Pet hamsters are so much fun! Everyone loves these cute little critters and they make an excellent first pet. Learning to care for your hamster is a great way to build solid pet care habits. But what happens when these furry little friends start to display frenzied cage behaviors like biting and lunging?
Take a look at this complete guide to hamster cage rage so you can understand the causes and the best ways to avoid them.
What is Cage Rage?
Cage Rage or Cage Aggression Syndrome is a genuine psychological condition that can present in any caged animal. Most often, cage rage is the result of poor living conditions and can result in.
- Danger to the owner
- Danger to the hamster
- Danger to other hamsters in the habitat
Sometimes our little furbabies spend too much time isolated in small habitats that just don’t fit. It’s kinda strange when you think about it, but most of the cages available for purchase today simply don’t provide the space your little loved one needs.
Take a look at the list of the distressing behaviors caused by cage rage. It just isn’t good for the hamster or anyone else;
- Frenzied Behavior
- Excessive Marking
- Damaged Teeth
- Cage Guarding
These are all signs of a hamster under extreme stress and we will talk a little more about each one in detail. But first, let’s talk hamsters.
Who is your Hamster?
Your hamster is an amazing little creature. These little buddies have been bread as house pets for almost a hundred years. The most common variety is the ‘Syrian’ or golden hamster, but dwarf hamsters have become popular among pet owners as well.
Your cute little buddy is nocturnal which means most of his activity is reserved for the nighttime. Hamsters are omnivorous, so they will eat both plants and living things. In the wild, they are known to eat small burrowing insects in addition to plants and seeds.
Hamsters are known for their super soft and silky fur. They have huge cheeks which they use to store food in so they can get it back to the burrow, these little critters are so industrious.
Hamsters aren’t naturally aggressive but it’s important to know that hamsters are pretty solitary for the most part. Some dwarf breeds are a little more accepting of cage mates when they are exposed at an early enough age, but there is no guarantee.
At the end of the day, your hamster is a wonderfully cute little partner that literally communicates with body language.
Not only does your hamster use body language to communicate with other hamsters but most importantly, they use it to communicate with you.
What causes Cage Rage?
Habitat size is the biggest culprit. Most household pets are bread to be social, even though most hamsters are generally loners, they still need lots of care and love. ‘Syrian’ or golden hamsters are the most common and they grow to 7 or 8 oz.
That may not seem like much, but trust me, they need a little extra space.
These days it seems like a lot of the hamster habitats on the market are designed for the owner’s ego more than the hamster.
That crazy colored plastic cage with hundreds of tubes everywhere may look like a miniature theme park to you, but to your hamster, it can be a nightmare.
Isolation is another problem. Hamsters can get stressed out pretty easily. Make sure you take your hamster out at least a few times a week so they can exercise and socialize with you.
Letting them play with you while you watch TV is a great way to give them time out of the cage.
Can I Have Some Space?
Hamsters are loners for the most part but make no mistake, they need lots of room. Cage rage is commonly the result of overcrowding.
Choose a large cage like the Prevue XL Hamster cage on Amazon. Prices here!
Most hamsters like to be alone so it’s not uncommon for them to react badly when presented with a cage friend.
It’s also important to remember that hamsters like to party at night and sleep during the day, so most of the time you probably see them sleeping.
Hamsters like to snuggle, burrowing to sleep, but they love to cruise around when they are awake. Make sure they have some room to roam.
What are the symptoms of cage rage?
Let’s take a look at some common symptoms of cage rage. The important thing to look for is the nervous frenzy. Kind of a weird word but it just means crazy.
1. Cage guarding
If your little one won’t let you open the cage without lunging and biting, be careful, they’re agitated.
2. Attacking During Feeding
If you can’t feed your hamster without being attacked your little buddy is super stressed
3. Squeaking, spitting, squealing, and hissing when the cage is approached.
If you see these behaviors, pay attention, your tiny pet is trying to tell you they are upset.
4. Tooth damage
If you notice tooth damage, it’s a good bet that it may be the result of anxious cage biting.
5. Cage Climbing
Your hamster should be pretty chilled out most of the time. If they are climbing the cage incessantly it’s a sure thing, they’re stressed.
Remember, Sometimes hamsters exhibit weird behaviors naturally but keep an eye out for crazy, the stuff that seems out of control.
What is the cure for cage rage?
Thankfully, the cure is pretty simple. Even damaged teeth heal eventually. here are a few things you can do to help your hamster leed rage-free life.
1. Get a bigger cage
Not more tubes, just a bigger cage.
2. Get your hamster out of the cage
Spend quality time with your fur baby
3. Provide suitable toys
Make sure the sizing is appropriate.
4. Make them a larger nesting box
Give them some space to stretch out
5. Allow them floor time
Let your Hamster explore your living room floor under your careful watch.
Space, Space, and more space. The best thing you can do to help your hamster avoid cage rage is to provide them with a clean and healthy environment. That means adequate space, clean surroundings, and time for socializing.
Our pets are living creatures and they need a lot of love and care. Make sure your friend gets everything they need and you are sure to enjoy lots of quality time to share the world we live in.