My Hamster Always Wants Attention – Is This Okay?

Hamsters are little balls of energy. Their need for attention varies depending on how comfortable your hammie is with handling and on individual needs. Do you have a hamster that is always trying to grab your attention? You may be wondering if this is normal behavior or if your little furball is trying to tell you something. We have done the research to break down this behavior and explain what it could mean. 

It is okay and normal for your hamster to want your attention. The degree or amount of attention needed is different for each individual pet. For some, it is normal to want attention all the time. If the need for attention is a recent and sudden change with your hamster, this can indicate an underlying cause. 

Hamsters all have different personalities, and figuring out your hammie's quirks are all part of the fun. Read on as we discuss why your hamster may want your attention all of a sudden and how much attention they really need. 

European field hamster, My Hamster Always Wants Attention - Is This Okay?

Why Does My Hamster Want My Attention?

Hamsters are very curious creatures. They tend always to be looking for the next adventure or new item to explore. One reason your hamster wants your attention is simply curiosity. Handling and giving your furry friend attention provides them with some stimulation at the very least. If your hamster is looking at you with erect ears, this means they are curious about what you are doing, and they want to be involved. 

In cases where your hamster is seemingly begging for your attention out of nowhere, they may be bored. If attention-seeking isn't normal behavior for your hammie, the new need for it usually indicates that something has changed. It could be time for a new toy or larger cage. Keeping your hamster entertained is a large and important aspect of hamster care. 

Cute hamster close up

Read more on our blog post, Is My Hamster Bored? (And What To Do About It).

Hamsters can bond with their owners. This bond can create a need for attention. If your hamster has bonded to you, you have become a source of trust and happiness for them. Being that hamsters are lone animals in the wild, they typically will only bond with one or two humans. If you are one of these humans, giving them your attention adds to their happiness and quality of life. 

Do Hamsters Need A Lot Of Attention?

Hamsters do need some attention, but not necessarily a lot of attention. This really comes down to your hamster's preference. If your hamster is used to being handled, they may expect to be taken out of their cages and played with often. Other hamsters like a little attention and more time to explore on their own.

Playing with a domestic hamster/lemming at home

The degree of needed attention differs, but all hamsters need enough stimulation in their life to keep them active, healthy, and happy. This stimulation can come from toys, treats, cage furniture, playpens, adventure time with you, and more. 

Read more on our blog post, Do Hamsters Like To Be Petted?

How Much Attention Do Hamsters Need A Day?

If your hamster enjoys and wants your attention often, it is ideal to spend at least an hour with them a day. They are nocturnal creatures, making the early morning or evening prime playtime. Daily handling and attention are great for exercise and strengthens the bond between your hamster and you. 

Hamster in its ball hold by human hands

Giving your hamster attention can be simple, like letting them hang out in your pocket or on your shoulder. You can spend time gently petting them or bring in some fun toys like an exercise ball or obstacle course. 

These small tunnels are great for adding some fun out of the cage. Find it here, on Amazon.

Read more on our blog post, How Should You Play With Your Hamster?

How Often Should I Hold My Hamster?

Your hamster should be held at least once a day. This consistent and frequent handling allows the bond between owner and hamster to strengthen and adds to your hamster's happiness. When you first get a hamster, there may need to be some trust-building before you can pet and pick them up freely. 

Child hands holding a dwarf hamster

To break the ice with your hamster, you can try having your hands in the cage for a short time to allow them to get used to your presence and smell. Picking up a hamster should always be done carefully and softly. Our hamsters are small, sensitive creatures. 

The short video below showcases the correct way to hold a hamster. 

Why Is My Hamster So Hyper All Of A Sudden?

Sudden or abrupt changes in your hamster's behavior can mean something out of the norm is going on. A suddenly hyper hamster can mean that they have become bored. Your hammie is at risk of boredom if they lose interest in their toys, aren't getting enough exercise, or the space in their enclosure isn't sufficient. Hamsters have a ton of energy. Just a short time being bored can lead them to have bursts of hyperactivity. 

Funny angry hamster with an open mouth (on a white background), selective focus on the hamster eyes

Another reason for this sudden surge of energy can be stress. Stress in hamsters can be caused by a lack of mental stimulation, a change in their environment, or a dirty enclosure. It is common for a hamster to become hyperactive and even show signs of aggression when experiencing stress. A hyper hamster exhibiting teeth chattering behavior is showing a sign they are stressed and will bite. 

Little girl with cute hamster in pocket at home, closeup

To help prevent stress and boredom, keep your hamster entertained with new toys, consistently clean their homes, and ensure they have enough time out of their cage to explore. A happy hamster makes for a happy pet owner.  

How To Know If Your Hamster Wants To Play?

If your hamster has taken a liking to you and wants you to play, they'll often be trying to grab your attention.  If your hamster comes up to their cage door or bars when you walk past, they want to know what you're up to. You can try sticking your hand in their home and seeing how they react. If your hammie runs up to your hand and starts climbing or sniffing around you, they want to play. 

Some hamsters will try to show off to let you know they want to play. Our furry friends try to show off by engaging with their not-so-frequented toys, running a bit quicker, or climbing the cage bars. Showing off is a statement that they are happy to see you and would like to play. 

Read more on our blog post, Does My Hamster Actually Know Me?

In Summary 

It can be normal for your hamster always to want your attention if it fits their personality. If attention-seeking is a new or sudden behavior change, this can indicate that your hamster is experiencing boredom or stress. Keeping your hamster happy requires sufficient cage space, exercise time, and mental stimulation. The amount of attention needed really depends on your hamster. Some of our pets are more of a loner type, while others can bond to you. Our bonded hamsters typically like more attention and handling time.

Spending time with your hamster can mean a ride in your pocket, quality time in the playpen, or a roll around in an exercise ball. Like all things, this is up to your hamster's preference. It is beneficial to play around with different activities during quality time to keep your furball mentally stimulated and find what it is they love most. 

Want more tips on how to increase your hamster's quality of life? Have a look at our blog post, 25 Ways To Make Your Hamster Happy.

Alyson Maticic
Alyson Maticic
Articles: 25

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