Can Hamsters Eat Cantaloupe?

Hamster June 28, 2020
Anne

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Can Hamsters Eat Cantaloupe?

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Can Hamsters Eat Cantaloupe?

Yum! Cantaloupe has such a sweet, sunny taste – no wonder you want to share some with your hamster!

We get a lot of questions about whether it’s ok to give cantaloupe to hamsters, so we’ve put together a complete guide. First things first, yes – hamsters can eat cantaloupe! But as with so many other treats, moderation is definitely the key to success.

Keep on reading for all the dos and don’ts, plus tips to help keep your hamster safe while allowing them to experience new foods. In just a few minutes, you’ll have all the answers to your questions about cantaloupe for hamsters.

Cantaloupe Nutrition Stats

Dig right in, because cantaloupe is really, really good for you and not so bad for your hamster, either. A 1-cup serving of cut-up cantaloupe or cantaloupe melon balls gives you approximately:

  • 60 calories
  • 6 g carbohydrates
  • 6 g fiber
  • 5 g protein
  • .3 g fat

Cantaloupe Nutritional Facts

You (and your hamster) need supplemental vitamin C, and cantaloupe gives you one more great way to get it. This yummy fruit is brimming with other essential nutrients too – vitamin A and potassium come to mind. That same delicious serving of cantaloupe gives you about:

  • 5987 iu vitamin A
  • 473 mg potassium
  • 65 mg vitamin C
  • .1 mg vitamin B6
  • .1 mg manganese
  • 2 mg magnesium
  • .1 mg thiamine
  • .2 mg pantothenic acid
  • .1 mg copper
  • 9 mg calcium
  • 2 mcg folate
  • 4 mcg vitamin K

Can Hamsters Have Cantaloupe?

Absolutely! It’s perfectly fine to treat your hamster to cantaloupe once in a while. Be careful though, because you don’t want to give your furry friend too much!

Is Cantaloupe Good For Hamsters?

Here’s the thing: While cantaloupe offers lots of important nutrients and is comparatively low in sugar when placed side by side with some of the snacks you might enjoy, it’s considered a high sugar treat for your hammy.

It’s OK to let your hamster have a little cantaloupe but stick to the recommended serving size and don’t give in if your pet seems to be begging for more.

Do Hamsters Like Cantaloupe?

Since hamsters love sweet foods, most of them go crazy for cantaloupe. And even though it (just like other fruits!) contains sugar, it is far superior to treats with corn syrup and other additives that should never cross your hamster’s lips.

How Much Cantaloupe Can A Hamster Eat?

Just like we shouldn’t stuff ourselves with too much chocolate, hamsters shouldn’t eat too much cantaloupe at once. Here’s how much cantaloupe to feed your hamster:

AgeAmount
Baby hamsterNone
Adult hamster1 teaspoon of cantaloupe

Wait. Cantaloupe is mostly water, so what’s the deal? Why such a small serving size?

High water content is one of the reasons why it’s important not to give your hamster too much cantaloupe at once. Since hamsters eat a fairly dry diet in the wild and drink water only as needed, sweet, watery fruits can cause diarrhea if overeaten.

Sugar can contribute to diarrhea too, making it doubly important to watch your pet’s serving size.

As if that weren’t enough, there’s one more reason to feed your hamster cantaloupe in small amounts: Sudden dietary changes can be a real shock to a hamster’s delicate digestive system. And you guessed it: This is one more thing that can give your hamster a dangerous case of diarrhea.

Here’s how to give a hamster cantaloupe the right way.

Measure out your hamster’s portion of cantaloupe and make sure that there are no seeds clinging to it. Cantaloupe seeds are really sharp and slippery, and they can damage your hamster’s pouch if they are stuck inside.

If your hamster already eats fruit, go ahead and let them have half the recommended serving size the first time they try cantaloupe.

In case your hamster is new to fruit, let them have a little lump about the size of their paw. Just a nibble!

Over the next 12 hours or so, keep an eye out for any signs of an unhappy digestive system. If you notice diarrhea or anything questionable, cantaloupe probably isn’t a good choice for your pet.

The more likely scenario is that your hamster will happily continue life as normal and cantaloupe can make its way onto their treat rotation. Next time, offer just a little more and gradually increase the serving size until they’re eating the full amount.

How Often Can A Hamster Eat Cantaloupe?

Since cantaloupe are high in sugar, it’s important not to give them to your hamster too often. Once or twice per week is often enough, and cantaloupe shouldn’t be offered at the same time as other sweet fruits unless  you reduce all the fruit portions and offer no more than about a teaspoon of fruit at a time.

The Correct Diet Is Important

If you’ve been a proud hamster caretaker for a while now, you know that a hamster’s natural diet consists of all kinds of things – everything from seeds to crickets! And, while it isn’t likely that wild hamsters would find a cantaloupe in their habitat, it’s safe to say that they’d take advantage of the opportunity to much if given the chance.

So, what else should your hamster eat?

  • Hamster food, formulated to satisfy your pet’s needs. The package label will tell you how much to give your pet.
  • Unlimited supply of fresh water. Remember to rinse and refill your hamster’s drinking bottle at least once per day.
  • Fresh Timothy hay and safe hamster bedding, which let your hamster engage in natural tunneling and customize their habitat with cozy nests and burrows.
  • A little birdseed – About a teaspoon per week adds a little healthy fat to your hamster’s diet and gives them something fun to hide. You can skip this if there are already seeds in their food.
  • Tiny bits of fresh food each day or every other day. Give your hamster vegetables more often than fruit.
  • Chewable treats and hamster toys to keep your hamster’s teeth from becoming overgrown. Your pet needs something to nibble at all times.

Here’s one last tip:

When you give your hamster cantaloupe and other fresh foods, watch for them to lose interest and then remove any extra. This might sound terrible but the truth is, fresh food can spoil if your hamster hides it away, and this can lead to illness.

What Are Other Healthy Alternatives To Cantaloupe In A Hamster’s Diet?

You want your hamster to enjoy a long, happy life, and fresh snacks can help you achieve both goals at once. Here’s a quick list of some veggies hamsters like, just to help you get started.

  • artichoke
  • asparagus
  • sweet corn
  • baby corn
  • cabbage
  • cilantro
  • parsley
  • basil
  • mint
  • beets
  • beet tops
  • arugula
  • potato (cooked only)
  • sprouts
  • carrot
  • carrot tops
  • romaine
  • endive
  • swiss chard
  • bibb lettuce
  • spinach
  • escarole
  • buttercrunch lettuce
  • red lettuce
  • cucumber
  • celery
  • green beans
  • winter squash
  • pumpkin
  • summer squash
  • zucchini
  • parsnip
  • bell pepper
  • cauliflower
  • broccoli
  • broccolini
  • tomato
  • okra
  • watercress
  • yu choy
  • bok choy

The options on this list are just the beginning. There are tons of wonderful foods hamsters love, but keep in mind, it’s essential to offer the right amount. We recommend that you look for information about each new food you’d like to give your hamster. This way, you’ll avoid toxic items and your furry little friend will snack safely.

Now that you’ve got the facts, it’s time for some fun! Giving your hamster cantaloupe (just a smidge) is a great way to round out their nutrition while making life even more enjoyable.

FAQ

Is cantaloupe safe for hamsters?

Yes! It’s safe to give a hamster cantaloupe. Remember that proper serving size is a big part of the picture when it comes to safety.

Can cantaloupe make my hamster sick?

Too much cantaloupe can give your hamster diarrhea, and if you offer too many sugary treats (including cantaloupe) over time, your hamster might eventually suffer from obesity and diabetes. Both health issues are very difficult for hamsters to deal with and they can shorten life span by quite a bit.

Can my hamster have cantaloupe seeds?

No. Even though some seeds (such as sunflower seeds) are great for hamsters, cantaloupe seeds are an exception. Their long, slim shape and slippery shell makes them tough to handle, and their sharp ends could cause serious damage to your hamster’s pouch.

Anne

Anne is a wellness writer with a lifelong love of animals large and small. As a former veterinary technician, she has a passion for your pet’s well-being. Anne rescues and rehabilitates animals in need. She shares her farm with lots of critters including horses, sheep, dogs, cats, rabbits, and chickens.
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