Exploring the world of hamsters is captivating – their small paws and curious eyes are truly charming. However, these adorable creatures sometimes display puzzling behavior, including biting, which can make us a little worried.
Hamsters may bite for reasons like seeking attention, alleviating boredom, managing teeth growth, or exploring their chewing instincts. Such bites can disrupt peace and potentially harm the hamster’s mouth. To prevent this, let’s explore how to stop hamsters from biting.
Understanding why your hamster bites is the first step toward curbing this undesirable behavior. You can also discourage this behavior by getting a larger cage and providing chew toys to your hamster.
But that’s not all. Read on to discover how you can keep your hamster from biting.
Why Do Hamsters Bite?
This is a big problem since many hamsters are kept in small cages. Hamsters need more space to be happy and healthy because they’re used to exploring and digging in the wild.
Small cages can make them feel stressed and bored, leading to unwanted behaviors like biting. Providing a larger cage with toys and tunnels gives them room to play and be themselves, preventing biting and ensuring their well-being.
Hamsters have teeth that keep growing, so they need to chew and nibble on things constantly.
Anxiety can trigger hamsters to resort to biting as a form of response. When hamsters feel stressed or fearful, they might become more likely to bite as a way to protect themselves or communicate their discomfort.
Maintaining a clean cage is essential for hamsters, as they prefer tidy surroundings that help prevent anxiety. Additionally, providing a proper diet is crucial to prevent potential psychological issues.
Recognizing and addressing the sources of anxiety in a hamster’s environment can be crucial in preventing this behavior and fostering a calmer and more harmonious relationship with these small companions.
Depression and Boredom
Living in a cramped cage without activities or toys can lead to hamster depression. They need enrichment and exciting toys to stay happy. Loneliness and boredom can also cause depression, leading them to bite the cage out of frustration.
Introducing a hamster wheel and chew toys can provide entertainment and alleviate such behaviors. Learn more about stopping cage biting here.
How to Keep Hamsters from Biting?
Dealing with a biting hamster requires patience. Earning their trust is a gradual process, particularly if biting is a recurring issue. This approach is valuable for long-time hamster owners. If you’re introducing yourself to a new hamster, building a bond is key.
Over time, your hamster will learn to trust you and not be scared of you. It will take a while, but the biting will stop. So, be patient and follow the tips shared in this guide.
Let Your Hamster Get Used to You
In the evening, when your hamster is active, spend some time near the cage and talk to your hamster. You can read or even sing to your hamster if you don’t know what to say. The idea is to let your furry friend adjust to your presence, scent, and your voice.
Remember, moving to a new cage is very stressful, so let your hamster adjust to life in its new home. At this point, don’t try to touch your pet hamster, or he’ll bite you.
Let Your Hamster Get Used to Your Scent
Gently place your hand inside the cage and let your hamster sniff your hand. Remember to move very slowly. Any abrupt hand movements may scare your hamster. On the first day, put your hand just inside the door. Don’t touch your hamster, but slowly put your hand in a little farther. If your hamster becomes curious, let it explore your hand.
Offer Your Hamster Treats
You may need to discover your hamster’s favorite treats through trial and error. Try giving your hamster healthy snacks like sunflower seeds, raisins, and apples. These treats can also be great training tools.
Use your bare hand to offer your hamster these treats. Eventually, it will associate you with treats and will develop trust. Keep your hamster from biting by gaining his trust. If you want to prevent attention-seeking biting behavior, you’ll need to spend more time with your hamster.
Pet Your Hamster
Once your hamster is at ease with taking treats, you can start gently petting it. Gradually, if your hamster remains calm, you can progress to picking it up. Should your hamster bite, maintain patience and persistently offer treats to build trust.
Pick Up Your Hamster
When your hamster is comfortable with treats, proceed to pick it up gently. Allow your hamster’s reaction to guide the pace of each session. One technique is using treats to coax your hamster onto your hands.
Gradually scoop your hamster up with both hands, ensuring a gentle hold without gripping tightly over its back. This is important, as pressure on their back can make them feel threatened. Beware that some hamsters might attempt to jump, so avoid holding them high off the ground.
Give Your Hamster a Bigger Cage
It’s possible that your hamster is bored and longs for more room to play in his cage. Your hamster might express boredom by biting cage bars. Providing them with a larger can be the solution to this problem.
As a general rule, a hamster needs at least one cubic foot of space.
Offering dog treats to your hamster can be a fun variation. Hard biscuits can serve as excellent chew toys. However, limit hard treats to about once a week. While providing treats, ensure they are garlic-free, as garlic can lead to digestive issues for hamsters.
Give Your Hamster a Cardboard
The cardboard tube from a toilet paper roll or paper towel makes a great chew toy for hamsters. Additionally, it provides a fun hiding place for your hamster.
Entertained and happy hamsters seldom bite.
Give More Playtime and Exercise
Increase quality time with your hamster to curb attention-seeking biting. Allow supervised roaming on your bed or in a hamster-proof room to counteract boredom.
An exercise ball provides exercise and safety, but watch for overheating and limit play to 15 minutes. Ensure the room is safe by removing cables and using barriers. A hamster wheel is another exercise option; avoid wire frames to prevent injury.
Hamsters need plenty of playtime and exercise. When you apply these methods, your hamster won’t feel abandoned and won’t bite you.
Spend One-on-One Time
Hamsters thrive on social interaction and need regular one-on-one time with their owners for emotional well-being. Spending more time with your hamster helps prevent attention-seeking biting. You can hold your hamster outside the cage or let them explore on your lap.
Use a small box to gently remove them from the cage, avoiding scaring them by reaching in directly. Lying on the floor allows your hamster to crawl on you, fostering trust and a desire to explore.
Let Your Hamster Sleep During the Day
Hamsters are nocturnal creatures, which means they sleep during the day and are awake at night. Waking your hamster up during the day to play or clean his cage may irritate him. Interrupting his natural sleep routine will worsen his biting behavior. So, it’s important to let your hamster sleep during the day.
Consult the Vet
If your hamster’s teeth haven’t responded to chew toys, a vet can trim them to a suitable length. This quick procedure doesn’t harm your hamster. Always consult your vet before attempting any tooth-trimming at home.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do hamsters become so aggressive?
Hamsters resort to biting when they feel threatened or angry. A hamster that’s unhappy in its cage can become aggressive and hard to manage. Angrily lashing out when the cage is opened is a sign of discomfort. Such aggression usually reflects the hamster’s distress and suffering.
Can a hamster’s bite kill you?
While hamster bites are usually not fatal, a bite from an infected hamster can lead to serious health complications. It’s important to handle hamsters carefully to prevent any potential risks
How can I prevent hamster biting?
To prevent hamster biting, handle your hamster gently and avoid sudden movements. Provide a spacious and enriched environment with appropriate chew toys. Gradually build trust through positive interactions and regular handling. If biting persists, consult a veterinarian or a hamster behavior expert for guidance.