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Can Hamsters Eat Fruit? (Which Ones To Avoid)

Few things are cuter than a hamster who has just begun munching on his food. But can hamsters eat fruit? An interesting question, which we address here.

Can hamsters eat fruit? Yes, but definitely not every single fruit. In fact, there are some fruits that your hamster is probably better off avoiding. Many fruits contain too much natural sugar which can and will upset the tummy of your pet hamster.

In this article, we’ll discuss all the different fruits that your hamster can and cannot eat!

Can Hamsters Eat Fruit?

Hamsters eat fruit in the wild all the time. Even though their go-to foods are small, hard foods like nuts and dried seeds, they also enjoy fresh vegetables and fruit every now and then.

Take note – every now and then. That means you still can’t make fruit your hamster’s staple food.

Just like any other sugary food, fruit should be nothing more than a treat. Of course, they’re still not as bad as other sweet treats like chocolate – now, that’s the ultimate sweet treat – but they can cause several problems too if you let your hamster feed on them too often.

How often is too often, you may ask? If you’re giving your pet hammy a serving of fruit at each meal, then that’s definitely too much. Each day? Maybe still too much. Try to limit your hamster’s fruit intake to just three or four times a week, just to be safe.

hamster eating a nectarine
Hamsters love nectarines

Pros And Cons Of Fruit For Hamsters

Fruit offers plenty of health benefits for your little furry friend.

Just like humans, your pet hammy gets a lot of vitamins and nutrients from fruit. Natural vitamins like those in fruit are always better than artificial vitamins from the vet.

However, if eaten too often, your pet is bound to show some negative side effects too.

For one, fruit is extremely high in sugar, and sugar can cause diabetes. Yes, even in hamsters. What’s worse is that diabetes in hamsters can be very life-threatening. Just imagine a tiny body like your furry friend, pumped with way too much sugar.

Two, the sugar content in fruit can be quite fattening for your hamster. If you constantly give it big portions of fruit, it may start growing too big. Obviously, an obese hamster is not a healthy hamster. So always give fruit in moderation.

What Fruits Are Safe To Eat For Hamsters?

Most common fruits are actually safe to eat for your hamster. The best ones are those that your hamster can just sink his teeth into. Yum! Just make sure that they’re fresh and that you wash them well before giving them to your hamster.

  • apples
  • bananas
  • grapes
  • mangoes
  • pears
  • plums
  • watermelon
  • most berries
  • nectarines

While most berries are good for your pet, do check first to see if the berry is seedy or not. This will be discussed further in the next section, but basically, berries that are too seedy should be avoided as they’re neither good nor healthy for your pet.

cute picture of a hamster
Please feed me some healthy fruit!

Other than that, remember to try and limit their portions to just small amounts. Fruit may have plenty of health benefits, but too much is still never good, as we’ve already explained above.

Another reason is that hamsters tend to store away food that they can’t finish. Fruit and even vegetables get mouldy if left out for some time, so this can be a cause of illness to your pet hamster.

What Fruits Should Hamsters Avoid?

As mentioned above, not all fruits are safe for hamsters. Fruits that are high in Vitamin C, basically citrus fruits, are not good for the little furball. These fruits have very high acid content, which can be harmful to your hamster’s gut. Even in the wild, hamsters avoid these fruits, as the smell of citrus alone is off-putting to them.

Here’s a list of fruits that you should never, ever give to your hamster:

  • orange
  • clementine
  • grapefruit
  • kumquat
  • mandarin
  • lemon
  • lime
  • tangerine
  • starfruit

The last one is the only item on the list that isn’t a citrus fruit, but it’s also on the ban list for hamsters. Starfruits contain a deadly neurotoxin that can kill hamsters, and other small animals, outright. In fact, starfruits are so dangerous they can even cause kidney problems in humans. Safe to say, you probably should never let your hamster, or even yourself, near one.

Aside from citrus fruits, there are also some other fruits that you should probably avoid giving to your hamster. Seedy fruits, in particular, should be avoided. This includes fruits such as dragon fruit, kiwi, and blackberries. These fruits have too many seeds, which can be quite poisonous to your hamster.

Conclusion – Can Hamsters Eat Fruit?

Hamsters can eat fruit, that’s for sure. They eat fruit in the wild, so it’s only natural they’ll also eat fruit in the comfort of your human home.

But although fruit can have lots of health benefits for your little hammy, it also comes with a few downsides, like the risk of diabetes and obesity. In addition to this, not all fruits are safe for your hamster. Some fruits, like apples, bananas, and mangoes are very good, but others, like oranges, grapefruits, and starfruits, should be avoided like the plague. These fruits are either too acidic for your pet, or they’re downright toxic.

Whatever it is that you decide to feed to your hamster, don’t forget to do your due diligence in researching first whether it’s safe or not for your pet. After all, he depends on you to keep him safe and healthy at all times. You wouldn’t want to let him down, would you?