Although hamsters are widely considered to be a cute little pet with this actually being true to some extent, there is one quirk of hamsters that often catches people off guard. This strange little quirk is the exact reason that we see so many people reaching out each month to ask if hamsters eat their poop or not and the number of people reaching out to ask about this is only increasing as time goes on.
With so many people asking about hamsters eating their poop, we wanted to publish our own, dedicated article going over the topic in as much detail as possible with a goal of being able to help as many of our readers as possible. Although hamsters are a great pet that is cute and very low maintenance, some people are put off by the fact that hamsters will eat poop.
We have tried to collect the various questions that we see people from the community asking about hamsters eating poop to try and answer them all in this article. This should make it as easy as possible for people to get all of the information that they want on the topic while also trying to explain why hamsters will sometimes eat their poop.
Do Hamsters Eat Their Poop?
It is very common for hamsters to eat their own poop and although some hamsters will only eat their poop on occasion, other hamsters will eat their poop on a regular basis. Some of the hamsters that eat poop on a regular basis will actually eat some of their own poop each time they go with this being commonplace for them and sometimes difficult to discourage.
Although you may think that your hamster does not eat its own poop, there is a high chance that it actually does, you just aren’t watching your hamster when it does it. Although some hamsters may not eat their own poop if they are being given a nutritionally complete hamster food, it is very likely that your hamster will be eating its own poop, at least in small amounts on occasion.
It is surprising to see people who have kept pet hamsters for years and even decades make posts on social media about how their pet hamster “suddenly” started to eat their own poop. Unless you recently changed the food you give them or your hamster has a health issue, it is far more likely that your pet hamster has always ate its own poop but you just haven’t seen it do it.
Is It Normal For Hamsters To Eat Their Poop?
It is normal for hamsters to eat their poop and the instinct was developed during the evolutionary phase of hamsters as a way for them to ensure that all of the nutrients from the food they ate had been absorbed. Although the majority of pet hamsters have plenty of food and no actual need to eat their own poop, the instinct remains and it is still a very common behaviour in modern domesticated hamsters.
We have seen people on social media suggest that if your hamster eats its own poop then you are not feeding it enough but this is not correct. Hamsters can have full bowls of food in their cage, poop, and then choose to eat their poop over the food that they have in their bowl due to their instinct being so strong to trigger this behaviour.
Although there is no scientific research to back this up, many hamster owners do report that feeding their pet hamster a nutritionally complete hamster food does reduce the frequency of their pet hamster eating their own poop. This could be due to the instinct to eat poop to try and consume all available nutrients fading when the hamster is on a nutritionally complete food without any cravings due to being deficient in various vitamins and minerals.
Can You Stop Your Hamster Eating Poop?
It is very difficult to prevent your pet hamster from eating its own poop and for the vast majority of people, it is a total waste of time as it is a behaviour that is encoded into hamsters from their evolutionary path. You can try to make sure that your pet hamster has a nutritionally complete diet to reduce the frequency that it will eat poop but even that does not totally stop the behaviour.
There are a number of ways that you are able to top up the vitamin and mineral intake in your hamster to try and make sure that it is not nutritionally deficient. A very common method is to try and feed your hamster kitchen scraps of vegetables but even this is often not enough to meet the total requirements of your pet hamster so a nutritionally complete hamster food is usually the best option by far.
A steadily increasing number of people are starting to switch over to giving their hamster a hamster multivitamin with this being a great option as the hamster simply has to eat the vitamin product to get its vitamin and mineral intake rather than a large amount of hamster food that your hamster may not eat. These multivitamins for hamsters can make it much easier to make sure that your pet hamster is on a nutritionally complete diet and to reduce the chances of your hamster eating its own poop.
Do Hamsters Poop From Their Mouth?
Hamsters don’t poop from their mouth but they will poop normally and then eat their poop or at least put their own poop into their mouth to see if there is any nutrients left in their poop. If they decide that their poop has nothing of value it in then they will drop it out of their mouth making it appear that your hamster has pooped from its mouth.
We see people asking about hamsters pooping out of their mouth every month so also wanted to touch on this as it is a very common misunderstanding with hamster owners. There is no need to worry about any potential health problems with your hamster causing it to poop from its mouth, it is just your hamster trying to eat its poop!
That brings our article going over if hamsters eat their poop or not to an end. As we mentioned above, it is very common for hamsters to eat their own poop and it is highly likely that your pet hamster does eat poop even if you don’t see it doing it. If you do see poop coming out of your pet hamsters mouth then this is simply due to your hamster deciding that there is not enough nutrients in its poop to make it worth eating anymore.