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Old 10-13-2008, 02:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My Hamster and her cage bars

Ever since I got my hamster she has done nothing at night but chew the cage bars. I know why she does it, its for attention. I cannot tell her off like some people say because it just leads to more chewing. By telling her off all I am doing is giving in to her attention seeking.
I have tried everything from lemon juice to weaving cardboard inbetween the bars, but nothing works. Please can someone give me any other suggestions that don't involve getting a cage with plastic sides cause I dont want to have to spend the money.
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Old 10-14-2008, 03:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My Hamster and her cage bars

Treacle you simply may not be able to stop her. It is like an addiction and some hamsters will chew till they have rubbed their mouth and nose red raw and still not stop. Is she actually damaging her nose? If you cannot afford a new cage that has no bars I would suggest you try and limit access to the bars particularly at the areas where she chews the most. Get something like a plastic ice cream tub and cut it to the shape of the area so it covers as much of the bars as possible eg if its a corner cut this area out then use something like sandwich bag ties to attach it to the bars on the inside. She will then be unable to get her nose through to chew. You can also use weighted ceramic tiles on the roof bars to stop them pushing their noses through. Fix toys inplace against the bars to stop her getting her nose through using the plastic coated plant tie wire. You must give her an alternative place to expend her energy. Be sure her cage is large enough, the wheel is big enough for comfortable running, she has plenty to chew - old cardboard boxes with holes cut in, loo roll tubes, washed fruit tree branches she can trash and are disposable. Keep changing her toys and set up around. Dont fed her in a bowl, but hide and scatter her food so she has to forage for it. Don't put bedding in her house. Leave a pile out so she is kept busy moving it in to make a bed. Give her a takeaway box with chinchilla sand in to dig in. Sheets of kitchen roll are fun for her to rip up. There are loads of things you can do. Remember she is a rodent and it is her nature to chew and put yourself in her place. You would want attention if you were locked in a small bedroom all day would you not. If she is young she will likely settle as she matures too and chew less but give her lots of out time and interactive play with you. She may enjoy a run in a ball or stair climbing and scrambling on the bed and sofa.
If she is drooling a lot or having problems eating or has weight loss there could be an issue with her teeth which needs vet attention.
We currently have a hammy here for taming and when he came they said he chewed all the time. We immediatly changed his too small wheel and he has been here two weeks and never chewed since
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Old 10-14-2008, 04:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: My Hamster and her cage bars

Thanks for the advice. She is only 10/11 weeks old. Her cage is massive we got the biggest one. I scatter her food before the evening starts and I make sure that she has plenty to do but still she chews and chews. At the moment her wheel is not in the cage as when it is in there she wont use it all she will do is hide in the corner next to it and yet again chew the bars. The wheel will be returned to the cage once she is strong enough to use it as just now she lacks the muscle mass. Her teeth ar healthy and she is steadily gaining weight each week so she may not be developing sores in her mouth. At first I suspected the chewing may just be because the bars are there as before we got her she lived in a tank not a cage. I am going to investigate the chinchilla sand option as I will be near a pet shop later on in the week.
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Old 10-15-2008, 06:43 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My Hamster and her cage bars

treacle, what kind of hamster do you have and why is she weak? does it differ with the different species? i have a syrian and he is 7 weeks old, yet he spends most of the night running in his wheel which makes me wonder why yours isnt strong enough? also, mine chews at the bars too - not frequently but sometimes. but yesterday when i took him out of his cage for the first time since buying him, he didnt chew on hte bars at all and just went on his wheel which makes me think maybe your hammy is a bit bored and has loads of energy to burn? try to take her out of the cage, see if it makes a difference? put those wooden chewy things in her cage too, see if it helps
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Old 10-15-2008, 07:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: My Hamster and her cage bars

I have a ten week old syrian but the wheel is quite stiff and plus she hasn't worked out it is I have another one which she can use when she out playing but she won't use it she just sits in it. I have rearranged her cage so hopefully it will work tonight when she wakes up.
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Old 10-15-2008, 08:30 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: My Hamster and her cage bars

hmm have you tried putting some veg oil around where the wheel spins? or if not get those silent wheels, thy are really good - i never hear my hammy on the wheel during the night and he always goes on it about 3/4am!
also if you mean she doesnt know how to use the wheel, maybe you should try and put her in it then give it a gentle sort of push to make it spin very gently so she knows what to do inside? i am taming my hammy right now and he is a realy sweetie!
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Old 10-15-2008, 01:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: My Hamster and her cage bars

n t is right Treacle. Even our 4 wk babies can work a wheel. There must be a problem with it if it is not running well. Dismantle it and remove anything stuck round the spindle and smear with veg oil. You need to repeat this often to keep it running freely. It may be jamming on the bars or cage tray so experiment with positions in the cage till you find a site it will run properly. As n t says if you put her on and start the wheel she will learn quickly. She may just be a hammy who does not fuss for wheel running though and as long as she has plenty toys she will be fine
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Old 10-16-2008, 12:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: My Hamster and her cage bars

i hope its ok to give some input about what happened to me so maybe it can help you, but its been two days or more now since i've been handling my hamster and making him run in his ball for about half an hour a day at night, and since then he has not chewed on his bars since! not even a nibble! actually he is eating more and drinking more and sleeping more lol. he does not seem fraustrated, i seriously think its because ur hammy is not having enough time trying to do something with her time thats why she is nibbling at the bars...hmm try and handle her more + make her exercise more, see what happens!
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