Hamsters are very popular pets, especially with kids. They are primarily independent and easy to care for, and some owners even claim to develop strong connections with their hamsters.
If you own a hamster and have developed a sentimental bond, you may be wondering how deep that bond can go. Hamsters, like other creatures, have simple emotions. They learn a lot about their owner in the first few weeks, which can tell them a lot about how you may be feeling. While they cannot read your emotions, they can pick up when you are acting differently.
Can Hamsters Feel Your Emotions?
If you take note of your body language when feeling a particular emotion, you will notice certain gestures and postures. Hamsters can do something similar, where they recognize your body language or tone of voice.
This usually happens when you have a strong bond with your hamster. They typically become bonded through scent. They don’t have the best eyesight but have a good sense of smell. This excellent sense of smell will help the hamster discern if it’s you picking it up. They also learn the sound of your voice and will know if you are calling them. A Hamster usually bonds with only one or two people, and once it has bonded with its owner, it will be able to notice changes in voice tone and body language.
Do Hamsters Know When You Are Sad?
As we mentioned before, your hamster can read your body language and tone of voice, which is, in some way, a method to read if you are sad or happy. Your body language may show your hamster that something has changed if you are unhappy. When you are sad, you will typically move a bit slower, be more hesitant and withdrawn, your head will hang lower, and your voice will be a little deeper. Your hamster will pick up on these external signs and know something is different.
The same can happen when you are happy. You will have more of a bounce in your step, your voice will have a happier tone, and you will be more playful, which your hamster will likely be more responsive to.
This is how your hamster noticing the change of body language and tone and voice can seem like it is picking up on your emotions. Again, your hamster will only pick up on these changes if it knows you well and you share a bond. If you don’t see your hamster often, it won’t be too familiar with how you act and won’t notice the difference in your behavior.
How to Tell If Your Hamster Notices a Difference in Your Emotions
While hamsters can’t verbally communicate whether or not they understand how you are feeling, they can occasionally show that they sense something different about you.
If your hamster picks up that your tone of voice is lower, and you are not as playful, you may notice that it still stays close to you. You may also see that your hamster sometimes runs over to check on you from time to time. Basically, you will know your hamster is reacting to your change in behavior if its behavior also changes.
If you share a strong bond with your hamster, you can find comfort in knowing that your pet is aware that you are feeling something different, as it understands when you are not yourself.
How to Bond with Your Hamster
For your hamster to understand your moods and behavior caused by your emotions, it’s important to have a solid bond. To bond with your hamster, you need to gain its trust. Your hamster will typically not trust you initially, and gaining it may take some time.
Open the cage each day and allow your hamster to smell your hands. Don’t attempt to pick it up; allow it to get familiar with your smell. Continue to do this every day until your hamster willingly climbs onto your hand. Gently pet your hamster but avoid any quick movements as it may startle it.
You can also hand-feed your hamster vegetables to gain its trust. This way, it will also become familiar with your scent. One day you may enjoy your hamster eating from your hand while perched on your shoulder or watching it sleep curled up in your pocket.
You can also talk to your hamster softly and gently so that It becomes familiar with your voice. If you are having a conversation on the phone, sit near your hamster so that it can hear your voice in different tones.
Tips to Keep Your Hamster Safe
Your hamster’s living space is where it will spend the majority of its time, so it must meet all the necessary criteria for your pet to stay safe. If your hamster doesn’t feel safe, it may also affect its ability to bond with you.
While hamsters can’t sense human emotions per se, they can understand a change in body language and tone of voice, which helps them realize that something is different. However, hamsters can only do this with their owner, who they have bonded with, and not strangers. When you are sad, your tone of voice is usually lower, your body is more slouched, and you are generally less playful, which your hamster will pick up on. The hamster does not necessarily understand that you are sad but knows that you are not yourself.
Featured Image Credit: JarkkoManty, Pixabay