Hamsters are adorably tiny creatures that captivate pet owners with their curious behavior. While we know a great deal about them, one question that many people have is whether they fart. The short answer is yes, hamsters do fart! But keep reading as we discuss hamster digestion and look into their diet to see what might cause this flatulence.
Wild hamsters have a varied diet that can include many different kinds of food, from vegetables to insects. However, people with pet hamsters primarily feed them commercial hamster pellets and timothy hay, which provide a balanced diet, along with other foods added occasionally as treats.
Hamsters have a digestive system with a stomach (divided into glandular and non-glandular portions), small intestine, caecum and large intestine. Some digestion occurs in the stomach while most occurs in the intestines or “hindgut”. When they consume plant matter, microorganisms in their gastrointestinal tract break down complex carbohydrates and release gas as a byproduct. As much digestion occurs in the hindgut, hamsters are “coprophagic” which means they eat some of their feces in order to gain nutrients that may not have been available before the food was digested.
Clues to Hamster Farts
As well as some owners noticing a smell, signs of abdominal discomfort may also be seen occasionally.. These can include hunched posture, not eating or drinking, lethargy, sunken eyes, diarrhea, labored breathing or firm/swollen stomach. If you notice any of these problems seek veterinary care for your little pet straight away.
Evidence of Hamster Farts
One study published in the Journal of Animal Science investigated the fermentation process in hamsters. It concluded that hamsters possess microbial flora in their stomach and caecum capable of fermenting cellulose and producing gases. While the study did not explicitly state that hamsters pass gas, it suggested that gas production can occur.
While there is no scientific evidence, hamster owners have reported smelling a foul odor and instances where their pets appeared to pass gas audibly or exhibited signs of digestive discomfort.
Why Is There a Lack of Evidence Concerning Hamster Farting?
We can only speculate why we don’t observe hamsters passing gas more often. Some possible thoughts include:
Minimal Gas Production
Hamsters may produce small amounts of gas during the fermentation of fibrous plant materials. However, it may not be enough to make audible or noticeable flatulence on many occasions, causing it to be an extremely rare event that is difficult to gather sufficient data about.
Efficient Gas Release
Hamsters may have evolved to release gas efficiently without creating audible sounds, which would help them avoid drawing the attention of predators in the wild.
Like humans, some hamsters may fart more frequently or conspicuously than others, making it hard to choose good subjects for study.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Do Hamsters Pass Gas Silently, or Can It Be Audible Like in Humans?
Hamsters typically pass gas silently, with only a few anecdotal incidents suggesting otherwise.
Are Any Specific Foods More Likely to Cause Gas in Hamsters?
As with humans, certain foods or sudden changes in diet may cause flatulence, but this is not likely with a balanced pellet diet, timothy hay and a small variety of fresh produce.
Can Hamsters Experience Digestive Discomfort Due to Gas, and How Can Owners Alleviate It?
Abdominal discomfort is more likely to occur from illness or an inappropriate diet. We recommend a veterinary visit if your hamster shows any signs of discomfort.
Are There Any Studies or Ongoing Research Related to Hamster Flatulence and Its Impact on Their Health and Behavior?
Unfortunately, most studies on the hamster’s digestive processes are more concerned about the broader aspects of their physiology, leaving this specific topic relatively unexplored in the scientific community.
While there is little scientific research, a few basic studies show that plant materials break down in the digestive system, creating gases. There are also anecdotal reports from hamster owners encountering a bad smell, suggesting that they do fart. However, hamsters have tiny digestive systems that produce a small amount of gas, so any odor is likely faint. They are also unlikely to make any noise when releasing the gas from their bodies.
Make sure your hamster has a healthy, balanced diet and if you notice your hamster farting excessively, an increase in odor, or any signs of abdominal discomfort, we recommend getting them checked over by your vet.