Being able to watch a hamster eat is one of the best parts of having one. Choosing which treats to give your hamster, though, might be difficult. You might start to wonder whether hamsters can eat oatmeal or oats. We conducted the research to provide you with the response.
Oatmeal and rolled oats are edible to hamsters. Whole oats should be avoided, though, since they can have jagged edges that could hurt your pet. The oats and oatmeal must also be free of any additional substances.
Now that you are aware that hamsters may eat oats and oatmeal, keep reading to find out how much food to offer your pet as well as other nutritious options. We will also talk about why hamsters hoard food in their beds and whether it is possible to overfeed a pet.
Can Hamsters Eat Oatmeal?
A hamster can eat oats. Your pet can get all the nutrition they need from oats. However, because they are high in phosphorus and pantothenic acid, oats and oatmeal shouldn’t be offered in large quantities to hamsters.
Your pet may experience health issues if they consume high doses of these nutrients. For instance, having too many B vitamins might result in diarrhea, cramps, and irritation (pantothenic acid is vitamin B5).
Make sure to get quick or plain rolled oats when you purchase oatmeal or oats for your pet. There shouldn’t be any extra salt, sugar, or preservatives in it. The pet should not be given whole oats because the jagged edges could hurt them.
Make sure to give your hamster modest amounts of oats when feeding them. Larger hamster varieties, like Syrians, can consume up to a teaspoon of food every several days. Most hamsters should only consume a portion the size of a fingernail two to three times each week.
How Do I Make Oats For My Hamster?
You can feed dry oats to your pet or cook them into oatmeal. The majority of hamsters prefer eating dry oats versus oatmeal. Make sure to cook your hamster’s oats with water and without any seasoning or sugar if you do so.
Put a teaspoon of rolled oats and some water in a bowl to make basic oatmeal. After that, zap your oatmeal for 30 seconds in the microwave. Before serving the oats to your hamster, let it cool.
You can, if you’d like, mix in a few pieces of fruit and nuts before boiling the oatmeal. Typically, avoid giving your pet citrus or bitter almonds because they can be harmful.
What Is The Best Hamster Food?
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
In the diet of any tiny animal, timothy hay is a crucial source of fiber. Although hamsters do not necessarily require it, it should be supplemented twice or three times every 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 provide your hamster’s food more variety and nutrition. Sage, basil, parsley, and coriander are all edible to them.
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’t Hamsters 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 oatmeal and rolled or quick oats as long as it doesn’t have any additives. We also covered what foods you should and shouldn’t feed your furry friend.
If you want more helpful advice on looking after your hamster, including tips on food, toys, accessories and accommodation, add a comment below to let us know!
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