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Behavior

What Does It Mean When Your Hamsters Poop Is Green?

Last Updated on: 24th September 2023, 05:37 pm

Hamsters produce green poop due to too many leafy greens or green dye-formulated foods.

Also, diarrhea caused by harmful bacteria produces soft, green poop that contains mucus. Other reasons include poor hygiene, antibiotics, stress, allergies, cold weather, and gallbladder issues. 

Because hamsters are prey animals, they’re good at hiding sickness. If a pet starts behaving oddly, a health issue could be responsible for the hamster’s green poop.

Is It Normal for Hamsters To Have Green Poop?

Green poop signifies a problem with a hamster’s diet, lifestyle, or health. Hamster poop should be:

  • Small.
  • Oblong.
  • Dry.
  • Firm.
  • Brown or black.
  • Odorless.

The poop shouldn’t leave smears or stains behind because moist poop is a sign of diarrhea, which can be fatal. Healthy poop is usually due to a quality diet comprising the following:

  • Formulated pellets.
  • Grains.
  • Seeds and nuts.
  • Sprays and millet.
  • Fruits and vegetables (dried and fresh).

Because a hamster’s diet creates brown or black poop, green poop is abnormal. It doesn’t necessarily mean the hamster’s dying, but you may wish to make dietary modifications.

Why Is My Hamsters Poop Green?

Simple lifestyle changes can remedy many of the issues causing green feces.

Bear in mind that hamsters can become sick quickly. While there are several green hamster poop meanings, these are the most common reasons your hamster’s poop has changed color:

Diet

The most common cause of green poop is a hamster’s diet. Usually, this isn’t concerning because green leaves contain chlorophyll.

This is a green pigment found in plants, which plants use alongside light to produce food during photosynthesis. Kale and spinach are the main culprits, but they’re safe for hamsters.

Similarly, some hamster food mixes contain food coloring, which can also cause green poop.

When hamsters eat foods containing artificial green dye, stercobilin, the by-product of bile degradation responsible for making poop brown, doesn’t balance the green coloration.

This is rarely a cause for concern, even if the hamster’s poop looks abnormal. Double-check the ingredients to ensure they’re entirely natural.

However, an unhealthy diet or sudden changes are also blamed for green feces. Malnutrition is a common cause, so ensure the hamster receives the nutrients it needs.

Don’t change a hamster’s diet too often. Instead, add fruits and veggies to prevent malnourishment.

There is no concern if a hamster’s poop remains firm, odorless, and mucus-free. Examine the hamster’s diet to ensure it’s healthy. Also, limit the amount of fruits and vegetables you provide at one time.

Allergies

Food protein allergies cause green poop if hamsters can’t remove all the protein and vitamins when food passes through the digestive system.

Consequently, the undigested food is covered in a greenish-yellow mucus within the body.

Wheat and bread cause an increase in the production of green mucus secretions because the body can’t digest all of the starches, carbs, and sugars.

As some go undigested, the poop appears green when it exits the body.

Diarrhea

If a hamster’s poop contains green mucus, diarrhea is the most likely cause.

Several things cause diarrhea, but the most common are bacteria, like Salmonellosis (which doesn’t affect hamsters too often) and proliferative ileitis.

According to the MSD Veterinary Manual, this is an inflammation of the small intestine and a common cause of diarrhea in hamster pups. The stress of the following often brings it on:

  • Transportation.
  • Living in an overcrowded cage.
  • Illness.
  • Surgery.
  • Changes in diet.

Another more common cause of diarrhea is Tyzzer disease. Hamsters contract the condition by eating feces with the bacterium Clostridium piliforme. The symptoms include the following:

  • Loss of appetite.
  • Watery diarrhea.
  • Dehydration.
  • Death.

Hamsters die quickly from diarrhea, so clean and sanitize the hamster’s cage and accessories.

is it normal for hamsters to have green poop?

Poor Hygiene

Dirty cages harbor germs and bacteria, which can make a hamster sick. Hamsters grow stressed when their owners remove their entire bedding at one time.

Deep cleans eliminate the natural scent, making hamsters feel vulnerable.

Bi-daily spot cleaning is a better way to clean the cage and keep the conditions safe. Leave 1/4 of the hamster’s old bedding in the cage to retain a familiar scent.

If owners don’t remove old feces, urine, and spoiled food from the cage well enough during a spot clean, a hamster could grow sick from the unsanitary conditions.

Once harmful bacteria build up in a hamster’s system, the digestive system becomes affected, producing green and yellow poop.

Antibiotics

Certain antibiotics cause inflammation of the small intestines, causing a hamster’s poop to become green.

Hamsters are more sensitive to antibiotics than other animals because antibiotics alter the gastrointestinal tract’s normal microbial balance, causing bacteria to multiply in large numbers, and the bacteria produce chemicals with potentially deadly effects.

Due to the side effects, a hamster should only have antibiotics when prescribed by a vet. The following antibiotics can cause more severe health conditions than green poop, so avoid them:

  • Amoxicillin.
  • Ampicillin.
  • Cephalosporins.
  • Dihydrostreptomycin.
  • Erythromycin.
  • Gentamycin.
  • Lincomycin.
  • Penicillin.
  • Streptomycin.
  • Tetracycline.
  • Vancomycin.

Cold Weather

Although hamsters have fur, they cope poorly in cold temperatures because they’re from warm climates. Hamster colds become serious and often develop into pneumonia.

Sudden temperature drops are a common cause of sickness in hamsters, so you may notice the hamster’s poop is dark green.

Cold temperatures affect a hamster’s ability to eat and drink, causing gastrointestinal issues.

While green poop isn’t the most common side effect of being cold, it can happen when hamsters are exposed to the cold for too long. Keep the hamster in a temperature range of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent temperature-related health issues.

Stress

Hamsters are prey animals, so they’re easily stressed. Many things are stressful to hamsters, including:

  • Loud noises.
  • Too much light.
  • Pets, particularly cats and other predatory animals.
  • Too many cage changes or cleans.
  • Small cages.
  • Insufficient enrichment.
  • Hot or cold temperatures.

Stress causes problems with the stomach and gastrointestinal tract. Stressed hamsters are likely to become ill, particularly if it’s prolonged.

Not only will their bowels become affected, sometimes producing green droppings, but hamsters with chronic distress will develop several other unwanted symptoms, such as:

While these signs are mostly behavioral, prolonged stress can be fatal.

Gallbladder Issues

Certain health conditions can cause the gallbladder to produce too much bile, making the hamster’s feces appear green and soft.

This can be serious, so take it to a vet if the hamster develops other symptoms or appears weak, lethargic, and disinterested in moving or playing.

While green poop can signify a health condition, you’re likely feeding the hamster too many leafy greens or food with green coloring.

Maintain a balanced diet, and consult a vet if a hamster experiences behavioral or physical changes.