Hamsters are popular as pets, but they can be stubborn creatures. Sometimes, it may appear that your little friend won’t eat or drink enough of what you offer him. The hamster not drinking from a water bottle is a frustrating problem for many owners. However, there are several reasons why hamsters do not drink from a water bottle.
Why hamster not drinking from water bottle
Inappropriate water bottle use
Inappropriate water bottle use is a common cause of hamsters not drinking from a water bottles. Common practices such as hanging the bottle on the side of the cage, with an open bowl of water as well as placing the bottle at floor level are some examples. In order for a hamster to drink from a hanging or elevated bottle, they have to partially submerge their heads in the water, which can be cumbersome for them.
In addition, the water bowl placed at floor level will most likely become soiled from fecal matter and food remnants, thereby forcing an animal that is dehydrated to soil its water source before it has a chance to drink.
Inappropriate bottle style
The inappropriate bottle style is another common cause of hamsters not drinking from a water bottle. Bottles with a ball, a metal spring as well as those that require a coin to open are some examples. A hamster is likely going to have great difficulty manipulating any part of the above-mentioned bottles, especially if they have arthritis or are elderly.
Fear of the bottle
If a hamster is put on food restriction it may refuse to use its water bottle for drinking for fear of being further restricted. It is important to remember that although hamsters are resilient, they are not indestructible. It is important to monitor the weight of your hamster regularly in order to prevent serious health problems caused by malnutrition.
The bottle is too heavy
If a water bottle is left on the cage overnight due to its weight, the hamster will most likely not be able to drag it down for drinking. Placing an empty water bottle in the cage during the day will allow your hamster to become familiar with it.
Hamsters are natural foragers and many of them love to burrow. It is not uncommon for a hamster that wants to burrow but does not have an appropriate substrate, to use its water bottle as a replacement. If this is the case, it will be necessary to provide your hamster with an alternate substrate that will allow them to burrow.
Hindrance of vision
If a hamster cannot see its water bottle properly because it is partially obstructed by bedding or food items, it may not drink from it. Make sure there are no bedding items within the contact range of the bottle. Remove any food items that are close to the water bottle in order to ensure that the hamster can see it properly when it is thirsty.
Bottles should be at least 8 inches above the floor in order for a hamster to access them. Therefore, if the cage is too small, it may be necessary to remove the water bottle or find a larger one.
If a hamster is confined in an area with no water source it will most likely refuse to use its water bottle, as they naturally prefer running free and having access to multiple sources of food and drink. In this case, it will be necessary to provide a water bowl and food that does not require any type of preparation.
If a hamster has malocclusion its teeth can cause injuries to its mouth and tongue, causing it to avoid drinking from its water bottle as this would further aggravate the injury. When this happens, it is important to increase the calcium intake in order to promote the healing of the injury.
In some cases, a hamster will not drink from its bottle if it is constantly being splashed with water by running hamsters or an abundance of rainwater in its bowl. In this case, it may be necessary to move the bottle to a location where it is safe from splashes and can be accessed by other animals without being contaminated. Bottle type
Many hamsters will refuse to drink water that has been standing in their bottle for more than 12 hours. In cases like this, it would be necessary to change the water and scrub the bottle thoroughly.
Dusty water will cause many hamsters to avoid using the bottle as it makes them feel uncomfortable, therefore it is important to ensure that you use a water bottle that has been thoroughly cleaned.
If the bottle has not been filled to its maximum capacity this may cause your hamster to feel as though there is not enough water. Make sure that the bottle has been filled to the top every time you fill it up.
If your hamster has a sensitive mouth or tongue, it may refuse to drink from its bottle if the material is too harsh on its mouth. If this is the case, then it would be necessary to switch to a softer bottle material.
Bottles should be replaced every three months as they can become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria and mold which may make your hamster sick if ingested. If the bottle has been used for longer than this period, it would be necessary to replace it.
It is possible that a hamster may not drink from its bottle if it becomes distracted by other animals or natural occurrences such as thunder and lightning or rain. In this case, you would need to ensure that your hamster has access to its water source when it is thirsty and there are no distractions nearby.
Sometimes a hamster will not drink from its bottle if it is placed in an awkward spot. In this case, it sometimes helps to move the bottle to a different location where it can be easily accessed by your hamster when thirsty. However, you should ensure that you do not change the location of the bottle too frequently as this may confuse your hamster.
The temperature of the water
If a hamster is used to a warmer or colder climate, it may refuse to drink from its bottle if the temperature of its water is not in line with what it expects. In this case, you would need to ensure that you change the temperature of your water to mimic the one it is used to.
Sometimes a hamster will refuse to drink its water if there is something in the bottle that has not been properly cleaned or washed, such as hair or dirt. In this case, it would be necessary to change the water and thoroughly clean or wash the bottle.
If a hamster is disturbed by the presence of its water bottle, it may refuse to drink from it. In this case, you would need to ensure that your hamster does not have access to its water source when any disturbances are nearby.
While there are many reasons why a hamster may refuse to drink from its water bottle, it is always best to start with the most simple reasons before moving on to the more complex. If you have tried all of these solutions and your hamster still will not drink from its bottles, you should consult a veterinarian for further advice.