Are Hamsters Omnivores?

Very True! Hamsters are omnivores by nature. They not only eat plant-based food but also need non-plant-based food to ensure proper health.

While wild hamsters choose their food, it is necessary to offer them a balanced diet as pets. But knowing what they eat and what they cannot is essential. 

What Do All Hamsters eat As Omnivores In Wild? 

Yes! Hamsters are omnivores. Their diet mainly contains food like seeds, fruits, vegetables, grains, grass, and a few kinds of meat like mealworms or cricket. 

This is their natural diet in the wild but as pets, there is a long list of food they can have. Remember, they need food rich in calcium and folate.

What Plant-Based Food Hamsters Eat?

Hamsters are easy pets in terms of care. They are easy to tame and are social too, which makes them friendly to kids.

Being omnivores, one can feed both plant-based and non-plant-based diets to hamsters. Offering them a high-plant-based diet can cause diarrhea.

A list of a few notable foods that you can feed your hamsters without being worried about is as follows:

  • Fruits like grapes, apples, bananas, blueberries, figs, pears, strawberries, and watermelon.
  • Fresh green vegetables like lettuce, spinach, parsley, thyme, grass, or mint.
  • Other vegetables like carrots, celery, cucumber, green peppers, pumpkin, and squash. 
  • Grains rich in proteins like bran, wheat gram, flaxseed, or peanuts but are limited.
  • Treats like avocados, tomato leaves, seasonings, and others.
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What Non-Plant Based Food Hamsters Eat?

As known, hamsters are omnivores by nature. You can feed various non-plant-based foods to hamsters, which is a great support to their diet.

The truth is their diet should ideally include 17-19% of non-plant-based food that can offer them a consistent amount of protein required to maintain their health.

A few non-plant based food that hamsters love to have are:

  • Mealworms or crickets, either dried or alive, can be fed to them every alternate day. Restrict to like 1 cricket to 5 mealworms only.
  • Chicken is a great source of protein but can be served as a treat every alternate day, limited to ¼ teaspoon.
  • A quarter teaspoon of beef once every week can be a great supplement for vitamin B12, zinc, and iron.
  • Just ½ teaspoon of egg, boiled or scrambled, once every two weeks can be fed.
  • As low as a quarter teaspoon of pork can be given every two weeks.
  • ¼ teaspoon of shrimp once every 2 weeks.
  • A quarter teaspoon of fish every 1-2 weeks to fulfil protein.
  • ¼ teaspoon of turkey once every 2 weeks.
  • Hams once every month as a happy snack.

Apart from the food mentioned above, you can also feed hamsters baby food, cheese, peanut butter, or plain tofu, but limit the same to ¼ teaspoon, once every 2 weeks.

Ensure that if you have fed one of the treats once a week, never share the other. Manage a diet chart that can distribute these foods smoothly over the month.

Offering them these treats or food in high quantities or frequently can adversely affect their health. Properly cook the meat before feeding to the hamsters and make sure to give small pieces.

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Commercial hamster food should also be a part of the diet. Make sure that these non-plant-based foods are supplements.

What Food Should Be Avoided For Hamsters? 

Hamsters are omnivores, so it is ubiquitous to be confused that they can eat every plant and non-plant-based food without any problem. But this is not true. 

Hamsters have a particular diet, and they cannot eat everything like various other pets. Maintaining a balanced diet and avoiding food that is harmful to them is crucial.

A few foods that you should never feed to hamsters at any cost are:

  • Citrus fruits of any kind or fruit seeds like apple seeds.
  • Fruits like pineapple, raspberries, apricots, nectarines, or peaches.
  • Vegetables like rhubarb, raw potatoes, garlic, onion, and raw beans.
  • Dry fruits like almonds, cashews, or others.
  • Sugary food like chocolates, jaggery, bread, or cream biscuits.
  • Any kind of junk food like pizza, burgers, or others.

Make sure never to feed any of the above foods. Also, ensure they keep their clean and free from rotting food.

It can make them ill and can sometimes have fatal consequences as well. So, be cautious about what you feed your furry friend, and in case of any issue, contact the vet immediately.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Hamsters Herbivore? 

No! Hamsters are not herbivores. Usually confused to be herbivores, hamsters are fed a plant-based diet only as pets. But they are omnivores by nature. They sustain on plant- and non-plant based diets like small insects to fulfil their protein needs and keep them healthy and happy.

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Are Hamsters Cannibals? 

Not all hamsters are cannibals, especially the ones that are domesticated. But few studies have reflected that hamsters may be cannibalistic sometimes. Mother hamsters with stillborn or dead babies have been observed eating their offspring. Though not cannibalistic by nature, they still show some traits.

Are All Hamsters Omnivore? 

Yes! All hamsters are omnivores and hoard their food at the corner of the cage when domesticated. They love to have vegetables, fruits, seeds, grains, insects, mealworms, cooked chicken, boiled eggs, and related food in their diet to make them happy and keep them healthy.

Are Hamsters Predators?

Hamsters are in no way predators. They are prey in the food chain. Though they are omnivores who eat small insects, it doesn’t mean that they hunt for their food. But one thing is for sure when attacked by a predator, they can fight and defend themselves.

Can Hamsters Stay Healthy As A Herbivore?

Hamsters are usually fed a variety of grasses, fruits, vegetables, and grains. Usually, misidentified as herbivores, they are omnivores who require a high protein diet to stay healthy. Until you feed them protein-rich food, they can stay healthy as a herbivore too.

Conclusion

Hamsters are indeed a great pet but are often misunderstood as herbivores. They need a protein-rich diet to keep themselves happy and healthy.

Omnivores by nature, hamsters love to have meat or mealworms as snacks now and then. Still, they are the most adorable and safe pets one can ever have.

So, offer your hamster great food and watch him happy!