Hamsters may bite for various reasons. The most common causes of biting are attention-seeking behavior, boredom, teeth growth, and the simple joy of chewing. Biting can disrupt your peace and can lead to painful mouth injuries and broken teeth for your hamster. So, how can you keep 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.
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 feel comfortable and happy.
Hamsters’ teeth never stop growing, so they must always chew and nibble on something.
Sometimes you’ll find your hamster biting due to stress. Living in a cage isn’t exciting for hamsters as they are curious creatures who like to explore the wild. It’s a confined space, which makes your hamsters feel stressed and anxious. Stressed hamsters express their emotions by biting whatever comes in their way.
Hamsters want to keep their surroundings clean, and a dirty cage can make them anxious. Plus, it’s important to maintain a proper diet to prevent any psychological problems.
If your hamster stays stressed for a long time, it’ll start biting the cage. If your hamster bites aggressively on its cage, you should fix the problem immediately. The cage contains harmful metals and pain that can make your hamster sick. Excessive biting may also break your hamster’s teeth instead of filing them.
Depression and Boredom
Living in a tiny cage with no activities or toys can be depressing. Hamsters need enrichment activities and exciting toys to live happily. Additionally, loneliness and boredom also cause depression. Your little buddy may not handle tough emotions and start biting the cage.
Exploration can beat boredom for hamsters, but there’s not much to explore in a cage. So, you can install a hamster wheel in their cage. It’s a great activity for your furry friend. You can also introduce a variety of chew toys to curb their unwarranted biting behavior.
Find out more about how to stop your hamster from biting its cage here.
How to Keep Hamsters from Biting?
The key to handling a pet hamster that bites is patience. You need to earn your hamster’s trust, and this is a slow and gradual process. This is a good approach if you’ve had a hamster for some time and biting continues to be a problem. You may introduce yourself to a new hamster and develop a bond.
Don’t be discouraged if it takes months or even longer to gain your pet hamster’s trust. And if your hamster responds faster than expected, you can reduce the time between the steps. If your hamster is fearful at any point, go back to the last step and spend more time working on it.
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. The first day, put your hand just inside the door. Don’t touch your hamster, but slowly putting your hand in a little farther. If your hamster becomes curious, let it explore or 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 accepting treats comfortably, you can gently pet it. If your hamster tolerates this, you can move on to the next step of picking it. If your hamster bites you, continue to offer tasty treats patiently.
Pick Up Your Hamster
If your hamster accepts treats, it’s time to try picking it up. Once again, go gently and let your hamster guide how far you can go in each session.
A good approach is to lute your hamster onto your hands with treats. Then, you can try scooping up your hamsters with both hands.
Gently cup the hamster in your hands and avoid tightly gripping it over its back. Hamsters might get threatened if you put pressure over their backs.
Some hamsters may try to jump out of your hands, so don’t hold your pet hamster 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. So, your hamster will benefit from having a bigger cage.
As a general rule, a hamster needs at least one cubic foot of space.
You can also give your hamster dog treats. A hard biscuit can make a great alternative chew toy for hamsters. Give hamsters hard treats about once every week.
Be sure the treats you give your hamster are free of garlic. Garlic can cause digestive problems in hamsters.
Give your hamster 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
Spend more time with your hamster to stop attention-seeking biting. Let him roam near you, on your bed, or in a hamster-proof room. Exercise can also stop the attention-seeking biting and boredom that your hamster might be feeling.
An exercise ball is an excellent toy for your hamster to get ample exercise. It also protects your hamster from potential household hazards. Just be sure to observe your hamster while he’s playing. To avoid overheating, never let your hamster play with his ball in direct sunlight, and limit playtime to 15-minute intervals.
Make sure you’ve hamster-proofed the room in which your hamster will be playing. Remove any electrical cables so your hamster does not chew on them. Keep the room enclosed by closing the door or setting up “walls” around your pet’s play area.
If you’re worried about your pet hamster getting into trouble, consider using a hamster ball. This will allow your hamster to roam freely and protect him from potential hazards in your home.
You can also give your hamster a wheel to run on. Hamster wheels are an excellent way for hamsters to get exercise. Avoid wire-frame hamster wheels, as these could injure your hamster.
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 are social animals and need to spend some time with their owners regularly. Your pet hamster needs one-on-one attention for his emotional well-being. And if you want to prevent attention-seeking biting behavior, you’ll need to spend more time with your hamster. You can hold your hamster outside of his cage or let him run around in your lap.
Use a small box and hold it in front of your hamster to remove him from his cage. Reaching into the cage might scare your hamster. It’ll make him feel that you are invading his space, and he’ll bite you.
Let your hamster crawl on top of you while you lie on the floor. Hamsters love to explore, and once your pet hamster trusts you as his owner, he’ll want to climb on you!
Let your hamster sleep during the day
Hamsters are nocturnal creatures, which means they sleep in 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.
Take your hamster to the vet
A vet can trim your hamster’s teeth to a manageable length, which may be necessary if your little friend has not responded to chew toys.
Having a vet trim your pet hamster’s teeth is quick and does not harm your hamster.
Do not attempt to trim your pet hamster’s teeth on your own unless your vet approves this procedure.
Why do hamsters become so aggressive?
Hamsters bite because they feel threatened and angry. If your hamster is uncomfortable in its cage, it’ll become aggressive and difficult to handle. Angry hamsters often try to attack owners when they open the cage. Aggression is a strong indicator that the hamster is suffering.
Can a hamster’s bite kill you?
All hamsters can bite. Their bites are often small and superficial, but they can potentially cause deep puncture wounds. This is the most common disease transmitted from hamsters to people. If an infected hamster bites you, it can be very serious and fatal.
Is it OK if a hamster bites you?
It’s rare for a hamster to be aggressive, but they can bite when they feel threatened. Fortunately, you can train your hamster to accept your presence and stop biting.
Do hamsters like music?
Hamsters enjoy classical music. Don’t be surprised if your hamster loves a good classical song. Hamsters like instrumental music, including vocals and alternative. Music like this can help them relax and put them to sleep.