How to pick a hamster up - Easy Guide

One of the most important things to remember when owning a hamster is how to pick them up. It's crucial that you know how to do this properly in order to avoid hurting your pet and also so they don't get scared. In this post, we'll go over the steps on how to pick up a hamster safely and gently. Let's get started!

How to pick a hamster up

1. Approach pick up cautiously

The first step to picking a hamster is to approach it as carefully as possible. Hamsters have poor eyesight and may react defensively if they feel threatened. Take slow, deliberate steps with your palms open so the hamster can see your hands easily. Squat down low to the ground so you appear less intimidating.

2. Approach from the side

When you are close enough to touch your hamster, approach it from the side rather than straight on. Place one hand next to the hamster's body and scoop under its belly with a flat palm to pick it up. Support its entire body as well as any legs that are splayed out behind it.

3. Do not poke or prod hamster

Do not poke your hamster with your fingers; this may cause the animal to become defensive and bite you. Prodding or poking can also make a nervous or skittish hamster more likely to scratch you in self-defense. Avoid holding the hamster too firmly when it kicks out its legs or when it attempts to escape.

4. Prevent struggling beforehand

Never attempt to hold a hamster by its tail because it is very thin and fragile. Avoid dangling the hamster by its limbs because it is not comfortable for either of you. If your hammy kicks out its legs, grasp both of its thighs in one hand to prevent struggling during pick up.

5. End on a positive note

When putting the hamster back in its cage, hold it at an arm's length while you open the door to the enclosure. Place your hand inside and let your hammy crawl out if it wants to go back in. Do not close the door until absolutely necessary. After you close the door, say "goodbye" and walk away to the end on a positive note.

6. Pick up another time

If your hammy likes to curl up or hide in its cage when it is sleepy, let it rest for twenty minutes before trying again. If it still does not want to be picked up, do not force the issue. Instead, make friends with it by making gentle squeaking sounds or feeding your hamster small treats like mealworms.

7. Make pick up part of daily routine

If you have a hammy that likes to be held, make picking it up a regular part of your greeting routine. Let it out for supervised exercise and give it plenty of attention throughout the day. Once your hammy becomes comfortable with being picked up, begin carrying it around in a pet carrier or shirt pocket.

8. Work up to picking up the full-grown hamster

If you only see your hamster occasionally, you can work on gaining trust and getting comfortable with each other over the course of several days before attempting to pick it up. When you do finally hold your hammy, make it short and sweet.

9. Pick up properly

If the hamster is small, pick it up gently and hold it firmly but not too tightly. If the hamster is full-grown, pick it up with two hands so you can support its weight and reduce the risk of injury to both of you.


The following article is a general guideline for how to pick up a hamster. The best way to pick up a hamster is by placing one hand over the hamster and wrapping your other arm around the side of the cage. This should ensure that you avoid any accidental dropping of the hamster!

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