Why Do Hamsters Eat Their Bedding? Let’s Discover

Last updated on January 22nd, 2023 at 06:34 pm

Hamsters eat pellets, vegetables, and fruit, but sometimes they can also eat from their bedding.

Why do hamsters eat from their bedding?

Hamsters don’t actually eat their bedding, they just store it in their cheek pouches so they can then take it to where they want to make their nest.

Sometimes hamsters chew their bedding to reduce their ever-growing teeth.

Hamsters often stuff their cheeks with bedding, this is completely normal, but sometimes they can injure themselves in their mouths.

Because some bedding is dangerous for them and can cause problems for our pets.

In today’s article, you will learn why hamsters put bedding in their mouths, as well as which bedding is safe and which is dangerous for their health.

Do hamsters eat their bedding?

No, hamsters don’t eat their bedding, they store it in their cheeks.

Hamsters store the bedding to use to move to a part of the cage where they want to use it for a nest or something.

Hamsters sometimes know how to eat a little of the bedding, but this is very rare and if they do it in small quantities it will not cause any problems with their health.

Here are 4 reasons why hamsters sometimes may eat their bedding.

Hamsters may chew bedding when bored

If hamsters are bored and have nothing else to do they will start chewing their bedding.

That’s why they should have enough toys so that they don’t have to chew the bedding, however, it’s not best to always do that.

Chewing on bedding is a sign of a lack of fiber in the diet

As we said, hamsters sometimes chew or eat bedding, which in small amounts is not dangerous for them.

However, if the hamster does not have enough good and varied nutrition, then it needs to eat the bedding.

Most often, the lack of fiber is the main reason for this behavior of hamsters, so if you notice that they constantly chew the bedding, then you should change their diet.

The hamster eats bedding if it has a pica

When hamsters eat bedding uncontrollably it may mean that they have pica.

Pica is a medical condition where hamsters too often eat something that is not real food or in our case bedding.

This happens if his diet is not rich enough in nutrients. Pica can also be a result of stress or anxiety in your furry friend.

In such situations, the hamster should be taken to a veterinarian to check its health.

Hamsters love to explore the bedding

Hamsters are very curious by nature and they like to constantly explore and try something new.

When you first put some new bedding on them they will eat or chew it to explore it and test its taste.

However, this is only temporary, that is, it will not last for a long time, so you do not need to worry if they are decided to do this step.

Why do hamsters stuff their cheeks with bedding?

Hamsters have multi-purpose cheek pouches in their mouths.

They help hamsters put food, babies, and bedding, since hamsters have no other way to transfer things to another place, the cheeks have that function.

As for bedding, hamsters use their cheek pouches to store bedding so they can transport it elsewhere.

Most often they put the bedding and move it to a place in the cage where they want to make a new nest.

When you see that hamsters store bedding in their mouths, you should try to remove it or prevent them from doing so.why do hamsters eat from their bedding

Is the bedding they put in their cheeks safe for hamsters?

Since hamsters often use their mouths and cheeks to fill them with bedding, it is very important which bedding is safe and which is dangerous for hamsters.

Once you know which is safe, you will be careful about what bedding you use for your hamster’s cage.

Hamster safe bedding

The safest bedding for hamsters is paper, toilet paper bedding, and aspen shavings.

These few types of bedding that we have listed are safe for hamsters and you should not be afraid if they put them in their mouths.

These beddings will not cause any injury to the hamsters and they can freely fill their cheek pouches and use it for storage and transport elsewhere in the cage.

Safe bedding should not have any scented ingredients as they can cause breathing problems with our pets.

Unsafe bedding for hamsters

Unsafe bedding for hamsters is wood shavings from pine or cedar.

The problem with these beddings is that they contain natural phenols that are harmful when they are inhaled by hamsters and can cause respiratory problems.

These beddings have phenols that help protect the wood from insects and fungi, but are not good for hamsters and should be avoided.

Cotton-based bedding can also be dangerous for hamsters because the cotton can easily get wrapped around their teeth or get stuck in their cheek pouches.

Straw is also very dangerous if used as bedding because it has sharp ends that can cause sores in the hamster’s mouth.

Is it dangerous if hamsters eat bedding?

If the bedding is made of a safe material then there will be no danger if the hamster eats a bit of the bedding.

However, hamsters do not like to eat bedding and they will avoid doing so, except in some random situations.

When hamsters eat safe bedding, it will not cause them any problems and they will be able to digest it in their digestive system.

Is bedding good for hamsters’ teeth?

Yes, bedding is good for hamsters’ teeth as it helps reduce them as they are constantly growing.

Of course, it also depends on the bedding, for example, cotton bedding will not help them reduce their teeth, it is too soft and can just wrap around their teeth and cause pain.

Aspen wood shavings bedding is the best choice of chewable bedding to help reduce teeth.

Read more: How To Choose Safe Hamster Bedding? (Let’s Discover)


Hamsters don’t eat the bedding they put in their cheek pouches, they usually store it.

They use their cheeks to move the bedding to another place in the cage where they want to make a nest.

Hamsters may sometimes eat some bedding out of boredom, poor nutrition, stress, and other factors.

A bit of bedding is not dangerous if hamsters eat it, but it is still not a suitable food for them.

Read more: Can Hamsters Breathe Under Bedding? All You Need To Know