5 Reasons Why Hamsters Bite and How to Prevent It

Hamsters are cordial rodents we all love to keep as pets in our homes. However, these adorable animals may suddenly attack us leaving the owner wondering why hamsters bite.

As we all know, hamsters come from the lineage of rodents who are prey animals. The only defense mechanism these animals know in the wild is biting, if not running to safety.

This explains why a hamster can bite the owner if they are threatened or feel insecure. In other cases, if the hamster bites its cage, it suggests there could be more reasons why hamsters bite.

In this article, we will discuss the reasons why hamsters bite and how to train your hamster to stop biting.

Reasons why hamsters bite

Hamsters can bite when they are scared, hungry, confused, stressed, or when confined in a small cage.

a). The hamster is scared

It is a hamster’s initial instinct to lush out and bite whenever a threat is detected. A hamster can be scared when approached abruptly, mishandled, or by loud noises. The pet rodent reacts to this by biting a human or an animal suspected to be a threat.

b). Cannibalistic nature

Some hamsters are known to have cannibalistic behaviors. Syrian hamsters, for instance, may bite other hamsters trying to invade its territory. Apart from marking territories, cannibalistic behaviors may also show when the hamster is stressed or feels neglected. When mild cannibalistic behavior is displayed by biting other animals close to the hamster.

c). Time to eat

You may get tiny bites from your hamster when they need some food. Hamsters may bite you when it is time to eat but you may have forgotten. It may as well be an indication that your hamster is not having enough food. 

d). Stress

Just like humans keep their mouths busy when in stress, hamsters may also apply the same technique to relieve stress. When hamsters have stress, you will find them biting humans, toys, or even the cage. Hamsters biting the cage is risky for their welfare as they can get dental injuries which may alter their eating habits and, eventually their health. 

e). The cage is too small

Hamsters love a big cage where they can play freely and play with the available toys. When the cage is too small, the pet may become uncomfortable. To display dissatisfaction with the small space, the hamster bites its cage trying to create more room.

How to prevent hamsters from biting

Some ways you can reduce hamster bites are by not scaring them, making them feel comfortable around you, and playing with them consistently.

Be friendly

Scaring a hamster is a major reason why it bites you. Therefore, one of the ways to prevent a hamster from biting is to avoid scaring them. You can do this by observing how to approach them. Your movement should be slow and deliberate. This way, the hamster will not confuse you with a threat and bite you.

Build trust

Hamsters can bite you just because you are not familiar. This may frustrate new hamster owners. Luckily you can trick hamsters into liking you and getting comfortable with you. You can consult the previous owner on what the hamster likes so that you can treat it. The hamster will eventually trust you and stop biting.

Feed them

Feeding your pet rodent on time could save you one more hamster bite! Hamsters like to follow a routine and you don’t want to mess with their eating routine. If your hamster’s appetite is higher, you should increase the amount of food available for the pet to consume. 

Give them their space

Sometimes hamsters bite because they want to be left alone. If you realize that the aggressiveness is caused by too much petting, then you should hold back

Provide hamster chew toys

Hamster chew toys are the perfect solution if your hamster bites when stressed. Chew toys are designed to satisfy the hamster’s urge to bite without hurting its teeth or mouth.


Is a hamster bite dangerous?

Although it’s rare, hamster bites can cause transmission of bacterial infections such as rabies and  Francisella tularensis.

What should I do if a hamster bites me?

The first thing you should do if a hamster bites you is to expose the injured part to running water. Wash the injured part with soap thoroughly and later disinfect the wound.

Is it normal for hamsters to bite things?

It is normal for hamsters to bite things to regulate the growth of their teeth. Unlike some animals that shed their first set of teeth, hamster teeth grow continuously. To avoid teeth becoming too long, hamsters bite on things to cut off some bits.