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List Of What You Can Feed Your Hamster

Updated on February 21, 2012

Whether you’re running low on food for your little one and its too late to get to the pet shop, or you’re just staring at your hamsters’ bowl of dry food thinking that it must be terribly boring for them to have the same thing day in, day out, you may be looking for new foods that you can feed your hamster safely.  Although there are plenty of things that your hamster can eat (and will thoroughly enjoy!), there are also many that you may find surprising that they cannot handle.  Since your hamster will eat up almost anything that you give to it, its down to you to ensure that you read up so that you can keep illness at bay and keep your hamster happy.


Seeds are fantastic to give to your hamster.  Sunflower seeds, as an example, contain a lot of nutrition and your pet is likely to love them.  Seeds contain a lot of fat, though, meaning that you shouldn’t feed your hamster these every day, or leave large amounts of them in their cage.  Four or five sunflower seeds each day should be fine but any more than this can cause your hamster to be overweight, which can be very dangerous.  Apple seeds, however, should be avoided, although apple slices with the seeds removed make a great snack for your hamster!



Nuts are a fantastic food for your hamster to have every now and again (although, similar to seeds, be aware that they should not have many due to the high fat content).  Almonds are to be avoided, though, since they contain cyanic acid.  Also make sure that the nuts that you are feeding your hamster are not salted!


Hamsters are actually omnivorous and, although many of us won’t want to do this any time soon, live insects are also fine to feed your hamster.  Live grasshoppers, mealworms and crickets, for example.  If you want to give your hammy some meat but don’t fancy the idea of picking up some live insects then steamed chicken or cooked ground beef (rinsed in hot water to remove grease) could be more ideal.

Be Wary

Not all fruits and vegetables are safe for your hamster to eat.  Raw potatoes, raw kidney beans, pickles and any citrus fruits can be very bad for your pet.  Any canned foods should be avoided, also, no matter what they are or whether the fresh version is safe for your hamster to eat.  Avocado, eggplants and watermelons are also amongst foods that shouldn’t be given to your pet.

Beware Of Herbs & Salads

You should never feed your hamster onions, garlic or celery – these are strong herbs that they cannot handle, and feeding them these things may even be lethal to them. You should also check things like pre-packaged salads in case they contain herbs – some of which do even though you wouldn’t necessarily expect it. Lettuce should also not be fed to hamsters since it can give them diarrhoea, which is very dangerous for them, and can even cause death.

Save The Sugary Snacks For Yourself

Chocolate and similar stimulants is also a definite no-no for hamsters, but you can find fake chocolate drop treats that are safe for them in many pet shops if you feel like they’re missing out!  Similarly, sweets should not be fed to hamsters, but there are plenty of safe alternatives that you can find that are designed specifically for your little one.

Keep The Cage Free Of Bad Foods

When putting things in your hamster’s cage it is important to be careful of the things that they may eat and will cause them to fall ill.  For example, conifer wood resin is poisonous.  Hay should not be used as bedding or cage lining since, although non-toxic to hamsters, it can cause bad cuts in their pouches.  Also, use a proper water bottle designed for small rodents – bowls of water will be polluted and also spilt meaning that your hamster will be living in an unhealthy, damp cage.

Plenty More!

Here is a long list of things that you can and cannot feed your hamster. You could always print it out and put it near the cage so that you’re never in doubt and your little critter can have lots of delicious things to snack on!


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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      This was very helpful for me to know what not to feed your hamster & PS:Thanks for the hints & tips about hamsters have a great day!:-)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      this is very usefull highly recommend

    • ixbag profile image


      7 years ago from Guangzhou

      very cute

    • CourtneyHingley profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Thanks for the tip!!

    • jdavis88 profile image

      Joseph Davis 

      7 years ago from Florida

      Very well written hub! Not sure if you get Adsense money, if so, you need to move the picture down and beef up the first paragraph to make room for the ad.


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