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Old 09-26-2021, 03:06 PM   #1
Newborn Pup
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 3
Default Chewing through cage

Hi everyone,
I posted back in may about my new hamster, drizzle, chewing the bars of her cage. In that post I said how I got her new cage that was had no bars an bigger than her previous one. Unfortunately she escaped that one so I then got her another commercial cage that was (100cm x 50cm) and also had no bars (attached here ). She has now started to chew a small Hole in the side of the base.
She doesnít seem to show any other stress symptoms apart from this and is happy to be handled.
One end of the cage has bedding nearly up to the top of the cage and she has a lot of things to chew (which she does do a lot). She obviously also has the basic necessities (wheel etc). She also gets to run around for around 20 minutes a night in my house hallway
Iíve read that some hamsters do just chew the cage more than others but the thing is I canít afford to keep buying her new cages and I donít have room for a deltof (the perfect solution, I know).
I just want to make her happy and Iíve tried so hard to do that. I have considered giving her up but the thought of her possibly going to a home where she has less than what Iím giving breaks my heart. I donít want to give her up, I care about her a lot but i feel like Iím failing her.
Anyway any reassurance or tips are much appreciated.
Thanks so much
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Old 09-27-2021, 12:23 AM   #2
Ria P
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Location: Wiltshire, UK
Posts: 5,532
Default Re: Chewing through cage

I've recently come across a female Syrian in an adoption centre who was a dedicated chewer.
She could only be rehomed into a glass tank.

You are not failing Drizzle in any way, you are trying everything you can to make her happy.

A detolf is very long but you could look for a second hand aquarium in a size you could accommodate. You'd need to make a secure, meshed lid though.

I take it that your hamster has a 28cm wheel, a big house, lots of enrichment, whimzee chews etc in her habitat to keep her entertained.

Are her teeth ok? I'm just wondering if they are too long and she's trying to wear them down.

As for rehoming as a very last resort. I rehome foster hamsters and ask for proof of a suitable habitat and knowledge about correct hamster care. I will only rehome to someone who can provide that.

I couldn't part with or rehome a hamster who is a family member.
Housemate of Rory & Rodney & Jack & Gertie & Clive & Scottie
& lodgers Lola & Romy
always in my thoughts Percy, Henry, Gordon, Edwina, Clarissa, Betsy, Ozzy and Monty
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Old 10-01-2021, 02:44 AM   #3
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Location: North of England
Posts: 22,694
Default Re: Chewing through cage

Is she chewing in the bottle hole area? That is quite common and people usually block up that hole with a nut and bolt Or you can get wood chews to fit in that hole that have a nut and bolt.

If it's another area of the cage then she will chew her way out eventually. Some female syrians need a lot of space. Or she may be just a chewer and might even chew the inner bars in a detolf.

The maxi duna is a lovely cage and a good size, but in my opinion doesn't quite offer the same scope for enrichment as a taller 100 x 50cm barred cage with levels and things attached to the bars and roof and front opening. However you're probably not going to be able to use a barred cage again.

A diy cage could be a good option (like the Linmon cage - although not that cheap to build).

A detolf could also be a good option - plenty of space and perhaps easier to fit in than a large diy cage (longer rather than deeper). If she did chew the inner support bars in the detolf, people have wrapped these with sisal string. But some hamsters have also chewed through the wood ends.

The issue really is how active they are during the night and needing a lot to do. So they need a lot of enrichment, as well as space. Plenty of hidey places, tunnels, different levels (but not too high) - places to go, things to do. Pringles tubes make good tunnels and cardboard is good for hides etc. If she's a chewer she may enjoy ripping up cardboard?

The other thing that can make them stressed and want to escape/chew their way out, is too much cleaning or moving things. It removes all their scent and they feel their territory isn't theirs any more. Invaded. So is there anything like that you think could be making her try and chew her way out? Weekly cage cleans arent necessary and do cause stress. Spot cleaning and "partial cleans" over a longer period are better.

I am also conscious that you must have spent quite a bit on cages so far, so any change of cage now does need to be something chew proof and a glass tank is the only real option there. Or a diy cage like the linmon. Glass fish tanks are very expensive unless you can find one second hand (a four foot fish tank would be ideal).

But Junglepets do make custom tanks with a lid for hamsters. Last time I was quoted I think it was about £125 but they charge for shipping too.

Linmon cage

DIY Ikea Linnmon Hamster Cage 🐹 877 sq ins for the same price as a pet store cage! - YouTube

Junglepets tanks

Actually more expensive now - for one that's a good size it's £169. That's 120cm x 46 x deep x 46 cm high. Has a pre made locking lid.

Hamster Gerbil Mice Tank 48"x 18 x 18 - 122 x 46x 46cm no platforms

They do do 3 foot ones (slightly shorter than the maxi duna) but they are not very deep. Only about 38cm deep which isn't deep enough for that size of cage for a syrian.

The detolf is also only about 38cm deep but much longer which makes up for it (163cm long).
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Old 10-01-2021, 02:48 AM   #4
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Default Re: Chewing through cage

Just read back - no you can't afford to keep buying her new cages. Cheapest option would be a second hand 4 foot glass fish tank - if you can find one on ebay they can be pretty cheap - maybe £20. They might look grungy and need a good scrub/clean out. And also a lid making out of strips of wood and mesh. If you have someone who can help with diy (or are diy minded yourself, which I'm not!).

Can you post a photo of your set up in the maxi duna? Could suggest things maybe to make her happier in that. But ultimately she may chew through the plastic base (unless it's the water bottle hole area and that's fixable).
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bars, cage, chew, giving, lot

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