Why Do Hamsters Bite The Cage? How To Stop Them From Biting The Cage?

Pet Hamsters,like most other cage animals they too spend most of their time in their cage. Therefore you might have noticed them chewing on their cage bars and and wondered why do they do so? Are they unwell? Is there a problem with the cage? Or is he just curious?

As an inquisitive Hamster owner I did some research and here is what I found!

Hamster loves to chew on things. They will chew on anything and everything in their reach. However, we must discourage them from biting the cage because the metal bars might end up hurting their mouth and teeth. Also, biting their cage bars might be a sign of boredom, lack of mental stimulation, not enough room in the cage, or even due to improper diet.

Their teeth grow throughout their lifetime therefore do need to chew on things to keep their teeth healthy and well-shaped.

Although biting their cage sometimes is a natural behavior and there is no need to be alarmed about it.

But if you notice them biting the bars all the time, then you might need to investigate the matter thoroughly.

Is It Normal For Hamsters To Chew On Their Cage?

It is a completely normal behavior in Hamsters to chew on their cages. However, we must discourage them from doing so because the metal bars might end up hurting their mouth and teeth.

Also, some of the cages are coated with cheap chemical paints, which can make your Hamster ill when ingested.

Although your Hamsters might chew on the bars sometimes, if they do it frequently then you should take some action.

So, how can we discourage our little ones from chewing the bars? For this, we first need to find out the cause of why they are doing so.

What Does It Mean When Your Hamster Bites The Cage?

If your Hamster bites the cage frequently, then there is a possibility that something might be bothering them.

A lot of factors can trigger this kind of behavior in your little one, so let us have a look and find out why your Hamster are biting the cage:

To Maintain Their Teeth

Hamster teeth are different from human teeth. Their teeth grow throughout their lifetime.

These teeth need to be worn down to keep them healthy. If the tooth starts to overgrown, then your Hamster might have trouble eating and drinking.

 Therefore, to keep the teeth worn out, Hamsters need to keep chewing on different things. They chew on vegetables, hay, cardboard boxes, plastic, chew toys, and sometimes even metal bars if they do not have enough things to gnaw on.

Some Hamsters chew on plastic and metal things to keep their teeth worn out while others do it just out of curiosity.

Small Cage

Your Hamster must be provided with at least a 30-40 gallon tank or say 4 square feet of space and 20 inches height square feet of space to be stress-free, and happy.

If your Hamsters do not have a decent cage size with enough space to eat, play, and exercise, then they might try to escape it.

Usually, cages displayed in the local pet stores or the ones you get when you buy your Hamster are far too small for them. Your little ones will surely be not comfortable in those tiny cages.

Therefore it is common for Hamsters to bite their cage when do not have enough living space.

Boredom And Lack Of Stimulation

Hamsters are active animals. They cannot sit quietly in one place for a very long time.

You must try choosing different varieties of toys so that your furry friend never gets bored. If they start to get bored then they will probably start biting the cage.

Not having anything play with, lack of toys, or less area to run around make then lethargic, which triggers the habit of biting the cage.

Lack Of Floor Time

Although Hamsters can live in cages, they need some time outside of their cage to run around and play.

Picture Credits: Dora, The Syrian Hamster; Instagram Handle: thehamstercalledmouse

Just let them out in an open and spacious room with closed drafts and ventilations, so that your little friend does not escape.

If possible let them out for at least 1-2 hours each day. This will also help you to bond with your Hamster.

Playpen is another great idea. You can get your Hamsters a playpen, this way they can spend some time outside of their cage. This will also help in keeping things spiced up.

I love this playpen, it covers your Hamsters from all sides including the top. It is a great choice if you wish to leave your Hamsters out for some floor time on your deck on inside or even outside.

Not Enough Food Or Veggies

Food plays the role of a keystone in your Hamster’s life, despite the age and breed. You should make sure that you are providing your Hamster a suitable amount of nutrition.

A balanced diet is important to keep your Hamster happy and healthy. A perfect combination of dry pellets, fruitsvegetables, and treats is crucial.

If your Hamsters do not get enough fresh food daily, they might start biting the cage bars.

Although such circumstances are rare occurrences, still it is possible.

Looking For Your Attention

Some Hamsters start to bite their cage when they get a glimpse of their owners or when they see their owners coming from a far distance.

Picture Credits: Dora, The Syrian Hamster; Instagram Handle: thehamstercalledmouse

Whenever your Hamster is looking for your attention they might start to nibble on the cage bars.

Also, if your Hamsters know that they are going to get a treat from you, then in such cases, they might start biting the cage out of excitement.

Also Read:

What Can Hamsters Chew On?

Some of the most common things your Hamsters can chew on are crumbled paper or paper bags, wooden chew sticks, cardboard boxes, hay chew balls, etc.

You can also check out a wide range of chew toys for your Hamsters here.

You can get all these at an affordable price on Amazon. Check out the links above!

There are a lot of more options out there. However, these are some of the safest options for them.

How Do I Get My Hamsters To Stop Biting The Cage?

By now you could have already understood what are various reasons which make your Hamsters bite their cage.

Now let us check out some of the possible solutions to make them stop biting their cage.

Provide Them With Adequate Chew Toys

Chew toys are a must for your little ones. Hamster teeth are different from human teeth. Their teeth grow throughout their lifetime.

Chew toys help to keep their teeth healthy and well-shaped. Wooden chew toys are ideal. Make sure the piece of wood you are buying from local pet stores is free from any kind of pesticides or chemicals.

Do make sure you get a Hamster safe chew toys for them as all toys available in the market are not suitable for your little ones.

You can check out this set of 10, Hamster Chew Toys, your Hamster will surely love it.

Get Them A Larger Cage

The first thing you should be considerate about is the size of the enclosure. Always remember that the enclosure will be your Hamster’s home. Get them an appropriate enclosure which has enough space for them to play and run around.

We can say that your Hamster must be provided with at least a 30-40 gallon tank or say 4 square feet of space and 20 inches height square feet of space to be comfortable.

I personally would recommend a glass enclosure or a plastic bin type enclosure for your Hamsters.

Besides holding your Hamster against chewing the bar(because there will be no bars, haha)will also make sure that your pet does not escape through tiny openings, keeping himself safe.

Increase Their Floor Time

Exercise is important not only to keep your Hamster fit and healthy but also to keep them happy.

Just let them out in an open and spacious room with closed drafts and ventilation, so that your little friend does not escape.

If possible let them out for at least 1-2 hours each day. This will also help you to bond with your Hamster.

If you have not been able to provide them with it just yet, then you must consider doing so now.

Lack of exercise can lead to various health complications in Hamsters. It can also make your Hamster obese.

Exercise also helps your Hamsters to keep their bodies warm, which is excellent for those cold days.

Provide Them With Fresh Veggies Regularly

A balanced diet is important to keep your Hamster happy and healthy. A perfect combination of dry pellets, fruits, vegetables, and treats is crucial.

Picture Credits: Mouse, The Syrian Hamster; Instagram Handle: thehamstercalledmouse

Fresh vegetables not only provide Hamsters with essential vitamins and minerals but also helps them grind out their teeth and keep them in shape.

They love to chew and munch on their veggies like anything. So, providing enough fresh vegetables is a great way to stop them from chewing cage bars.

Toys, Hideouts, Etc. For Mental Stimulation

Hamsters are active animals. They cannot sit quietly in one place for a very long time.

Toys can enrich your Hamsters life and always keeps them engaged. Besides keeping them engaged, toys also help Hamsters to work out. 

Many Hamsters bite their cage just out of boredom, and having enough toys will keep them busy, thus preventing them from doing so.

Try choosing different varieties of toys so that your furry friend never gets bored.

For hideouts, you can either get a wooden made hiding spaces for your Hamsters or fleece made snuggle bed, which they can get into and feel at home. These are some of my favorites.

Spend Time With Your Hamsters

It is essential to build a bond with your Hamster, creating the trust can enable your Hamster to respond to you when you call them.

Picture Credits: Mouse, The Syrian Hamster; Instagram Handle: thehamstercalledmouse

It is best to get on the ground or crouch low on the ground whenever you are playing with your Hamster. This will help your Hamster feel more comfortable and at home. You will not be accepted as a tall and arrogant animal.

It would be best if you made sure that there are no other pets or people in the room so that you can easily enjoy some quality time with your Hamster.

It is seen that if you have a good bond with your little one, then the habit of cage biting is something unusual.

Apply Some Mild Vinegar

Although using vinegar is not the best option out there, but if nothing else works, you can give it a try.

Apply some mild vinegar to your Hamster’s cage bars. Then, when they bite or chew the bars, the taste and the smell can prevent them from chewing it.

It is advised to try this only as a last resort and keep an eye on your Hamsters. Do not apply the vinegar in excess as some Hamsters may get sick from the strong smell of the vinegar.

Related Queries

Can Hamsters Chew On Plastic?

You should not let your Hamster chew on plastic or any other such stuff.

Hamsters have sharp teeth and when they chew on plastic they can tear it into pieces. If any piece of the plastic is swallowed even by mistake then it can harm your Hamster as it is indigestible.

Therefore, it is best to avoid plastic.

Can Hamsters Chew On Cardboard?

Hamsters can chew on cardboard without any doubt. You just have to make sure that there is no adhesive or chemicals attached to it.

It has been often noticed that some Hamsters shred and eat the cardboard. This can be bad for their health, if your Hamsters eat some bits of it, then you should not use it else it is okay if they only shred it into pieces.

Can Hamsters Chew On Coroplast?

Hamsters can chew on coroplast. However, you must make sure that they do not swallow small bits of the same.

Until they are just chewing the edges and not ingesting the material itself, then it is completely fine to do so.

Till date, there has been no report of any ill effect of chewing coroplast in Hamsters.

Can Hamsters Chew On Chopsticks?

You should avoid giving chopsticks to your Hamsters.

Most chopsticks are made of spruce, which is a toxic wood for Hamster. Therefore, it is best to avoid it.

Can Hamsters Chew On Popsicle Stick?

Yes, Hamsters can chew on popsicle stick. Popsicle sticks are made up of beech, which is entirely safe for Hamsters to chew on.

Can Hamsters Chew On Dog Treats?

Hamsters can chew on dog treats but you must be careful of the ingredients it contains.

Some of the ingredients to avoid are pork, salt, preservatives, by products, garlic, onion,s ugar( in small amounts it’s probably fine) and corn syrup.

You are good to go with the regular whimzees and nutro treats but do not feed your Hamsters with milk bones or greenies.

Can Hamsters Chew On Toilet Paper Rolls?

Hamsters can chew on toilet paper rolls without any problems.

However, make sure you do not offer them a big roll at once. If they swallow a lot of the roll, then it could lead to digestive complications in them.

Sources: Hamster Hideout, Live Science, Science DirectJournal Of NutritionScience MagSpringer Link

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Mohini

Hello, I am Mohini, the founder of this blog. I am currently studying Animal Nutrition. I have a pet hamster. I am here to help everyone understand their pets better.

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