My Hamster Doesn’t Like Chew Toys – What To Do?

Chewing is an important part of a hamster's routine. Did you know chewing is necessary to maintain your pet's dental health? Because their teeth are always growing, chewing is needed to grind down or file teeth to prevent overgrowth. Knowing the importance of chewing, it can be frustrating and worrisome when your hamster doesn't seem interested in their toys. In some cases, the lack of interest in chewing on toys can lead your hamster to other behaviors like chewing on their cage bars. In this article, we will discuss some reasons why your hamster doesn't like their toys and what you can do about it. 

A hamster's needs change a little based on the individual, including their toy preference. Your pet may not like their chew toy because of the taste, shape, or texture. To find what your hamster likes, you will want to provide a variety of items for them to play with. There are tricks to creating a more enticing toy for your furry friend too. Some of these tricks and tips include:

  • Adding flavor (peanut butter, fruit, feed)
  • Varying materials
  • Edible treats

Finding the right chew toy for your hamster is vital for their health and happiness. There are plenty of safe chewing options to sift through and a handful of items that are not safe for your pet. Keep reading as we discuss what items you can and cannot give your hamster and what most hamsters tend to like. 

A cute hamster standing and starring at something inside a home, My Hamster Doesn't Like Chew Toys - What To Do?

How Do I Get My Hamster To Chew On Toys?

When a hamster is not into their chew sticks or toys, they tend to start chewing items they aren't supposed to - like their cage. If your hamster is not interested in their toys, you can try providing differently shaped and textured toys. On top of cycling out toys, you can make some changes to their current toys in an effort to make them more enticing, Let's talk more about these tricks. 

Adding Flavor (peanut butter, fruit, feed, or honey)

A lack of flavor can be one reason your hamster is not interested in their chew toy or stick. Fortunately, there are ways to add flavor to a hamster chew. One way to add flavor is to smear a small amount of peanut butter or honey on the toy. You should wipe off any excess before giving the chew to your hamster. 

Two robo hamsters standing on a wooden decoration

You can make a fruit mash diluted with water. By soaking your hamster chews in the mixture for a couple of hours, you'll be left with fruity-flavored hamster chews. It is safe to use berries for this flavor, like blueberries, strawberries, or blackberries. Maybe your hamster will prefer one flavor over another. 

Two cute hamster jungars

If your hamster loves their regular food, you can try storing chew sticks or blocks in the same container you store your hamster food. Storing them together will leave your toys smelling and tasting like the hamster feed. You can even find pre-flavored wood chews for your hamster. See these shaped, fruit-infused chews offered on Amazon. 

Varying Materials

If your hamster shies away from wood chews or toys, you can try switching up the material. Some other materials that hamsters can chew on include seagrass, rice pops, corn cobs, and mineral or salt chews. Take a look at these seagrass twists for your hamster here on Amazon. 

Keep in mind when giving a mineral or salt block to your hamster to only leave these items in the cage for a short period of time. Salt or mineral blocks should not be left in your hamster's cage 24/7. If your hamster is eating a balanced diet, they should be receiving all needed minerals. In this case, you are using these mineral chews to promote dental health versus making up for deficiencies. 

Edible Treats

Edible treats are a great way to get your hamster chewing. Hard chew treats can do the same for your hamster's teeth as a wooden block. Some edible treats great for chewing include organic unflavored dog biscuits,  compressed timothy hay, and other grass sticks. You can find grinding grass sticks here on Amazon. 

The video below goes into detail about different chews available for your hamster and how to encourage your hamster to chew.  

Read more on our blog post, "What Toys Should I Get My Hamster?"

What Do Hamsters Like To Chew On?

Hamsters like to chew on items that are hard or crunchy. In the wild, hamsters chew on wood. This is why wooden treats, blocks, or sticks a great choice for your pet. These chews provide a surface for your pet to bite onto, and they provide entertainment or stimulation. 

Hamsters enjoy flavor. Outside flavored wood, you can play around with different nuts. Hamsters have been known to like walnuts. They provide a bit of flavor and a hard surface that can try to crack. 

A cute little hamster standing on two wall nuts on a white background

What a hamster likes to chew on will change from hamster to hamster. To find what your pet likes most, play around with different toys, flavors, items with varying textures, and more. It takes a little trial and error, but you are sure to find something your hami loves. 

What Can I Give My Hamster To Chew On?

There are many fun options to choose from when picking out chews for your hamster. From different colors, shapes, tastes, and styles of chews, and more, there is something for every individual. Some items you can give your hamster to chew on include:

  • Apple sticks
  • Grass balls
  • Bamboo sticks
  • Lava chews
  • Teeth grinding rocks
  • Chewing rings
  • Wood blocks
  • Timothy hay treats
  • Dog biscuits
  • Toilet paper rolls

If you are looking to get creative, you can always dive into DIY chews or toys for your furry friend. The video below gives you three examples of what you can create at home. 

What Household Items Can A Hamster Chew On?

There are plenty of toys for your hamster waiting to be created from items you have lying around the house. A common item most of us have is cardboard. You can use paper toil or toilet paper rolls to create chew toys for your pet. They also create great tunnels and hidey holes. 

A small cute hamster peeping out of his heart shaped hole

The rolls are fun for our hamsters, and you can use actual tissue paper too. Hamsters enjoy shredding up tissue paper, but the soft material does not contribute much to dental health like other chew toys. 

A small cute hamster chewing tissue paper

Clean popsicle sticks can be used to create toys, ladders, or walls in your hamster's home. These sticks are safe for them to chew on. Remember to always use non-toxic adhesive for DIY projects made for your hamster. 

Read more on our blog post, "Is It Okay For A Hamster To Eat Cardboard?"

Is It OK For Hamsters To Chew On Their Cages?

When a hamster is bored, is lacking stimulation, or doesn't have sufficient items to chew on, they may begin chewing on their cages. While cage chewing is not an uncommon issue, it can be harmful to your furry friend. 

A cute hamster standing and starring at something inside a home, My Hamster Doesn't Like Chew Toys - What To Do?

Excessive bar chewing can lead to broken teeth or a condition called bar rub. This condition involves inflammation around your pet's nose and mouth but can lead to worse infections. For your sanity and your pet's health, it is best that your hamster is not chewing on its cage. You can often solve this issue by creating a stimulating and fun environment for your hamster. 

Read more on our blog post, "How To Stop My Hamster From Chewing The Bars Of The Cage?"

In Closing

Hamsters have an instinct and need to chew. Chewing is a core part of keeping up with your hamster's health and ever-growing teeth. If your hamster is not interested in their current options, it is time to try something new. You can have a rotating selection of store-bought chews, use flavor or smells to make current chews more interesting or play around with DIY hamster chews and treats. 

There is something out there for every type of hamster, it is just a matter of finding out what yours loves most. We hope you found some helpful tips and tricks within this article. Happy chewing! 

Want to learn more about your hamster's behavior? Take a look at our blog post, "Is My Hamster Bored? (And What To Do About It)."

Alyson Maticic
Alyson Maticic
Articles: 25

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