Disclaimer: This is by no means an exhaustive list. Humans eat an insane variety of food, and we’re social creatures who love to share. So please remember that hamsters’ bodies don’t always work in the same way and that some foods can be toxic.
Hamsters thrive on a high variety diet. Fruit and vegetables are with some exceptions a good and healthy choice that add antioxidants and healthy fats to a diet. In addition, food like meat and cheese can be important protein sources…
… and watching your hamster feast on its treats is sure to give you a warm and even proud feeling!
If you’re ever unsure about feeding your hamster a particular food, just don’t do it. Likewise, if your hamster ate something you’re not sure about, call your vet.
We'll dive into the details below, but we also put this info into a hamsterific infographic.
3-Step System for Testing New Hamster Treats
When I introduce new treats for my Hamster, Mr. Bubbles, there is a 3-step system I use every time to ensure it’s good for his little stomach.
How To Test New Hamster Treats
1. Make sure its fresh, washed and doesn’t contain any pesticide (i.e. purchase organic treats)
2. Test if your hamster can eat the treat. This is done by giving a little test piece and waiting a couple of days watching for any symptoms
3. Introduce the treat into your hamster’s diet at more regular intervals over the coming weeks
Can hamsters eat bananas? Sure!
All types of hamster can eat bananas – and my Mr. Bubbles absolute loves his banana treat.
Bananas also have plenty of positive side effects. They have a lot of fiber and tons of vitamin B and vitamin C, which can otherwise be hard for hamsters to get.
However, both Mr. Bubbles and other hamsters should only be fed bananas once or twice per week and the recommended serving size of the banana is only a quarter teaspoon per feeding.
A banana can be served as a treat or snack after another meal.
Can hamsters eat Apples? In moderation!
The best apple to be fed to your hamster is the seedless apple. If you peel an apple make sure there aren’t any seeds in it, as hamster can choke on the seeds.
Like many other fruits, apples contain a lot of positive vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, vitamin K and calcium.
A serving of only a quarter teaspoon is enough for your hamster and feeding your hamster this amount of apple once or twice per week is just perfect.
Can hamsters eat Grapes? In moderation!
Most hamsters love grapes, however, it is definitely one of the fruits you should introduce slowly to your hamster’s diet.
The seedless grapes are the best type if you need to feed your hammy as it can choke on the seeds.
A quarter teaspoon per serving once or twice a week is sufficient and work great as a treat (although it should be done in moderation).
Can Hamsters Eat Cheese? In moderation!
Hamsters can feed on cheese without much ado although moderation is wise.
The preferred cheese for feeding your hamster would be mild cheese or cottage cheese.
If you opt for the mild cheese the best ration per animal is only a serving of few shreds of cheese once or twice per month.
With cottage cheese, a teaspoon full once a week will do just well.
Cheese contains a variety of vitamins and minerals that are good for hamsters.
I try to give my Mr. Bubbles a little piece of cheese every other week.
Can Hamsters Eat Carrots? Sure!
Hamsters love feeding on carrots, but because they are high in sugar, the best amount of carrot to feed to your hamster is a half to one teaspoon every one or two days.
Feeding it half a teaspoon is sufficient to meet its requirements.
A great side effect of carrots is that when the hamster gnaws on it; their teeth are kept nice and short.
In addition, carrots have positive effects on humans that are likely also the case for hamsters. Most notably, they keep the brain sharp and helps vision – since hamsters have very limited vision this is quite important.
Can Hamsters Eat Strawberries? Sure!
Hamsters can feed on strawberries comfortably and need only a quarter of a teaspoon once or twice per week.
If you give your hamster strawberries remember that they spoil easily.
You should always remove any leftover fruit in the cage to avoid growth of mould.
As strawberries are a seasonal fruit it can be easy to overfeed, however, make sure not to do so to avoid obesity.
In addition, strawberries are among the top 20 fruits in antioxidant capacity and are a good source of manganese and potassium
Can hamsters eat Celery? Sure!
As with carrots, hamsters absolutely love gnawing on celery.
The celery required by a single hamster is a quarter teaspoon per week.
Celery is a real power fruit for hamsters as it contains a lot of different vitamins. These are vitamin A, B, C, E and K.
Can hamsters eat Tomatoes? In moderation!
Tomatoes can also be consumed by a hamster quite comfortably. However, make sure there are no tomato leaves as these are acids to our little hammy.
Also, the tomato should be washed to remove any pesticide on the outer part.
A quarter of a teaspoon is sufficient per serving every week.
Can hamsters eat Blueberries? In moderation!
Blueberries are a nice treat for your hamster, however, many people are surprised by how few blueberries you can serve to your hamster as the desired serving of blueberry per pet is just one berry once or twice per week.
This is a great treat to serve while you play with your hamster and this can really enhance your relationship.
It would be wise if you made sure that the fruit is produced organically to avoid any residue pesticides on the blueberry. This will ensure your pet is safe and healthy with minimum visits to the vet at any given day.
Blueberries are a kind of super fruit for your hamster. They contain a lot of fiber, antioxidants as well as vitamins A, B, C, E and K.
Can Hamsters Eat Bread? Sure!
Hamsters can eat bread without much complication and hamsters especially love whole grain bread. The whole grain bread ensures that the pet derives vitamins from the whole grain used in baking.
White bread should be avoided because of the high sugar that it contains which can make the hamster obese and cause tooth decay.
Also, any bread that is salted is deemed unsafe for your hamster.
Bread can be served as a snack or as a treat for your pet. The required amount of bread per pet is only a small piece of bread once per week.
Can hamsters eat Cucumber? In moderation!
You first need to wash clean your cucumber and leave at room temperature and not fridge temperature.
Hamsters only require a quarter teaspoon of cucumber once every week.
Can hamsters eat Peanut Butter? In moderation!
Peanut butter can be consumed by hamsters and is best offered as a snack or a treat.
Because of the high, healthy fat content, the best method to serve peanut butter is by smearing a small amount on its main meal or even mixing it up in another feed. Alternatively, you can also spread a thin layer on a piece of wood for the hamster to gnaw on.
Peanut butter contains a lot of the same vitamins as peanut (naturally). These are vitamin B, vitamin E and niacin.
Caution must be taken when feeding your pet with peanut butter to avoid the peanut butter getting stuck in cheek pouches, which can cause severe problems for your hamster.
It is not advisable to directly feed plain peanut butter to your hamster.
Can Hamsters Eat Broccoli? Sure!
Broccoli is a great treat for hamsters and can be served every day or two.
The best amount of broccoli is a half to one teaspoon every one or two days.
Can Hamsters Eat Oranges? Never!
Oranges are fruits that belong to the category of citric fruits – as such you should also stay away from limes.
Although hamsters can eat oranges it is best not to take any chances and altogether, avoid feeding oranges to hamster for two reasons:
1. The high acidity causes stomach upsets
2. The high acidic content of citric fruits causes tooth degradation among hamsters
Can hamsters eat Almonds? In moderation!
The best amount per serving of is just a single nut that have been peeled and cleaned.
When giving almonds to your hamster, you should avoid tuts that have been flavored or salted in any way.
Can Hamsters Eat Peanuts? In moderation!
Hamsters can also be fed on peanuts that are not salted or flavored.
Natural peanuts are the best in terms of the overall health of your hamster.
A single peanut is sufficient for hamster’s dietary needs every one or two weeks, assuming that the peanut is fed as a supplement or snack alongside another meal.
Overfeeding peanuts to your hamster may lead to undesired weight gain that can eventually lead to obesity because peanuts have a high fat content.
Peanut contains a lot of the same vitamins as peanut butter (naturally). These are vitamin B, vitamin E and niacin.
Can Hamsters Eat Chocolate? Never!
Chocolates contain different ingredients that vary from different producers.
However, common to all kinds of chocolate is that it is sticky and can get stuck in the hamster’s pouches.
Can Hamsters Eat Spinach? Sure!
In general, darkly colored vegetables are known to be superior in matters of health for humans and this is also true for hamster.
Spinach is a great treat for hamsters. Hamsters need a half to a full teaspoon of spinach for every day or two, which will give your hamster many great vitamins.
You should always thoroughly wash the clean spinach before serving.
Like other greens, spinach is a real powerhouse as it contains vitamin A, C and K.
Can Hamsters Eat Raisins? In moderation!
Hamsters are known to love to consume raisins because they are sweet.
Raisins come in different varieties and they contain important vitamins.
A serving of half a raisin is sufficient for your hamster once or twice a week. This amount of serving can be offered as a snack or treat which will spice up the diet of your pet.
Can Hamsters Eat Peppers? Never!
Chili peppers and most spicy foods are known to cause stomach upsets for hamsters.
They also sometimes cause diarrhoea among our pets or worst of all, the feared wet tail.
As such, you should never feed peppers to your hamster.
Can Hamsters Eat Chicken? In moderation!
The sufficient amount for your hamster is a quarter tablespoon per serving and you can feed chicken to your hamster once or twice per week assuming that it is the only meat protein your pet was fed.
This chicken should not be salted and it should be either boiled or baked. It should also be unseasoned. Chicken that has been fried or canned or deli- style lunchmeats is not recommended.
Lunch meats in general are also a no go for your little cute pet, due to the high salt content.
Can Hamsters Eat Cabbage? Sure!
Cabbage is a highly recommended treat for hamsters and all hamsters like good quality cabbage; it does not matter if it is the Winter White, the Campbell’s, the Syrian, the Robo or the Chinese hamster.
A half to full teaspoon of cabbage every day or two is recommended for your hamster.
Always make sure that your vegetable is safe and clean for your pet by thoroughly washing in clean running water.
Other feeding tips for your hamster:
1. Provide fresh water every day. The water bottle should be frequently checked for any dirt or leaks to avoid contamination of the water. It is also good to monitor your hamster’s water intake because a reduction of water intake can mean you need to visit the vet.
2. Remove any remnants of feed to avoid rotting- this is especially for fresh fruits, vegetables, and powdered food which tend to grow mould / bacteria.
3. Do not overfeed on vegetables to avoid diarrhoea. Overfeeding on sugary fruits and treats is also discouraged because it tends to cause obesity in your pet.
4. When introducing a new kind of feed to your hamster, you should first give a small amount and observe for a week for any negative reaction to the food. If there is no negative reaction, then the feed is safe for consumption for your hamster. A sudden change in the diet of your pet may cause stress.
Now you try it!
You are now well equipped to start feeding all kinds of treats to your hamster.
If you have any questions around any treat we have not covered please leave a comment below – we’ll be around to answer it.