How to Feed a Hamster

By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 20, 2017
How to Feed a Hamster

Hamsters are very popular pets that can be found in many homes. Hamsters are part of the rodent family and they come from Syria, Asia Minor and the Caucasus. Many parents choose these small mammals as a first pet for their children as they're easy to care for in comparison to cats and dogs. In this OneHowTo article we explain you how to feed a hamster.

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Steps to follow:

Feeding a hamster is really quite simple. The first thing to consider is that they are omnivorous animals and therefore their diet is quite varied. In pet shops you can find specific food for them known as balanced food. It contains sunflower seeds, mixed seeds, corn and other dry components.


If you don't want to buy this prepared food, you can also produce it at home. To do this, you should know that the base of the mix is seeds, cereals and dried fruits. These are some of the foods you can include in the mix:

  • Oats
  • Barley
  • Wheat
  • Sunflower
  • Corn
  • Peanuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Raisins
  • Walnuts
  • Sesame seeds
  • Linseed
  • Sorghum
  • Rice
  • Lentils
  • Watermelon seeds
How to Feed a Hamster - Step 2

To a lesser extent you can include fruit (apple, banana, pear, peach) and vegetables (Zucchini, celery, lettuce, tomato, cucumber) that will provide vitamins for your little hamster. Of course, you have to wash these thoroughly to remove traces of pesticides.


For the proteins that are needed, you can use the dry food that is usually given to dogs, known as croquettes. You can also give your hamster pieces of sausage, a mealworm, pieces of chicken, etc.

How to Feed a Hamster - Step 4

In rodents, incisor growth is constant. If the hamster's diet is too soft, the hamster will desperately bite the bars of the cage or plastic elements therein. The best remedy to avoid this is to introduce a piece of bone in the cage. If the bone has some meat attached, it will even be more interesting for your hamster. This way, the little pet will bite the bone and forget the bars or any plastic that finds inside the cage.

How to Feed a Hamster - Step 5

If you are going to give a new food to your hamster, do so gradually, so it can get used to it and not harm the hamster's digestion. Among the foods that you must avoid giving your hamster are citrus fruits, garlic, onions, foods with lots of sugar, salt or fat and spicy foods.


In terms of quantity, hamsters usually have a store of food somewhere in the cage. They can eat up lots of food and when they are stuffed, they will hide the rest of the food in their hoard, so it is convenient not to give your little hamster a surplus of food.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Feed a Hamster, we recommend you visit our Pets category.

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1 comment
Kemi morrison.
My hamster leaves it’s pellets until they are moist, he has almost no interest, but when I give him sunflower seeds,corn, Timothy hay pellets, and seeds, he goes crazy and hoards it all, i know mixes are bad for hamsters, but he won’t eat pellet food. Is a mix just as healthy as pellet food ?
Are sunflower seeds really that fatting if I feed him once a day, and no fruit or veg?
And can you use regular nail clippers on a hamster. Answer appreciated thanks , Kemi
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Kemi,

We suggest trying a different brand of feed. It is possible there is something they do not like about it. Sunflowers seeds are full of vitamins, but they are also high in fat. Giving them only sunflower seeds will practically guarantee obesity and can lead to organ failure.

It is generally not necessary to clip a hamster's nails. They are pretty good at keeping them trim on their own. Only infirm or very old hamsters might need clipping and this is best done at the vet. In very rare cases, small child's clippers may be used, but great care is needed.

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