Most hamster owners will recognize the sound of their hamster chewing on the cage bars. However, why do hamsters chew bars? Is there anything they have to chew? Is it safe to give your hamster chewing bars? And, if it’s bad for them, how do you keep them from doing it?
We answer all of these questions in this short article to help you understand why hamsters chew bars and what you should do if you hear your hamster chewing on its cage!
The reasons why hamsters chew bars
The first thing you should understand is why hamsters chew on bars and other objects. This is due to the fact that their four front teeth continue to grow throughout their lives. Your hamster’s front teeth would grow far too long if they didn’t chew on things. Chewing aids in the maintenance of healthy tooth length.
You might be thinking, ‘Wow! So chewing on bars is beneficial?’ Regrettably, no. Chewing on bars is not good for your hamster!
Chewing bars can also indicate that your hamster is bored, stressed, or is being kept in an overly small cage (in other words, they’re attempting to escape!). This is clearly not good. Chewing bars can also cause physical problems.
Why are chewing bars harmful to hamsters?
Although hamsters are designed to chew, metal bars are not ideal chew toys! Chewing on the metal bars of their cage can cause tooth damage and misalignment in your hamster. Misaligned teeth will need to be trimmed on a regular basis and, if left untreated, could grow into your hamster’s brain and kill them!
Also, as previously stated, chewing can be a sign of psychological discomfort, and we’re sure you want your hamster to be both happy and healthy.
How to prevent hamsters from chewing on bars?
We know that hamsters require chewing to prevent their teeth from becoming too long. And we all know that chewing on bars is bad for them. That leaves only one option: give your hamster something better to chew on.
Try putting some of the following items in your hamster’s cage to see if they will chew on them instead:
- Wooden chew toys
- Unflavoured dog biscuits
- Carrots and other foods that they can gnaw on
These should help your hamster keep their teeth nice and short.
However, as previously stated, in addition to chewing to keep their teeth short, hamsters also chew when bored. To avoid this, make sure your hamster always has something to keep them occupied and from becoming bored inside their cage. This is best accomplished with a hamster wheel.
What if all of this doesn’t work?
If your hamster has plenty of suitable chewing objects and something to keep them entertained in their cage, but they still chew bars, we recommend moving your hamster to an aquarium-style home that is free of any metal bars.
If your hamster is in a glass tank, he won’t have anything to chew on. The glass provides him with nothing to grasp, just plain, smooth, straight glass that he can’t do anything with.
In this case, provide plenty of wood-based toys for your hamster to play with. He will chew on anything he can get his paws on. The hideaway, the toys, the food bowl, and, in some cases, the water bottle.
Don’t just put up with your hamster chewing bars and hope for the best. It can be extremely harmful to their health, so you must put an end to it as soon as possible!
If you want more helpful advice on looking after your hamster, including tips on food, toys, accessories and accommodation, add a comment below to let us know!
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