Figuring out what your hamster can and cannot eat is one of the most important parts of being a hamster owner. Sure, hamsters have quite a straightforward diet, but the fact that they can eat a large variety of foods in addition to their regular diet means that a lot of hamster owners have questions about which foods they can give them as treats and which ones should be avoided.
Today, we’re going to take a closer look at whether or not hamsters can eat oats, and by extension, oatmeal.
The good news is that hamsters can indeed eat oats, but there are a few things that you must pay attention to before you start feeding.
Can hamsters eat oats and are they good for them?
Hamsters can eat oats, and it can be quite a good treat for them because they’re packed with important nutrients. More specifically, an ounce of raw oats contains the following nutrients:
As you can see, oats contain a good amount of fiber and protein. They also contain a decent amount of fat, but the fats in oats are good fats. Nevertheless, since oats are quite calorie-dense, you do have to be careful that you do not overfeed your hamster. Moderation is key!
But the list of nutrients above doesn’t tell the whole story because it doesn’t include vitamins and minerals! Oats contain a variety of important vitamins and minerals for hamsters such as:
On top of that, it’s a good source of antioxidants, which prevent damage from free radicals to your hamster’s cells.
Altogether, oats are a good treat for your hamster due to the high amount of nutrients it contains. Nevertheless, it’s not an everyday food for them due to its high-calorie content. It can be given as a treat, but only sparingly.
Can hamsters have raw oats?
Yes, hamsters can definitely eat raw oats. Make sure that the oats you give them are old-fashion, steel-cut, or rolled. Avoid instant oats as they are high in sugar and sodium.
A good way to feed it to them is by sprinkling a few oats over their regular food.
Can hamsters eat oatmeal? 🥣
Oatmeal can be made with water or with milk. Making oatmeal with water is fine to give to your hamster occasionally but oatmeal made with milk should be avoided. Milk and other dairy products are not very good for your hamster. On top of that, milk is quite high in calories making an already calorie-dense snack even heavier to the stomach.
If you’re going to feed oatmeal to your hamster stick with plain, water-based oatmeal without any added sugar or flavorings.
Furthermore, instant oatmeal should also not be given to hamsters because it contains too much sodium compared to regular oatmeal.
Besides oats and water, you can also add some fruits, such as apples, or a very, very, small amount of honey to it to make it more delicious for your furry friend. For a good guide on how to make it, check out this video:
Make sure to let it cool down before feeding, hamsters should not eat hot food.
Precautions when feeding
While feeding oats to hamsters is generally pretty easy, there are a few precautions that you must take before you start feeding.
First, make sure that you introduce it to them slowly. Hamsters are known to have sensitive digestive systems and sudden changes in diet can not sit well with them. To avoid problems, always introduce new foods to them slowly. This gives them a chance to adapt to the new addition to their diet.
Secondly, make sure that you do not overfeed your hamster on oats. No matter how much your hamster might seem to enjoy eating oats or oatmeal, it’s important that you restrict how much they can eat of it. Hamsters are not known for their self-control and can easily eat too much which can lead to weight gain. Especially with calorie-rich foods like oats, this can easily happen. In addition, feeding too many oats to your hamsters can lead to constipation. Make sure that you only give them a small number of oats no more than once or twice a week.
Finally, it’s important that when you feed oats or oatmeal to your hamster you give them rolled, old-fashioned, or steel-cut oats, not instant. Instant oats often contain much more sodium and sugar, which are not good for your hamster.
Do hamsters like oats?
Most hamsters do enjoy eating oats or oatmeal from time to time. With that being said, don’t be alarmed if your hamster isn’t interested. All hamsters are unique individuals and no two hamsters have exactly the same likes and dislikes. Discovering what your hamster does and doesn’t like when it comes to treats is part of the fun of owning one!
To find out whether your hamster is a fan of oats, simply try offering them a small amount. If they eat it, you know enough!
Can all hamsters breeds eat oats?
There are 5 different hamster types that are kept as pets. They can all eat oats, but not all in the same quantities.
So, while hamsters can indeed eat oats, it should by no means make up a large part of their diet. They need a diet that consists primarily (80 to 90%) of pellets or a seed mix, with a smaller percentage of their daily food intake coming from fruits, veggies, and other treats such as eggs, nuts, insects, or oats. Here are some other hamster-approved snacks:
That’s it, all the information you need about feeding oats to your hamster! To recap: Hamsters can indeed eat oats in small quantities. It shouldn’t be a staple of their diet and instant oats should be avoided, but they’re an otherwise good inclusion in their diet due to how nutritious they are.
Oatmeal is also an option, but make sure to use water, not milk!
Because of how many calories oats contain, overfeeding is something that you have to be careful to prevent, but otherwise, they are a great treat to offer to your hamster!
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