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Can Hamsters Eat Pasta? Vet-Approved Facts & FAQ

Kathryn Copeland

By Kathryn Copeland

Cooked pasta on a serving plate

Vet approved

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Pasta dishes are high on the list of favorite foods for many people. After all, what’s not to love? There are sauces, cheeses, and of course, pasta!

If you are a hamster owner, you probably enjoy giving them treats from time to time, so naturally, you might be hoping that you can share some of your pasta with your pet.

Cooked pasta is okay for hamsters in moderation, but it shouldn’t have any sauces or cheeses. If you’re interested in learning more about what kinds of pasta are safe for hamsters and the best way to give it to them, read on!

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A Bit About Pasta

Pasta can be traced to an Etruscan tomb from the 4th century B.C., in which natives are depicted making something that looks like pasta. Also, China has been eating food with noodles as far back as 3000 B.C.

Pasta comes in a huge variety of sizes and shapes (and colors) and is often made with durum wheat, water, and eggs. But it can be made with various other ingredients.

There are rice noodles, veggie pasta, and gluten-free pasta, pasta made with corn and quinoa—there are almost too many options to count! Also, part of what makes pasta shine is the added sauces and other tasty ingredients.

assorted pasta flatlay on the table
Image Credit: Karolina Kołodziejczak, Unsplash

Can Hamsters Eat Pasta?

Hamsters are omnivores, so their diet is comprised of grains, vegetables, fruits, and protein sources like insects. While pasta has various nutrients, it is high in carbohydrates and is not the most nutritious food for hamsters. Therefore, pasta doesn’t really fit in with their usual fare, so it should be considered an occasional treat. Still, it must be the right kind of pasta, prepared the right way:

Plain, cooked pasta:
The pasta must be cooked and plain without any added seasonings or sauces.
Whole-wheat pasta:
This is a healthier option, with higher nutrients and fiber than standard pasta.
Other grains:
Pasta can also be made with corn, quinoa, and rice, which are all safe for hamsters. They must still be cooked with no seasonings and sauces.

Pasta is not recommended to give to your hamster on a regular basis, but it can be considered a treat. You also need to ensure that the pasta is not overcooked or undercooked, which can cause digestive problems.

hamster isolated in white background
Image Credit: hueystudio, Shutterstock

The Problems With Pasta for Hamsters

For the most part, a small amount of pasta is fine for most hamsters, but there are a few risks to be aware of.

Carbohydrates

Pasta is quite high in carbohydrates. If a hamster eats foods high in carbs too often, it can lead to obesity.

Obesity can potentially predispose individuals to diabetes, so you must ensure that your hammy doesn’t eat too many high-carb foods.

Digestive Issues

Undercooked pasta or giving your hamster too much can lead to digestive issues. Stomach upset typically includes diarrhea, otherwise known as wet tail, which can quickly become an emergency for small animals like hamsters. Dehydration and a loss of electrolytes can also occur, so if your hamster has diarrhea, they must be seen by your veterinarian.

Lack of Nutrition

Too much pasta can lead to nutritional deficiencies because it doesn’t contain the right kind of nutrients that hamsters need.

hamster on substrate
Image Credit: ToNN Stocker, Shutterstock

Best Way to Feed Pasta to Your Hamster

Pasta should only be fed to your hamster as an occasional treat and never as a meal. It must be plain without seasonings or sauces, and it must be cooked soft enough that it is easy for your hamster to digest. Your hamster should only be fed pasta once or twice a week, and always make sure it is cooled down before offering it.

The first time that you give pasta to your hamster, just give them a small amount, and keep an eye on them. Any new food introduced to your hamster must be a tiny portion and your hammy’s health closely monitored. If there is a reaction to the pasta (or any other food), speak to your veterinarian.

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FAQ

Can Hamsters Eat Spaghetti?

Cooked spaghetti noodles cut into small pieces are fine. Just ensure that there isn’t tomato sauce on them. Spaghetti sauce contains salt, sugar, and onions and garlic, which are not healthy for hamsters.


Can Hamsters Eat Uncooked Pasta?

Giving your uncooked pasta to a hamster is not recommended, but it isn’t technically harmful. Some hamsters will enjoy gnawing on uncooked noodles, but it might be challenging for them to digest. Also, if the pasta has sharp edges, there’s a risk of injury.


What Human Foods Are Not Safe for Hamsters?

Hamsters primarily eat hamster pellets, with Timothy hay and vegetables making up the rest of their diet. They are also allowed to have fruits, seeds, and nuts as treats. When feeding fruits and veggies to your hammy, remove the peels if it’s something that you would typically peel, anyway (like bananas), and any seeds, unless they are known to be safe.

If you’re unsure about your hamster’s diet, speak to your vet.

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Conclusion

Pasta isn’t the healthiest option for hamsters when you want to give them a treat. There are other, more nutritious treats available that hamsters will absolutely love!

But as long as the pasta is unseasoned, cooked properly, and only given in moderation, it is quite safe for hamsters to eat.

Just remember to keep an eye on your hammy for about 24 hours after you’ve given them something new to eat. This can help you determine if it’s safe for your hamster in the future.


Featured Image Credit: neciodesalida, Pixabay

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