Do you have a fat hamster? Are you worried that your hamster is too fat?
Hamsters have a naturally chubby appearance, so it can be difficult to know whether your hamster is really too fat or whether they’re supposed to look that way!
As long as your hamster has a healthy diet and gets plenty of exercise then it is very unlikely to be too fat.
However, some people do overfeed their hamsters – and some hamsters don’t get enough exercise, as they live in a cage all day. It is possible that this could lead to a fat and unhealthy hamster.
Do I have a fat hamster?
The weight that a vet would consider healthy for a hamster will depend on its age and what type of hamster it is.
For Syrian hamsters, a rough guideline is about an ounce of weight for every inch of length. A healthy adult Syrian hamster will probably weigh around 6 or 7 ounces.
However, this rule doesn’t apply to other types of hamsters. For example, dwarf hamsters will of course be much smaller and lighter. (You can read some interesting facts about dwarf hamsters at nichepets.com)
Also, like humans, a hamster will lose weight in its old age. The age that weight loss occurs will depend on the life span of your hamster.
What to do if you have a fat hamster
If you have a fat hamster then it’s important to adjust their diet and exercise to help them slim down to a healthier weight.
Make sure that your hamster has an exercise wheel or exercise ball. In the wild, hamsters can run for several miles per night, so you need to find a way to replicate this level of activity in your home. An exercise wheel or exercise ball will allow you to do this.
Reduce the number of fatty nuts and seeds – such as sunflower seeds – that you feed to your hamster. Save these for treats rather than using them as a regular part of your hamster’s diet.
You should replace the fattier elements of your hamster’s diet with vegetables and fruit. Try feeding carrot, broccoli, cabbage and apple. Avoid citrus fruits – such as oranges – as they’re very acidic.
Finally, try to force your hamster to work for its food! Instead of putting food in the same place every day, try hiding small amounts of food around your hamster’s cage. This means that your hamster has to burn calories by moving around and digging for its food rather than simply having it placed within easy reach.
Could your “fat” hamster actually be pregnant?
If you have a female hamster that gets plenty of exercise and has a healthy diet, but has still gained some weight, then it’s possible that your hamster could be pregnant.
Check out these signs of pregnancy in hamsters.