Last Updated on: 24th September 2023, 07:24 pm
To stay healthy, hamsters have specific dietary requirements. While seeds, nuts, fruits, and vegetables make up a large part of their diet, hamsters can eat certain cereals in small quantities.
Hamsters can eat plain cereal free from added sugar, preservatives, additives, and flavorings.
Suitable cereals include Rice Krispies, Weetabix, Shreddies, Cheerios, Cornflakes, All-Bran, and Chex. Chocolate cereals contain caffeine and theobromine, which are harmful ingredients.
Hamsters can eat certain kinds of cereals as an occasional treat. However, they mustn’t eat sugary cereals because they increase the risk of diabetes, blood sugar spikes, and obesity.
Can Hamsters Eat Cereal?
At its basic level, cereal is a member of the grass family cultivated for its grain. According to Frontiers in Nutrition, maize, rice, wheat, barley, millet, and sorghum are the most common cereals.
Suitable cereals for hamsters must be:
- Free from artificial flavorings and colorings.
Hamsters should only have dry cereal. While cereal is served with milk or yogurt, hamsters can get diarrhea from consuming dairy products. They’re also more likely to become obese.
Do Hamsters Like Cereal?
Hamsters thrive on a balanced diet that incorporates different flavors and textures. Many hamsters enjoy the taste and texture of cereal, but some enjoy it more than others.
However, all hamsters have different tastebuds. While many are happy to eat cereal, others store it in their cheek pouches and save it for later without ever eating it.
Is Cereal Good for Hamsters?
While cereals aren’t as good for hamsters as other foods, they can be beneficial as part of a balanced diet. Cereals contain the following nutrients:
- Vitamins A, B, and E.
- Complex carbohydrates for energy.
However, cereals can be high in sugar and salt, which harm hamsters. Similarly, frequent feeding can increase a hamster’s salt and sugar intake.
Excess sugar can also cause diabetes. According to PLoS One, hamsters develop hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia when fed a high-cholesterol diet.
Another potential issue with cereal is that hamsters enjoy eating natural foods they can find while foraging. Despite the natural base ingredients, cereal is processed food.
Can Hamsters Eat Chocolate Cereal?
Chocolate cereal is one of the worst kinds for hamsters to eat because it contains two extremely harmful ingredients: caffeine and theobromine.
Theobromine is a bitter alkaloid compound from the cacao plant and is a mild stimulant. Hamsters’ small livers mean their bodies can’t metabolize it quickly enough, increasing the risk of theobromine poisoning.
Caffeine isn’t as deadly as theobromine but increases a hamster’s heartbeat to an unsafe level. Caffeine exerts stress on the heart, making it a harmful substance.
Not only that, but chocolate is high in sugar, which causes obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
Can Hamsters Eat Weetabix?
Hamsters can eat small pieces of dry Weetabix occasionally. Unlike chocolate cereal, it doesn’t contain much sugar, salt, and fat.
Aside from calcium and magnesium, Weetabix offers hamsters little nutritional value. It’s also made from wheat, which some hamsters can be allergic to or have a gluten intolerance.
Many hamsters don’t enjoy the bland taste and dry texture of Weetabix.
Can Hamsters Eat Shreddies?
Plain Shreddies are suitable for hamsters in small quantities.
They’re made with wholegrain wheat, which is the healthier kind. Shreddies have a rough, hard texture, which keeps hamsters’ ever-growing teeth filed down.
However, hamsters can’t have Frosted, Coco, or Honey Shreddies, as they’re high in sugar and additives.
Be wary of hoarding when you feed a hamster Shreddies. You’ll want to feed only a small piece at a time and remove anything that’s not eaten.
Hamsters will hoard any uneaten Shreddies and consume them later. This will result in the hamster over-feeding, increasing the risk of nutritional deficiencies.
Can Hamsters Eat Cheerios?
Hamsters can eat plain, oat-based Cheerios, but they must only have them as an occasional treat. While Cheerios appear plain, they’re high in sugar, and too much can cause their blood sugar levels to spike.
Cheerios are also higher in calories than other cereals. Hamsters put on weight quickly, which means Cheerios can cause weight gain. Hamsters are only small, so excess weight strains their organs.
Can Hamsters Eat Cornflakes?
Hamsters can eat small amounts of Cornflakes. While they’re not a staple hamster food, they contain several benefits. One cup of Cornflakes contains:
- Vitamins A, B, D, and E.
Some hamsters develop a taste for Cornflakes, but you mustn’t overfeed them. The recommended serving size is a teaspoon every 1-2 weeks. While plain Cornflakes are suitable, Frosted Cornflakes are sugary.
Can Hamsters Eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch?
Although Cinnamon Toast Crunch is made from wheat and rice, it’s coated in cinnamon, making it too high in sugar for hamsters to eat.
While a single piece of Cinnamon Toast Crunch won’t harm a hamster, it shouldn’t become part of their diet, not even as an occasional treat.
Can Hamsters Eat Rice Krispies?
Rice Krispies are puffed and toasted rice. While they contain small traces of sugar, hamsters can eat them.
They’re relatively low in calories, so there’s little risk of weight gain. Like all cereals, Rice Krispies are a treat food instead of a staple part of a hamster’s diet.
Feed the hamster 1-2 Rice Krispies occasionally to prevent overeating.
Can Hamsters Eat All-Bran?
Plain All-Bran is safe for hamsters because it contains many vitamins and minerals, including:
- Vitamins B6, B2, B1, B3, B12.
- Folic acid.
One of the benefits of All-Bran is its high fiber, which is necessary for a healthy digestive system. Also, All-Bran is relatively tough, making it a suitable texture for keeping their teeth filed down.
Can Hamsters Eat Chex?
There are various varieties of Chex, and not all of them are suitable for hamsters, including:
- Apple Cinnamon.
- Peanut Butter.
- Honey Nut.
However, the plain Rice, Corn, and Wheat Chex varieties are better options for hamsters. They’re also free from high fructose corn syrup and a good source of calcium.
Can Hamsters Eat Kix?
While hamsters can eat Original Kix as a treat, it has little nutritional value. Original Kix won’t cause a hamster any harm, but Honey Kix and Berry Berry Kix are lightly sweetened.
Hamsters can eat plain cereals that contain minimal sugar. Many hamsters enjoy eating cereal as part of a balanced diet because it’s something new and interesting.