Hamsters will throw their own poop for several reasons, with poop throwing a common behavior for their species.
Some of the most common reasons for a hamster to throw their poop around or outside of their cage is that they are attempting to mark their territory, clean their cage, have a lack of entertainment in their habitat, or are experiencing symptoms of a psychological disorder called cage rage.
Have You Recently Added a New Hamster to the Cage?
If you happen to have recently added a new furry friend to the mix you may notice that both of them may become aggressive towards one another, begin expressing their scent glands, urinate more, and throw their feces around their cage to mark their territory.
If there has been a new addition and you notice poop throwing has begun, you have likely found the cause of this behavior.
How do You Prevent Territorial Behavior?
In nature, hamsters are territorial creatures who are generally considered solitary animals. The vast majority of hamster species begin developing territorial behavior by the time they reach ten weeks of age.
It is highly recommended to keep one hamster per habitat set-up to keep them from exhibiting territorial behavior and avoid the stinky and unsightly outcome of flinging their feces.
If you are looking to own more than one hamster per habitat you may need to put in a little research but there are certain breeds that are more tolerable about sharing their cage.
Is Your Hamster’s Cage Dirty?
A surprising reason for such an unhygienic behavior is that your hamster may actually be trying to clean his or her cage.
Typically, hamsters will designate a couple of areas in their cage where they will regularly urinate and defecate, making it rather easy for daily spot cleaning for hamster owners.
If these areas, as well as the rest of the cage, are not properly and regularly cleaned, your hamster may begin cleaning his own cage by throwing his feces to other parts of the cage and even at times outside of it.
How Often Should You be Cleaning a Hamster Cage?
Most people are unaware of just how often they should be cleaning their hamster’s cage, more often than not cleaning it less than is recommended.
To prevent this unwanted behavior, it is advised that hamster owners remove droppings, discarded food, and food remnants, as well as soiled bedding on a daily basis.
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Thorough cleanings of your hamster’s cage and their accessories should be done weekly with soapy warm water.
Does Your Hamster Have Enough Mental and Physical Stimulation?
Another reason your hamster may be throwing their poop about is that they don’t have enough accessories in their cage to play with and occupy their time.
Hamsters require lots of exercises as well as mental stimulation to remain healthy.
Keep Your Hamster Entertained?
A staple accessory for any hamster cage is an exercise wheel. If you happen to have one that you notice your hamster is not using but is throwing their stool, check to make sure their wheel is not squeaking.
If it happens to be squeaking it may be scaring your hamster away from using it.
You will also want to keep other types of chewing and climbing toys in their cage to keep them mentally and physically stimulated and prevent them from playing with their stool.
Hamster throwing their poop for the above-mentioned reasons are pretty common and even normal reasons for this type of behavior.
However, if you cannot attribute any of the above reasons as to why your hamster is throwing poop around, it is important to observe any other aggressive behavior they present in the absence of other hamsters.
You should always keep in mind that hamsters are not aggressive animals and will only present territorial behavior towards other hamsters.
If they are displaying the following behavior towards their owner than they may be experiencing cage rage:
- Restless and Overactive
- Excessive bar biting and Destruction of Toys
- Guarding Cage doors
- Lunging to Bite You
- Flinging stool
- Increasingly Aggressive Towards Owner
If you notice your hamster throwing poop and displaying this type of behavior towards you, it is better to address the problem as the stress associated with cage rage can adversely affect a hamster’s health and life span.
Why Does A Hamster Have Cage Rage and How do You Address it?
The majority of the time this condition occurs due to inadequate cage maintenance or lack of appropriate cage size. You can both prevent and address this problem by cleaning their cage more regularly and by moving your hamster into a larger habitat.
More often than not hamster owners will get the wrong size cage, leaving larger growing species more at risk of developing cage rage.
Prior to getting a hamster, you should look up its specific species to determine what an appropriate cage size would be for that breed.
What is the Best Course of Action to Take?
When it comes to preventing your hamster from throwing their stool, a clean and roomy cage, plenty of toys, and giving them the preferred solitude that they enjoy should eliminate the need for them to display this type of behavior. It will have the added bonus of preventing cage rage.
If you find your hamster continues on with this behavior despite addressing all the possible reasons, it is always recommended to speak to a veterinary physician.