Why Does My Hamster Bite His Cage? Know From the Expert

Many people think that keeping a pet is all about providing them with food, water, and a place to poop and pee. The fact, however, is certainly far away from this. 

You’ll need to observe them, take them to vets, ensure they get enough exercise… the list goes on.

There can be times when you’ll need to just deal with one thing and get it solved. That can take lots of effort. 

If you are willing to go through with it, then you deserve to have a pet. Because a person with such dedication shall ensure that the pet is okay and becomes their best bud.

In this article, we’ll look at one of the most pertinent questions of concerned pet owners, why does my hamster bite his cage?

There are several reasons why your hamster might bite their cage. One of the most common reasons is that they’ll use the cage bars to sharpen their teeth. Alternatively, it could also be a sign that your hamster is feeling anxious and wants to leave its cage. 

It’s essential to study the behavior of the master so you can exactly identify why your hamster is biting his cage.

Why Does My Hamster Bite His Cage

Why is cage biting bothersome?

A simple answer is that it’s bothersome to hear someone munching on metal constantly. So for your own ‘ear care,’ you should know that it’s not okay. Other than that, however, there are several other reasons that can induce such behavior in your hamsters.

One thing is that hamsters bite because they need to maintain their teeth. A hamster’s teeth will grow all their life. So they chisel it and keep it all balanced with their biting. But that’s adequately done with the food that they consume.

If that’s the reason, then that’s easy to understand. It’ll go away when you make the necessary dietary changes. Any biting other than that can be bothersome. Your pet may be trying to communicate something to you. 

But one common reason why they bite the cage is to get out of the place. And that’s probably because it’s dirty. 

A dirty cage can be the most harmful thing for your baby hamster. The reasons are obvious. In fact, a dirty cage can be the underlying reason for their anxieties, health issues, and other health hazards.

If your hamster is displaying excessive cage biting, then it’s time you do something about the habit. There are two things you should immediately do. The first thing on the agenda is to take them to the vet and the second one is to thoroughly look after their cage hygiene.

The vet shall take care of any symptoms that your pet is facing. They’ll also tell you about any medications or lifestyle changes that might make things easier for your hamster. 

As for the cage cleaning, you need to make sure it happens. If you are negligent with your hamster’s cage, you will pay the price. And that can be highly regretful.

To keep you away from unfortunate situations, let’s take you through some cage cleaning regimen. 

How Often Should You Clean Your Hamster Cage?

Well, that depends upon how much mess your hamster creates, the size of the cage, and how often you let your pet out of the cage. 

But there are certain safe timelines that you should follow. Even if you have the biggest cage, you can’t just leave it dirty and clean it just once a month. Some aspects you’d need to handle daily and some of it once a week.

Daily Cleaning

Make sure that the food tray is cleaned regularly. Make sure that you don’t make your hammy sleep in their own waste. That’d be plain and simple dreadful.

You don’t need to clean the habitat daily from scratch. Because hamsters like to be pretty clean by nature, they’ll also do their own bit to keep the cage clean. 

You just need to do enough so that the dirt and filth don’t gather. Remember, the box that you don’t clean is the box where your hamster lives. It’ll breathe in all the toxic air that’s produced inside. Scoop out the poop daily. Clean the pee area as well and make sure the food and water bowl are cleaned and refilled.

Don’t slack on the daily cleaning. If you feel drowsy and unmotivated to clean, just imagine if you were to sleep in the smell of your own dirty business. You’d then not want to leave your hamster in an unclean cage.

Weekly Cleaning

This one’s a bit thorough. You’ll need to clean the entire habitat. You need to scratch out any filth that’s in there and scrub it all clean and tidy. 

This should be a weekly routine if you have a single hamster. If two or more hamsters share the habitat, then you’ll need to do the drill twice. You may be fine with once a week as well if your pets aren’t unusually messy.

But anything less than that can be harmful. So you need to find the right balance. Plus, you’ll also regularly need to see if the cage needs cleaning. If it looks dirty and smells like rotten eggs, then it’s surely time to glove up and clean the place!

What Makes a Hamster Cage Smell Bad?

A hamster’s cage can smell because of several reasons. 

The first one is the obvious one- an unclean cage will smell bad. That’s because all the ammonia and natural gases shall heap up in the place. If your pet’s cage smells bad often, then the unclean litter will be the first obvious culprit. 

If all is well in that area, then the next reason could be bedding. Overused bedding can gather and exude smell. Plus, your hammy could spill the leftover food on the bedding, which rots over time and releases a bad odor. 

The best thing to handle this problem is to use top-quality bedding and replace it on time.

If you have a female hamster, then she shall go into heat at least once a week. That’ll make her do the natural business of attracting male counterparts via releasing a scent. You can’t do much about it other than bearing it. 

Though maintaining the habitat in pristine condition will mask the smell and make it more bearable. 

A quick and simple solution to the smelly cage’s problem is to get a bigger cage. Something that’s airy will stop accumulating the scent particles and make things easy to manage. 

With that said, let’s have a look at the necessary steps to clean the hamster cage.

Quick Steps on How to Clean a Hamster Cage

Cleaning the cage isn’t a difficult task. It can be a little cumbersome, though, but again, your hamster’s smile and happiness are worth it all. 

Wondering how you clean a hamster cage?

Down below, you shall see the easy and efficient procedure to clean your hamster’s habitat.

Transfer Your Hamster to a Safe Place

Pets like comfort. Pets like routine. Cleaning isn’t routine, which means that it can stress out your pet. 

You can help ease out their worries by transferring them to somewhere else. Keep them engaged in an activity while you clean their home. 

You can keep them in an exercise ball or a transport carrier. Wherever you set up their temporary location, ensure that they have adequate food and water supply.

Empty the Cage

Empty everything that’s on the inside. Even if things look to be clean on the surface. Make sure no particles remain behind, and all that was inside is thoroughly cleaned.

Also, maintain a safe distance and go into the cage with gloved hands. You can also wear a mask to protect yourself from directly coming into contact with toxic gases. If you are breathing the toxic waste for long, you can contract diseases like Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis (LCM).

So maintain caution. 

Thoroughly Wash the Cage

Once empty, scrub everything out. There will sometimes be stubborn pee crusts or food crusts that just won’t leave. But you don’t leave it that way. Make sure it’s all scrapped out. You can use soap, cage cleaning solution, and vinegar.

Just don’t overuse it because if the smell is strong, it can affect your baby hamster’s health.

Rinse Cage Accessories

Time to address the dishes, toys, and other cage accessories that you previously took out. Just cleaning the cage isn’t enough. You need to clean everything that goes back into the cage. That’s how the place will become safe for your pet hamster.

Some of the accessories may require replacement. Do that!

Assemble the Enclosure

Once all is neat and tidy, it’s time to assemble the enclosure. 

Don’t put anything in there when the cage or accessories are wet. Let it all dry and lose the smell. Once it’s done, put in everything. Start with the bedding. Choose the right bedding because low-quality bedding can cause respiratory issues in your hamster.

Build upon the bedding and start putting other things back. You can choose to change the setting as well if that’s necessary.

Finally, keep the food and water bowls in the cage. 

Dispose of the waste

All the dirty stuff that you took out should be properly disposed of. Don’t keep it lying around as you could invite health troubles for yourself.

Make sure your place is clean and tidy as well.


What will you need to clean everything nicely? No more puzzles about what to clean the hamster cage with! Here are a few essentials that you must have before you put your hands in the cage to clean. 

  • Washcloths or sponges
  • Hand towel (to dry the cage)
  • Vinegar
  • Dish soap or a mild hand soap
  • Brush (toothbrush for hard-to-reach spaces)
  • Cleaning gloves
  • Garbage bag
  • Replacement bedding

Don’t go cleaning without these basics, or your cleaning experience will be incomplete. Remember, cage cleaning isn’t something that your hamsters enjoy. It’s a stressful situation for them. The onus lies upon you to get the job done efficiently and in the shortest time so that the hamster returns back to the home safely.

Why Does My Hamster Bite His Cage? Know From the Expert

Tips and Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning a Hamster Cage

Before we conclude, here are a few tips and mistakes that you must be wary of when cleaning the cage.

  • Don’t use products with strong scents. They have harmful chemicals which can cause damage to your pet. Only use hamster-friendly products.
  • Leave some pieces of the old bedding. This is to help your hamster identify its habitat. If you don’t do that, your hamster will become anxious, thinking that it’s in a new place altogether. 
  • Don’t make unnecessary changes. Pet hamsters are highly susceptible to changes in their external environment. They can get anxious and jumpy, and that can be the reason for them to bite the cage.
  • Identify if your hamster is a digger or a runner. Then adjust the bedding accordingly.

Wrapping Up

Keeping a hamster can be an awesome experience. They are fun and cute. 

But don’t neglect their negative behaviors such as cage biting. That can very well be a symptom of an underlying serious problem. Hopefully, the problem shall go away with a thorough and regular cleaning. If it still persists, then take them to the vet at the earliest.

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