Why does my hamster bite the cage?.A hamster that bites the cage can ingest metals and other harmful substances to your body.If you adopted a hamster as a pet , chances are you’ve seen him biting the bars of his cage on a few occasions. However, it is very important that you do not ignore this habit and do not consider it as “normal” in your behavior.Wondering Why does my hamster bite the cage?.We also teach you how to prevent this habit that can severely harm your pet’s physical and mental health. Keep reading!
- Boredom and stress, the main causes of this behavior
- Other common causes
- Tips to prevent a hamster from biting the bars of its cage
Boredom and stress, the main causes of this behavior
Just like us, hamsters can get bored with their routine. Usually, this happens when rodents do not have an enriched environment that allows them to find the necessary forms and tools to exercise their bodies and entertain their minds. If your hamster is bored with its toys, its food or its environment, it is likely that it will look for an escape valve to expend energy and release the stress it has accumulated. As a result, you may experience changes in your behavior and adopt new activities that allow you to stay physically and mentally active. Among them, we find the habit of biting the bars of his cage.
Although maintaining a healthy routine is essential for the animal to feel safe and to develop properly at home, monotony and lack of stimulation appear as risk factors for the development of behavioral problems and numerous pathologies in hamsters . On the other hand, the accumulation of tension can make a hamster appear hyperactive, nervous and even aggressive towards its guardians and other hamsters.
We must also highlight the dangers hidden in the “harmless” habit of biting the cage. In general, the structure of the cage is composed of a union of various metals, such as aluminum, copper, zinc and iron , with a superficial layer of dye. The excessive ingestion of metals can generate alterations in the nervous system of these rodents, and even lead to irreversible brain damage. Already the paint used in the cage may contain plastic particles and toxic substances that, when ingested, harm the health of the animal and can cause a picture of poisoning.
On the other hand, the hamster can break one of its teeth by biting into the cage. If this happens, it will be essential to control the growth of the teeth and reinforce the care of the hamster’s teeth to keep them always well aligned. If the length of both teeth is not even, one of them will grow compensatory, putting the animal’s health at risk.
Do you think your hamster can suffer from anxiety or stress? Discover other symptoms of a stressed hamster :
- Compulsive behaviors
- Excessive grooming
- Loss of hair
If your hamster also bites you and did not do it before, climbs the cage, digs and is very nervous, you are probably faced with a picture of anxiety and stress. Remember that it is not normal for a hamster to bite his cage , it is a clear indication of lack of well-being, anxiety and stress.
Other common causes
Although most hamsters chew on their cages as a sign of boredom, there are other causes that may explain this behavior. On the one hand, rodents need to spend their teeth , since they do not stop growing throughout their lives. In their natural habitat, hamsters would look for branches or small pieces of trunk of fruit trees to control their teeth. In home life, it is the guardians who must take care of offering these items to their pets. In the market you will find these products, either in a physical store or on-line.
On the other hand, a hamster that is hungry or maintains a diet deficient in essential nutrients, can also begin to bite the bars of the cage or other objects in search of supplementing its nutritional deficiency. Although it is not a very frequent cause, it reaffirms the importance of offering a complete and balanced diet to our rodents, to avoid nutritional deficiencies. The seeds will be the base of that of your hamster, but you can also offer him fruits, vegetables, wild herbs, cereals and sources of animal protein, always avoiding the prohibited foods for these rodents.
In addition, some pathologies can generate changes in the behavior of your hamster, causing symptoms of stress, boredom or hyperactivity . If you notice that your pet behaves differently or is becoming aggressive, do not hesitate to go quickly to the exotic animal veterinary clinic.
Tips to prevent a hamster from biting the bars of its cage
- Take time to play with your hamster: Despite requiring simple care, a hamster needs the attention and care of its guardians to stay active, happy and healthy. The best way to stimulate your hamster to exercise is by sharing quality moments with him. Therefore, do not let yourself be overcome by the fatigue of a long day and reserve a few minutes exclusively to enjoy the company of your favorite pet.
- Enrich the environment of your cage: environmental enrichment is essential when preparing your hamster’s cage in order to entertain and keep it active during your absence. Although the traditional wheel can help manage the weight of your pet, the ideal is to offer other toys and accessories to awaken your hamster’s curiosity and stimulate his cognitive ability. There are many cages specially designed to provide an “amusement park” for the most active hamsters.
- Remember that your hamster needs to wear down its teeth: it is generally recommended to offer organic fruit tree branches to hamsters, but there are also pressed bars and calcium teethers designed especially for domestic rodents. It is very important to make sure about the organic origin of the branches that you offer to your pet, since pesticides can poison their body and even cause their death.
- Consider changing his cage: if after enriching your hamster’s environment, playing with it and ruling out a possible pathological cause, your hamster continues to bite the bars, it is better to change the traditional cage for an aquarium or terrarium that does not have metals and dye . In this way, we prevent the animal from consuming possibly toxic substances.
- It offers an adequate preventive medicine: as we have mentioned, some diseases can cause behavioral changes in your hamster. Therefore, it is very important to offer adequate preventive medicine to your pet to strengthen its immune system. Remember to visit the vet every 6 months, provide a balanced and diversified diet, periodically clean your cage with appropriate products, and keep it physically and mentally active.