My Syrian hamster is about 1 and a half years old and still doesn’t stop chewing the cage, no matter what. I’ve given her chew stick, toys, hay toys and I’ve sprayed the cage she bites with hamster safe, no chew spray. Yet she still bites; she has a big cage with a lot of floor room. Unfortunately, she’s not letting us to be handled as she gets stressed and bites, so I can’t take her out for a ‘play time’. I’m thinking of just getting her a glass tank, but I’m not sure and only want to do it as a last resort. What else can I do?
This almost always means the cage is not adequate.
To the best of my knowledge, EU requires the Syrian hamster cages should have at least 0.12 m2 base area and 40 cm in height. It doesn't matter if your cage is double or triple layered. Extra layers give some extra opportunities for the hamster to play, but your base area should still be larger than 0.12 m2.
UK regulations are even more stricter: The dimensions of the base has to be 50x30 cm, yet RSPCA suggestions are 80x50 cm base area with a 35 cm height.
If your cage is smaller than these values, the hamster can be confiscated and you may be fined. Keep in mind that these are minimum values, not optimal values.
Meshed cages are preferred but if this is too expensive for you, you can buy a storage box of appropriate size and prepare a structure inside to allow the hamster to climb up and down.
Other than area, make sure that the cage bedding is not damp, there is a wheel big enough for your hamster to use and it has some extra entertainment, i.e., toilet rolls or kitchen towel roles, napkins etc. Think of giving them shelled hazelnuts. Syrians are strong enough to open a hazelnut shell, but not a walnut shell. Besides, it is fun to watch them go at the shell :)
If none of this helps your problem, you can consider leaving your hamster to travel freely in the house provided he is in a hamster ball. Hamster balls are considered safe if your house don't have stairs, yet it is a good idea to check on them every half an hour if they are stuck somewhere. If anything, stuck hamsters tend to relieve themselves in their ball and hamster urine is hard to remove from carpets.
I hope this helps.