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LlamaLlamaDuck Offline
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Hamster has started biting? - December 20th 2014, 12:02 PM

Hi all.

So this is Alfonso

She's cute and fluffy and has always been really curious and friendly. But lately she's gotten kind of destructive and I'm really not sure what to do.
So first off, she's attacking the plastic base of her cage, she's chewed through a bit of it. I've checked and it's not sharp anywhere and there is no chance she'd ever be able to get out because it's such a tiny space, but I will have to replace her cage at some point. Sigh.

The main problem is that she's also biting me. Her cage moves sometimes. Into the hall for cleaning, into the living room for company if I'm not home, or even just to a different part of my room if I need to do something, it's never been an issue. She just climbs up and sniffs and gets excited about being in a new place.
Lately, when I move her cage she's started biting me. Because of the size and shape, it's impossible to carry it somewhere without having at least part of your hand on the bars to steady it. She's taken to biting my hands now when I'm carrying it, I've almost dropped her a few times because of it. She's also started attacking my dressing gown if I'm wearing it when she's out. She's accidentally bitten me through that a few times as well. Thing is, I need to have something like that on when she's out because otherwise her nails scratch my arms when she's clawing her way around my body. She never used to have a problem with it, she actually used to cuddle in and fall asleep sometimes.

Any ideas why she's suddenly attacking everything, including me?
It occurred to me that sometimes at night when I'm going to bed I'll put a treat through the bars for her to take so maybe she's got it in her head that "Thing on bars = food = NOM"

Other thing: I've gotten her those hard corn on the cob things, and those chew sticks that are like oats attached to a little stick you can put onto the bars, but she doesn't like them. She'll take all the corn/oats off but then she just leaves them lying around her cage until I clean it out. Are there any other hard treats I can give her to chew on?
I don't want to keep wasting money on these if she doesn't like them but they're the only hamster treats my local shop does so are there any human foods that might substitute?
I've tried mixed seeds, but she just shoves them in her pouches, I don't know if she ever eats them or just hides them somewhere.

SO: Why is she biting all of a sudden and how can I make her stop?
What human (or other animal) treats can I give her to chew on?


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Re: Hamster has started biting? - December 20th 2014, 01:38 PM

Make sure that her gums aren't red or that her teeth aren't too long. Sometimes when they're irritated they'll bite even more.

Hamsters love cardboard, but make sure it's not coated with dyes etc. They also enjoy toilet tissue rolls. Carrots were a favorite of my teddy bear hamster.

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Lizzie Offline
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Re: Hamster has started biting? - December 20th 2014, 02:00 PM

First off I would just like to say when I saw the title of this thread I knew exactly who wrote it. :heehee:

It's been a few years since I had a hamster, but maybe I can help.

Is her cage large enough? Perhaps she is stressed from confinement. Is she eating normally? Sometimes biting can be a sign of illness.

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Re: Hamster has started biting? - December 20th 2014, 06:41 PM

Hamsters like the salt on your fingers so she may smell that. You can see about getting a salt lick which hamsters like and it can help with their teething. If you're using scented soars she may be smelling the fragrance on your hands so it is better to use unscented which gets rid of the smells. I agree about the toilet paper roll, you can also look at the pet store for treats inside of cardboard toys. Here is a link to a website which lists some human foods hamsters can eat. There's always the chance she is starting to go into heat which does sometimes make them be aggressive. You can look for a hay tunnel which some hamsters like to chew on or fruit flavoured wood which can help the teeth from overgrowing as well.
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