It’s time to discuss safe plants for hamsters and plants that you should avoid. Apart from ensuring that a hamster’s cage is secure, a balanced and healthy diet is just as important.
To properly take care of hamsters, and to avoid serious health problems, it is vital to know what foods are and aren’t safe for hamsters to consume. That’s why we compiled a list of plants that hamsters can and cannot eat. We will also tackle why hamsters need plants and herbs and some tips when feeding your hamsters.
ALSO READ: Hamster Care Sheet
WHY LIVE HAMSTERS NEED PLANTS
Hamsters like to play with, and chew on, whatever they have in their cages, so there’s no harm in adding some dead or properly cut and prepared plants inside an enclosure.
Hamsters are happier with plants around them because it makes them feel more like they are in nature.
Help With Their Balanced Diet
Hamsters are omnivores which means that they eat both meat and plants. Make sure that the plants aren’t contaminated with pesticides or vehicle fumes. Try to buy organic plants and make sure that they are correctly washed if consumed by your pets.
Growing your own plants from seeds in an external pot can be a good idea because you can personally make sure they have no pesticides before you prepare them for your hamster’s cage.
Replicate Their Life in the Wild
Hamsters are naturally wild creatures. That’s why they still need to adapt when you take them to your homes as domesticated pets. As with most domestic animals, they need a familiar environment around them, including natural light. Another way hamster owners can create a more natural habitat is to decorate the hamster enclosure with cut plants like hamster sprays. This way, they will be able to adapt more comfortably and experience a more enriched life.
These cut plants called sprays are amazing. They will make your hamster happy and have a shelf life of about 6 months!
Herbs Keep a Natural Looking Cage
A cage that doesn’t contain any other natural resources aside from the pet itself is empty-looking and boring, both for the people and the pet. Your hamster will most likely be more active if there are many herbs and plants to keep it busy.
CHECK OUT: Safe and healthy chew toys for your hamster’s teeth
IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN FEEDING YOUR HAMSTER FRESH HERBS/PLANTS
Even though specific plants are ideal to be eaten by hamsters, make sure that you give them smaller pieces (a moderate amount) and not too much because it could upset their stomachs and result in digestive problems.
Avoid feeding them with plants that have thorns or sticky pollen. And, of course, make sure that the plants and herbs don’t have any mold on them.
It is possible to add live plants to a cage, but usually, a hamster will just kill the plant by chewing the stem off, pee on it, or destroy the soil and roots while burrowing.
We HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you only put dead plants around the cage and remove them as soon as they are old, moldy, eaten, or problematic. If your hamster doesn’t like your choice of herbs, try a new one next time!
SAFE PLANTS FOR HAMSTERS TO EAT AND HERBS SAFE FOR HAMSTERS
While, in general, fresh plants are a healthy and great addition to your hamster’s diet, make sure that the plants you put inside the cages are safe because they will surely eat everything that their cute paws can get to.
As usual, as pet owners, we care a lot about hamsters, and taking care of them includes making sure they have a balanced diet. We compiled a list of plants and herbs hamsters can eat safely by your furry friends.
What herbs can hamsters eat, and what plants are safe for hamsters?
People often ask, can hamsters eat mint? Absolutely! Check the list below for more plants and herbs your hamster will love:
- oregano sage
- wheat sprouts
- beetroot (all the plant)
- ribwort plantain
- wormwood plant
- rose petals
If you know other plants or hamster safe herbs that we can add to this hamster safe plants list, let us know in the comment section below.
HERBS AND PLANTS THAT ARE UNSAFE FOR HAMSTERS TO EAT
Many plants are safe plants for hamsters to eat, but there are plants and herbs that your hamster needs to avoid eating because they may cause food poisoning.
Most of the plants on this list have high acidity or toxicity and can cause diarrhea, which would lead to dehydration, some can even have deadly effects.
Can hamsters eat lavender? Unfortunatey, lavender is one of the unsafe plants for hamsters. Make sure that you research if the plants and herbs are safe for them before feeding them. With that being said, here are some of the herbs and plants that your furry friends can’t eat:
- bay laurel
- lemon balm
- lemon verbena
- aloe vera plant skin
- most flowers (except the ones I mentioned above)
- English ivy or any ivy
- any fruit (fresh fruits or dried fruit) that is high in citric acid (sour stuff) or citrus fruits or citrus-based plants
FLOWERS THAT ARE SAFE FOR HAMSTERS TO EAT
Similar to herbs, herbs, hamsters can also eat specific types of flowers. The kind of flowers for hamsters that are safe to eat is short-petal types such as, dandelions, daisy, pansy, and violas. Can hamsters eat marigolds? Yes, but please make sure to look for wild marigolds because French and marsh marigolds are toxic not only for hamsters but for most pets.
FAQ ON PLANTS FOR HAMSTERS
Are live plants good in a hamster cage?
Generally no, because seeds can be toxic, you will need to pay very close attention and choose the correct herbs or plants. A safer and better idea is to just put some cut herbs into the enclosure from time to time.
We recommend growing plants in your garden but not in your hamster cage. Put them inside after they are safely prepared for a few days and then take them out before they get old.
Are spider plants safe for hamsters?
Spider plants are safe for hamsters provided you don’t feed them the whole plant. The leaves of adult plants are great and if you have spider plants around your house you have a free treat for your pet! However, spider plant seeds and young saplings are toxic and cause hallucinations in mammals, so you MUST chop them properly.
Are fake plants safe for hamsters?
Fake plants are a dangerous choice because hamsters love to chew on stuff! Most fake plants are made of cheap plastics and will be chewed on. Also, these cheap plastics seap BPA which can cause cancer.
Fake plants may look nice, but your hamster will probably tear them apart and it is not worth the risk for the sole purpose of making your enclosure aesthetically pleasing. A safe real plant-like oat grass or Timothy grass would be better. You can grow these outside the enclosure and feed your hamster when the plants are ready to be harvested.
Can hamsters eat dill pickles?
Hamsters will eat dill pickles, but just as in human health, pickles contain way too much sodium. A better option is fresh-cut cucumbers without all the added preservatives. In fact, any foods high in preservatives should be avoided. Natural and fresh food have the best health benefits!
Can hamsters eat parsley?
Hamsters can safely eat small amounts of parsley. You will know if they are eating too much by inspecting their poop. Too much can cause diarrhea. At home, if you are cooking a human meal with parsley feel free to give your hamster a tiny pinch before you cook it and see if they enjoy it. Parsley is rich in vitamins and will be beneficial.
Can hamsters eat cilantro?
Cilantro is safe in moderation and contains many minerals good for hamster health. When you introduce them to a small amount, just monitor their health. Your hamster needs a varied diet including seeds. You never want to feed your hamster only one food source.
Is mold growth on plants dangerous?
Introducing plants and herbs can lead to mold growth, especially if you live in a humid and dark house. You should inspect your plants for mold growth and remove them if you see or smell any. Mold spores will cause breathing problems and they are super hardy. Mold spores can live for years and are protected from most safe disinfectants, at the same time they are microscopic so you can’t see them.
Can hamsters eat flowers?
Please refer to the above list of what flowers can hamsters eat. If you’re wondering, can hamsters eat daisies? Yes, this is an example of hamster safe flowers. Other safe flowers for hamsters include marigolds, dandelions, and pansies.
Can hamsters eat rosemary?
No, rosemary is on the list of unsafe hamster herbs.
READ THIS: Best and healthy hamster treats
FINAL THOUGHTS ON SAFE PLANTS FOR HAMSTERS
Those are the plants, herbs and flowers your pet hamster could eat. Most of these are easily accessible and can be bought at your local supermarkets. If you want a safer option, you can even grow them yourselves with seeds.
When it comes to hamster diet and nutrition, it can be challenging to know what’s safe and unsafe for them since a hamster will literally eat anything. They are not doctors or nutrition experts!
We hope that this article has been helpful and that you are excited to provide your hamsters with a variation of foods in moderation and in a balanced way.
Safe plants are beneficial for allmost all species of hamsters, and now you understand more about a healthy hamster diet! If we miss anything or you know other plants that are safe for hamsters, let us know in the comments below, and we’ll be happy to add them or answer your questions. What herb does your hamster love?