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Gerbils & Hamsters/Roborovski hamster qustion


Dear Feliciano,we have a female roborovski hamster that we bought seven months ago.She has always been handled with woollen gloves as after in the past getting bitten by Russian hamsters we're nervous about getting bitten again...however we've been told its unlikely for a roborovski hamster to bite as they are friendly affectionate little animals,although are timid and easily scared.

We have now stopped wearing gloves but ''Dinky'' will not come near us now and wont let us pick her up and handle her without us wearing gloves..but we don't want to wear gloves anymore,espcially as her claws keep getting stuck to the woollen gloves and this seems to be making her scared.It might mean a visit to a vet to have her claws trimmed but that will be nigh on impossible as she wont be handled with bare hands therefore she isn't going to let the vet pick her up let alone trim her nails,and the vet would most likely lose her as she'd jump out of his/her hands and we don't want to risk losing little Dinky as we love her dearly so is there anyway we can get her nails worn down without her going to a vet as she'd be terrified,and how do we get her to accept been picked up and handled without us wearing gloves cause she just hates bare hands and wont let us pick her up and handle her unless we put the gloves back on?

Does it mean we'll just have to handle her wearing gloves for the rest of her life now or is there some way to get her over been terrified of handling her bare handed.

We're hoping to get another robo next year and we're going to handle her bare handed right from the start.

Hi Hazel,

I had this problem with my last hamster Whiskers. She was quite jumpy, and she was a syrian hamster.
I wouldn't say that it's impossible to handle your roborovski hamster, but it will be quite a challenge. What you will have to do is basically re-introduce yourself to her. That meaning, letting her sniff your scent on your hand more. To do this, offer her food from your hands-but not all the time so she won't mistake your hands for food. The issue is that she has gotten used to being handled with woollen gloves, and she recognizes this as being apart of her owner-so naturally she will feel like whoever is trying to handle her is foreign.

I believe that the mistake that you made was wearing the gloves for too long. If you decide to get another robo, only handle the hamster with gloves until it gets used to being picked up, then dissolve the use of gloves.

Some ways to familiarate your scent is to rub some of her bedding in your hands and put it back down in the cage. Try this for a week before introducing your hand as a substitute to the glove. If this doesn't work, then I would seek a vet for a more therapeutic approach.

Hope all is well,


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I can answer questions about Syrian Hamsters, Winter White Hamsters, Roborovski Hamsters, Chinese Hamsters and Campbell's Hamsters. Questions concerning hamster health, pregnancy, diet, and bonding can be answered. I have over 20 years of experience with hamsters. I have owned every type of hamster.


I have over 20 years of hamster experience. I got my first hamster at age 6-a syrian hamster name Buttons. Also, a chinese hamster, a white hamster, a roborvski, and a black syrian hamster name Midnight.

Over 20 years of hamster experience since the age of 6.

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