When it comes to owning a pet hamster, you are naturally going to want to know if they poop a lot. What is a normal amount, what can you expect and what is going to be required from a cleaning perspective? I decided to do some research on the topic. I would like to share my findings with you here today that will help you take better care of your hamster and keep their environment fresh and hygienic.
So, do hamsters poop a lot? Hamsters are known to poop a lot. You will need to spot clean their cage every day, removing the poop. You may also find that when handling your hamster, they poop. If your hamster is nervous or frightened, it may also poop more. Hamsters typically do not exhibit control over when and where they poop, so don’t be surprised if your hamster appears to poop a lot!
Some owners describe their hamsters as pooping machines! They eat, poop, then eat some more, repeating the cycle over and over again.
However, if you are considering getting a hamster as a pet and are concerned about the frequency of your hamster pooping, it is good to remember that normal, healthy hamster poop is relatively inoffensive.
Small, firm, brown pellet-like poop is considered normal for hamsters.
If you are worried that your hamsters’ poop is different from that, it could be that they have eaten something that does not agree with them, so be sure to monitor what they are eating.
How Much Should a Hamster Poop?
Hamsters are rodents and, owing to their small size and fast digestive system will generally poop quite a lot. A hamster should poop a fair bit if they are eating enough of the right foods.
Many owners report having to spot clean their hamster’s cage at least once a day to get rid of excess poop.
So, don’t be surprised if your pet hammy appears to be pooping a lot!
Another thing to remember is that hamsters, like many rodents, are coprophagic animals.
This means *gross alert* that for nutritional reasons hamsters sometimes eat their own poop.
Due to the anatomy of the hamster’s digestive system, the food that passes through them is not always fully digested and beneficial nutrients used.
So, once it has been pooped out, they eat it again giving their bodies the nutrients that they did not receive the first time around.
Bear in mind that while this may seem disgusting to us humans, many animals do this and it is totally normal for your hamster to behave in this way.
Hamsters do not eat all of their poop though, only the poop that is of nutritional benefit to them. Hamsters instinctively know which this is.
Generally, a hamster will consume poop straight after they pass it, and usually, this happens at night.
The poop that you see in your hamster’s cage is waste, so this needs to be cleaned out regularly otherwise your hamster’s cage will start to smell and it is not hygienic and safe for your pet.
What Causes A Hamster To Poop A Lot?
A hamster’s digestive system causes them to poop a lot. Dietary factors can also impact the frequency and amount of a hamster’s poop.
Normally, hamsters’ poop at night. This is because they are nocturnal and are generally most active during the night time. This is also when they eat the majority of their food.
Hamsters have a much faster metabolism than humans, so digest food much quicker. There is also a nutritional element of their poop, so you may fin that your hamster occasionally eats their poop.
Usually, hamster poop is in the form of small, dry, brown pellets. If you notice that your hamsters’ poop is a different colour, slightly wet or soft, this may be attributed to something that they have eaten.
If your hamsters’ poop is very soft and wet, it could be that they have eaten too much fresh fruit or vegetables. Allow your hamsters poop to settle and return to normal before allowing them a small amount of fruit or veg again.
From time to time you may notice that your hamsters poop appears greenish in colour. This is not a cause for concern. A hamster’s bile (in their stomach) is green so if you see green poop from your hamster it could just mean that the bile hasn’t had a chance to drain properly.
If you notice that your hamsters’ poop has changed consistently over a period of time from the normal pellets to being, we, soft and diarrhoea like, we would always recommend seeking the advice of your local vet.
Do Hamsters Poop When They Are Scared?
You may find that when your hamster is scared or nervous, they poop. This is a natural response that many animals have in situations where they feel frightened.
Nervous pooping is something that may happen when you first start handling your pet hamster too. This is not something to be concerned about, just be sure to wash your hands after holding them.
Pooping is not considered to be a reliable indicator of fear in your hamster however. This is because pooping is a perfectly normal, natural occurrence that your hamster has little control over.
If you are worried that your hamster may be scared or stressed, look for these signs instead:
- Snorting or grunting (signs of aggression),
- Hair loss (if over an extended period),
- Muscle rigidity or tremors,
- Changes in behaviour.
If your hamster is showing any of these symptoms of fear or stress, it is vital that you identify the cause and eliminate it. Stress and fear in hamsters can sometimes be fatal so it is important that, as their owners, strive to give them a happy life.
Providing a clean and fresh home for our hamsters is so important.
Do Hamsters Poop In One Spot?
Hamster cages should be spot cleaned daily. This means removing any fresh or excess food that is likely to go bad, removing poop for the cage and any sawdust or bedding that your hamster has peed on.
Some animals, like rabbits, can be trained to pee and poop in one location (like a litter tray) that makes spot cleaning much easier.
However, while hamsters will usually pee in one particular place, the same cannot be said for their pooping habits.
Hamsters will not poop in one spot. They generally will poop when and where the urge takes them. It is important therefore to remove this poop from their homes regularly.
This being said, some owners (very few), have reported that with consistency and over time, their hamsters have been trained to poop in one area of their cage. By moving your hamsters’ poop to one particular area, you can begin to encourage them to defecate in that space, forming a habit.
What Does Hamster Poop Look Like?
Hamsters poop is generally quite small. Its size and shape is comparable to a grain of rice. Normal, healthy hamster poop is brown/dark brown in colour and generally quite dry.
After eating fresh foods or different food than they are used to, you may find that your hamster’s poop is a little wet and loose. This typically is not a cause for worry and can be rectified by a simple dietary change.
Hamsters poop, quite a lot, and quite frequently.
Some even consider these pets to be ‘pooping machines’. They sometimes even eat their own poop.
As an owner, it is important to spot clean your hammies cage, removing excess poop and other things to make sure your hamsters’ home is a clean and happy environment for them.
From there, you will need to provide a more thorough cleaning at least once a week.
Do not be alarmed if your hamster poops on your hands whilst you are handling them as hamsters generally have little control over when and where they defecate.
Hamsters are not known to poop in one spot – they may even be doing this accidentally. However, they are known to consume their poop to acquire extra nutrition they did not get the first time around when digesting. Therefore if your hamster is pooping in their food they may be doing so on purpose – saving it for later.
Hamsters are known to poop where they sleep. This is entirely normal. The majority of hamsters will poop in their bed, as they like to go when they need to and are not concerned with it being in there with them. Sometimes, they may even pee in their bed too.
Hamsters are considered low-risk when it comes to transmitting illness, bacteria, and diseases to humans. However, their poop is the most likely way germs can be shared. It is possible for a hamster to carry bacteria including Salmonella in their feces. Therefore, outside of ensuring good health in your hamster, taking them to a vet when necessary, and keeping their cage clean, you should look to wear gloves and protective equipment any time you come into contact with their poop.
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.