Hamsters live on average 1.75 years. I.e. A year and nine months.
Hamster balls are sometimes used to get them out of the cage for a while. We don’t recommend them as they provide no actual freedom, they can also be dangerous and tear out your hamsters claws, a further discussion can be seen on our hamster balls page. A playpen is a much better way of allowing your little one some time out of their cage. Also as a hamsters eyesight is not very good, they are not able to see what they are about to bump into. The RSPCA believe that hamster balls are a stressful experience as it restricts the hamsters use of their senses. RSPCA advice against the use of hamster balls can be seen here.
This is a common reaction to boredom. Bar Biting can cause misaligned teeth and in extreme cases, the constant vibrations can cause brain damage. Often they chew the bars if there is nothing else to gnaw on, no stimulation, or their cage is too small, research shows that it is a hamsters attempt to escape it’s cage and it is sad when they make this their mission in life. If you have a cage over the recommended 100cm size, a 11″+ wheel, and plenty of things to do and they still bite the bars, then you might want to consider putting them in a tank or bin cage to stop it.