What to do if a hamster bite drew blood? Nothing, in most cases, just cleaning it with antibiotic cream and then putting a bandage on the bitten area will do the work. However, in some cases, seeing a doctor can be necessary.
A typical relationship with a hamster involves a lot of biting. You need to understand the mentality of your hamster to create a healthy relationship between you and your pet. Learning the reasons behind a hamster’s aggression is as essential as learning the procedures to treat them.
This way, you can avoid this inconvenience in the first place. So, let’s start by finding out the reason behind the aggressive behavior of your hamster.
Do Hamsters Usually Bite?
Yes! It is very common for a hamster to bite. If you are a hamster owner, I am sure you know that these cuddly animals often bite. They are not aggressive animals, but, like any other rodent, they can bite.
Hamster bites are not very severe, but their long teeth can puncture your skin and may draw blood, resulting in pain and deep wounds.
Unlike other animals, which usually bite out of aggression, hamsters bite their owner as a sign of affection towards them. Another big reason your hamster is biting you is that they may feel terrified. If your hamster is biting you constantly or regularly, visit a vet for introspection.
Reasons Why Your Hamster Is Biting You
There is no need to worry if your hamster bites you. It does not mean it does not love you. Some things are making it do it. Below are the reasons why your cute little pet is biting you:
Hamsters Bite When They Are Afraid Or Feel Defensive
Hamsters are tiny animals who lived in a jungle before they got domesticated. In the woods, big and dangerous predators like an eagle, snake, wolves, or bobcats are always looking for these cuties for dinner.
I am sure you know that hamsters are nocturnal and stay in their den in the daytime because they fear getting hunted. Even though now they live as pets, the fear is still there.
Naturally, hamsters are not used to being picked up and cuddled, so they would not understand instantly, especially the young ones.
That is why they get frightened easily and bite you. Especially if you don’t pet it regularly or you have just brought it to your home. Just like human beings, it takes time for animals to get used to the new environment and people.
Hamsters bite when they feel that they are unsafe to defend themselves. That is why it is essential to build trust by petting it, spending time with it, and in several other ways.
Waking Up Your Hamsters
Were you just trying to wake him up? And he bit you? Now just imagine that after a long day, finally you got a good deep sleep and someone woke you up! Wouldn’t you do the same?
Exactly, hamsters love to have a deep sleep and will attack you by biting if you interrupt their sleep or maybe a sweet dream. Or perhaps because they got scared because they assumed you were an animal picking them for eating.
Let your pet complete its good night’s sleep and let him wake up naturally. They sleep in the day, wake up at night, understand their sleep cycle, and do not try to change it. When they wake up, spend time with them and play a little bit if you have enough energy to run after them.
Also, try to wake him up in a soft voice and show your hand to him so he can recognize you. And, if they do not want to play, don’t ever force them.
Do not dare to put your hand in their burrowing hole. I repeat, DO NOT! Hamsters love to dig deep burrow holes and store their food in them. If you put your hand into the hamster’s burrowing hole, it will trigger their territorial sense, and they will attack you to save their food.
They Mistook You For Their Food
Hamsters have very weak eyesight and can’t see properly. They use their sense of smell to recognize things around them.
If you were eating something before petting your hamster and forgot to wash your hands, the scent of food will stay in your fingers, and they will think it is food and bite your hand.
It might sound funny, but if you wash your hands with a scented soap (rose, cherries, lavender, etc.), the scent will make your hamster want to taste it, and you will end up with a bite.
To avoid it, wash your hands properly with a bar of unscented soap and then pick up your little furry pet so that he doesn’t assume your finger like a piece of morsel.
Your Hamster Is Not Properly Handled
Children love hamsters, but they sometimes mishandle the animal as they are not mature enough. If you or your children are not handling your hamster gently with care, it might get frightened and bite you.
One more reason is that sometimes people or children who are not fond of animals scream, which scares the hamster, so he will start biting to protect himself.
What To Do If Hamster’s Bite Drew Blood?
The first thing to do is not to get panicked. Try to stay calm and then take action. There is nothing to get worried about. It can be treated at home. Simply follow the procedure explained below to treat a hamster bite:
- Look closely at the bitten area; if the skin did not puncture the skin, just wash it with soap and warm water.
- If the wound is deep and drawing blood, clean the area with antibiotic cream, or you may visit a doctor for a proper bandage.
- If you think that there are chances of infection, then visit the doctor immediately to get it treated as soon as possible.
But how will you know whether it is an infection or not? Or does a bite even cause infection?
Well, yes. Hamster bites can cause infection as there are bacterias present in their long teeth. However, there are low chances of rabies or lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus. That is why it is essential to check if the bitten area has an infection.
How To Know If A Hamster Bite Is Infected?
Look for the symptoms mentioned below to find out if the hamster bite is infected:
- The bitten area is getting swollen.
- It is paining even after a day
- Numb fingers or hands
- Feeling cold/chills
Tips To Follow
Now let’s have a look at some things you should do if you get bitten:
- Never scream as it will frighten the hamster, and he will bite more.
- Do not shake your finger or hand as he will tighten his teeth more.
- Try to take the hamster off your finger gently.
- Blow air on it, slowly.
- Try to call him softly so he might recognize you and leave your finger.
How To Stop Your Hamster From Biting You?
To stop your hamster from biting you, here are some tricks:
Although it will take some time and effort to build trust and connection with your hamsters. But once you use taming tricks on your pets, you will gain their confidence, and you will also learn about their nature so you can act accordingly.
There is no need for tough training like cats and dogs need. Just introducing your hamster to your body odor/scent will do the work for you.
Give Him Some Time
Every living being needs time to adapt to the new surrounding. Give your new hamster some time to know his new home. Let him roam here and there and sense things.
Do not start playing with it as soon as it comes home. Let him know you. Talk to him, but not too much.
Precautions To Take
Here are some handy precautions that you can take to minimize the risk of getting bitten by your hamster:
- Thick Gloves- Before reaching out to your pet, wear thick gloves so even if he bites, it will not hurt you. You can use garner gloves or construction gloves as they are thick enough to protect your fingers. But, never opt for plastic gloves as your pet will bite them and can get sick.
- Wash Your Hands Properly- As already told, they can mistake you for food and bite you, so wash your hands before picking your hamster up, so there is no scent of food left in your fingers.
- Рrоvіde A Suіtаblе Hоmе- Provide your hamster with an ample space enough to run, play and roam. Small cages will make them feel trapped, and they will get aggressive. Along with a big room, provide a proper bed, a corner with food and water and toys to play with. Make a house of 82x52x52 cm at least as it is the ideal size for them.
Following FAQs will help you deal with this situation more efficiently:
Yes, you can get sick from a hamster bite as they carry salmonella. Salmonella is an intestinal bacteria and can cause severe sickness.
No, a hamster always bites out of either love or fear. Or it may be feeling defensive.
Yes, if the bite pierces your skin, you might need a tetanus shot to treat it.
You should get a tetanus shot within the first 72 hours of the bite.
Hamster Bites Wrapped Up
Hamsters are not aggressive animals and do not attack their owners, but they can surely bite if they feel threatened. There are some effortless but effective ways you can follow to avoid their bites. So, next time your hamster bites you and starts bleeding, you know what to do!