How can I stop my hamster biting the bars of her cage?

  • My hamster absolutely loves to bite the metal bars in her Rotastak enclosure. I know that this is to wear her teeth down but it's so annoying. How can I stop her from doing it? I have already tried giving her gnawing sticks, but she always goes back to the bars. :/

    How can I stop her from gnawing on the bars?

    Are you feeding the hamster any hay? How big is the cage in relationship to the hamster (i.e. two body lengths, by four body lengths)?

    Not hay no, it's an absolutely massive rotastak system i have her in. She seems pretty happy, just likes to gnaw on the bars

    I rubbed lime juice on the bars of the cage, and it seems to help.

  • You indicate in your comments that your hamster does not have any hay, but it does have an 'absolutely massive rotastak system'.

    Hamsters are much like rabbits in that their teeth grow constantly.
    Unlike for rabbits there are not a lot of quality references available on the internet. This is the best reference I found. Let's just say that hamsters need hay for much the same reason that adding hay to a rabbit's diet is important.

    Overgrown teeth can be painful and even fatal, and for some reason your hamster has chosen the bars of the cage to wear her teeth down. If the chew sticks are not filling the need, then adding hay is the best thing you can do. Hay by itself may not completely stop the bar chewing, but it should provide a new direction that will both wear teeth and improve the diet. Additional things to chew on will also help. For rabbits we often give toilet paper tubes and paper towel tubes. Any type of clean cardboard without a lot of glossy or colored print will also make great chew toys, as it is fine if they eat them.

    Your hamster has developed the habit of chewing on the bars, and like any other habit it will be hard to break. If they chew the bars after they have hay and lots of other chew toys, you should gently redirect them to a better choice.

    I'd suggest a few fresh apple twigs as well, if you know of an apple or crabapple tree that you could trim a few bits off, or whose owner would spare you some prunings. The bark seems to be very palatable, more so than commercial products.

  • I have had this issue too, and as my hamster is in my room it is stressful at night.

    But I found out that if you simply collect cardboard toilet tubes, etc. and give them to him, he may stop. But if he doesn't, I would go to a store like Pets at Home and ask them for an easy and quick solution.

    Hope my answer helped.

    Pets at home certainly do sell items designed to be chewed by hamsters (and rabbits etc).

  • I would give bitter apple spray a try, or some other type of spray meant for the same purpose. Make sure that when you spray it on the bars, you do it away from the rest of the cage so only the bars of the cage taste like bitter apple, and it doesn't get onto the floor of the cage, in food, water, etc... Typically all pet shops, local or corporate, will hold these sprays and they should be easy to find.

    If you don't want to spend the money, some people online have claimed to use vinegar or lemon juice, but I'd do a bit of research on my own to make sure those are plausible solutions.

    As James Jenkins mentioned in the comments above, look at his answer here before using additives on the cage.

  • Olive oil works really well also. Just rub some onto the bars and he or she won't like the taste.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM