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Can Hamsters Eat Cashews? What You Need to Know!
Commercial hamster diets often contain nuts and seeds, but most don’t contain nuts like cashews. Including nuts like this in commercial diets is cost-prohibitive, so many companies usually avoid it. But if you’ve wondered if your hamster can have nuts like cashews, we’re here to help!
The quick answer to “can I give my hamster cashews?” is that you can, but there are some things to consider before feeding cashews to your hammy. Read on for more information on feeding cashews to hamsters!
Can Hamsters Eat Cashews?
They sure can, but only in moderation!
Cashews are an excellent source of minerals like copper, magnesium, and manganese, all of which can help your hammy maintain a strong immune system and brain. They are also high in protein, heart-healthy fats, and fiber, which is important for satiety and preventing constipation.
Cashews are also very high in calories, though. Just 1 ounce of cashews is over 150 calories! That’s only about 18 medium-sized cashews. So, moderation is key when feeding cashews to hamsters.
Are Cashews Safe for Hamsters?
Cashews are usually safe for hamsters, but salted or flavored cashews should not be fed to hamsters. They should only be given plain roasted cashews.
If your hammy has any kind of medical issues, especially obesity or obesity-related diseases, cashews and other nuts should be avoided. The high calorie and fat content may be far too much for your furry friend.
Cashews are a better treat for larger hamsters, like Syrians and Roborovskis, since it will be easier to control an appropriate serving for them. Dwarf hamsters can have cashews, but you will need to monitor the serving closely.
How Many Cashews Can I Feed My Hamster?
Large hamsters can have a single cashew every week or two. If your large hammy is particularly active, they may be able to have two cashews. Dwarf hamsters should have less than a whole cashew every week or two. If they are active, they may be able to have an entire cashew.
Keep in mind that foods high in fat can lead to stomach upset when eaten in excess, so overfeeding cashews to your hamster can not only cause obesity over time, but it may cause diarrhea or gas.
What Else Should I Consider When Feeding My Hamster Cashews?
Keep track of the snacks you’re giving your hammy every week. If you’re giving cashews every week then you shouldn’t also be giving other nuts regularly. Ideally, you should be providing different whole food treats to your hammy instead of the same thing every week. This, combined with a complete commercial diet, will ensure your hamster’s nutritional needs are being met.
Introduce any new food slowly to your hamster. It’s best to not give chopped cashews to your hamster though because they may pose a choking hazard. One way to help control how much cashew your hamster eats at a time, you can provide a whole cashew and let your hammy take a bite or two before taking the cashew away. Over time you can let your hammy eat a little more of the cashew while you monitor for any effects from the cashew.
Some hamsters may not like cashews and others may be hesitant to try new food like a cashew. Maybe your hammy is the type to grab any new food and eat it with gusto! No matter how your hamster responds to the offer of a cashew, keep moderation in mind. Feeding too much high-fat, high-calorie food like cashews can create health problems in your little friend, shortening their lifespan.
When you decide to introduce cashews to your hamster, remember to control how much you’re allowing to be eaten in one sitting. Otherwise, you may end up with an uncomfortable hamster and a messy cage.
Featured image credit: Michael_Luenen, Pixabay
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.