Hamsters can’t chew metal bars to escape from their cage, but this behavior may indicate that the hamster is under a lot of stress and not happy with its living space. This behavior can also lead to other health problems for your hamster, such as dental problems and stress-related diseases.
- Why do hamsters chew on things?
- Can hamsters chew on the metal bars of their cage without risking escape?
- Why hamsters shouldn’t chew on metal bars?
- Tips for preventing your hamster from chewing on metal bars
- Alternatives for healthy hamster enclosures
- Final Thoughts
Why do hamsters chew on things?
Hamsters are known for their inquisitive and adorable nature, and for their chewing habits. They will gnaw on anything they find, ranging from seeds to wooden toys.
Here’s some signs your hamster likes its enclosure, but when a hamster chews the bars of its cage, this can only mean one thing: Your hamster is not happy with its housing conditions and is looking for a way to let you know, and why not escape from its cage at the first opportunity.
The two main healthy reasons for this chewing behavior are:
1- Hamsters need to keep their fast-growing incisors filed down to avoid dental problems.
2- This behavior is also a way for hamsters to reduce their stress levels and fight boredom, similar to using their exercise wheel.
Can hamsters chew on the metal bars of their cage without risking escape?
This article discusses the importance of avoiding metal bar cages for hamsters and their dental health.
Before exploring the topic of metal bars, it’s crucial to understand the natural need for chewing in hamsters due to their constant tooth growth. Hamsters naturally wear down their teeth by chewing, which prevents them from becoming too long.
However, metal bar cages popularly sold in pet shops can be harmful for them. Hamsters have a tendency to chew on the bars, which can lead to various problems.
Why hamsters shouldn’t chew on metal bars?
High risk of dental problems
Metal bars are too hard for hamster teeth. Chewing metal can cause tooth fractures, abnormal wear and mouth pain.
Chewing on bars is a stressful behavior
Chewing on cage bars can be a sign of stress or boredom in hamsters. It may indicate that the cage environment is not stimulating.
Your hamster is looking to escape
If a hamster manages to chew enough of the bars in its cage, it may escape, endangering its safety.
Tips for preventing your hamster from chewing on metal bars
If you already have a cage with metal bars, here are some tips to prevent your hamster from chewing on the bars:
- Provide ample mental and physical stimulation, enrichment, to keep your hamster engaged and active.
- Use a cage with solid walls (plastic or glass) to prevent access to metal bars.
- Offer a variety of chew toys and safe materials to promote healthy chewing habits.
- Maintain a clean and comfortable environment with appropriate bedding and nesting materials.
- Create a consistent routine for feeding, playtime, and handling to reduce stress.
- Avoid overcrowding the cage with too many accessories, as it can cause anxiety.
- Check for signs of illness or discomfort that may lead to bar biting and address them promptly.
- Monitor your hamster’s behavior, and if you notice excessive bar biting, consider consulting a veterinarian or animal behavior specialist for guidance.
- Be patient and understanding of your hamster’s needs, as consistent care and attention can help prevent bar biting.
- Make sure the cage is large enough and that your hamster has enough things to chew on, such as wooden toys, to prevent boredom.
- Keep a close eye on your hamster. If he starts chewing the bars excessively, look for signs of stress and make sure he feels safe.
Alternatives for healthy hamster enclosures
To avoid the problems associated with metal bars, we recommend choosing cages specifically designed for hamsters.
Plastic or glass cages with wooden bars are much better alternatives, as they provide a safe and stimulating environment for your hamster.
And be sure to provide your hamster with enough chew to keep his teeth healthy. Non-toxic wooden sticks, wooden toys, and chew toys are excellent options.
Hamsters shouldn’t chew on metal bars in their cages and even if the risk of your hamster escaping is low, this behavior can cause dental problems and is a sign of a stressful environment.
Instead, choose cages that are specifically designed for hamsters and provide chews that are appropriate for their oral health. Your hamster will thank you!