Hamsters make excellent pets for families, especially for small children. Part of looking after a hamster is making sure it has enough food and water – taking care to ensure you only give them the right foods.

That leaves many hamster owners wondering what they can and can’t feed their furry little friend. Because they’re so small it makes their digestive system very delicate, which is why many people will search for information on which foods they can give them, including questions such as “Can hamsters eat plums?”.

We’ll answer this question right at the top of this piece to say that, yes, you can feed certain hamsters plums. However, there are plenty of caveats to this, so read on to get the whole picture before rushing out to buy a punnet of plums.

cute hamster with light-coloured fur

A quick introduction to the hamster diet

Hamsters are omnivores, which means these adorable little creatures are always curious when it comes to food. In the wild, hamsters are known to scavenge a whole range of foods, from berries and nuts to insects and vegetables. 

As their owner, you need to make sure you’re giving them the optimal diet for their overall health and well-being.

A balanced diet for a domesticated hamster can consist of various seeds, grains and fresh foods. Here in the UK, we have three common species of hamster, having been domesticated breeds for hundreds of years in some cases, which is why we’ll be focusing on these four in particular in this guide:

  • Syrian (golden) hamsters
  • Chinese hamsters 
  • Dwarf hamsters
  • Roborovski hamsters 

It should go without saying that your hamster, in addition to a variety of foods, needs plenty of water to keep it happy and healthy. That’s why their cage will usually come with a water bottle for constant access.

The key question: can hamsters eat plums?

The overall answer, as we laid out earlier, is that yes, some hamsters can eat plums. A small, purple fruit, plums provide a variety of vitamins, minerals and some water content. They also have a sweet and acidic taste, and it’s these two factors that mean you have to be careful when feeding your hamster plums.

Here is some more guidance for you tailored to your specific breed so that you can carefully introduce the right amount into their diet.

Syrian hamsters: Plums are recommended for Syrian hamsters only as a small treat, once a week. Be careful not to give them too much, too often, or to give them additional fruits that are high in sugar and acidic content, as it can be damaging to their health.

Dwarf hamsters: Since a dwarf hamster is so small – hence the name – it’s not recommended that you feed them plums. This is because their miniature bodies cannot handle these foods as well as larger breeds, with sugary foods likely to cause obesity and potentially diabetes.

Chinese hamsters: The Chinese hamster is another breed that is too small in size to feed plums. Like the dwarf hamster, plums or sugary foods can lead to a detrimental impact on their health. 

Roborovski hamsters: Feeding plums as an occasional treat for a Roborovski hamster is perfectly acceptable. Like the Syrian breed, they can handle a little sugar, despite their risk of developing diabetes. This is because they are slightly larger in size, making their digestive system more robust for dealing with various foods.

What are the benefits of feeding plums to hamsters?

As a seasonal fruit, if you’re going to give your hamster any amount of plums – and you should follow the guidance above according to the breed – then it’s important to know what the benefits are.

As with many fruits, plums contain a host of vitamins and minerals, including:

  • Vitamin C – This is fantastic for overall eye health and also to keep their fur in good condition.
  • Vitamin K – This is an important vitamin for creatinine the proteins needed for blood clotting and is great for their reproductive health.
  • Potassium – This helps to lower blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease for your hamsters.

As well as the above, plums contain dietary fibres that contribute to a healthy digestive system. But you should balance this advice with the information in our next section.

What are the dangers of feeding plums to hamsters?

We’ve already touched on some of the potential pitfalls when feeding plums to your pet hamster. The main danger is in relation to the high levels of citric acid and the sugar content of plums.

With such small, delicate digestive systems, you should never feed them too much plum as it can lead to diabetes and obesity, and can also result in diarrhoea. It’s always a good idea to clean your hamster’s cage on a regular basis to ensure they have not been hoarding fruits, as this food can rot and thus present a danger to their health in a different way.

All in all, it’s important to remember not to overfeed your hamster with fruits. Plums are safe in moderation for certain breeds, but if you’re still unsure and need dietary advice, we recommend you speak to your local vet to discuss the right mix of foods for your specific hamster.

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