One of the most enjoyable parts of having a hamster is watching them nibble little snacks. However, it can be a challenge to decide what snacks you should give your hamster. One thing you might be wondering is whether hamsters can eat oats or oatmeal. We did the research to bring you the answer.
Hamsters can eat rolled oats and oatmeal. However, you should avoid whole oats because they can have sharp edges that may injure your pet. It is also essential that the oats and oatmeal have no ingredients added.
Now that you know hamsters can eat oats and oatmeal, continue reading to learn how much to feed your pet and other healthy foods you can give them. We will also discuss if you can overfeed your pet and why hamsters store food in their beds.
Can Hamsters Eat Oats Or Oatmeal?
Hamsters can eat oats. Oats are an excellent source of nutrients for your pet. However, hamsters shouldn't be fed a lot of oats or oatmeal because they contain high pantothenic acid and phosphorous levels.
High levels of these nutrients can cause health problems in your pet. For instance, too many B vitamins (pantothenic acid is vitamin B5) can cause diarrhea, cramping, and irritability.
When you buy oats or oatmeal for your furry friend, ensure that you buy plain rolled oats or quick oats. It shouldn't have any added salt, preservatives, or sugar. Do not use whole oats for your pet, as the sharp edges can injure them.
When giving your hamster oats, be sure to only provide them with small amounts. Larger breeds of hamsters, like Syrians, can eat up to a teaspoon every couple of days. Most hamsters should only have up to a fingernail-sized portion two to three times a week.
How Do I Make Oats For My Hamster?
You can give your pet dry oats or make them into oatmeal. Most hamsters find it easier to eat dry oats than oatmeal. If you choose to make oatmeal for your pet, make sure that you make it with water and do not add any flavoring or sugar.
To make basic oatmeal, put a spoonful of rolled oats into a bowl with water. Then, place your oatmeal in the microwave for 30 seconds. Let the oatmeal cool off before giving it to your hamster.
If you want, you can add small bits of nuts and fruits into the oatmeal before cooking. Do not use bitter almonds or citrus fruits because these are dangerous for your pet.
Watch this video to learn more about making hamster-friendly oatmeal:
What Is The Best Food For Hamsters?
Hamsters need a wide range of foods for a well-balanced diet. Some of the best foods for them are commercial hamster foods, timothy hay, fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs. You can give them eggs, mealworms, and nuts to add protein to their diet.
Commercial Hamster Pellets
When buying hamster pellets at a pet store, ensure they aren't a muesli-style mix. Muesli-style mixes have a lot of sugar that can cause health problems for your pet, such as tooth problems and obesity.
Timothy hay is an important source of fiber in any small animal's diet. It is not absolutely necessary for hamsters but should be supplemented two or three times a week.
Fruits are very nutritious. However, they are also high in sugar and should only be fed to your pet occasionally.
When buying fruit, get organic fruit, or wash the wax coating off before giving it to your pet. Ensure that you remove seeds, skins, stems, and leaves that could cause problems for your hamster.
Your hamster can eat most fruits. To start, you can try introducing apples, pears, bananas, grapes, and blueberries. If you want to try something more exotic, your hamster can also eat mango, kumquats, guava, starfruit, and seedless lychees.
When giving your hamster vegetables, you will want to ensure the vegetables are washed and cut into small enough pieces. They can have most vegetables as long as it doesn't exceed one serving per day.
Some of the veggies you can give your pet are asparagus, artichoke, Brussels sprouts, and kale. Spinach, romaine, and cucumber are also great options.
Iceberg lettuce is also technically okay for them but isn't recommended because its high water content can give your pet diarrhea. They can have avocado flesh, but the pit and the skin can be poisonous to them. Sweet potatoes are also okay as long as they are cooked.
Herbs can add variety and nutrition to your hamster's diet. They can eat sage, basil, parsley, and coriander.
Most people are unaware that hamsters are omnivores. Protein is just as crucial to their diet as fruits and veggies are, maybe even more so. Young hamsters need more protein than adults do.
For a great treat, try giving your hamster hard-boiled eggs or mealworms. They also can enjoy low-fat cottage cheese, cooked chicken breast, and dried crickets.
Another great option is nuts and seeds. Peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and walnuts are all okay. Ensure the nuts and seeds don't have added salt, sugar, oils, or preservatives.
Hamsters love peanuts that are raw and in the shell. If you give them walnuts in the shell, make sure you drill a hole because walnut shells are hard for them to break through.
Nuts have an extremely high fat content and should only be given as a treat. Do not give your pet more than one nut every couple of days.
What Can Hamsters Not Eat?
When picking out treats for your hamster, you should ensure it is something they can eat. Just like there are many acceptable foods, there are also a lot of unacceptable foods you should be aware of.
For instance, when you give your hamster apples, you need to make sure you remove the seeds and skins, as these are not good for your pet.
When feeding your hamster grapes, ensure the grapes are seedless and cut up so your hamster won't choke. You also shouldn't feed your pet fruit pits, eggplant, garlic, onion, spicy foods, or chocolate.
Alcohol, bread, and other products with yeast in them are toxic to your pet. Do not give them any yeasty products!
Citrus foods like lime, grapefruits, pineapple, and lemons should be avoided. These foods are highly acidic and can hurt your hamster's stomach.
Keep in mind that this isn't a complete list and that there may be other foods you should avoid. Always check before giving your furry friend a new food!
Some foods are controversial. Some say they are fine for your pet to eat, while others say your pet shouldn't eat them.
For instance, some people say that even though peanuts and avocado won't hurt your pet, they have too high a fat content and shouldn't ever be fed to your pet. When providing these foods, ensure that you only give them occasionally and in small amounts.
Can You Overfeed A Hamster?
You can overfeed your hamster. Overfeeding can result in a sick hamster with diarrhea and an upset stomach. Long-term symptoms of overfeeding can be dental problems, obesity, diabetes, and heart problems.
To avoid overfeeding your pet, you should only feed them one to two tablespoons per day. Large breeds will eat closer to two tablespoons, while dwarf hamsters will only eat up to one tablespoon.
Younger hamsters tend to eat more than older hamsters because they use more energy. If your pet is gaining too much weight, reduce the amount slightly until they are maintaining their weight.
Do not fill their food bowl multiple times a day because they might not be eating all the food. When they are done eating, they will build up a stash.
Why Do Hamsters Store Food In Their Bed?
The reason hamsters store food is to ensure their survival. Storing it in their bed allows them the convenience of having something to eat as soon as they wake up.
Hamsters are prey animals, so they sleep most of the day and stay hidden. However, just like humans often wake up at night needing a snack, hamsters also get hungry when they are supposed to be sleeping.
If they had to go get food during the day, they would be vulnerable to predators, so they just put their food right next to them to avoid this problem.
In captivity, they obviously aren't at risk of predators. However, the instinct to stock up to make sure they have enough to eat is still strong in them.
In this article, we discussed that hamsters can eat rolled or quick oats and oatmeal as long as it doesn't have any additives. We also covered what foods you should and shouldn't feed your furry friend.
We hope you enjoyed this article. If you found this interesting, check out the links below to explore more:
14 Foods That Are Dangerous to Hamsters