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Can Hamsters Eat Cherries? What You Need to Know!
Hamsters are curious creatures and enjoy the finer things in life, like eating treats! Throughout the year, we humans supplement our diets with seasonal foods dependent on the area we live in, and there’s no reason your hamster can’t enjoy this experience with you.
However, it’s important to know what foods your hamster can and cannot safely enjoy, ensuring they stay healthy and happy. In the summertime, we are able to enjoy fresh tart and sweet cherries, but what about your hamster? Yes, they can!
Can Hamsters Eat Cherries?
Yes, hamsters can eat cherries!
Cherries are lower in sugar than many other fruits, especially tart cherries. Hamsters are naturally omnivorous and will eat fruits, vegetables, and plants they find on the ground in the wild, so providing them with a varied diet of healthy treats in addition to a high-quality, pre-made hamster food will ensure they stay healthy, have their nutritional needs met, and don’t get bored with their food options.
In the wild, there are around 25 species of hamsters and they are native to different parts of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, so they may encounter a huge variety of food options. Hamsters’ varied natural diet allows them to safely eat a large number of fresh foods, including cherries.
Are Cherries Safe for Hamsters?
Cherries make a safe snack option for hamsters as long as the pit is removed. Cherries belong to a group of fruits called “stone fruits”, which means they have a large, solid pit or seed in the middle of the meat of the fruit. You must remove this pit prior to feeding your hamster a cherry.
Cherries are lower in sugar than some other stone fruits, like peaches and mangoes. Cherries are an excellent source of fiber, vitamin A, B vitamins, and potassium. They are also low in fat and calories, which makes them a great treat for obese hamsters with the guidance of a veterinarian.
How Many Cherries Can I Feed My Hamster?
Hamsters can be given one or two cherries in a day, cut into small enough pieces for them to easily handle in their paws, but this amount will vary based on the size of your hamster.
Cherries can be fed multiple times per week. Overfeeding cherries can lead to two issues; the first is diarrhea or stomach upset and the second is if your hamster does not eat all of the pieces of cherry at once, they may hide them as a snack for later. Fresh foods, like chopped cherries, can begin to rot quickly, and should not be left in your hamster’s environment for more than a few hours at the most. To keep the cage clean and hygienic, it is best to monitor your hamster while it eats fresh foods to make sure they do not store them for later.
What Else Should I Consider When Feeding Cherries to My Hamster?
Since cherries are a stone fruit, they contain a pit that is large relative to the size of the fruit. These pits should not be given to hamsters. This includes feeding an intact cherry to your hamster. Cherry pits are a choking hazard for hamsters, especially since some pits may be small enough for your hamster to attempt to swallow whole. Over time, cherry pits can be toxic, but in the short term, they may lead to diarrhea, indigestion, or other health issues.
If your hamster suffers from medical problems, like diabetes or obesity, it’s imperative that you check with your veterinarian before offering new foods to your hamster. Some foods may lead to exacerbations of medical issues.
Related Read: Can Hamsters Eat Chicken? What You Need to Know!
Cherries can make a great treat for your hamster. Cherries are full of antioxidants that help improve the health of humans, and they may help improve your hamster’s health as well. They are high in essential vitamins your hamster needs to have a complete diet.
A balanced diet of fresh foods is just as important to your hamster’s health as it is to yours. Choosing smart, low-calorie treats, like cherries, will allow you to treat your friend without hurting their health when done correctly.
Keep in mind that hamsters are all different and some may not like new foods you offer to them, so work together with your hamster to determine its food preferences.
Featured Image: Couleur, Pixabay
Brooke Billingsley spent nine years as a veterinary assistant before becoming a human nurse in 2013. She resides in Arkansas with her boyfriend of five years. She loves all animals and currently shares a home with three dogs, two cats, five fish, and two snails. She has a soft spot for special needs animals and has a three-legged senior dog and an internet famous cat with acromegaly and cerebellar hypoplasia. Fish keeping has become a hobby of Brooke’s and she is continually learning how to give her aquarium pets the best life possible. Brooke enjoys plants and gardening and keeps a vegetable garden during the summer months. She stays active with yoga and obtained her 200-hour yoga teacher certification in 2020. She hosts a podcast focusing on folklore and myth and loves spending her free time researching and writing. Brooke believes that every day is an opportunity for learning and growth and she spends time daily working toward new skills and knowledge.