Hamsters handled frequently from a young age usually remain docile and seldom bite. These animals of a docile nature can be gently picked up by cupping in one or both hands and held against one’s body. Beware that even docile hamsters may bite if surprised or abruptly awakened from sleep.

 Other hamsters, however, may not have received a lot of attention and handling throughout their lives, and thus may be more apprehensive and aggressive. Any animal whose personality is not fully known must be approached cautiously. The use of a small towel or gloves can assist the handler in capturing and restraining such a pet.

Another method of capture involves coaxing the animal into a container (such as a can or tube), which can then be removed from the cage. Once removed from the cage, biting hamsters can be restrained by grasping a large amount of skin at the scruff of the neck. As much skin as possible must be grasped using this method because their skin is very loose. If lightly scruffed, the hamster can easily turn around within its skin and bite the handler.