Can Hamsters Eat Cheese?

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Yes, hamsters can eat cheese as part of their diet. But you may be wondering if the children’s movies and books about cheese mouse traps are fact or myth. Do hamsters and other rodents find cheese irresistible and is it safe for them to eat? In reality, wild rodents are omnivores, meaning they feed on both plants and insects. They are often mistaken for being herbivores but are actually far more opportunistic. However, hamsters that are kept as pets and live in homes have a very different lifestyle to their wild counterparts. They are provided with constant love from us such as rubs and scratches, playtime, and a wide variety of hamster and human food.

Is Cheese Safe For Hamsters?
The Best Cheeses For Hamsters
Final Thoughts

As pet owners, we love spoiling our beloved animals in many ways, including letting them try new foods, like cheese! Without further ado, let’s cover the topic of ‘can hamsters eat cheese’, beginning with the question, ‘is cheese safe for hamsters?’

Is Cheese Safe For Hamsters?

As tempting as it is, cheese is safe only when given as a tiny piece once or twice per week. The portion size is important, and the amount given should be no more than a pea for both Syrian and dwarf hamsters. Being too generous with cheese can be bad for their health and survival. Tasty food always comes with pros and cons, especially when human food is given to animals. Overindulging in cheese can cause health problems such as diabetes, obesity, and diarrhea.

A hamster’s diet is based on pellets, small cuts of fresh vegetables, fruits, or herbs, and occasional treats of nuts or mealworms. muesli style mix is not recommended as a pellet substitute as it contains high amounts of sugar. Water should also be plentiful and changed regularly for hydration, as hamsters consume a lot of dry food on a daily basis.

Hamsters require a minimum of 16% protein in their diet to stay healthy. Cheese is high in protein which is important for hamsters, making it the perfect treat for them to enjoy. However, it is also high in sodium and fats, which are two key ingredients to take into careful consideration. Sodium can drain the water content in their system, leaving them dehydrated. Fats in cheese can lead to obesity if it exceeds the level of 4-5%.

hamster-eating-cheese

Cheese is an excellent protein source for your pet hamster. Just be sure to limit portion size and use it as an occasional treat.

The Best Cheeses For Hamsters

When it comes to cheese, Parmesan, blue, cheddar, brie, feta, and gouda are high in sodium and not suitable for hamsters. Avoid feeding those types to your small pet and aim for low-sodium alternatives instead. A low-sodium cheese diet includes mozzarella, Swiss cheese, ricotta cheese, mascarpone cheese, and no-sodium-added cottage cheese. All these cheeses contain calcium, which is fine in small quantities. However, too much calcium can lead to kidney stones, so the amount given should be limited.

Final Thoughts

Hamsters are nocturnal animals, and they love food, especially cheese! These adorable pets are known to store their favorite foods from one side of their cheek to another until they can no longer hold them. For that reason, cheese on treat days will drive them wild as it is only given occasionally. Cheese is safe for hamsters when given in moderation, and the portion size matters. In my personal experience, it’s important to check their secret food stash before giving them more cheese. That way you’ll quickly know if they dislike it, love stocking cheese, or are an immediate cheese gobbler.

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AUTHOR

Anne Rosa has always had a strong passion for animals. She has raised many small pets from a young age. Her most recent companion is Jingles the rabbit. Anne Rosa believes animals of all sizes and species can be trained with a bit of patience, willingness, consistency and a positive attitude. She has taught Jingles many tricks and those who know her aren’t wholly convinced she’s really a bunny and not a puppy!