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Small pets

Hamster chewing her cage, hole in it now!

20 replies

youvegottobekidding · 27/09/2020 08:43

Our Syrian hamster, who we’ve had for 13 wks has been chewing at her cage constantly. She’s chewed at any of the plastic (base) she can & has now chewed a hole in it! She chews at the bars too (and yes she climbs across them in acrobat style!)

Her cage is a large one from PAH. She has lots of chew things in there, wooden bridge, a wheel, we even get her those little dog chews, the whimzees which she loves, but she ignores any wood things that are there to chew on, just goes for the plastic & metal bars!

We get her out everyday in the evening so she’s not short on attention. She is well cared for & very much loved.

Yes we could get her an even bigger cage for a lot of money, but what would stop her from chewing that? DH isn’t convinced that it’s the size of the cage that’s the problem, he thinks she just likes chewing & being out as she just sleeps during the day.

We’ve tried rubbing lemon on the parts she chews but she seems to like it!

Any ideas? DH isn’t keen on getting a used cage so ebay isn’t an option. A wooden cage? Seeing as she doesn’t seem interested in chewing wood? Sooner or later we’ll have to get a new cage anyway as the hole will get bigger.

OP posts:
exLtEveDallas · 27/09/2020 09:00

The PAH large cage is too small for a Syrian. They shouldn’t be selling them and have had to refund a lot of customers.

DD has a Savic Hamster Heaven - we wouldn’t go smaller than that. She’s also in the process of building the Ikea Detolf glass cabinet hack - it’s going to look great and is a possibility for your hamster - they can’t chew through glass!

exLtEveDallas · 27/09/2020 09:04

This is what the Deltof hack can look like - I think it’s going to be great.

Hamster chewing her cage, hole in it now!
youvegottobekidding · 27/09/2020 10:12

That looks fab, yes she'd certainly not be able to chew threw that!

The cage you mentioned that DD has for her hamster, the one we have isn't that much smaller.

Our hamster has just woke up and gone to the same place and started chewing again at the hole, she's like mental, really going for it! its like prison break! she knows there's a hole there now and will stop at nothing until she can get out, that's what she's thinking.

Like is said, yes we could go and spend £75 on a new cage, but what if the size isn't the issue and she starts chewing that?! that's DH's argument.

I doubt we'd get a refund from PAH, its been 2 months now.

That ikea shelf one is a great idea, but i know DH wont go for it, we've no where to put it to be honest. It looks like a terranium, i wonder if you can adapt those kind of 'cages' you know the one for lizards/turtles - obviously with lids and holes at the top? i'll have to google.

OP posts:
SistemaAddict · 27/09/2020 10:21

We have this one for dds dwarf hamster

Dd worries it's too small 😩

youvegottobekidding · 27/09/2020 12:03

Shock it’ll only get bigger! Why can’t she chew wood! She has lots of chewy things in her cage! on one hand I do feel for her, she just wants to be free and we do let her out every evening & we also give her free run in the living room most nights - under very careful supervision that is!

I’ve seen this on amazon, I wonder if this will be better, it’s wood, so she won’t chew it, right?.....

Hamster chewing her cage, hole in it now!
Hamster chewing her cage, hole in it now!
OP posts:
exLtEveDallas · 27/09/2020 13:23

Floor space is more important than height for hamsters. That’s why DD is going for the deltof (she’s furnishing it from pocket money which is why it’s a work in progress!) She’s got a Kallax unit and the deltof fits on top almost perfectly, but it would be fine on the floor. I think it’s going to look ace and her spoilt pet will think he’s in heaven!

Problem for you is that you are going to have to change the cage anyway, and if your hamster is now addicted to chewing it’s going to chew the next plastic one - and probably a wooden one. We had the PAH one for weekends away (easier to transport in my boot) but the hamster def doesn’t like it as much.

user127819 · 29/09/2020 22:37

Unfortunately female Syrians do tend to want lots of space.

The ideal for her would be a glass tank, 100x50cm or bigger in size. There's a cage on Amazon called the Living World Eco Habitat. It's an acrylic tank that comes flat packed. The lid is wooden with large gaps so you will need to staple mesh to it so she can't chew out.

I would advise caution with the detolf because lots of people have found their Syrians were quite unhappy in it. It was popularised at a time when we didn't know as much about what hamsters need, but now we know that they need a good few inches of bedding for burrowing, which the detolf just can't provide in addition to a wheel and some tallish toys. It's just too low. It's also too narrow. Syrians don't like living in a narrow cage, it feels too restrictive. It's always better to judge a cage by its dimensions, not by how many square inches of floor space it has.

There are larger plastic cages too, like the Barney and Savic Plaza, but it's possible she'll try to chew those too. I think more space will really help, but she may already have formed a habit that won't go away completely. Make sure her chewing is never rewarded or reinforced. If she's chewing the cage, don't take her out. Wait until she stops, then take her out to play.

Your hamster will also need a big wheel - 28cm+ in diameter. A proper sized wheel can help with cage chewing too.

You could have a look at Hamster Central forum too for more ideas and support.

user127819 · 29/09/2020 22:40

I've just seen the wooden one you posted. No, I wouldn't recommend that one for a chewing hamster. She will chew out of it. It's a good size and would be amazing for some hamsters, but probably not for yours.

BoobsOnTheMoon · 29/09/2020 22:41

Hamsters are just chewy little sods.

Ours had a massive tank type cage, and I really do mean massive (120 X 70cm) and still loved nothing more than to chew one specific corner of it.

Sunnydaysarethebestdays · 29/09/2020 22:54

Can I jump on a d ask how you take your hamster? My son has had his for 3 weeks, The pet shop only got them in 3 days before, he talks to him daily and feeds him treats from his hand but if he tries to gently stroke him or let him smell his hand he turns to bite him.
He’s persevering and absolutely loves him but I’m worried he’s never going to be friendly enough to handle.
My son is desperate to be able to play with him but is respectful of the hamster obviously not being ready.
Any tips?

Sunnydaysarethebestdays · 29/09/2020 22:55

Sorry typo, that’s meant to say “how do you tame him not take him.

CloudyVanilla · 29/09/2020 22:59

Awh. Unfortunately she is not chewing to satisfy a chewing urge. She is chewing to get out. It's a shame but you have unintentionally picked the hardest hamster type there is to please- a female Syrian. They are notorious for needing large and deep cages to ever show a semblance of true happiness.

I recommend checking out the Hamster Hideout forum for suitable cage recommendations. There is a great cage called the Alexander cage that zooplus sell, if you are set on a traditional barred cage. It's not much more expensive than the Hamster heaven cage but is much larger.

She undoubtedly needs a larger cage. Then occupy her buy scattering nesting material and food to forage for all around her cage. Get a massive 12 inch hamster wheel so she doesn't hurt her back and can run freely.

Hamsters are lovely but if you're keen on keeping them in future I'd recommend literally anything but a female Syrian as a child's pet. Very hard to take care of properly

youvegottobekidding · 30/09/2020 11:15

To to update, she’s managed to chew another hole! Almost overnight!

So we’ve back to PAH. A lovely staff member there was extremely helpful, said she’s most likely bored. I showed her the pictures of the holes. She recommend the Savic Heaven cage as there’s more to it. They are given us a refund for the old one which is really good as well.

So hopefully fingers crossed she’ll be happy in her new cage later today.

OP posts:
Hrcg87 · 04/11/2020 21:09

We have a female Syrian who loves to chew, even though shes in a detolf! We found using plain flower and water mixed to form a paste and using it to stick her food to cardboard (toilet rolls, egg boxes etc) keeps her entertained. Also second the comment about a big wheel really does make a difference.

BooseysMom · 15/11/2020 06:20

@exLtEveDallas.. that cage is splendid, well done!

We have a male Syrian and he also chews the cage. We've only had him since Fri and I'm worried the cage is too small. We don't have space for a big long cage. The wheel came with the cage and he uses this alot. I really hope he's not hurting his back.
We're giving him time to settle in but he's so inquisitive he wanted to come out of the box as soon as we put him in his cage.
I really wish we had space to have a cage like those recommended.

Mnnotsobigal · 19/02/2021 09:28

My Syrian chewed through both wood sections on the top and bottom unfortunately 😕 we had cut plexi to fit but she’s now clawing her way trying to still proceed but she has not gotten anywhere!
Also:: lifted cage lid is a must mine would climb out and run back and forth on the lid trying to attempt her escape or jump back into the cage with failure 😣

H76d71 · 25/07/2021 14:24

My female Syrian hamster that we've had for a month and a half nearly escaped from her cage because she chewed a hole through her wooden enclosure and was wiggling through it before I managed to see her.

Her enclosure is around 912 sq inches and we give her 6-7 inches of bedding- We also regularly give refill her food + water and give her many chews/toys. I take her out often so that she can explore my room and give her treats as well. Is there anything I can fix to help her stop chewing through her cage?

I ordered acrylic glass to line her enclosure so I've put her in a (very temporary) critter trail for the day so that I can update her cage with it.

I blocked off her newly made hole and she's just started chewing a new one. What can I do?

ChicChaos · 25/07/2021 14:59

I know this is an old thread but to respond to H76d71 - hamsters chew all the time to grind their teeth down, as they grow constantly. It's unlikely to be chewing through boredom.

user127819 · 27/07/2021 19:05

When they're chewing through the cage, it almost always is boredom or lack of space (but what a female Syrian hamster perceives as lack of space, is not necessary what we would perceive as lack of space), unless there's literally nothing inside the cage for them to chew. @H76d71 could you get some metal plates and glue them over the area's she chewing? Although she might move onto other areas. As a last resort you might need to get a big, indestructible glass tank.

pinkpirlie · 14/10/2021 22:02

I wouldn't recommend anything smaller than 10050 for a Syrian female, especially one who is already showing stereotypy behaviours.

I recommend the Linnmon hack from IKEA (vanilla ham in YouTube has a video of how to make).
It is 100
60 and very high so allows deep bedding.
Your little one will need 30cm of substrate across at least half her enclosure and this just won't be possible in the heaven.
The heaven tapers to quite a bit under 80*50 and therefore isn't recommended as it falls below the recommend absolutely bare minimum and far below the recommended minimum for a Syrian female.

If she becomes happy - then you're lucky, but I fear you're going to have the same issue with the heaven.
Bar biting, monkey barring, etc are stereotypy behaviours that can be avoided with a large floorspace, varied and deep substrates.

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