Cherries are one of the most delicious fruits in the world. They’re a favorite among humans for their sweet taste and easy-to-eat nature. Whenever we eat something that we enjoy it’s tempting to share it with our animals. After all, we often want them to experience the same pleasures that we do. But can hamsters eat cherries safely?
Asking yourself questions like this is crucial. Sure, hamsters are omnivores and not particularly picky with what they’ll eat, but not everything that they can eat is good for them. Hamsters can’t always distinguish between what they should and shouldn’t eat, so we, as their caretakers, are tasked with doing that for them.
Luckily enough, a well-washed piece of cherry is okay for your hamster to eat. It’s not toxic and will not harm your hamster. Make sure that you remove the seed before feeding and that you do not overfeed.
Of course, there’s more to learn about feeding cherries to your hamster safely so I highly recommend you keep reading. The article is not very long, and once you’re done with it you’ll be armed with all the knowledge you need to safely feed your furry friend.
Can hamsters eat cherries and are they good for them?
When feeding something to a hamster it’s always a good idea to take a closer look at what the food you’re about to give them actually contains. In the case of cherries, they contain the following nutrients per ounce:
If we take a look at the nutrients above, we can see that cherries are low in fat, calories, and protein. However, they also contain a decent amount of sugar. Because they contain so much sugar, we should make sure that we do not feed them to our hamsters too frequently.
However, the nutrients above don’t show the whole picture. Cherries also contain a good amount of vitamins and minerals. Some vitamins & minerals that they’re a good source of include:
In addition, they’re also a good source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, all of which are beneficial for your hamster’s body.
On the whole, cherries are a decent treat for your hamster, as long as you feed it in moderation.
Precautions when feeding cherries to your hamster
While cherries can be a decent treat to give your hamster every now and then, there are a few precautions that you must follow while feeding.
First, make sure that you wash the cherries carefully before feeding, especially when you buy non-organic ones. It’s a sad reality that much of the produce we buy every day is highly contaminated with pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides.
To make matters worse, cherries are in the top 12 most contaminated produce, according to a study done by EWG. These nasty chemicals should not be ingested by your hamster. The best way to get rid of them is by soaking the cherries in a mixture of baking soda and water for about 10 minutes and then rinsing them under cold tap water.
Secondly, make sure that you remove the pit. The pit is not edible and can be a choking hazard. It should always be removed.
Thirdly, introduce new foods to your hamster slowly, especially ones that contain a lot of water, such as cherries. If your hamster has never eaten cherries before it’s very important that you introduce them to it slowly. Give them a very small piece of cherry to start. By doing that, you give your hamster’s notoriously sensitive digestive system a chance to adapt to the new food. It also gives you a chance to see how they respond to the new food.
Fourthly, be careful that you do not overfeed. Hamsters are tiny animals that do not need a whole lot of food. The bulk of their daily food intake (about 80 to 90%) should come from pellets, with a smaller amount coming from fresh fruits and vegetables. Cherries can be part of that, but only in very small quantities.
Overfeeding your hamster on foods like cherries can result in weight gain due to the fruit’s high sugar content. It can also lead to nutritional imbalances because they’ll stuff themselves with cherries, leaving not enough space for their pellets.
How much cherry can my hamster have? 🍒
Now that you know that overfeeding is something that should be avoided, the logical next question is “how much is too much?”. The answer to that question depends on which of the 5 hamster breeds you have.
Syrian hamsters are the biggest and thus can eat cherries the most. They can eat around a teaspoon of cherry per week.
Do hamsters like cherries?
Most hamsters absolutely do like cherries. Many hamsters like the same foods that humans do because we have the same evolutionary desire to eat foods that are high in sugar or calories. Cherries are quite sweet, so hamsters are naturally attracted to them.
Nevertheless, no two hamsters are the same. It’s not out of the question that your hamster is not interested in the slightest in this particular fruit. Since cherries are not harmful to hamsters, the easiest way to find out is by simply offering them a small piece. If they enjoy it, you’ll know immediately. Be careful though, if your hamster does like it, it might be tempting to start giving it to them all the time. Avoid doing this, as previously mentioned, it’s important to give your hamster a balanced diet. Only give cherries to them as the occasional treat!
Alternative fruits and vegetables
If you’re in search of other fruits and vegetables that make good treats for your furry friend, here is a list of some hamster-approved fruit and vegetable snacks that are safe for them to eat:
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations, you now know everything you need to know to feed cherries to your hamster!
To recap: Cherries are an okay treat for hamsters. They contain several important vitamins and nutrients, but they’re also quite high in sugar. Make sure that you only give it to them in moderation and remove the pit before feeding.
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