Before Taming Your Hamster
Before starting to tame your hamster you will need to ensure that it is completely stress free. You should already have prepared a suitably sized cage with a sufficient amount of toys, and be providing regular food and constant access to water in its bottle. In addition, you should have given it at least a few days to settle in to its new environment, and your hamster should have adopted a daily routine of waking up in the evening for food and activity. It should be comfortable eating and playing while you are around.
At this point you can begin to work on taming your hamster, but this should only be done after it has left its nesting area of its own accord. You should not disturb your hamster when it is sleeping or it is likely to be temperamental, and it will become difficult to obtain its trust. Furthermore, you should make sure you take each stage very slowly so as not to stress your hamster at any point. With patience your hamster should become very tame.
Gaining Your Hamster’s Trust
Firstly get some treats, such as a few bits on dried fruit, to offer to your hamster. Hold the treats between your fingers and place your hand just inside the cage door. With an aquarium you will need to place your hand down to the bottom of the cage. If your hamster comes over for the treats, open your hand and leave them on your fingers, close enough to your palm so that your hamster has to reach up on to your hand to get them. Try to keep your hand as still as possible and allow your hamster to investigate it.
If your hamster does not come for the food, do not try to force it. Instead leave the food at the edge of the cage and try again the next day, perhaps allowing the hamster just to eat from your finger tips to gain more trust.
Once your hamster is confident enough to climb onto your hand to get to the treats, you can slowly and gently try to pick it up. If your hamster jumps off at this point, then again leave it and try again the next day. You may need to do this several times before your hamster trusts you enough to stay on your hand. Do not worry if this process seems to take a long time. All hamsters are different, and while some will quickly accept being handled, others may take over a month.