Why Hamsters Bite Their Cage (& How To Prevent It)

Your hamster has been gnawing on his cage for a while now.

Is he ok? Why do hamsters bite their cage?

Key Takeaway:

Hamsters chew on the bars of their cage to wear down overgrowing teeth, relieve boredom, and because they are stressed. They also bite their bars when they feel irritated, when their cages are too small, and just for fun.

Are you ready to get to the bottom of why your hamster is biting his cage bars and what you can do to stop him?

Then make sure you check out the rest of this article.

hamster biting cage

Why Is My Hamster Biting the Cage?

Your pet hamster seems to spend a lot of time on his new favorite hobby, that is, chewing the bars of his cage. He stops for a little while when you put food in the enclosure, but soon enough, he’s back gnawing at the bars again.

This strange behavior may make you wonder…

Why is my hamster climbing and biting the cage?

Here are some of the reasons why they do this:

Let’s take a look at some of these reasons in more detail.

Overgrowing Teeth

Your pet’s teeth will grow continuously throughout their life. One reason why your hamster bites his cage bars is to keep his overgrowing teeth down.

Your hamster will begin chewing the bars of his cage if he doesn’t get enough chewing action from his food.


Your hamster will begin bar chewing if he doesn’t have enough toys to play with. Hamsters are active animals, especially at night.

They need a hamster wheel to run around, chew toys to nibble on, and paper towel tubes to run through to keep them entertained throughout the day. If your hamster gets bored, he might start bar chewing for entertainment.


You will find your hamster biting on the bars of his cage if he feels stressed.

What causes stress in hamsters?

Here are a couple of things.

  • A loud environment. Screaming children, loud music, or the sound of vehicles passing by on the road might frighten your pet and make him start bar chewing.
  • Other animals. If your hamster cage is near a window, your hamster might startle at the sight of birds. Other pets in the home, like cats, might frighten him and make him feel stressed and begin bar chewing.
  • Handling issues. Overhandling or improper handling causes your pet anxiety resulting in bar chewing.


If you find your pet hamster chewing on the bars of his cage, it might be because he feels irritated.


If you upset your hamster’s routine, such as waking him up while he is sleeping during the day, he might feel frustrated. To show his frustration, he might begin bar biting or even try to bite you.

He may become irritated when you approach him to handle him in the future.

Hamster Cage Too Small

Your hamster enclosure needs to be the right size for your pet to feel comfortable in it.

Does your hamster bite the bars of the cage relentlessly?

Biting might be an indication that the hamster cage is too small and your hamster needs more space.

Just For Fun

Some hamsters bite their cages, not because something is wrong, but simply for fun. This is dangerous, though, as it can lead to teeth problems such as misalignment and cracking.

Why Does My Hamster Bite the Cage at Night?

Hamsters are nocturnal animals, so they are mostly active at night. You will likely find your hamster chewing on his cage bars during the nighttime.

Your hamster will chew on his cage bars at night for the same reasons he would do so during the day. These include wearing down his teeth, relieving boredom, reacting to stress and irritation, or if his cage is too small.

Some hamsters also bite their cage bars just for fun. This might not be your idea of fun, but hamsters sure do get a kick out of it.

How to Stop Your Hamster From Biting His Cage

Bar chewing is a dangerous habit that can cause dental issues and other health problems. Listed below are a few ways to solve this issue.

Here’s how to stop your hamster from chewing on his cage:

  • Put more chew toys in your hamster’s cage
  • Make sure he has toys for sufficient mental and physical stimulation
  • Calm a stressed hamster by changing his surroundings
  • Do not irritate your hamster
  • Put him in a bigger cage
  • Change his cage

Are you ready to see how these changes can help stop your hamster from bar chewing?

Then let’s consider them in closer detail up next.

Give Your Hamster Hard Food

To stop your hamster’s teeth from overgrowing, he needs to nibble on plenty of chew toys and hard food throughout the day. Some hamster food packs do not have enough hard treats for your hamster to nibble on and keep his teeth down, causing him to bite on his bars.

To get him to stop chewing on the bars of his cage, you must give your hamster enough hard food for him to nibble on and shave his teeth down in a safe way.

Here is a list of food that will help him with this.

  • Hard-shelled nuts. Some nuts they love chewing on are almonds, walnuts, and peanuts.
  • Hard biscuits. Give your hamster a hard biscuit or two. Special hamster biscuits are nutritious and contain natural grains, fruits, and vegetables. They are not high in sugar like regular biscuits.
  • Dog treats. Dog treats are hard and will help them with grinding their teeth down. Just give him a few of these mixed in with his normal pelleted food.
  • Wood. Give your hamster pieces of wood from an apple or pear tree to chew on.

If his teeth are still too long, you must take him to the vet. Do not attempt to shave them or cut them yourself.

hamster in cage

Give Your Hamster a Chew Toy

Does your hamster bite the bars of his cage for long periods throughout the day?

Then this could indicate that your hamster is bored. He needs enough toys in his cage to keep him entertained throughout the day.

To prevent this, make sure your hamster’s cage is full of the following:

  • Chew toys
  • Rodent chews
  • Food blocks

Having enough to chew on should keep him occupied. Asides from this, he will also need toys to keep him active.

Here’s what he’ll need in his cage.

  • An exercise ball
  • An exercise wheel
  • Tubes to run through and hide in. (Toilet paper tubes are great for him to chew on.)

Change His Surroundings

Many hamsters will feel stressed and chew on the metal bars of their cages when they feel threatened by other animals. These could include overly curious cats and birds in the window.

To stop your hamster from feeling stressed by other animals, keep him in a different room away from your other pets. Move his cage away from the window.

You must keep your hamster in a quiet room. It must not back onto a busy road, and children should be calm and quiet when they go into the room.

To prevent nervous energy, biting, and chewing, do not overhandle your pet. Be careful and gentle when picking him up, and supervise your hamster when children handle him.

Let Your Hamster Sleep

Hamsters are nocturnal animals. They are more active during the night and might spend a long time sleeping during the day.

Do not disturb your hamster while he is sleeping. If you want to pick him up or stroke him, only do so while he is awake and active.

sleeping hamsters nocturnal

Get a Bigger Cage

Hamsters in small cages easily get bored and begin biting the bars to try and escape. A hamster in a small cage also runs the risk of obesity and other health issues.

To prevent this from happening, you must put your hamster in a larger cage.

The new cage for a single hamster must measure at least 24×12 inches and 12 inches high. If you have more than one hamster, you will need an even bigger cage.

Change the Cage

Some hamsters will bite on the bars of their cage just for fun. This is dangerous as the biting can become a learned behavior, and the constant vibrations of biting on the metal bars for long periods can cause brain damage.

Chewing on the bars causes damaged teeth and even broken teeth.

To keep your hamster healthy, do one of the following.

  • Spray the cage bars with bite deterrent spray. A non-toxic bitter-tasting formula should prevent your hamster from chewing the bars completely.
  • Coat the bars in lemon juice. Hamsters don’t like the taste of lemon juice, so this should prevent them from nibbling on them.
  • Put your hamster in a glass tank. A glass tank is a surefire way to stop your hamster from chewing the bars of his cage.
  • Put your hamster in a bin cage. These cages are hamster proofed, and they cannot easily escape from them.
hamster bites its cagee

Why Biting the Cage Is Bad for Your Hamster

If your hamster bites his cage, he might break through the wire and escape. If he roams free around your house, you could easily lose him, or he could hurt himself.

Bar biting is a dangerous habit for your hamster to develop. It can bring about a whole host of health problems.

Most hamsters will begin cage biting at some point in their lives, so…

…Why is it so dangerous?

Let’s have a look at some of the reasons.

Dental Problems Cause Complications

If you do not give your hamster enough tough food to chew on, he might not be able to keep his teeth down. Chewing on his cage wires is a desperate attempt for him to file down his overgrowing teeth.

If your hamster’s teeth overgrow, he could suffer from the following complications.

  • Injury to the roof of the mouth
  • Loss of appetite, weight loss, anorexia
  • Drooling
  • Foul odor from the mouth
  • Death

Bordem Leads to Repetitive Behaviors

If your hamster does not have enough things in his cage to keep him entertained, he will become bored and start chewing. This is because he is looking for something to play with and is keen to break free from the cage and go somewhere more interesting.

Boredom can lead to the following dangerous behaviors.

  • Frustration
  • Running in circles
  • Gnawing the cage for long periods
  • Disinterest and apathy
  • Depression

Stress Is Dangerous

If your hamster feels stressed, he may begin chewing the bars of his cage. This is not a good way for your hamster to deal with stress.

Stress in hamsters is dangerous for the following reasons.

  • It can make them aggressive. Your hamster may attack you when you put your hand in its enclosure. It may also attack a cage mate.
  • It can make them restless. He may run around in circles.
  • He might lose his appetite. Stress can cause anorexia.

Disturbing His Rest May Make Him Irritable

Hamsters are nocturnal and spend more time active during the night and sleep a lot throughout the day. Your hamster might just be going to bed when you are waking up.

We all want to spend time handling our hamsters, but if you wake up your hamster while he is asleep, you will disturb his sleeping pattern. This can cause him to start cage biting.

Here’s why this is a problem.

  • If you disturb your hamster while he sleeps, he might bite you
  • Disturbing him regularly will make him feel stressed and could cause other health issues
  • Waking him from his sleep to handle him will make him more resistant to any type of handling

A Small Cage Is a Bad Husbandry

Your hamster is an active animal and will want to spend lots of time throughout the night running around his cage. But if his cage is too small, he will not be able to do so.

If his cage is small, your hamster will try to escape from it by biting. He also might attempt digging his way out of it.

Keeping your hamster in a cage that is too small is always a bad idea. Here are a few reasons why.

  • You will not be able to fit a large enough hamster wheel in a little cage. If his wheel is too small, it will cause injury to his back and could even lead to permanent curvature of the spine.
  • Your hamster will become aggressive. He might try to attack your hand when you go to pick him up.
  • He will become depressed
  • He might lose his appetite or even stop eating altogether

Biting Is Addictive

Your hamster might bite its cage just for fun. But excessively biting the cage is dangerous.

Here’s why.

  • The vibrations when a hamster bites his cage too much can result in brain damage
  • The constant biting becomes a learned behavior and can cause mental health problems like depression

Putting an End to Your Hamster Chewing His Cage Bars Problem

Does your hamster chew constantly on the metal bars of his cage?

This article has helped us to see why hamsters spend time chewing and biting their cages. It might be because he is wearing down his teeth, bored, stressed, irritated, or even in a cage that is too small.

Some hamsters will even bite their cage wires just for fun.

To prevent this from happening, you must give your hamster enough hard food and chew toys to nibble on, remove them from a stressful environment, and let them rest. Make sure their cage is big enough and coat the wires in a bite-deterring spray.

Did you find this article interesting?

At Oddly Cute Pets, we always strive to provide you with the best information about hamsters and why they bite their cages. For more guides on how to look after a dwarf hamster or Syrian hamster, or for general animal welfare, check out our website.

Thanks for reading!

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