Can Hamsters Eat Cheese?

Can hamsters eat cheese? Yes, it’s pretty safe for a hamster to consume cheese. But our topic of discussion will surround an even more important aspect: how much and how often you should feed your hamster with cheese.

In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss whether cheese is safe for your hamster to consume or not. 

Basics about Hamsters

Hamsters are small mammals and have different breeds. A hamster can weigh anywhere between half an ounce and 10 ounces. 

Based on the breed and age. They are nocturnal, so they sleep during the day and stay active at night. Their teeth continue to grow, and they need to consume foods that will keep their tooth length in control. 

As they are omnivores, they like to eat plant and animal materials. So, they can consume an assortment of foods that will keep them happy and healthy. Timothy hay is something they love to eat. Apart from that, about 10% of their diets need to have fruits and veggies as well.

And you need to discard any fruits or vegetables that are 12 to 24 hours old. The best foods are low in sugars and fats. They need fresh filtered water, seeds, and proteins sourced from hamster-safe. Meats and nuts also work the best but in controlled portions. 

Is Cheese Safe for Hamsters?

hamster eating cheese

You shouldn’t be feeding your hamsters with too much cheese. There are various benefits of feeding your hamster with cheese, but with some risks. Therefore, as long as you are moderate in feeding your hamster with cheese, everything will be fine. 

This practice is totally fine for the overall health of your little friend. And, they might fall in love with you for treating them with cheese. 

But giving them cheese too frequently can cause a stomach upset, diarrhea, bloating, and gas. In addition, it can ultimately result in various other problems. These include electrolyte imbalances and dehydration. And you might have to pay a visit to your pet vet. 

Some cheeses have some spices and salt. But some cheeses also have butter in them that can severely damage the health of your hamsters or might even cause death. 

This is something very similar to what happens if we overeat cheese frequently. Consuming too much fat and carbohydrates is never a good idea. So, never think about giving too much of it to your little hamster. 

You need to keep in mind that even feeding your hamster with those cheesy snacks every other day is not a good practice. You shouldn’t give these cheesy snacks to your hamster friend at all. A hamster should never eat a cheesy snack no matter what and how rarely you feed them. 

Processed foods are not good for your hamster, regardless of the fact they have cheese in them or not. This is because these snacks can present a choking hazard, and the ingredients are quite harmful to your hamsters’ overall health. 

How Often Should I Feed My Hamster with Cheese?

We have mentioned the word “moderation” quite a lot, but what kind of moderation are we talking about? Is it daily, every other day, or weekly? 

Only a couple of little bits are enough for a single hamster in terms of quantity. But you need to make sure your hamster finishes the snack within 12 to 24 hours; otherwise, remove and discard it. 

Because after that much time they will not eat it. The best practice is to feed them with pea-sized small pieces and no more than a couple of times a week. And make sure you don’t give it to them 2 days in a row. 

This is the best way to feed your hamster with cheese. Your cute little furball needs to have it as a treat, and they will love it. This way, you won’t end up overfeeding your hamster with cheese. 

So, keep it limited to one or two pea-sized cheese pieces, and you need to offer them to your hamster in a proper way.

If you have a smaller-sized hamster like a dwarf hamster, feed about half to one pea-sized cheese piece at a time. And no matter what type of hamster you have at your home, you shouldn’t be giving it any cheese more than once or twice a week. 

Serving cheese to your hamster

When feeding your hamster with cheese for the first time, you have to make sure you introduce it slowly and in small bite-sized pieces. This should be done when introducing any other new foods. 

If your hamster shows any signs of stomach upset or digestive discomfort through decreased appetite, diarrhea, or loose stool, don’t feed them with cheese and contact your local vet. 

Just keep in mind to give your hamster soft cheese that is plain or low fat. Don’t go for high fat and high sodium options because they are not good for your hamster. 

If your hamster doesn’t like eating cheese, you can feed them with grapes, popcorn, and bananas instead. These three options are great cheese alternatives for your hamster. But feed them in moderation. 

Once your hamster gets accustomed to eating cheese and likes it a lot, it’s then up to you how you can feed the cheese. You can either add some of it to your hamster’s regular meal or make it a treat. 

You can hide little cheese morsels in small paper bags or even a cardboard box. This way, they will have to further gnaw for another fun activity. 

But keep in mind that cheese is a perishable food, and you need to keep an eye on their cage after every few hours for any of those stashed leftovers. After that, you have to remove them from their cage, especially if they have gone stale. 

What Kind of Cheese Can Hamsters Eat?

hamster and cheese

You need to avoid blue cheese and stilton because they are toxic for your friend. Also, don’t give them soft and large chunks of cheese. 

But what type of cheese should you give to your little furball? First, you need to understand some cheeses are high in sodium while most are high in calories. Therefore, these ingredients are not that great for your hamster’s overall body weight, and you need to limit them as much as possible. 

But one thing you can do is to go for low-fat cheese. By doing so, you will prevent your hamster from getting obese. Cheeses such as ricotta, low-fat mozzarella, low-fat cottage cheese, and mild cheddar are great. 

Make sure you stay away from high saturated fat content or salt/sodium. These include parmesan, hard cheddars, various processed cheese products, and of course, those flavored cheese snacks. 

These will cause your little friend to gain unnecessary weight and become dehydrated. Moreover, your hamster will suffer from constipation too. 

So, you don’t have to go for high-fat cheese as it can cause obesity. Also, forget about feeding your hamster with stilton and blue cheese as they have toxicity in them.

Can hamsters eat cheese puffs?

It’s not a far fetch idea to wonder whether hamsters can eat cheese puffs or not. But you need to understand the fact that any junk or processed food item shouldn’t be fed to your little friend no matter what. 

If you look at some of the nutritional values of these cheese puffs, you will see they don’t have much protein in them. But they are rich in sodium. Thus, anything with high salt and fat content is a big no for your hamster. 

These cheese puffs only have twice as much sodium and half as much protein as their cheddar equivalents. Sodium is harmful to your hamster, and they also don’t like to consume salty foods. 

If someone in your house mistakenly gives a cheese puff to your hamster, keep a close eye for any signs of reduced appetite or stomach upset and get in touch with your vet. 

Can hamsters eat cheese balls?

Yes, hamsters can eat cheese balls. They love eating them because of their shape and size. You can make these cheese balls with potatoes and cheese cubes. Just make sure to use boiled potatoes for this recipe and make small balls. 

Inside each of these balls, put a small cube of cheese. Now roll it properly and finish it with bread crumbs. Finally, pan-fry these balls and serve them to your hamster. You can also add other ingredients to these balls according to your hamster’s diet. 

Potatoes are added to this recipe to make these balls easier to swallow. These cheese balls are easy to make, and your hamster will love eating them. Just don’t add any spice or salt. 

Nutritional Values

Nutritional values of cheese vary a lot depending upon the type of cheese. For example, cottage cheese might consist of around 4 percent fat and around 11 percent protein. 

Some whey cheeses might have 15 percent fat and 11 percent protein in them. Finally, there are triple cream cheeses that come with 36 percent fat and 7 percent protein. 

Cheese is a rich source of protein, phosphorus, calcium, saturated fat, and sodium. Moreover, it contains zinc and riboflavin along with other minerals. Hamsters need these nutrients in their body for their bodies to work properly. 

Vitamins such as B12, D, K, and A are also there in cheeses. These vitamins are important for healthy bones and great eyesight, and they prevent blood clotting. 

So, all these vitamins and minerals are essential for the health of your hamster. And with cheese, they will get them all in their system. But feeding them too much with this will make them sick, just like humans. 

Benefits

There are various benefits that cheese has to offer to hamsters, 

  • Cheese contains calcium, zinc, riboflavin, and phosphorus, along with other minerals. These are important for your little hamster to keep their various body systems running at an optimal level. 
  • Cheese also contains different vitamins, including Vitamin A, D, K, and B12, that improve your hamster’s eyesight and make their bones and teeth strong. 
  • The vitamins in cheese are also essential to prevent blood clotting in their tiny bodies. 
  • Cheese is also a great source of protein and fat, which are significant components of a hamster’s dietary system. Cheese has both these components in a decent amount. 

Risks

But feeding them with too much cheese is not good for their overall health.

  • Too much cheese can cause obesity due to high-fat content, so it may harm your little buddy’s overall health. 
  • Giving them cheese that is too soft can cause a choking hazard. So, don’t feed them with large chunks of tender cheese. It can get stuck in those tiny cheek pockets and choke your hamster. 
  • Blue cheese and stilton can cause death due to their toxicity. 

FAQ

Final Word

So, the answer to the question “can hamsters eat cheese” is a definite yes, but in moderation. Make sure you don’t overfeed your friend with too much cheese and too often. The best practice is to give only one or two cheese pieces that your hamster can handle comfortably. 

If you are giving cheese to your hamster for the first time, make sure you give a small piece first and closely check whether your hamster shows any digestive issues. Also, keep in mind not to feed your hamster with cheese more than a couple of days in a week and no two days consecutively. 

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