Hamster Burrowing (How Do I Encourage My Hamster to Burrow?)

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It is usual for you to be concerned about the behavior of a hamster if you recently bought or adopted one. For instance, does a hamster like to burrow? Yes, that is the response to this query.

Since they are born burrowers, hamsters create a complex network of tunnels by digging through the substrate. 

Before being domesticated, hamsters used their burrows and tunnels to defend themselves against predators and sudden environmental changes. Additionally, they use these burrows for storing food!

So, how do I encourage my hamster to burrow?

Why don’t you keep reading to learn how?

Why is My Hamster Burrowing So Much?

Hamster Pets Small Animals Black Pets

A hamster’s body cannot control the temperature as well as that of a human. As a result, hamsters cannot endure high temperatures. Extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, can be fatal to them.

A pet hamster may not have the same living conditions as your wild hamster. He will not need to worry about temperature changes because you keep the room between 18°C and 24° Celsius.

If you don’t have a hostile pet like a dog or cat, he will not need to worry about them suddenly attacking him. That, however, wouldn’t prevent your hamster from digging. He is simply acting on instinct, after all. 

Is it Normal for my Hamster not to Burrow?

There are several possible reasons why the hamster is not digging.

  • A hamster cannot learn how to dig if you keep it in a cage that prevents it from doing so. The hamster may not immediately begin burrowing if you suddenly put it in an enclosure with bedding.
  • The hamster may stop burrowing if it gets too old because it lacks the energy to do so.
  • Additionally, sick hamsters won’t be able to dig or move around normally. When a young hamster stops burrowing, it’s a great idea to check for signs that the hamster is ill.
  • The hamster needs to learn how to dig well. A baby hamster you purchase might only know how to burrow if it has had direct exposure to bedding substances that allow it to do so.

What Can I use to Burrow my Hamster?

These are some of the best hamster burrowing materials

  1. Hideaways
  2. Coverlets for beds (optional)
  3. Beds made of paper
  4. Gentle hay

How Do I Encourage My Hamster to Burrow?

Hamster Standing

1. Prepare Your Hamsters Burrowing Cage

First, empty the cage of everything apart from your hamster’s bedding. This includes hamster accessories like wheels and hideaways. Then take out the dirty bedding. Don’t, however, remove all of the bedding. Hamsters have a behavior where they scent-mark their territory.

Due to poor vision, they rely on this smell to help them identify their house. Therefore, if you remove the whole bedding, your pet will become stressed because of the unfamiliar smells in his surroundings. As a result, keep at least a third of the used bedding inside the cage.

2. Hamster Burrow Beddings

Add some new bedding and combine it with the old. For your hamster to have room to burrow, there should be at least 7 inches of this mixture.

Unlike aspen wood shavings and circular paper, shredded paper is the best bedding for burrowing because it keeps the burrows intact.

3. Provide Bedding that is Deep Enough

Since hamsters are “natural burrowers,” they create extensive underground tunnel systems when living in the wild. To allow them to act on their innate instincts, we must always give them a choice to do this.

Over one end of the enclosure, place at least 8″ or more of bedding to give them a “deep end.” The more the bedding, the better. They will be able to mimic their behavior in the wild if you provide deep enough bedding.

4. Increase the Hay

Hamster Standing

The bedding combination you made in step 2 should now include hay. Hay-to-bedding ratios can range from 1:1 to 3:2. 

During this process, we don’t intend to use hay as food for your hamster. Instead, it serves as glue, holding the bedding in one place and building a solid foundation on which the burrow can rest.

You should add soft hay to avoid irritating your hamster’s delicate paws. Orchard grass, timothy hay, and alfalfa grass are the most effective hays for this use.

4. Add Some Bedding Toppers 

Mix the bedding and hay mixture well before adding the bedding toppers. Mixtures equivalent to the food your hamster consumes in the wild are used as bedding toppers, such as Bunny Nature Botanicals.

They are not only delicious but also healthy. Therefore, they are the ideal inducements for your pet to begin burrowing.

Final Word

As you think about these ideas for how to get your hamster to burrow, watch your pet and note any burrowing behaviors.

All the best.

Jim Nero

Jim Nero

As a child, my parents got me a hamster cage and I loved my furry little friends.
So obviously when my kids were old enough I got them a pet hamster to care for.

About Me

As a child, my parents got me a hamster cage and I loved my furry little friends.
So obviously when my kids were old enough I got them a pet hamster to care for.

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