Bitten by a Hamster?

If you are a hamster owner and he or she hasn’t bitten you, consider yourself lucky. Most people are not that lucky. In fact, they could be alarming and you might wonder why they hurt you. Hamsters may bite you for different reasons, and it is vital that you act swiftly to remedy those bites. So, in this article, we will be covering the reasons for those bites and all the important factors you need to be aware of.

Whenever you come across a situation like this, it is critical that you look after yourself as well as the hamsters to ensure that both are doing well and healthy. Thereafter you could determine the reason as to why they bite you and act accordingly to avoid it happening again. So, continue reading this article to educate yourself in this regard.

Hamster bite warning signs

Hamsters are fast-responding creatures that may stare at you for a while before they bite you. Next, they would charge against you and get ready to bite you. Once they bit you they would run back to the cage aggressively. Besides, if you spot your hamsters have bitten the cage it literally means they are under stress and may bite you.

Why does my hamster bite me lightly?

Tamed hamsters would bite you lightly. Once you handle the hamsters for a longer period they would be tamed and get familiar with you. Hence, they would bite you lightly to indicate that they are happy and content. On the other hand, they may bite you lightly if they are starving too.

Do hamsters give love bites?

Hamsters may give you little nibbles and they would do that as a way of showing their love towards the hamster’s owners. This is a commonly spotted characteristic among the majority of mammals such as cats and dogs. Mammals including hamsters would nurse on their mother’s breasts and once you breed them as pets they would bite you lightly as they are comfortable with you. In fact, they would get the feeling that they are secure and in safe hands just like they are with the mother hamsters. So, if you happen to experience this, you don’t have to be worried at all since you can consider this as a massive compliment from your beloved hamsters.

And in other times, if you don’t wash your hands properly after eating, your fingers may carry left food particles on your hands. So, hamsters may assume that your fingers may have food and try to feed on them. So, to avoid that happening ensure that you handle your hands properly and that there is no trace of food remaining on the fingers.

Why has my hamster started biting me?

Hamsters may bite you due to numerous reasons. For example, mistaken identity, fear, exposure to new people, and new environments are some of these reasons. It is noteworthy that hamsters’ bites could turn out to be painful and you may want to avoid that situation from happening again. Hamsters are not aggressive animals in general. So if you experience any biting from the hamsters, it literally means something is wrong with your hamsters. In that aspect, the very first thing you need to do is to determine why they bite you. Hamsters are tiny little creatures and they may figure out when something is wrong and get scared quite faster.

Let’s discuss the reasons for this in detail.

Mistaken identity

Hamster confused with identifying

Hamsters often depend on the scent. So, they will use scent to look for food and identify the threats and risks around them. So, there could be chances where the hamsters may probably get confused with identifying those smells and end up biting you. Suppose that you are interacting with the hamsters right after a meal without washing their hands properly, then chances are that they may mistake your fingers for food and end up biting them at the end. So, make sure that you wash your hands properly and then start petting them to avoid this happening. Besides, it would ensure that you are not passing any bacteria to the hamsters as well.

Hamsters get startled or feel fearful

One of the commonly spotted reasons for the hamster’s bites is when they startle or feel fearful. For example, loud noises, sudden movements and waking them up from sleep are some root causes that would make them frightened.

So, whenever you are interacting with the hamsters you should ensure that they are feeling comfy and secure. The best is to handle them gently and slowly.

Holding the hamster tightly

Do not ever knock on their belongings at any time as it may also obstruct their peace. Besides, I suggest you let the hamsters smell your hands before you start petting them. Furthermore, you could allow them to climb onto your hands so that they will feel even better. Do not force them to do anything ever.

New environments or new people

Exposure to new environments would be traumatizing for them. In fact, they may go through some high-stress levels when they are moving to a new environment and it is quite normal. In other words, they may be somewhat stressed and disconformable during and after the transition period. So, when the hamsters go through this condition, chances are that they may bite you quite frequently. However, they don’t do that with the purpose of annoying you. So, when you are trying to get closer to them, always try to be slow and gentle.

To do this, you can be tactful by providing them with food, water and some treats which would attract them to you. Not only that but also, you could consider placing toys in their cages to make them comfy. Refrain from allowing the strangers to handle the hamsters as they would want some time to create bonds with people.

Hamsters are naturally aggressive

Do not be misguided by their appearance, hamsters are aggressive in general. When they grow in the wild, they are considered as the prey animals since their sizes are small. As such, hamsters  act aggressively to defend themselves. So that they can survive. Wild Hamsters are renowned for their fight knee-jerk reaction that they usually do when they get involved in a fight.

That being said, the hamsters you breed at home may also have this instinct. So, whenever these domestic hamsters sense something, they would put their guards up and defend themselves. They would defend them irrespective of whom they are dealing with. For example, it could be a human, a predator animal, or even a hamster from the same family. This is exactly why you cannot have more than one hamster in one cage. If you happen to keep them in one cage, they would end up getting into fights that turn out to be really aggressive and fatal.

Do hamster bites hurt?

Generally speaking, hamster bites do hurt. Once a hamster bites you, it will leave you with a small but painful wound. The severity of the wound may depend on the hamster species as well as the tolerance level you have for the animal bites. If I further describe this, the hamster bites from small hamster species such as dwarf hamsters are not that painful and intense. That is because they are small. That said they would bite you more compared to the larger species of hamsters.

If we look at the larger Syrian hamsters, they may bite you less, but their bites may hurt you a lot compared to the other species. However, whenever you come across any bites from the hamsters, you need to make sure that you wash the wounds well and treat the wound well to avoid severe repercussions.

Do hamster bites draw blood?

Yes, hamsters draw blood when they bite you. They would bite you if they felt any danger from you and end up drawing blood as well. However, all these hamster bites may result in wounds and chances are that they may turn out to be deep. Therefore, you need to wash the wounds and clean them properly so it would avoid any adverse effects. Ensure that you use soap and water to do cleaning purposes.

Are hamster bites dangerous?

Hamster Bites could turn out to be dangerous as they may cause commensal bacteria in the bitten person’s skin. In fact, chances are that hamster bites may lead to rabies, Francisella tularensis etc. Besides, it may also transmit lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus as well.

Do I need to see a doctor for a hamster bite?

It is always best if you could get a doctor to check on you if the hamster bit you. That said, one might think that it will not be possible to go to a doctor at the very moment they bite you. However, it is vital that you pay a visit to the doctor as promptly as you could. They will see whether there are any signs of infection around the wound and prescribe medication or vaccine if it is necessary.

Hamster bite infection

If your hamster bit, you may have to face the risk of being diagnosed with

Hamster bite infection symptoms

Some of the hamster bite infection symptoms are such as sudden fever, chills, headache, diarrhea etc. In addition to that there will be symptoms such as muscle aches, joint pains, dry cough and progressive weakness as well. They may transmit a germ called Francisella tularensis.

Can you get rabies from a hamster bite?

Yes, you may get rabies from a hamster bite if the hamsters happen to suffer from rabies. However, it is very unlikely that they will get this condition. However, if they suffer from rabies, it would even make them tempted to bite the humans.

Does a hamster bite need tetanus?

No, it is not necessary to get tetanus for the hamster bites. Consider that you had already received a tetanus shot or if you have had previous bites from the hamsters all you need to do is clean the wounds carefully and disinfect the wounds. However, it is always best to watch out if you could spot any signs of tetanus symptoms. For example, see whether you develop muscle spasms or severe headaches. Besides, if you feel you are in some discomfort and feel exhausted you need to seek immediate medical help.

So, whenever a hamster bites you, ensure that you act fast and try to treat it. So, if you happen to come across these signs, you can consider having tetanus shot five days after the hamster bite. However, if you are not certain about what to do, I suggest you visit a doctor and they may probably prescribe an antibiotic injection for you and not a tetanus shot.

So, to sum up, it is very unlikely that you will get tetanus from hamster bites, not a single case has been reported so far. That said, hamsters may probably contain tetanus germs and the best you could do is to get a medical opinion as soon as possible. Tetanus would usually spread from difficult-to-heal wounds.

What to do if a hamster bites you?

Hamster bites could be painful as they have long teeth which can puncture into your skin. However, this doesn’t mean that you need to be scared of the hamsters. That said there are some important things which you need to keep in mind when dealing with these.

First, ensure that you don’t shake the hamsters to remove them. Instead, try to lower them to their cage. If they don’t go to the cage naturally, gently prise them away. Always be soft-spoken to the hamsters as if you shout at them they may get scared and bite you once again. Thereafter clean the wound whilst using warm water and with an anti-bacterial solution.

Ensure the wound is dry and after that, you could place a loose bandage piece and do the dressing. Check the wound in about two days’ time to see whether you could see any swelling. If you spot and swelling best would be to go ahead with antibiotics. If you had kept the hamsters at home for a longer period, it is very unlikely that they would catch any disease. However, if they bite you it would be painful for you. Thus try to avoid that reoccurring in the future.

What happens if a hamster bites you and it bleeds?

There will be nothing much happening if a hamster bites you and starts to bleed. However, you need to ensure that you wash and clean the wound properly as promptly as you can. You need to ideally use soap and water and then keep inspecting the wound for some time. In fact, you need to check whether it tends to become an infection.

Hamster bite won’t stop bleeding

If the hamster-bitten place doesn’t stop bleeding, you could consider using antibiotic cream. It will help to stop the bleeding of the wound. Besides, I urge you to go to the doctor as soon as you can. They will closely check up on the wound and recommend the best treatments and medications for you. Make sure that you do this as promptly as you could if you suspect there is an infection around the wounds.

My hamster won’t stop biting me

If the hamsters have not interacted with humans a lot, they may bite you constantly whenever you try to interact with them. So give them some time and try to interact with them with patients. Remember they are very small and fragile animals, they first see you as a big scary predator. So you need to make sure you are not going to eat them or harm them. When they understand you are a friendly creature they will stop biting.

On the other hand, if your hamster acts aggressively all the time and tries to hide, you should take them to the veterinarian. They might have a disease condition. Be careful when handling these kinds of animals.

Hamster bite wound

Whenever a hamster bites you, it will leave you with a wound. You have to clean that wound with soap and water. Further, if you leave it unattended chances are that it could result in an infection. A commensal bacteria from the hamster’s mouth would lead to the infection. As such, it is very important that you clean the wound thoroughly so that it would not lead to any infections.

Hamster bite marks

Unlike dogs and cats, hamsters have very small needle-like teeth. Therefore they will not leave a big mark when they bite you.

My hamster bites everything

Does your hamster bite everything

If you happen to see your hamster bite everything, it would literally mean that the hamsters are bored and anxious. So, if you spot the hamsters biting everything they come across, make sure that you look into that matter and try to rectify it. Keep in mind that it is not healthy and if you let them do that constantly it would lead to severe repercussions. So to keep them busy you can provide hamster wheels and other kinds of toys for them. And allow a few minutes per day to play and interact with them. That will not only cure their boredom and also make a strong relationship between you and your hamster.

Which hamster doesn’t bite?

Usually, if the hamsters presume that you are not a threat to them, they would not bother biting you. That said, Syrian hamsters in particular bite you very less when compared to the other hamster species.

How do I get my hamster to stop biting me

To briefly explain the things which could stop the hamsters from biting you, you could consider being gentle with them, playing with them and fulfilling the basic needs of the hamsters, etc. Besides, you need to tame the hamsters, introduce your scent and gain their trust to stop them from biting you.

Taming your hamsters

The very first thing you need to do to avoid them biting you is taming the hamsters. You need to start doing this at the very moment you bring them home. Leave them in their cage for about one weeks’ time so that they can settle in the new environment and get familiar with the new conditions. After about one week’s time, you can start taming the hamsters.

The purpose of doing the taming is to introduce the scent to your hamsters. Besides, you can be comfortable with them and try to build trust between the hamsters and you as well. However when you do this try to avoid wearing perfume as much as you can. Further, do not use scented hand soap also. Instead, try to have your natural scent and let the hamsters get familiar with your scent. You should not get scared of the hamsters. However, if you are scared, you could protect yourself by wearing thick gloves so that even if the hamsters bite they will not be that painful. That said if your hamster bite you accidentally or purposely it is normal for you to get scared.

It would be somewhat challenging to build the trust of the hamsters. In fact, even if the hamsters get to know you they may act aggressive if they are in stress or in fear. So, you need to convince them that you are not hurting them. Try giving them some food to make them comfortable and relieved.

Observe the hamster’s behavior

Make sure that you observe the hamster’s behavior properly so that you can learn about their likes as well as their dislikes. To be more precise, Syrian Hamsters like to interact with others whereas the Roborosvski hamsters may stay alone. Suppose that hamsters are not fond of noise, your perfume or the bright lights, then it would be best to avoid them. That will consequently create a comfortable atmosphere for the hamsters.

Provide a suitable home

Providing a suitable home would help you to stop them from biting you. Literally, you need to provide a spacious enclosure that has the right floor size for them. Once the hamsters have adequate space, they can live in comfort and stay happy too. In addition to that, hamsters should get perfect bedding, and toys to play with as well. Once the hamsters have everything they need, they will stay happy and avoid biting you.

Don’t forcefully pick up the hamsters

Avoid forcing your hamsters to interact with you even after you tame them. Instead, allow them to come to you when they are ready. That way also, you could avoid the hamsters from biting you.

Never ever wake them up

Hamsters are usually up at night and sleep during the day. So, when they are fast asleep, do not try to wake them up as it would disturb them. if you obstruct their sleep, it would make them go into a bad mood which may ultimately result in biting you. It would not be healthy for the relationship between the hamsters and you and it would only make the hamsters stressed out. That being said, if you are cleaning their cages and if they seem to be sleeping you may have to wake them up. However, when you do this you can bribe them by giving them some food so that it would make them happy once you do this.

Hamster bite-proof gloves

If your hamster tends to bite you quite often I recommend you to wear hamster bite-proof gloves as they would protect you from the hamster’s bites. Those proof gloves are resistant to cuts and punctures as well.


To conclude, if your hamster bites you should direct the hamsters to their cages gently and start caring for the wounds as soon as you can. Thereafter try to determine why they bite you and then at it. Once you determine the root cause for the biting and at it, they would not bite you again.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Hamster biting itself

If you spot your beloved hamster biting themselves, it could be most probably due to dry skin, managing mites etc. Besides, they may bite themselves if they are suffering from an allergic reaction as well. So better to take them to see the vet.

Why does my dwarf hamster keep biting me?

If the hamsters are not friendly with you, they may keep biting you. You can find more details from above.

Do Chinese dwarf hamsters bite?

If these hamsters are not friendly with you, they may bite you. Further, if you try to irritate them, they will end up biting you.

Russian dwarf hamster biting?

Russian Dwarf hamsters may bite you if they are in fear or if they feel like they are exposed to a threat. They would do that as a defensive mechanism.

Do Roborovski dwarf hamsters bite?

Roborovski dwarf hamsters are small in size and bite you more often. Hence these are not the type of hamsters you want to have at your home particularly if there are kids around.

Should I be worried about a hamster bite?

You do not need to worry about hamster bites. That said, they may also result in deep puncture wounds where you may have to immediately consult a doctor and get their opinion.

How do you pick up a Syrian hamster without it biting you?

Try to hold on to the hamsters by having some treats in your hands. Try scooping them up using both your hands. Best is to place one hand on either side of the hamster and next bring both your hands slowly to their belly and pick them up. Don’t hold onto them roughly, instead try to be gentle with them.

Can a hamster bite kill you?

It could be dangerous and chances are that it could even kill people if you don’t treat them.

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