Can Hamsters Eat Themselves To Death?

Is your hammy an enthusiastic eater? Indeed, the next meal might be the highlight of his entire day. Can your hamster eat itself to death? Let us find out!
Can Hamsters Eat Themselves To Death?

Hamsters are tiny creatures. However, they still have higher metabolic requirements. As such, hamsters end up chewing through 10 per cent of the total body weight in food every single day. When you maintain a well-balanced diet, it will increase the chance of your critter to lead a long & healthy life. The diet you give your hammy should primarily consist of ample grains and other core carbohydrates. Moreover, you should also ensure that fresh water is always available for your pet.

As per the experts, it is recommended to reduce the amount of oily food and sweets you give to hamsters. While your little pet might like cupcake crumbs or potato chips, the delicious food distractions might end up making him overeat and eventually shorten the lifespan.

Can a Hamster Eat Itself to Death?

Hamsters are known to make use of the large cheek pouches like some storage or backpack for carrying food and other items. In the native desert lands, it is difficult to come across food easily. Therefore, it makes sense for a wild hamster to collect plant roots, seeds, small insects, and other items and hide the same whenever there is availability of food.

Hamsters are renowned for carrying around half of the total body weight in the form of food in the respective cheek pouches. While your hammy with its cheek full might be too difficult to resist, you should still try to avoid overfeeding him. The food item that your pet might store might become moldy in case he urinates on the same to mark the food as his own.

For the best outcomes, you should aim at feeding your pet a complete hamster mix featuring a blend of grains, vegetable, and corn flakes in it. Hamsters are known to require more greens and fresh fruits in comparison to most other rodents. Therefore, you should also make sure that you are providing foods like peas in the pod, broccoli, melon, and several other fresh fruits & veggies.

While feeding your hammy, do not remove the seeds or peel off the veggies or fruits. Your hamster loves shredding the entire piece at its own pace. Moreover, you should also not be surprised to observe him feeding on the respective droppings.

Are You Overfeeding Your Hamster?

As a pet parent, you indeed want your furry companion to be satisfied and happy. Who is not content with a full belly? It is indeed essential to keep your pet well-fed and well-watered. At the same time, it is equally important to keep a check on the food intake of your pet such that he does end up overeating and getting sick.

But, how much is too much? Maybe your pet has started overeating and getting slightly chunky. However, now you are worried that it might end up eating itself to beyond the limits and leading to major health problems.

You should know that hamsters tend to be natural hoarders. Therefore, it is quite simple to overfeed your pet in some instances. When the food bowl gets empty, it does not necessarily imply that your hamster has consumed the entire food that was served. On an average, a hamster is expected to eat around 1-2 tablespoons of hamster-friendly food in a period of 24 hours.

The given amount can be supplemented by veggies and fresh fruits that are regarded as safe for hammy consumption. Moreover, you can also regard these as occasional treats. Too much of the given amount will imply you are overfeeding your pet.

What Happens When Your Hamster Overeats?

Overfeeding your hammy can result in issues –ranging from potential health issues to environmental concerns. Some potential issues are:

·         Excessive weight gain: Hammies are known for their chubby appearance. Therefore, it can be difficult to know whether or not your hammy is overweight. The best way to know is by observing them and handling them properly. If you notice some change in the overall weight and appearance, it is time to restrict some feeding patterns.

·         Heart Problems: When your hammy is overweight, it can put immense stress on the heart of your little buddy. Eventually, it could lead to making the hammy go into a state of congestive heart failure. Some signs of heart failure in hamsters include lethargy, respiratory diseases, and swelling.

·         Digestive Issues: Digestive problems are quite common in case of overeating. Overeating the wrong kind of food can result in diarrhea in your hammy. If you notice that the stool of your pet is becoming softer than usual, it is time to notice the amount it is eating on a daily basis.

Do Hamsters Eat Themselves?

In the context quite unique to overeating and potentially leading to death, hamsters also exhibit the nature of cannibalism in some cases. Depending on the particular species, these creatures can turn out to be cannibalistic because they tend to be territorial. For instance, Syrian hamsters are known to get aggressive towards each other. In some cases, they might even kill and eat other hamsters in the cage.

Mother hammies whose pups tend to die after birth or stillborn have also shown the behaviour of eating their babies. The causes remain unknown. However, it could imply a form of protection. In the wild, the odor of a dead pup might attract predators. It is something a mother cannot risk. This might be another leading cause of cannibalism in hamsters.


While a hamster might overfeed itself to lead to potential health issues and eventually die, there are no instances of a hammy eating itself. Hamsters only reveal cannibalism by killing or eating other creatures of the same species. If you notice any strange behaviour in your pet, you can instantly contact your vet to know more about it. It is always safe to be cautious.

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a little about me
Hi, im Sofia
Hi, im Sofia

I'm a mother of 2, hamster enthusiast, animal lover, and blogger. I have had five hamsters in my life, each with their own personality!

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