Can Hamsters Eat Meat? [Beef, Pork, Salami, Ham & More!]

One of the most fun and interesting parts of having a hamster is feeding them. Watching them munch on the food you offer them is not only very fun but feeding them is also a great way to create a bond between you and your hamster.

Hamsters can eat a wide variety of foods, but they cannot eat everything. As pet owners, it’s up to us to figure out what we should and should not give them. Today, we’re taking a closer look at one particular type of food, meat, to give a definitive answer to the question: “can hamsters eat meat?”

can hamsters eat meat?

Hamsters are omnivores, and because of that, they’re capable of eating plants as well as animal-based products. However, just because they’re omnivores does not mean that they can eat all kinds of meat. Some types should be avoided while others are safe for them to eat in small quantities. Distinguishing between the two is very important.

This article will go over everything you need to know to safely feed meat to your hamster.


Can hamsters eat meat and is it good for them? 🍖

People are often surprised when they first hear that their sweet little hamster is capable of digesting meat, but hamsters are omnivores so they definitely can. In the wild, they consume a variety of different insects which are a great source of protein for them.

However, not all meat is created equal. The insects that hamsters eat in nature are not the same thing as feeding them salami or ham. Insects are low in fat while containing a lot of protein. Some other types of meat, on the other hand, contain way too much fat or salt for your hamster.

Ensuring that you only feed your hamster the types of meat that are good for them is very important. However, even then, hamsters should only eat meat in very limited quantities. It should really only be given as an occasional treat and should never be a large part of their diet.

Never try to give your hamster a carnivorous diet. They need a diet that consists of 80 to 90% pellets/seed mix with the remaining 10 to 20% consisting primarily of fresh fruits and veggies. Meat is definitely not an everyday thing for them to have but rather something to give on special occasions.

Can hamsters eat raw meat? 🥩

No, you should never feed raw meat to your hamster. You might think that it’s fine to offer it to them raw, after all, they can’t cook in the wild either, right? 

But that’s not the case. In the wild, hamsters do not eat meat from large animals like cows, chickens, and pigs that we offer them. They only eat insects, and those don’t have to be cooked.

Feeding raw meat to your hamster is something you should never do because of the high amount of bacteria and potential parasites it can contain which can be lethal to your hamster.

Do hamsters need meat in their diet?

No, hamsters do not necessarily need meat in their diet at all. They can live a perfectly content and happy life without ever eating meat as long as they get enough protein from other sources. In fact, it might even be better for them not to eat meat and instead get the protein they need from insects.

Nevertheless, like us humans, most hamsters do enjoy eating meat so pet owners often give it to them. Some types of meat in small quantities are okay for them.

Which types of meat can hamsters eat?

Now that we’ve established that hamsters are capable of eating some types of meat in small quantities it’s time to take a look at which kinds they can and cannot eat.

I’ve already gone over chicken and fish in previous posts (yes they can eat them), so in this post, I will only cover meat products that are made from pork, lamb, beef, etc.

Can hamsters eat ground beef?

Ground beef, also known as hamburger meat or minced meat is one of the most popular types of meat that people eat. Luckily for us, hamsters can eat ground beef in small quantities as long as it’s cooked thoroughly. It’s a decent source of protein for them. Lean, low-fat beef is best because hamsters do not need a whole lot of fat in their diet.

Can hamsters eat bacon? 🥓

Hamsters can not eat bacon. It contains way too much fat which can lead to weight gain, which often results in many issues. In addition, it contains a very high amount of salt which can lead to dehydration. On the whole, bacon is definitely not a good thing to feed your hamster.

Can hamsters eat sausages?

Sausages come in many different varieties, some can not be given to hamsters while others are okay in very small amounts.

If it’s a homemade sausage and you know that it does not contain too much salt or fat then you can give them a small piece of it.

Store-bought sausages, on the other hand, often contain a lot of salt, additives, and fat, making them something to avoid giving to your hamster.

Can hamsters eat ham?

You’d think that since hamsters have HAM in their name that they could eat it but that’s not true. Ham is a very processed type of meat that’s often high in salt, nitrates, and additives which are not good for your hamster. So, unfortunately, hamsters can not eat ham.

Can hamsters eat pepperoni or salami?

Hamsters can not eat pepperoni or salami. These types of meat are among the most highly processed meats in the world and contain a boatload of additives, salt, and fat, making them a poor treat for your hamster.

Can hamsters eat beef jerky?

No, hamsters can not eat beef jerky. Beef jerky is very salty and not as nutritious as regular ground beef. Avoid giving this type of meat to your hamster.

Can hamsters eat steak?

If you want to get fancy and have a steak dinner with your hamster, I have good news. Hamsters can eat a very, very, small piece of steak with you once in a while! Make sure that you give them a very small, lean piece that’s thoroughly cooked and does not contain any sauce, salt, or other additives and that you only do this on very special occasions. Steak is still relatively high in fat, even if you give them a lean piece.

Can hamsters eat lamb?

Hamsters can eat a small piece of lamb as long as it’s thoroughly cooked without any seasoning, salt, sauce, or other additives.

Can hamsters eat pork?

It’s generally recommended to avoid feeding pork to your hamster because it’s quite high in fat which can lead to weight gain. Nibbling on a very small piece of well-cooked pork will not harm your hamster, but some of the other types of meat on this list are better choices.

Can hamsters eat insects?

Hamsters can definitely eat insects and this is the type of meat that they eat in the wild. If you’re going to feed meat to your hamster, insects are definitely a great choice for they are low in fat and calories while containing a good amount of protein.

Some insects that hamsters particularly like are crickets and mealworms.

Do hamsters like meat?

Most hamsters absolutely love meat. It’s a natural instinct that hamsters share with us to seek out foods that are high in protein, fat, and calories.

Meat fits all these criteria so most hamsters are big meat-lovers. Nevertheless, as previously discussed, too much meat is not good for them so we should limit their intake.

Can all hamster breeds eat meat?

There are a total of 5 different types of hamsters that people keep as pets. They’re all pretty different from one another so it’s a good question to ask whether they can all eat meat.

Luckily, they’re all omnivorous and have generally the same diet. The only difference is that bigger breeds like the Syrian hamster can eat a bit more than the smaller dwarf hamsters such as the Roborovski.


Final words

Hamsters can eat a variety of different types of meat such as ground beef, insects, and they most definitely like it. However, no matter how much they enjoy eating it, meat can never be a large part of their diet because of how calorie-dense and fat it is. 

Meat can be given on special occasions in small quantities but should never be considered a staple of their diet.

Jesse A.