July 25


Why Is My Hamster Eating His Bedding?

By Mandy Thompson

July 25, 2023

If you’re a hamster owner, you might be concerned about seeing your little furball nibbling on his bedding. Many people don’t understand why these small creatures often decide to eat something that’s clearly not part of their diet – is it normal behavior, or could there be underlying health problems behind the strange snack? In this blog post, we’ll break down all the possible explanations for why your hamster could be eating his bedding and what actions you can take to keep him safe and healthy.

Common Reasons Why Hamsters Eat Their Bedding

Hamsters commonly eat their bedding due to several reasons:

Hamsters are natural foragers that explore their environment with their mouths, including tasting their bedding. Some hamsters may continue chewing on bedding materials simply due to this instinctual behavior. Boredom or stress can lead hamsters to chew on their bedding to relieve tension or pass the time, similar to how humans may bite their nails. If bedding is made of a tasty material like paper, some hamsters may view it as an edible treat and consume it, risking intestinal blockage. Providing hamsters with plenty of exercises and play, as well as safe chew toys, can help curb this behavior and prevent illness.

Ways to Make Sure Your Hamster Is Eating Properly

As an owner, it is important to monitor your hamster’s eating habits to ensure it stays healthy. Provide your hamster with a balanced diet of hamster food pellets as the staple of its diet, along with fresh fruits and vegetables as treats. Always have fresh, clean water available in a bottle for your hamster. Watch to make sure your hamster is eating regularly and enthusiastically, and check that its food bowl is not getting too full, which could indicate loss of appetite. If you notice changes in eating habits or weight loss, take your hamster to a vet to check for any medical issues. With proper diet and monitoring, your hamster can live a long and healthy life.

Nutritional Needs of a Hamster

Hamsters have specific dietary requirements to keep them healthy and energetic. As omnivores, hamsters need a balanced mix of protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, minerals, and water. A hamster’s diet should be high in protein, around 14-16%, to support their constant activity and growth. Complex carbohydrates provide energy, while fats aid the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. Fresh fruits and vegetables supply essential vitamins and minerals but should be limited to no more than 10% of a hamster’s diet. Always provide hamsters with fresh, clean water in a bottle to keep them hydrated.

How to Provide a Stimulating Environment for Your Hamster

Providing your hamster with an enriching environment is key to its well-being. Place your hamster’s cage in an area of your home that gets lots of natural light and foot traffic. Include multiple levels in its cage connected by ramps or tubes, as well as exercise wheels and other toys to keep it stimulated. Rotate different toys to keep things interesting. Give your hamster tunnels, houses, and other hiding spots that it can nest in. Supply plenty of nesting material so it can build a cozy home. Offering your hamster a variety of foods with different textures and smells will also enrich its environment and daily experience.

Tips for Preventing Boredom in Pet Hamsters

Hamsters are intelligent and active creatures that can easily become bored if not stimulated. Providing your hamster with plenty of exercises and mental stimulation is key to its well-being and happiness. Place multiple wheels, tunnels, houses, and other toys in its cage so it has options to explore. Rotate the toys to keep things interesting. Give your hamster puzzle feeders and treat dispensing toys that make it work for a reward. Spend one-on-one time with your hamster daily, handling and playing with it. Keep it entertained with cardboard tubes, chew toys, and other DIY playthings. With a variety of activities and regular interaction, you can keep your hamster stimulated and prevent boredom.

What Else You Can Offer Your Hamster Besides Bedding To Chew On

Hamsters are natural chewers and need constant access to safe chewing materials to keep their teeth worn down and to alleviate boredom. While bedding, like aspen shavings, is necessary for their enclosure, they do not provide adequate mental stimulation for your pet. Offer your hamster a variety of chew toys made of natural, untreated wood, cardboard, and paper. Wooden chew sticks, cardboard tubes, and paper bags with the handles removed are inexpensive yet entertaining for your hamster to gnaw on. Rotate the toys to keep things interesting, and be sure any materials are hamster-safe and do not contain ink, glue, or other chemicals.


In summary, hamsters are known to eat the bedding in their cage, and there can be many reasons why they do this. It is important to identify the underlying cause of this habit so that you can establish a better living environment for your pet. Provide access to a variety of foods and make sure they meet your hamster’s nutritional needs. Providing interesting activities and stimulating objects in their cage will also help prevent boredom and over-eating of bedding along with other items. Additionally, owners should provide ample opportunity for exercise outside of the enclosure for the health and well-being of their furry friend. With these tips, you can ensure your hamster is happy, healthy, and safe from any hindrances caused by eating its bedding.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is it normal for hamsters to eat their bedding?

It is not normal for hamsters to eat their bedding, but it is common for them to nibble on it. Eating large amounts of bedding can be harmful to their digestive system and cause blockages.

2. Why is my hamster eating his bedding?

Hamsters may eat their bedding due to boredom, stress, or lack of nutrients in their diet. It can also be a sign of dental problems or a behavioral issue.

3. What can I do to stop my hamster from eating his bedding?

To stop your hamster from eating his bedding, provide him with plenty of toys and activities to keep him entertained. Ensure he has a balanced and nutritious diet, and consult a vet if you suspect dental or health problems. You can also switch to a safer type of bedding, such as paper-based bedding, or provide your hamster with a separate area for nesting and chewing.

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