it is not biting you when you pick it up. This is a sign that your hamster likes you and doesn’t mind your touch. It’s just too active and independent to be held in hands. 

How Can You Train Your Hamster to be Comfortable in Your Hands? 

Even though your hamster stays in your hands or not, you can still train it with consistency and patience. But, of course, these little critters are jumpy and skittish, so they will not stay in your hands for long. 

But if a hamster stays in your hands, it needs to know it’s a safe place for them. And for this, you will have to train them. They might be trained in a few days’ time or weeks. So, time will vary from one hamster to the other. And make sure you give it as much time as it takes to get comfortable with you. 

Start small but stay consistent

Your little friend will get to know your odor along with your voice, and it will associate it directly with food. When your little friend is well-acquainted with your odor, you can start putting your hands inside the cage. And always remember to have a treat in your hand, and it will come close right away. 

It might not muster up the courage to touch you or take the food directly from your hand, but it will come close. You can keep doing this till that little critter touches your hand and reaches out to the food. 

Now, it’s time to put your hands inside the cage with some food in your hands that is farthest for your little friend. You are making it walk over your first hand and get to the food you have placed in your second hand. So, you are making it used to both your hands. Once your hamster gets along nicely, it’s time for you to move to the next step. 

It’s time to graduate and lift your hammy off the ground 

hamster on the floor

After determining that your little hammy is comfortable with you and your hands, you can place them down on the cage’s floor. Let the hamster come on them, then lift your hands slowly and gently. 

Be sure not to pick up too much, so it should be only around an inch. When doing it for the first time, you might scare your little friend. Therefore, you will have to repeat this process quite a few times. 

But you can keep him off the ground for a very brief period. Starting with only two to three seconds, in the beginning, will be the best practice. Once your hamster feels comfortable in your hands while off the ground, it’s time for you to start working on cupping your hands around and over it. 

What you are doing here is making your hamster feel accustomed to your hands and being held in them. You are also making it comfortable being off the ground. 

Only pick it up when you think that it is comfortable

When you see your hamster is relaxed, you can pick it even higher. Don’t be too pushy here, and don’t expect any quick results either. 

But once your friend is comfortable in your hands, it is almost tamed. It will want to walk around in your hands, and you can make your hands as if they are mobile platforms for your hamster to walk on. 

But keep in mind that you only do this around his cage. This is to keep it safe in case it jumps. You can even make him more relaxed with some more food in your hands. 

Do Hamsters like Affection?

Well, your hamster is tamed almost wholly to stay in your hands. It will remain in your hand, and that might be only for a few seconds. But does your hamster like your touch and feel any affection? 

Yes, he does like it and feels affection from it. It will not make it evident as most other pets do, but it will not oppose it either. You will notice that your hamster is not overly cuddly or friendly and will not seek a hug from you. But hamsters that have formed a bond with their owners do like it when their onwards cuddle them. 



Yes, hamsters like to be held. They want the touch from their owners and somewhat show affection as well. But you need to train them well from a young age and with great patience and consistency. Make sure you don’t force anything upon them, or they will bite you, and you will have to start all over again. Also, be sure to use lots of treats during their training process.

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