Can hamsters eat cherries? Cherries are notorious for being a healthy option for humans, so why wouldn’t they be for hamsters?
I had a similar thought when considering a new occasional treat for my hammy.
So I deeply studied the relationship between cherries and hamsters.
Read on, and learn everything about whether or not they’re a good mix.
Also Read: Can Hamster Eat Strawberry?
Table of Contents
- Hamsters can eat cherries in small amounts due to their sugar content. It would be best to view cherries more like a treat than a balanced diet staple.
- Cherries offer several benefits for hamsters, including better digestion, minimizing inflammation, regulating blood pressure, and treating/preventing URIs.
- Serving cherries in large amounts can cause health issues like diabetes or obesity. Stick with sweet cherries, as sour cherries will cause digestive problems.
- Don’t serve cherries without considering the hamster’s size. Dwarfs, robos, and Syrians can all handle different serving sizes.
- Ensure to remove cherry pits and stems when feeding them to a hamster. Otherwise, they’ll become a serious choking hazard.
Can Your Hamster Eat Cherries?
Yes, hamsters can eat cherries. It fits right into their natural omnivore-based diet that includes various vegetables, fresh fruit, and plants (1).
So experts encourage hamster owners to give their hammy fruits, such as cherries. In fact, the inclusion of cherries could help your hammy from getting bored with their diet.
Their presence has certainly helped me seem a little more food interested. I used to have issues with my picky pet hamster, but giving him cherries has solved it.
Of course, I expect this interest to be short-lived. I’ll be back to scrambling for new fresh food to intrigue him in a few months.
Is It Safe for Your Hamster to Eat Cherries?
Cherries are a relatively safe option for hamsters with only one issue. Owners must remove the pit before giving them to a hamster, or it could provide some problems.
Once the pits are removed, cherries represent a snack with lower sugar content than other stone fruits (2). It’s the reason many vets suggest them for obese hamsters.
It provides these obese hammies with a healthy, exciting new fruit to try. So, owners won’t have to worry about cherries being unsafe unless the pit’s still intact.
Want to expand your hamster’s snack options? Check out our article on what do hamsters eat for snacks for some nutritious and tasty ideas.
Why You Should Give Your Hamster Cherries?
One of the more exciting facts about cherries is they’re considered a superfood for humans. It makes them a favorite among people who take excellent care of their bodies.
Cherries earn this distinction by being “a rich source of polyphenols and vitamin C which have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties” (3).
So it makes sense that they offer hamsters some health benefits. Let’s take a look at some beneficial effects you can expect:
1. Improves Digestion
Your hamster’s digestion system will work much better with cherries in its diet. After all, cherries are loaded with natural fiber and other minerals for improving digestion.
It’s also a crucial benefit because hamsters have sensitive digestive systems (4). When fed these fantastic fruits, they’re much less prone to throwing up or constipation.
2. Minimizes Inflammation
Cherries contain a rare compound called anthocyanins. Hamster owners will learn to love this compound because it’ll help reduce inflammation in our hammies.
As a result, your hammy will be less likely to develop joint pain or other conditions caused by too much inflammation. It’ll help them lead a much cozier and more comfortable life.
3. Helps Regulate Blood Pressure
Hamster owners can expect cherries to provide a significant amount of potassium. Due to this, it can help regulate blood pressure to keep it from getting too high.
4. Treats and Prevents URIs
Upper respiratory infections, also known as URIs, are a severe issue with hamsters. But cherries can help treat and prevent them by offering a solid amount of Vitamin C.
Moreover, Vitamin C is a necessary staple of any hamster’s diet. So cherries are just another way to give them this vital nutrient.
Potential Risks of Feeding Your Hamster Cherries
Although I’ve been hyping up cherries this entire article, these fruits come with risks. The main issue is you can’t feed hamsters cherries in large amounts.
If you give them too many cherries, it can lead to conditions like obesity and diabetes. Both these complications can shorten a hamster’s life span significantly.
I’d also point out that sour/tart cherries can cause digestive issues. So it’d be much wiser to stick with feeding them sweet cherries.
Lastly, I must remind you about a cherry’s pit being problematic. Removing them is crucial to avoid choking when your hamster ingests cherries.
Also Read: Are Blueberries Safe for Hamsters?
How Many Cherries is Too Much?
The proper amount of cherries isn’t the same for every hamster. So before providing any cherries, think about what type of hamster is inside your room.
They’ll fall into one of the three types (smallest to largest): dwarf, Roborovski, or Syrian. Here are the recommended cherry amounts for each of these common hamsters:
- Dwarf Hamsters: one teaspoon of cherries per month. But make sure to separate it over four weeks rather than do it all at once. You don’t want to overload your little guy with cherry sweetness.
- Roborovski Hamsters: Roborovski hammies are bigger than dwarfs so they can handle a little more cherry. A teaspoon of cherry every 14 days should be perfect. But again, spread it out to around half a teaspoon per week.
- Syrian Hamsters: Syrians can handle even more than Robos at a teaspoon of cherry per week. It’ll give them a sweet, nutritious treat to spice up their diet!
Anyone unsure about their hamster’s type should consult a vet. They’ll have no issue detailing the correct amount for your hammy.
Meanwhile, they’ll also provide specifics based on your hamster’s condition. So if your hamster is overweight, the vet can account for it within the recommended dosage.
What’s the Correct Method to Serve My Hamster Cherries?
The first step is figuring out whether your hammy even likes cherries. Sadly, there are picky hamsters out there who might turn their noses at these delicious fruits.
So I recommend starting by giving them a small piece of cherry to test the waters. Cut off a bit of fresh, sweet cherry and see whether they like it.
It’ll provide insight into whether cherries are smart to put into the diet. Once you’ve confirmed they like cherries, it’s time to learn how to serve them correctly:
- Locate ripe, fresh cherries. But it must be a sweet variety rather than a sour one. You can tell the difference from its fresh and skinny stem (they’re often also labeled).
- Wash your cherry before serving it to your hammy. You’ll want to treat your hammy like a prince or princess and give them extra clean fruit.
- Remove the seeds and twig of your cherry before serving. These are choking hazards and offer nothing beneficial to your hammy.
- Serve the cherry to your hungry hamster. After they’re done eating, remove the leftovers to prevent other pests from trying to eat them, such as flies.
As for serving sizes, refer to our “How Many Cherries is Too Much?” section. It’ll ensure your hamster gets the right amount to remain healthy.
Look at how much fun the hammy is having in this video!
Your hammy is only a serving of cherries away from being this happy.
READ MORE: Can Hamsters Have Nectarines?
What are hamsters’ favorite food?
A hamster’s favorite food will vary based on each one’s taste. But favorites of the hamster food list include carrots, apples, dandelions, clover, cherries, and pears.
What fruits hamsters Cannot eat
Hamsters can’t eat citrus fruits due to them being way too acidic. As a result, it’ll cause issues within a hamster’s sensitive digestive system.
So can hamsters eat cherries? yes, but in small doses based on their size. Hamster owners should view them as a treat to spice up their hammy’s life.
But remember, the cherries have to be sweet and served without pits. It’s a crucial step to ensure your hammy gets the most out of this superfood.
So, did you ever feed cherries to your hamster? Give it a try and let us know in the comments how it goes!
1. Hamsters – Nutritional Requirements [Internet]. www.pfma.org.uk. Available from: https://www.pfma.org.uk/hamsters-nutritional-requirements
2. Cherries, peaches and other stone fruit [Internet]. www.dpi.nsw.gov.au. 2021 [cited 2022 Sep 30]. Available from: https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/agriculture/horticulture/stone-fruit#:~:text=
3. Kelley D, Adkins Y, Laugero K. A Review of the Health Benefits of Cherries. Nutrients. 2018;10:368.
4. Gardiner J. Hamster Care [Internet]. Animal Health Topics / School of Veterinary Medicine. 2019 [cited 2022 Sep 30]. Available from: https://healthtopics.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/health-topics/exotics/hamster-care#:~:text=Hamsters%20have%20a%20sensitive%20digestive
My name is Ben Roberts, and I absolutely love animals. So, naturally, I love writing about them too! As far as my animals, I have a Pit-bull, a Beagle-lab mix, a Chihuahua, and one old cat. Each one of them provides me with a new adventure every day. And the best part is they’re all best friends. Well, except the cat when he gets a little annoyed.
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