What Should I Do about a Fat Hamster?

Kaiser Castro

In the wild, hamsters are natural omnivores, normally eating insects and plant material. In captivity, hamsters have the luxury of having food handed to them. Negligence in part of the owner will facilitate a fat hamster if food is not carefully monitored. To properly deal with a fat hamster, the owner will have to monitor her diet, restrict fatty foods, increase water consumption, and promote caloric expenditure.

A hamster.
A hamster.

As a pet owner, the hamster’s diet is a major factor over which you have control. Try to restrict nuts that tend to have a relatively high fat content. Nuts like walnuts, pecans, and cashews tend to be very calorie-rich, which can create a fat hamster if given in excess. Try to opt for seeds that tend to have a lower fat content like pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds. No matter what type of nut you opt for, make sure to feed the hamster sparingly.

Pumpkin seeds can be better for a fat hamster than other types of seeds.
Pumpkin seeds can be better for a fat hamster than other types of seeds.

Hamsters are naturally nocturnal, so try to restrict giving out food during the day. Instead, opt for putting food out around the dawn hours. Try to lay out enough food to be consumed in one sitting. Don’t worry if you think that your hamster is going to starve — hamsters will naturally store food in small nests in their cage.

A fat hamster may have a hard time maneuvering herself to the water if it is too far. Water should be a staple in the hamster’s diet. Try to place the water bottle around the hamster’s nesting site, instead of it being on the other side of the cage.

Increase play time with the hamster. Taking the hamster out of the cage and playing with it is a simple way to help slim down a fat hamster. Invest in a hamster ball that allows the hamster to romp around the household without you having to diligently supervise it. This will allow the hamster hours of fun outside the cage, allowing the hamster to increase caloric expenditure and a chance to explore the world outside of the cage.

Do not feed the hamster bits of human foods. Fat hamsters tend to have a large appetite and will gladly grab a piece of food that is offered to them. Do not feed the hamster chocolates, meat, or milk products. These food products are not only fattening, but can wreak havoc on the hamster’s health.

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