If you’re wondering about whether your hammy can eat fruit or not, you’re not the only one. My Teddy is always curious about what I have in my hands, and we eat a lot of fruit in this house.
At first I had no idea which fruit was okay for him, or if any fruit was okay to begin with. But let e tell you what I found out, so you’ll know as well.
So can hamsters eat fruits ?
Yes, hamsters can eat some types of fruits. However hamsters should eat fruits in very small amounts, and not often.
The majority of fruits are okay for hamsters to eat, however citrus type fruits are not. They’re too acidic for the hamster’s gut.
We’ll cover in the rest of the article which fruits are safe for your hamster, and which should definitely be avoided. And also how much fruit you should give your hamster, and how often.
Some differences between Syrian and Dwarf hamsters
There’s a big difference between Dwarf hammies (Roborovski, Campbell, Siberian, and Chinese) and the large Syrian hammy.
The Dwarf types are prone to diabetes, and need to stay away from very sugary foods and drinks. So that means that they can, in fact eat some fruits, but in a very small amount. And much less often than a Syrian hamster.
This is largely due to the size difference between the two hamster types. A piece of apple, for example, as big as a peanut might be acceptable for your Syrian hamster.
But for a Dwarf, the exact same piece holds much more sugars and carbs, which will lead to unwanted weight gain and the early stages of diabetes.
Not only with fruits, but with some vegetables as well – like carrots, corn, and sweet potato as well. You can read more on that here, to see which veggies are okay for hamsters, and which you should avoid.
Fruits your hammy can eat safely
Alright, with the difference between Dwarf ans Syrian hamsters in mind, let’s see which fruits your hamster can eat safely.
The most common fruits like apples, plums, cherries and grapes are alright. However all hamsters, everywhere, do not react well to the seeds of a fruit. In most cases the seeds are poisonous.
So it’s best if you never give your hamster a piece of fruit with seeds in it, of any kind.
Then, the very sweet fruits like banana, apricot, peach, mango, pineapple, papaya – most of the yellow fruits – should be given in tiny, tiny amounts.
For us these fruits are amazing and have the best taste and smell. However for hamsters these are just too sweet and savory. So it’s best if your hammy only gets an incredibly small amount of them.
None of these are poisonous so far, they’re just way too sweet for a hamster so you need to be careful.
Now, the berry types – like strawberry and raspberry, these are all alright for your hamster. But, again, without any seeds. So for example a strawberry should be lightly scraped to get all the seeds out, and the green top cut off.
A Raspberry is okay by itself, since the white core will come off by itself when the fruit is done.
Blueberries and cranberries are alright, but in very small amounts as well. As in, one or two berries every week.
Figs are alright for your hamster, but n a very small amount. And Dates are alright too, as long as they have no pit.
Coconut is safe for hamsters, but it should be given in very small amounts and sparsely. Coconut has a higher fat-count than peanuts and can make your hamster gain weight faster than bananas or mangos.
And finally, watermelon is safe for hamsters, if given in a small amount, just the red part, and without seeds. This is partly because of how sweet it can be, and the fact that it has a very high water content. Too much of it can upset your hammy’s stomach.
Fruits your hamster should be kept away from
Kiwi – although it’s great as a fruit by itself, the kiwi is not very safe for the hamster. It can be very sour sometimes, and the seeds are not alright for hamsters to eat.
This applies to Dragon fruit as well, since it has just as many seeds, everywhere in its flesh.
Blackberry – while they’re okay for hamsters by their nutritional value, I put them on the unsafe list because of how many seeds it has, and how hard it is to get rid of them.
There’s no way you can remove the seeds from a blackberry and have it whole. So for this reason, I advise against them.
Citrus – no citrus fruits are alright for the hamster. Actually, hamsters shy away from the smell of oranges and tangerines. You can check for yourself with a citrus fruit.
That includes oranges, tangerines, mandarines, kumquat, clementines, grapefruit (all kinds), lemon, and lime.
Star fruit – not safe for hamsters, since they contain a neurotoxin that can be fatal to hamsters, or other small animals. It can cause kidney problems in some sensitive humans too. Best to avoid it for your hamster.
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You can use fruits as a treat for your hamster
Since your hamster can’t have fruits very often, you can use it as a sort of treat. Particularly, you can use it as a very special treat when you’re taming your hamster.
That means that your hamster should not get this treat very often. But he cans till get a small piece of apple, or maybe a cube of mango, depending on whatever you’ve got lying around.
Simple treats like fruit chips – slices of fruit that have been carefully dried and made sure they’re not moldy – can be great for hammies.
However these are banana chips, so they’re still sweet. Not as sweet as regular banana slices, the taste is a bit different. But do not go overboard when feeding your hammy these chips, since they are in fact real banana slices.
In this respect, the whole bag will last your hamster probably a year. If you get into the bag, that’s another story and completely up to you.
You can check the Amazon listing here, and see the reviews as well.
Do not give your hamster too much fruit
Whether you have a Dwarf or Syrian hamster, they can both develop health issues if given too much sugary foods. While a slice of apple does not compare to a cube of chocolate when it comes to sugar and fats, they are both still sweet.
Especially for your sensitive hamster’s taste buds. So it’s best to keep an eye on how much fruit and sweets you give your hammy.
A hamster that’s had too much sugar will become overweight, and develop diabetes. Both conditions can be life-threatening. Especially for a creature as small as a hamster.
If your hamster’s already overweight, you can read this article to see how to get him to a healthy, safe weight.
A word from Teddy
I hope you know now which fruits are okay for us hammies. I love banana chips, and I sometimes get bits of apple. But maybe your friend is into mangos more, you could try it out.
If you want to know more about us hammies, you can check out the articles below. You’ll find info on things like how big a cage we need, and how much food we need in a day.