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What do Hamsters Eat?

Om Nom Nom! What Do Hamsters Actually Love to Eat?

A well-balanced hamster mix is often recommended as the best food for these critters. However, you must have a basic understanding about foods that are safe for hamsters.
Sonia Nair
Last Updated: Mar 6, 2018
Hamsters are rodents that are very popular as pets. These small, furry critters are loved by kids as well as adults, for their antics. Apart from that, hamsters are not fussy, and are easy to take care of. This does not mean that you are free from your responsibilities towards your pet.
Hamster Diet
Hamsters feed on a wide variety of food, like grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables, cereals, and biscuits. The list can be endless, as these critters like to stuff their mouth with anything and everything that come in their way. In their natural habitat, hamsters feed on nuts, grains, bits of fruits and vegetables laying on the ground, etc. They may also consume small insects, like crickets and fruit flies. Even though hamsters like to eat different types of food, some of them can be harmful for these animals. Consumption of certain things may make the animal sick, and in some cases, may even cause death. So, a basic idea about the diet of hamsters, will be beneficial if you plan to keep these animals as pets.
Even though they are omnivores, hamsters tend to be more on the vegetarian side. However, you must give them foods rich in protein too. The following are some of the best foods that are safe for hamsters.
  • As hamsters need protein for a healthy growth, you can provide them with cheese (especially cottage cheese), boiled or scrambled eggs, meal worms, crickets, grasshoppers, cooked poultry or beef (without fat), muesli, seeds and nuts, cooked rice, and bread soaked in milk.
  • Hamsters eat fruits, like seedless apples, pitted peaches and plums, lychees, raspberries, seedless grapes, strawberries, bananas, cranberries, blackberries, and raisins.
  • Vegetables are also among the favorite foods for hamsters. You can give them vegetables, like turnip, carrots, cabbage, broccoli, cucumbers, celery, cauliflower, clover, spinach, sweet corn, green beans, cooked beans, sweet corn, water cress, zucchini, and asparagus.
  • The favorite foods of hamsters include, cheese, cooked beans, cucumbers, apples, carrots, leafy vegetables, toasted bread, dog biscuits, rice, etc.
  • While Roborovskis love Chinese cabbage, birdseed, and sweet corn, Syrian hamsters like a wide range of fruits, vegetables, and grains. So, choice of food may vary with the type of hamster.
  • A healthy and well-balanced hamster mix can take care of most of the nutritional requirements of these animals. You can provide other food items as occasional treats.
  • Whenever you introduce a food to your hamster, you have to start with very small amounts. This applies to all fruits, vegetables, and other food items. Otherwise too, treats should not be given in large quantities.

While the food items mentioned above are safe for hamsters, there are certain foods that can make the animal sick. Hamsters should not be fed with almonds, rhubarb, raw potatoes, onion, garlic, chocolate, raw beans, raw kidney beans, foods with whole oats, eggplant, apple seeds, canned foods, citrus fruits, tomatoes, and watermelon. As these animals are nocturnal, feed them in the evening. Never use plastic bowls for feeding. Apart from the right food, make sure to provide them with fresh water and a spacious and clean home.
Hamster and house