What do hamsters eat? | The Hamster Food Guide

By Pets and Paws 15 Min Read

What do hamsters eat? What kind of food I should feed my hamster? can hamsters eat meat? what about cheese. Maybe you have a lot of other questions concerning your hamster diet. In this guide, you will find out what the hamster can and can not eat.

In the wild, the diet of a hamster is suited to the area where it lives. Wild hamsters eat seeds, grains and grasses, as well as insects. hamsters are surprisingly much like humans when it comes to food, they survive on a mixed diet of vegetation and meat. So It is important to provide your domesticated hamster a similar diet to that of their wild cousins.
You must be careful to not overfeed your hamster. It’s so common to see a hamster, with full cheek pouches, still asking for more food.

Hamsters don’t necessarily eat all of the food in their cheeks straight away. They often store it under the bedding in their cage. But it’s still a good idea to take care of the food’s amount you’re providing them.

What do hamsters eat?

You can buy a hamster mix from a pet shop; either muesli or pellets. It’s a good idea to buy food that looks natural. Highly colored foods are normally full of additives.

Hamsters love fruit and vegetables, but you need to mind the amount you are giving them. Hamsters are obviously only small creatures and too much fruit and veggies in their diet can cause diarrhea.

A small cube of apple, carrot, or cucumber is enough. Hamsters usually love carrots but remember they are high in sugar so don’t give your pet too much. Other fruit and vegetables your hamster may like are; chicory, cauliflower, broccoli, pear, peach, and banana. You should never give your furry friend any citrus fruit or onion as they are high in acid and your hamster could end up with an upset tummy.

You can give your hamster a treat by providing a little hard-boiled egg once a week, or some mealworms. Both of These are a great source of protein.

It’s easy to provide a healthy diet for your hamster but one very important thing to remember is that no matter how tempted you might be, never give a hamster any food that is sharp or sticky, as it can become stuck inside their cheek pouches and hurt them. Other than that, as long as you provide a balanced diet, your hamster should be a very happy pet.

How much should I feed my hamster?

According to PDSA, you should feed a Syrian hamster 10g of dry hamster’s food twice a day.
Of course, you need to take note of what your hamster eats, as they don’t all have the same appetite.
Surprisingly, when it comes to the question of how much dwarf hamsters eat, the answer is, about the same as Syrian hamsters! because, despite their smaller size, the metabolism of dwarf hamsters is a lot faster!

What is the best time to feed my hamster?

With a lot of people thinking that it’s best to feed a hamster in the evening when they are active. That’s not necessarily true. In the wild hamsters come out of their burrows at night, and this is when they search for food. However, this is mainly for protection from daytime predators.

Much like domestic hamsters in their cage, wild hamsters collect food in their cheek pouches then store it to eat later. Hamsters wake several times during the day to snack on the food they have stored. Even if they are not in the wild, your hamster will also enjoy snacking throughout the day, so make sure they have enough food to do this.

When feeding, it’s important to remember that you should never leave uneaten food to rot, provide fresh food at each feeding time. You should also provide fresh water each day and make sure the drinking bottle is cleaned thoroughly at least once a week. If your tap water is high in chlorine then it’s a good idea to give your hamster filtered water to drink.

Can my hamster eat all these …?

We’ve talked generally about what a hamster diet should include, but you might be wondering about some specific food types, and whether a hamster can eat them.

  • Can hamsters eat meat?

Can hamster eat beef and meat
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Hamsters are omnivores, which means that they will happily eat meat as well as vegetables and fruits.
Indeed, meat is one of the great sources of protein, which is an important part of a healthy, balanced hamster diet.
Wild hamsters eat small insects as part of their diet, including crickets and mealworms.

If you’re not too squeamish, you may want to consider feeding your hamster dried or alive crickets and mealworms. These can be particularly popular with dwarf and Syrian hamsters.

Other kinds of meat that you can safely feed to your hamster include cooked chicken and beef, and canned dog food. Note that this is cooked meat, not a raw one.

It’s widely said that you should avoid feeding pork to hamsters. Other people report feeding pork to their hamsters without any problems. We recommend avoiding pork, simply you have much other pork alternative meat, fruit, and vegetable options too, so it’s not worth the risk.

Whatever kind of meat you decide to feed to your hamster; make sure that it is unseasoned. That means no salt, pepper, or other spices.

A the end, you may hear horror stories about hamster cannibalism. Some people say that giving hamster meat, makes them more likely to be cannibals and eat their babies or other hamsters! This is not true.

Hamsters have been known to eat their young when they look unhealthy or when there is not enough food or water available. And, in some cases, hamsters may also kill, and “possibly eat” other hamsters if their environment is overcrowded and unclean. However, this behavior is not affected by the presence of meat in their diet.

  • Can hamsters eat cheese?

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Yes, Hamsters can eat cheese, though it shouldn’t be a significant part of their diet.
Giving your hamster cheese once per week, in small quantities, should be fine. Your hamster should eat cheese occasionally, in small amounts, think of it as a special treat!

The cheese that you feed to your hamster should be mild and low in fat.

Before feeding your hamster a significant amount of cheese, you should make sure that they don’t have a bad reaction to it. You do this by feeding them a very small amount as a test. If your hamster body shows no signs of rejection or sickness, you can go ahead and add more cheese to their diet.

As well as hard cheeses, you may also be interested to know that hamsters can eat small quantities of cottage cheese. You should choose a low-fat variety and feed a test amount before feeding cottage cheese to your hamster more regularly.

  • Can hamsters eat grapes? What about other fruits, like apples, strawberries, and watermelon?


Hamsters can eat a wide variety of fruits, including grapes, apples, strawberries, and watermelon.
The only type of fruits that you should avoid is citrus fruits, such as oranges and lemons. This is because their acidity could affect your hamster digestive system.

To feed your hamster grapes or apples, you should peel it first, by removing the skin, slicing the fruit into small pieces (in half, at least, preferably into quarters) and remove any large seeds.

Ideally, you should buy seedless grapes for your hamster, as this completely removes any risk of them choking.
Be particularly careful with watermelon, as it can easily cause diarrhea if you give your hamster too much.

Taking the time to offer test pieces will also tell you whether your hamster likes the new food. Some hamsters enjoy grapes, strawberries, watermelon, and apples, whereas others simply don’t like them!

As long as your hamster likes it, and the test piece doesn’t make them sick, you can start adding more fruit to their diet.

Can hamsters eat carrots?

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Carrots can be a portion of great food for your hamster to gnaw on, as well as being a tasty treat, carrots have the added advantage of helping to keep your hamster’s teeth nice and short.
As with new fruits, you should try feeding your hamster a small piece of carrot before giving them lots.
This system of adding new things to your hamster’s diet applies to all types of food. You should always feed a test amount first to make sure that new foods don’t make your hamster sick, even if you’ve seen other hamsters eat that food with no problems.

  • Can hamsters eat lettuce and celery?

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Yes, it’s fine to feed lettuce and celery to your hamster.
Not all hamsters will necessarily like it, but many hamsters do, and it’s perfectly safe.
The only thing we would caution against is giving too much lettuce or celery to your hamster, as this can lead to diarrhea.

Your hamster must have a varied and balanced diet, rather than lots of one food type.

  • Can hamsters eat bread?

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Yes, you can feed your hamster some pieces of bread. But not often, and not many at a time. He will enjoy munching on it, and you can pretend you had morning toast together.
However, we only recommend feeding small amounts of brown bread to your hamster, not white bread, and only as a rare treat.

If you want to feed bread to your hamster then we recommend avoiding white bread, because of its high sugar content, and sticking to brown bread instead.

You can try feeding small pieces of the crust to your hamster, soaking the bread in milk, or even toasting it. Most hamsters will love these little treats!

However, as bread isn’t very good for your hamster, you should only feed it in very small quantities.

Considering the huge variety of food that hamsters can eat, it gives no reason to include bread in their diet, so you may be safer to stick to healthier options.

Finally, this is an extra quick list of foods that hamsters can and can not eat.


What Fruits and Vegetables Can Hamsters Eat?

The following foods are safe for your hamster to eat:
• Broccoli
• Cauliflower
• Kale
• Cucumbers
• Celery
• Bok choy
• Sweet potatoes (should be removed of their skins before feeding, as molds can flourish in the skins and cause digestive tract upset and other ailments)
• Apples
• Cherries
• Strawberries
• Raspberries
• Peaches
• Mango
• Cantaloupe

What Shouldn’t You Feed Your Hamster?

While it may seem like you can give a hamster just about anything, there are some foods to steer clear of, including:
• Apple seeds and skins
• Grape seeds
• Fruit pits
• Almonds
• Peanuts
• Garlic
• Onions
• Eggplant
• Chocolate (or any other sugary sweet)

While nuts such as peanuts and almonds are not specifically harmful to hamstersthey are high in calorie and 
fat content and can be provided in quantity that easily exceeds regular caloric needs and leads to obesity. 
It’s safer to stick to veggies and fruit with high water and fiber instead of seeds and nuts for snacks. 
Yeast (like bread) and alcohol (beer, liquor, win), Should also not be fed to hamsters due to potential for toxicity.


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Pets & Paws is a free resource offering expert, researched information on pets. We publish pet care news, tips and pet product buying advice for owners of a wide variety of companion animals, from cats and dogs to hamsters.
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