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Why is my hamster biting me?

Species: Other
Breed: Winter White
Age: 1-2 years
My hamster bites me only when I take him out of his ball or exercise wheel. Even on the day I bought him, the first time I held him, he never bit me. Then I got a bunny and a double Decker rabbit hutch. I moved the hamster to his new home. I had the hamster on the top and the bunny on the bottom. I told the pet store person that he was biting me and he suggested moving the hamster because he was mad at me for getting a bunny. I recently did, and about 3 or 4 days ago, I tried picking him up out of his cage, and he bit me 3 times. Why is he still biting me ?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Sorry to hear that you are having this problem!

Some hamsters are really prone to biting. I have been bitten a few times by my hamster patients.

Most hamsters do not enjoy being handled. If your hamster used to allow you to pick him up and now he doesn't it may be that he has fear, and it is possible that that fear came from being so close to the bunny.

Here is what I suggest. Is there a treat that your hamster likes such as a piece of vegetable? Next time Ewok is in his wheel, hold out your hand next to the wheel and offer him a treat. Don't make any attempt to pick him up until you have done this for a few days in a row and he is coming willingly to you.

He needs to learn that he does not need to have fear.

I hope he does better soon!

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.