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What Do Hamsters Eat?
Best Foods for Hamsters

Pet Hamsters

Just like some foods are healthy for us humans and some are not safe to eat, hamsters have their own best and worst types of food. So to take the best care of your hamster, you want to know what hamsters can eat and drink.

Just because hamsters stuff their mouth with almost anything they find, doesn't mean it's a good food for them. It may even make them sick or in some cases die.

But the good news is, finding out what your hamster can eat is easy. And once you know it, you can rest assured your hamster is all safe and healthy.

One thing great about hamsters is that they eat a large variety of food. So it's always easy to find something to give them to eat. Their body needs various vitamins, minerals, and proteins to be healthy.

So here is a helpful list to choose the best food your pet hamster...

List of Best and Safest Food for Hamsters

Here are some of the proven best types of food for hamsters. They are safe and healthy for your hamster to eat and drink.

Foods with a star (*) are a favorite of our hamsters...


  • Apple (seedless) *
  • Banana
  • Blackberries
  • Cherries (de-stoned)
  • Cranberries
  • Grapes (seedless)
  • Lychees
  • Melon (not watermelon)
  • Peaches (no stone)
  • Plums (no stone)
  • Raspberries
  • Raisins and sultanas
  • Strawberries

Proteins and other foods:

  • Bread soaked in low fat milk (good for babies and nursing mums) *
  • Cooked minced beef (make sure there is no fat or grease)
  • Cooked poultry
  • Cheese *
  • Cottage cheese
  • Grasshoppers and crickets (only feed one at a time)
  • Mealworms
  • Eggs (boiled or scrambled)
  • Dog biscuits *
  • Baby food (low sugar)
  • Tinned dog food/cat food (small amounts)
  • Sandwich ham *
  • Cooked plain brown rice or brown/whole wheat pasta
  • Museli
  • Nuts and seeds (no almonds)


  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage (small amounts)
  • Carrots *
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Clover
  • Courgette / zucchini
  • Cucumbers *
  • Dandelion leaves
  • Green beans
  • Lettuce *
  • Cooked peas *
  • Spinach
  • Sweet corn / corn on the cob
  • Turnip
  • Water cress

DO NOT feed:

  • Fish (ok to eat but will make your hamster smell unpleasant)
  • Almonds (contains Cyanic Acid)
  • Apple pips / seeds (contain arsenic)
  • Canned food (usually too much sugar)
  • Human chocolate (toxic to most animals)
  • Sweets / candy (high sugar content)
  • Chips and junk food (too fatty)
  • Potatoes (raw)
  • Raw kidney beans
  • Aubergine / Eggplant
  • Avocado (contains Cardiac Glycosides which can cause heart problems)
  • Raw rhubarb
  • Tomato leaves
  • Tomatoes (acidic)
  • Citrus fruits (too acidic)
  • No watermelon (high water levels can cause diarhoea)
  • Stones or pips from fruits
  • Jams and jellies (too much sugar)
  • Onions, leeks, garlic, chives and similar plants

These are foods which ours or other hamsters have eaten and been fine with. Like people hamsters can sometimes be intolerant or allergic to some things so always try anything new in moderation to check if it is OK for your individual hamster.

How to Avoid Diabetes in Hamsters

Diabetes in hamsters is increasing and can be inherited. It is possible that it is a result of people feeding poor quality commercial pet foods, human junk food, and even hamster "treats" that have sugar in them.

If you do buy manufactured food or seed mixes at the pet store, be sure to add fresh greens and veggies to their diet.

And always read the labels of any commercial products that you buy for your pet to make sure there is nothing in the mix that is harmful to hamsters.

More Tips about What Hamsters Eat and Drink

It is okay if they eat their own droppings.  This is normal for their species, if weird to us.

Unusually for most mammals, hamsters are a little bit lactose tolerant.  They can comfortably eat cheese, for instance, and a little drink of milk about once a week.

Some sources say that hamsters should never be given cooked meat, fowl or fish. But many owners report that their animals seem quite happy and safe to each such things.

Most everyone agrees that sweets, chocolate, human "junk" food and alcohol are not beneficial to hamsters.

Find out more surprising facts about your hamster...

Pet Hamsters



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