Even the friendliest hamsters may bite when they are in uncomfortable or unfamiliar situations. The following guidelines may help to handle your hamster during such situations.
1. Never rouse your hamster when it is sleeping. Their natural instincts are to attack when disturbed during their sleep.
2. Always be careful when handling your hamster. A hamster that has been through rough or careless handling will be wary of future handling and may bite in defense.
3. Hamsters have very poor vision and use their smell and taste buds to make sense of their surroundings. Try to differentiate experimental nibbling from aggressive biting.
4. Hamsters tend to bite when they smell food or the scent of another animal on their handler’s fingers. It’s good practice to wash your hands thoroughly with unscented soap before handling your hamster.
5. However, if your hamster is awake, has never been roughly handled, and suddenly bites, it may be sick and handling may be painful. Take your hamster to a trusted veterinarian as soon as possible.