Can Hamsters Eat Cherries?
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Who doesn’t love cherries? These beautiful red fruits are a summertime favorite, prized for their unique flavor and health benefits.
Here’s the thing:
You know that they’re really good for you, but are cherries ok for hamsters to eat? If so, how much cherries can you give a hamster?
In case you’re in a hurry, the quick answer is yes, you can give a hamster cherries, but you’ll need to really watch portion size since this fruit tends to be extra sweet and too much can make your hammy sick.
Keep on reading for all the answers! In just a few minutes, you’ll be ready to share your cherries with your hamster – the right way.
Cherries Nutrition Stats
Full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, cherries are so delicious you might have a tough time believing that they’re good for you. In a one-cup serving of ripe sweet cherries with pits, you’ll get approximately:
- 87 calories
- 1 g carbohydrates
- 9 g fiber
- 5 g protein
- .3 g fat
Cherry Nutritional Facts
You and your hamster will get lots of nutrients every time you snack on ripe cherries! That same one-cup serving gives you about:
- 3 iu vitamin A
- 306 mg potassium
- 7 mg vitamin C
- .1 mg vitamin B6
- .1 mg manganese
- 2 mg magnesium
- .3 mg pantothenic acid
- .1 mg copper
- 4 mg choline
- 9 mcg vitamin K
- 9 mg calcium
- 29 mg phosphorus
Can Hamsters Have Cherries?
Yes – but this is one of those treats that can be enjoyed only in small amounts and just occasionally.
Only give your hamster fresh cherries or dried cherries without additives like sugar or preservatives. Never offer frozen or canned cherries with extra sugar – these are not suitable for your hammy.
Are Cherries Good For Hamsters?
Cherries aren’t unhealthy but they shouldn’t be a major part of your hamster’s diet. At the same time, it’s fine to offer them as a special treat!
Do Hamsters Like Cherries?
Hamsters love sweet fruits and cherries are no exception. We’re pretty sure that your little fluffball will be over the moon if you decide to let them give cherries a try!
How Many Cherries Can A Hamster Eat?
Because hamsters like cherries so much, they’re going to be a little bit disappointed with the answer to this question: Not very much! Here’s how much cherry to feed a hamster:
|1 small cherry or ½ large cherry
Why such a small number? After all, cherries are healthy! Sad to say, excess sugar intake is something that can make your hamster very sick – sometimes right away, and sometimes further in the future, in cases where sweet foods are overeaten frequently.
The good news is that your hamster is a tiny little creature and a cherry – or even half a cherry – is a pretty big snack. So don’t feel bad about providing the correct portion and sticking to it. Your hamster will appreciate the treat and look forward to whatever comes next.
Before you head to the fridge, there are a few things you need to know about feeding cherries to your hamster.
Since sudden dietary changes can cause serious digestive problems, it’s best to take a cautious approach and gradually introduce your hammy to those yummy cherry treats.
First, you’ll want to cut the cherry down into manageable chunks, remove the stem, and remove the seed.
If your hamster is brand new to the concept of fruit, give them a tiny sliver of cherry – something about twice the size of their front paw.
If your hamster already eats fruit, you can give them half the recommended amount the first time they try cherries.
In both cases, keep an eye out for signs of diarrhea or an upset tummy over the next 12 hours of so. If everything goes smoothly and there are no issues, you can gradually progress to a larger serving of cherry next time it’s on the menu.
How Often Can A Hamster Eat Cherries?
While you can have cherries as often as you want, we can’t say the same for your little buddy. Hamsters should only have cherries about once a week, and they shouldn’t have them on the same day that they eat other sugary treats – unless you cut all the sweet portions into just a fraction of a serving size so all together, they amount to about a teaspoon of fruit or less.
The Correct Diet Is Important
Wild hamsters eat a surprising variety of different foods depending on the season and what’s available in the area where they’re foraging. They eat lots of different plants and we’re pretty sure that if they came upon a cherry, they’d make very short work of it.
Here’s something that surprises a lot of people: Hamsters are omnivores, meaning they eat animal protein as well as plants, so feel free to treat your pet to protein-rich snacks such as a few dried mealworms or a little bit of hard-boiled egg occasionally.
Of course this isn’t essential since hamster pellets provide complete nutrition. At the same time, your hamster will appreciate variety in their diet!
Besides good-quality hamster pellets, an occasional cherry, and maybe some extra bits of protein, here’s what you should be feeding your hamster:
- Fresh Timothy hay is great for nibbling, nesting, and tunneling.
- Clean, fresh water needs to be available 24/7. Give your hamster’s water bottle a quick rinse and refill it every day.
- Birdseed is a really nice extra. Just a teaspoon per week gives your hamster something fun to stash and nibble.
- Small amounts of fresh fruit and vegetables can be enjoyed once a day or once every other day.
Remove any uneaten fresh food from your hamster’s habitat before they have a chance to stash it away. This probably won’t something that happens with cherries but hidden fruit and veggies can spoil and make your pet sick.
Remember Your Hamster’s Teeth.
While this next item isn’t really “food” it has everything to do with maintaining your hamster’s health. Since hamster teeth can become overgrown, infected, and even damage their pouch, it’s really important to make sure that chewable hamster toys are always on hand. There are lots of different ones to try!
What Are Other Healthy Alternatives To Cherries In A Hamster’s Diet?
Cherries are a rare treat but the good news is that there’s no shortage of other options to help keep your furry friend’s life interesting (and delicious!)
Here’s a quick list of some veggies hamsters usually like:
- red lettuce
- bibb lettuce
- buttercrunch lettuce
- green beans
- bell pepper
- winter squash
- summer squash
- sweet potato
- yu choy
- bok choy
- sweet corn
- baby corn
- carrot tops
- beet tops
- potato (cooked only)
- swiss chard
Even though the list of foods that are toxic or potentially harmful to hamsters is short and the list of acceptable treats is almost endless, research is the key to success when deciding which natural treats to give your hammy.
In the span of just a few minutes, you can find out if a certain food is OK, plus you can find out how much your hamster can safely enjoy.
Now, go ahead and give your hamster cherries – just a little – and have fun watching them nibble this very special treat!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are cherries safe for hamsters?
Yes! It’s safe to give cherries to a hamster but be remember that small portions are one important key to safety with this and all sweet snacks.
Can cherries make my hamster sick?
Cherries can give your hamster a terrible tummy ache and a dangerous case of diarrhea if overeaten. Just take a gradual approach and watch carefully for any signs that your pet isn’t feeling well.
Can hamsters have cherry pits?
No. Cherry pits contain small amounts of cyanide, which could harm your pet. Remember to remove the pits from your hamster’s cherry treat before you give it to them.