When you think of rodents who eat cheese, it’s probably a mouse that first come to mind. Thanks to wonderful kids cartoons like Tom & Jerry, you’ll probably have visions of little mice burrowing through a mountain of yellow cheese! But mice are not the only ones who enjoy this dairy delight, in fact many other pets do too.
Can hamsters eat cheese?
If you’re an owner of an adorable little hamster, you’re probably wondering if they can eat cheese. You’re right to be cautious as there are a lot of foods that hammies can’t eat, but luckily cheese isn’t one of them!
Is cheese good for hamsters?
Some dairy products can cause digestive issues for hamsters due to their high lactose content, but thanks to the fermentation process this is lower in cheese and therefore most cheeses are safe for hammies.
Many cheeses contain a range of vitamins and minerals that are really beneficial for hamsters, these include the following:
- Calcium – helps your hamster build and maintain strong teeth and bones
- Protein – essential for helping your hamster’s body grow and repair itself
- Vitamin A – assists in keeping a hammies immune system in a strong condition, which helps them to defend against illness and infection
- Vitamin B12 – helps with the production of healthy blood and keeps your hamster’s nervous system in good condition
One thing to take into consideration is the type of cheese you are giving your hamster. On the whole it is much better to give your hamster mild cheese that hasn’t been aged for too long, the reason for this is that stronger aged cheeses are often higher in saturated fat and salt, and may be too harsh for their stomach to digest properly. Blue cheese or any with a rind should probably be avoided as these contain bacteria that may not be beneficial for your hammie.
How much cheese can I give to my hamster?
Your little bundles of joy will probably love a few morsels of cheese. The first time you give it to them you’ll probably see their little whiskers twitch and nose sniff around as they try to work out what the delightful smell is! Even though hammies often love cheese, it’s worth remembering that this is a dairy product that is high in fat and therefore calories. The fact that hamsters can fit in the palms of our hand shows that they are significantly smaller than us humans, which means that their portion sizes should also be much tinier than ours. You may be tempted to give your pet a large chunk of cheese because they love it so much, but this can be really bad for them, especially if done regularly. Instead you should think of giving them a few really small shavings, which they’ll still love! You should also be feeding them cheese infrequently and it certainly shouldn’t be a main staple of their diet.
If you want to look after the cholesterol levels in your hamster, consider giving them low fat cheeses which include mozzarella, cottage cheese and ricotta.
If you enjoyed this article you might also like to read about Can Hamsters Eat Bread?