Being a responsible hamster parent means paying a close eye to everything about your pet, including what they eat. So you just witnessed your hamster eat their own poop and wondered why they do it and whether it’s safe for them.
Well, leave alone witnessing, poop eating is something we don’t even want to imagine even for a second. That’s why you may find it gross when you find your hamster feasting on it.
In this article, we have everything you may want to know about your hamster eating poop. We will see the reasons they do it, whether or not it’s safe, how to stop it, and many more.
And with no further ado, let’s set the ball rolling!
Why Do Hamsters Eat Their Poop?
Hamsters eat their poop to obtain some nutrients. Your hamster’s poop is rich in Vitamin B12, so when they eat it, they are simply doing it to re-extract this Vitamin B12 back into their system.
The digestive system of your hamster will most of the time not extract all the nutrients from food in one go. As such, your hammy has to go through this process a number of times to get all the nutrients out. That’s why they eat their poop so often.
Just before we proceed, it’s worth noting that there are two types of poop;
- Regular dry poop
- Softer droppings.
The regular dry droppings are the ones you usually find in your hamster’s cage. At times your hamsters will leave them in weird places, so just be careful not to leave them in the cage when cleaning.
The soft poop often happens at night when your hamster is most active. They are the richest in vitamin B12. When you see your hamster eating their poop, they are actually eating the night poop.
With that cleared up, what can you do to stop your pet hamster from eating their poop? Chances are you are reading this article because you want to find out how. Well, we have just the answer for you. But just before that, let’s look at whether or not poop eating is safe for your hamster.
Is Poop Eating Dangerous For Hamsters?
No, eating poop is usually not dangerous for your hamster, but there’s a caveat: if the poop came into direct contact with bacteria or other forms of toxins, then it’s possible for it to cause health issues for your hammy.
Hamsters are coprophagic, meaning they belong in the class of animals that eat their poop to gain more nutrition from it. It’s natural for them, so they don’t see it from the same perspective you do.
Coprophagic animals have their digestive systems set up in a way that they can’t get all the nutrients from food in the first pass. That means for your hamster to benefit from all the nutrients, food has to pass through your hamster’s alimentary canal over and over again, a process called caecotrophy.
But again, as much as it’s going to bring in more nutrients into their systems, poop eating isn’t something any pet owner would want to see their pet do.
It’s possible to prevent your hamster from eating their droppings, and the most apparent way is removing the droppings really fast to keep them from ingesting them.
But should you do that?
Let’s find out as well…
Should You Stop Your Hamster From Eating Their Poop
You shouldn’t stop your hamster from eating their poop. Poop eating doesn’t look healthy in the human world, but it is very normal for hamsters. Your little furry friend needs vitamin B12, and eating poop is the basic way of getting this essential nutrient.
True, it may look disgusting, but it usually won’t harm your hamster in any way. As such, as a hamster owner, you just have to accept it and see it as a healthy step in their digestive experience.
Hamsters Will Keep Poop In Their Cheek Pouches
Hamsters treat their droppings the same way they treat food. You might have seen your little furry friend stash some food in their cheek pouches, and that’s absolutely normal for these desert rodents.
However, one thing that may catch you as a surprise is how your hamster will hoard poop in their cheek pouches. It’s not going to happen every time, but at times you may see them doing just that.
Hamsters are coprophagic, meaning they need to get some nutrients from their droppings. The good thing is that poop eating won’t usually harm your furry friend. In fact, your hamster will get vitamin B12 from their droppings, an essential nutrient they need to thrive.