Cheese, in its purest form, both humans and hamsters can pleasure in the delectable variety of dairy items that this category encompasses.
It is produced from milk and comes in an incredible variety of flavors. Every year, 19 million metric tonnes of cheese are manufactured, with Europe being far and away the leader in the cheese production industry.
There are various kinds of cheese, some of which we shall discuss in a bit when we investigate the types of cheese appropriate for your hamster to consume.
When it comes to hamsters, moderation is the name of the game. It would be best if you didn’t go above and above when caring for your hamster, whether providing it with food or adjusting the temperature of its habitat.
Since hamsters are predisposed to being overweight and acquiring diabetes, they should limit their cheese consumption. No rule says your hamster needs to eat cheese, so if you don’t want to, that’s fine, too.
Do Hamsters Even Like Cheese?
Hamsters like cheese in precisely the same way as humans. Cheese, which is full of proteins, minerals, and vitamins, can be an excellent choice for a snack for your hamster because of its composition.
Cartoons have played a significant role in perpetuating the stereotype that mice and rats eat cheese. This association dates back many years.
It would appear that this cheesy treat is almost impossible to say no to, based on computer cartoons depicting cute mice munching on pieces of cheese to metal traps that lure rats to their deaths using big blocks of bait.
Mice and hamsters share a common ancestor in the animal kingdom. Is there any evidence that rodents enjoy cheese? Some of them do, and in general, hamsters are the kind of rodents that appreciate a diverse range of nibbles and delights, and cheese is frequently one of those things.
If given in moderation, it can be a great treat for them. However, it can become a dangerous part of their diet if consumed in large quantities.
Also read: Can Hamsters Have a Heart Attack?
Do Hamsters Have Access to Cheese?
It’s a common misconception that rodents like hamsters and mice are cheese lovers. In the wild, hamsters do not have access to cheese as a source of nutrition.
Instead, they scavenge for food such as fruit, seeds, and insects to maintain a healthy balance of fats and proteins in their diet to receive the nutrition their little bodies need to function properly.
Cheese is not a food that hamsters are inevitably acquainted with, so it is up to the specific hamster as to whether it would like to have cheese. Hamsters are not known to be fond of cheese.
Since this is not the case, hamsters kept as pets do not have a predisposed desire for cheese, and just like people, it is a matter of individual taste whether they enjoy eating it.
Is Cheese Good for Hamsters?
Do hamsters benefit from eating cheese? Cheese might be okay to eat in minuscule quantities, but there are plenty of other options for treats that are better for hamsters.
Cheese is loaded with protein, vitamins, and minerals and is an excellent choice for a treat you may offer your hamster.
Hamsters can consume cheese if it is low in fat and has a moderate flavor; however, the consumption of these cheesy snacks must be limited because of their high-calorie content. However, do not worry about giving your pet a taste of your brie because it should not harm your pet.
Hamsters can eat cheese without problems, though limiting their intake is best. Pelleted hamster diets and an endless supply of clean water should be their primary sources of nutrition.
What Kind of Cheese Can Hamsters Eat?
Although the breed of your four-legged buddies determines the type of cheese they can consume, because there is such a wide variety of cheeses, some are perfectly safe for your pet to consume, while there are other cheeses that could pose major health risks.
There are indeed some cheeses that are superior to others when it comes to providing nutrition for your hamster; nonetheless, we would like to stress that you are not required to give any cheese to your pet.
They won’t miss any other staples in their diet because they will be completely content with those foods, which are also likely to be healthier.
If, despite this, you are adamant about splitting your cheese, the best option would be cottage cheese, and more specifically, the low-fat variety.
It does not have an abundance of calories like many other kinds of cheese; even better, it is loaded with protein and calcium, both of which are essential for hamsters.
The calcium contains, and feeding your hamster low-fat cottage cheese can improve bone health. Cheese can be a safe and nourishing snack for your pregnant or nursing female pet hamster and her young. Cheese can stimulate significant growth in puppies as young as six months old.
Mozzarella, Ricotta, Mild Cheese, or cottage cheese would also be good for your hamster. Mild cheddar and some other specific hard cheeses are acceptable additions.
Click to know: Can Hamsters Get Hurt from Falling?
Cheese You Can’t Give Your Hamsters
The amount of salt that is in the cheese is something you should also keep in mind. Some types, such as Asiago, mature cheddar, processed Cheese, and parmesan, have exceptionally high sodium levels; therefore, it is best to steer clear of these kinds whenever possible.
Frequent or excessive consumption of certain cheeses like these may raise blood cholesterol and cardiovascular disease risk. They can also lead to constipation and dehydration in your hamster. Your pet should not consume excessive salt because it might harm their health.
Stilton and blue cheese, among others, are extremely poisonous to hamsters and should be avoided at all costs.
Can Hamsters Get Sick from Eating Cheese?
Potential risks of hamsters feeding on cheese are given below:
- Big cheese chunks can cause hamsters to choke. Thus, care must be used when feeding them.
- Cheese’s high-fat content can lead to diabetes in hamsters.
- Due to the significant amount of fat in cheese, it can lead to obesity in hamsters.
- Harmful effects – blue cheese, among others, is known to be lethally toxic to hamsters.
Due to the extreme richness of the cheese, it is recommended that you start by feeding your hamster only very thin slices. You’ll be able to gauge interest in the cheese board and decide how often you bring it out.
Also, check: Can Hamsters Eat Sugar Snap Peas? [13 Reasons]
How to Avoid Health Risks in Hamsters from Eating Cheese
Hamsters in cages should only be given a bit of cheese, as with any new meal. Now is the moment to test whether your hamster will consume cheese by feeding it.
It would help if you waited until your hamster defecates to determine whether they are having problems swallowing or digesting. Cheese is notorious for triggering flatulence and diarrhea in hamsters. The hamster may get dangerously dehydrated due to all these factors.
Slice up some cheese that should be fine, and set it out. Hamsters may be inventive in finding novel methods to kill themselves, and while cheese doesn’t present quite the same choking risk as other foods, it’s still best to keep it out of their reach. It’s ideal if you don’t give them the chance to do that.
Do not leave any cheese that has been eaten behind out in the open since it might go wrong and invite unwanted guests such as bacteria, fungi, and even insects. Moldy food poses a significant threat to the well-being of your pet.
Always ensure that you are holding the rewards, such as cheese, that you are providing to your hamster, or at the very least, make sure that you are close to them. Offering your hamster snacks can help develop your bond with them and contribute to the process of socializing them.
Give your hamster only a tiny amount of cheese initially, as this will help you determine whether they enjoy eating it. Stuff would be pointless to give your hamster a large amount of it if they were going to ignore it. However, your hamster may stuff the food into their cheek pouches.
Check that the pieces of cheese are not too big for your hamster to chew, as this could cause it to suffocate. Hamsters cannot vomit, and choking significantly threatens their overall health.
You might consider incorporating cheese into your hamster’s diet, among other tasty delights like pumpkin seeds, cabbage, and carrots. Your hamster would benefit tremendously from a diet rich in fruit and vegetables.
Our Final Thoughts
To keep your hamster healthy and avoid catching any health issues, you should only give it the types and amounts of cheese that are advised explicitly for hamsters.
There are potential drawbacks and advantages to eating cheese. Cheese has a lot of positive effects on our furry friends, but it can also be fatally harmful to hamsters. Overfeeding or giving your hamster the wrong kind of cheese are potential causes of illness.
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My name is Everly. I am a Milwaukee-based mom of 2 and have been a proud owner of many hamsters throughout my life. Like many of us, my introduction to hamsters happened when I was very young. My family saw several hamsters come and go through the years, and I enjoyed playing with them, but I never fully appreciated them until I grew up and my own children decided to jump on the hamster bandwagon. At that point, I was determined to learn all I could about caring for these adorable pets. Read more