If you own a pet hamster, then naturally you are going to want to know if they poop a lot. How much is normal for them to poop, what should you expect, and what will your hamster require from you in terms of cleaning? Obviously, you want to keep your hamster’s cage hygienic and fresh for their health and well-being so this information is essential to know. I decided to research the topic and would like to share with you what I managed to find here today.
So, how often do hamsters poop? Hamsters poop a lot, and will poop regularly throughout the day. Some owners report that their hamsters poop every hour. However not all hamsters will poop the same amount. Factors that influence how much a hamster will poop include; age, size, diet and stress levels. For example, young hamsters, those new to a home and those frightened will typically will poop more.
If a hamster is not sleeping, eating or running on their wheels then they are probably pooping. That’s just the nature of looking after this small rodent. However, thankfully they can be toilet trained which makes cleaning their cage and keeping their environment much easier!
Let us now take a closer look at the bathroom habits of hamsters, answering some of the most important questions all around this embarrassing of topics!
Is It Normal For Hamsters To Poop A Lot?
It is entirely normal for hamsters to poop a lot. Being small animals with fast digestive systems, it takes extraordinarily little time for the food they consume to work its way through their bodies.
It can seem that within moments of having a meal it is already coming out the other end! This is not something to worry about as long as it looks the way it should.
Hamster poop should normally look like firm, brown pellets. There are times when your hamster may produce runny stools.
This is often from your pet eating too many fresh fruits or vegetables. If their poop returns to normal quickly then there is no need to consult a vet.
However, if your hamster does this continually, it is a good idea to have your vet rule out anything serious.
Many owners also notice that their hamster poops green, or yellowish-green occasionally. This is not a cause for concern.
The bile in your hamster’s digestive system is green and there are times when this will get passed along with poop. It can also happen when your pet has been eating excessive amounts of leafy greens.
What Factors Influence Pooping Frequency?
Diet, stress, and fear are the main factors that influence how often your hamster will poop.
One factor that influences the amount of waste your hamster produces is its diet. If they are getting enough of the correct foods, they will poop more than one who does not.
For instance, feeding a hamster inappropriate foods is not going to promote optimal digestive function. In fact, its likely to severely impact their health in the process.
So, purchasing quality pellet food from your local pet store or online that is designed only for hamsters will ensure that their dietary needs are met.
It’s nutritionally balanced and promotes natural foraging behaviors.
Most animals will poop when they are scared or stressed, and hamsters are no exception. If you find this is happening with your pet a lot, something in their environment could be causing it.
For example, if the family cat enjoys investigating what is going on with your hamster, you may need to move the cage to an area inaccessible to the cat.
Hamsters are prey for cats, and they will react with fear when bothered by one.
Hamsters feel safe when they are in their cage. Keeping them away for too long can cause stress that could also make them poop more.
Do Hamsters Poop In One Spot?
Hamsters can poop in one spot, although you will find that when you get a new hamster, they tend to go all over the cage.
Hamsters can be trained to do their business in a litter box within the cage. Once they know to use this box, it is rare that they will choose to go in another spot.
Keep in mind though that hamsters do not have actual control of their bowels the way that humans do, so do not be surprised if you find some poop not in the box occasionally.
If they are not litter trained, some hamsters will poop only in one corner of their cage. Others do not discriminate and will poop as they are walking around.
How Often Should I Clean My Hamsters Cage?
You should clean your hamster’s cage at least once per week for optimal living conditions, especially if it is small.
When hamsters live in a small cage it is good to get on to a schedule where you clean it out thoroughly at least every seven days.
If you have more than one hamster living in there you will probably need to do it even more frequently. With the cage being small it will get overrun with poop quickly. Larger cages can be cleaned every couple of weeks, but this will depend on the size.
How Do I Clean My Hamsters Cage Properly?
To give your hamster a thoroughly clean home, there is a routine that you should follow.
You want your pet to be happy, and a big part of this is providing them with a clean place to live. There are certain things that you should do daily to prevent unpleasant smells in between complete cage cleanings.
Pick out any noticeable poop whenever you see it and check their bedding as well. If their bedding is wet, remove it and replace it with fresh bedding. Also make sure to change both food and water daily.
When you are cleaning the entire cage, move your hamster to a secure location before starting. Take everything out of the cage and dispose of all wood shavings.
Any accessories like the wheel, other toys, and food and water dishes should be washed and rinsed well with hot, soapy water.
You can either clean the cage itself with hot water and soap, or you can use a cleaner made specifically for cleaning out small animal cages.
Make sure to clean the bars of the cage as well. Once everything is clean, make sure it is completely dry before you start to reassemble the cage.
Take care to put dishes, toys, and other items back in the same place they were to make your pet feel less distressed by the invasion to their home.
The cage can also be cleaned more frequently if you want it to look and smell fresher, but your hamster may not be pleased.
Much like us, hamsters enjoy making their cage a home that is truly theirs. You can spend as much time as you like arranging things to your satisfaction, but inevitably your pet will rearrange your hard work to their own preference.
A good layer of wood shavings is a great start. Your hamster will be able to burrow, and they will also construct a pile that they use for sleeping.
Even when you put a house in the cage for your pet to sleep in, if you look inside you will see that they have piled up shavings inside.
Why Does My Hamster Keep Pooping On Me?
Hamsters poop on people because they are scared, young, or have been out of their cage too long.
Young hamsters really have no idea what to expect of the world. They are taken away from their mothers and brought home by gigantic strangers, so it is no wonder they occasionally get scared!
Even when your pet is familiar with you, they are easily startled and can poop or pee on you in response.
They also do not have the bowel and bladder control of an older animal. If your hamster has been cuddling with you for hours, do not be surprised if they cannot hold it any longer.
Do Hamsters Eat Their Own Poop?
One of the strangest (and disgusting) habits practiced by hamsters is that they do eat their own poop.
The practice of eating feces is known as coprophagia. This is not unique to hamsters. Dogs, baby elephants, guinea pigs, rabbits, mice, hippos, pandas, and many others in the animal kingdom consume their own poop. To humans it seems disgusting but there is a reason for this behaviour.
The anatomy and speed of their digestive system means that their food is not always digested fully before it is excreted. It does not have a chance to be properly utilized.
Since hamsters need these nutrients, eating their poop gives their bodies a second chance to absorb what they missed the first time.
It is commonly believed that droppings consumed by pets are an excellent source of certain vitamins, specifically vitamin K and vitamin B. Hamsters who are deficient in vitamin B can lose weight from eating and drinking less, and see their lymphatic tissue deteriorate.
With low levels of vitamin K, your hamster could have weak bones due to a e difficulty absorbing calcium. This all adds up to a hamster who is weak overall and will not develop properly.
Most commercial hamster foods have added vitamins and if there are any concerns, you can also give them a vitamin supplement.
Many owners do not even realize that their pet does this since it occurs mostly at night and is eaten almost immediately after leaving the body.
A hamster will not eat all the poop they excrete. They only consume the pieces that their body tells them they need and that they can get more nutrition from.
Nursing mother hamsters have even been known to give these nutrient-rich pieces to their babies in the nest.
Hamsters make great pets. They are amusing to watch as they go about their daily activities, and they can bond strongly with their owners.
Part of being a responsible hamster owner is not only just keeping them clean and fed, but also knowing the way their body systems work so that you are able to see when something is not right.
Hopefully by now, you will be more familiar with the bathroom habits of this small domesticated rodent. You should expect them to poop a lot; this is only natural and something to consider when looking after one.
And if you were to notice a lack of pooping, you may need to contact a vet as it could be a sign of a health issue or problem.
Hamsters are known to urinate on average between 3-5 times per day. They actually release up to 7 ml of urine each day in total. Hamsters will often urinate in the corners of the cages, although they have been known to urinate in their own beds. Urine is cloudy in consistency; due to the presence of protein and other alkaline mineral crystals.
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.