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Are Hamsters Smart?

Last Updated: 30.03.20


We have learned that hamsters need proper daily exercise in order to stay happy and vigorous, and there are plenty of hamster supplies that will help them maintain a healthy lifestyle. Also, in our recent post, we have discussed how important it is to choose the right hamster tubes for your little friends.

So, we know that hamsters have beautiful and strong personalities and they make adorable little pets, but how intelligent are they? They are very good at hiding, climbing around their cage without falling, or escaping from their cage (if it’s unlocked, of course). But, do all of these qualities make them smart? We will try to answer these questions in the section below.


Close human interaction

Hamsters are clever little creatures that love to interact with people, and if you are the lucky parent, they will get so used to you that they will start to recognize you easily. And, what is even more exciting about these adorable rodents is that they will start to bond with you if you spend enough time with them.

However, this close relationship between you and your pet rodents will last only if you maintain regular contact with them. Hamsters do not bond with everyone; it is known that they only build close connections with one or two people. This means that they will socialize with your friends or your family members, but they will only bond with you and one more person.

Moreover, if you dedicate yourself plenty of time in training them, they might even start to respond to their name and they can even do tricks. This means that they are alert, and they are aware of anything that is going on around them. If they hear a new and loud voice they hide really fast because they feel threatened.

There are hamsters who prefer to socialize with their own kind, while others prefer to socialize with humans. It depends, but they are intelligent enough to build strong and close relationships with others. And, the fact that they don’t bond with too many people and they are able to recognize the ones who treat them well makes them quite smart, too.




An enhanced sense of smell and hearing

Hammies are born blind, and they have a poor vision during their whole life, which means that they recognize you by scent or voice and not by sight. So, if you want to create a strong connection with your pet rodents, it is recommended that you get them accustomed to your voice and smell.

In order to do that, you can start by placing your hand in the cage so that they can sniff on it while talking so that they can listen to your voice. In the beginning, they might not feel comfortable enough to crawl into your hand, but after a few days, you will be surprised to see how attached they have become to you.

Also, you might even discover that they will start looking for attention once they will get familiarized to you. So, sometimes when you pass by their cage, they will stand on their hind legs to make you interact with them. It is very important that you wash your hands before handling them because you don’t want to create confusion about the way you smell.

And, as we have already mentioned, it is advised that you talk to them because they have a great sense of hearing, too. Their hearing is so extraordinary, that they can communicate with frequencies that humans cannot hear. And, thanks to their enhanced sense of smell they can find, and they can identify markings and territories.


Good moods and bad moods

It is not just you who experiences bad and good moods; your hamster is thought to experience similar feelings, too. So, let’s say that your pet rodent is not behaving very well one day – he/she doesn’t want to interact with you or even worse, he/she bites your finger.

This doesn’t mean that he/she doesn’t love you anymore, it might just mean that he/she is in a bad mood. Scientific studies have shown that the way a hamster feels influences his/her behavior and his/her view on the world.

So, if you want to keep your pet from becoming gloomy, you need to pay attention to his/her comfort and well-being. A cage that will offer him/her all the necessary comfort or a bigger pile of wood chips might help him/her become more optimistic.

It is only easy to imagine that if they don’t have a healthy lifestyle with enough comfort and food, they will start feeling pessimistic and unhappy. And, the last thing that we want is to make our beloved pets feel sad! Now that we know that our pet rodents have strong feelings, we will pay more attention to the way we decide to care for them.



Problem-solving abilities

Hamsters are known to have some basic problem-solving skills like being capable of going through a maze or of reaching through a gap to get a treat. But, does this mean that they are smart? Well, we say yes, to some extent.

They are as smart as they need to be in order to be able to have a basic perception of the world around them. If you want to test your hamster’s IQ yourself, you can do that with a hamster maze.

Not only that you will get to analyze and discover how your pet rodent behaves in various difficult and challenging situations, but it will also be fun. You can make it more complicated by adding some pieces of food in certain places to see if your furry friend will find them.

And, by doing this, you will also help your pet to get the much-needed exercise because he/she will move around the cage constantly. It is a win-win for both of you! You will get to satisfy your curiosity about his/her intelligence while spending quality time with your little friend.



Irina Ionescu

As a long-term learner and animal lover, Irina helps her readers find the best products and accessories for their pets, as well as the latest training techniques, tips & tricks on how to handle animals.

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