How to hold your hamster safely

Like a lot of small pets, hamsters can be quite nervous of being picked up. Some hamsters might enjoy being handled while others won't like it at all. Take the lead from your hamster and tailor how you interact to suit them.

Why are some hamsters frightened of being picked up?

Hamsters are naturally nervous because they are hunted by other animals in the wild. If they’re scared, they will try to defend themselves by biting or jumping out of your hands.

If your hamster seems frightened when you pick them up, it might be better to put them back in their cage, feed them some treats, and stoke them when they approach.

How to pick up your hamster

It’s really important to learn how to pick up your hamster properly because they are small, delicate animals and they can easily get injured if they’re handled roughly or dropped.

Don't try to pick up your hamster when they're sleeping during the day - they're likely to be scared and bite you. Instead, wait until the early evening when they wake up and start to become active.

  • Form a cup with both hands on either side of their body.
  • Scoop them up securely with both palms.
  • Be very gentle and careful that your hamster doesn’t jump out of the top of your hands.

Young children should never be left unsupervised around a hamster and we recommend that they don’t hold them, but feed them treats and gently stroke them in their cage instead.