Can Hamsters Eat Rabbit Food?


If you’re fresh out of hamster food, and everything you have laying around is some rabbit food, it’s perfectly normal to ask yourself:

Can hamsters eat rabbit food?

Sadly, the answer is no. But (and yes, there is a but), some foods that are meant for rabbits don’t sit well with your hamster. After all, they are not biologically the same, so some foods are dangerous for one and some for the other.

Nevertheless, in every diversity, common ground can be found. If you are curious to find out, keep reading!

What Rabbit Food Is Safe For Both Rabbits And Hamsters?  

The main difference between rabbits and hamsters is that rabbits are herbivores and hamsters are omnivores. If you’re wondering what that means, here’s some insight:

Let’s start with the word itself – Herbivores (herbivora lat. herbi- “small plant” and vora, from vorare – which means eating). 

So, the rabbit diet is mostly based on plants such as timothy wheat, oats, meadow, or grass, and no meat is allowed.

On the other hand, omnivores (omni-all, vora-eating), like hamsters can eat various grains, seeds, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. But don’t be mistaken in thinking they can have an unlimited amount of it.

Let’s discuss the foods that are safe both for hamsters and rabbits.

Grass Hay

One of the most beneficial types of grass hay is Timothy hay because it aids in the natural digestive process of these small animals. Its high fiber contents (30,3% to be precise) help them produce more energy and are low in protein and calcium (which is not ideal, but you can supplement these with some other foods).

Even though it is more common for rabbits to eat it, there is no harm in giving it to your hammy. It may use it for bedding or just to file down their teeth by nibbling on it, just like they would do with wood, but this is more gentle and it keeps their jaw healthy.

You can also use other types of dried herbs such as wild marigold, chamomile, clover, etc.

In my opinion, if you want what is best for your hamster go buy some marigold.

Keep in mind that marigold is not something you can find in pet stores, but you can make your own. I suggest you go and pick up some and dry them in the sun. This herb should be only given in moderation.

Fruits & Veggies

If you’re not sure about what kind of vegetable is okay to give your hamsters, romaine lettuce, broccoli, kale, cucumbers, bell peppers are all safe options for your hammy and your rabbit. Just in case, I have to say that all of these vegetables have to be given to them from time to time and in controlled amounts.

For example – romaine lettuce; even though it is a great source of potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B, it is low in fiber and you know their diet revolves around it. I recommend giving it in small amounts.

All of these vegetables should be given occasionally, because their digestive system is very sensitive, and too much of it could cause some problems like diarrhea. They need just enough to get all the vitamins and minerals into their little bodies. Always balance their intake and you will be worry-free. 

As for what kinds of fruit they can eat, the safest ones are strawberries, bananas, and apples – but remove the apple seeds first because they contain a small amount of cyanide which can be lethal for your pet. What I said about vegetables applies to fruits, only in moderation

If you give them any of these veggies make sure to wash them first because pesticides can affect your pet’s health, and this goes for vegetables as well. I suggest you put them in a bowl of water, let them sit for a little bit, and then wash them with your hands one by one and cut them into very small pieces.

Their diet should contain a lot of fiber, but you can occasionally give them a small quantity of boiled or scrambled eggs. It is a great source of protein and it provides just the right amount of it for your pet. Also it brings variety into your pet’s diet and should be given once a week.

Water

What is imperative to your hamsters and rabbits’ diet is a lot of water – they have to have access to it 24/7. The best way to provide them the non-stop hydration is to put a water bottle or two inside their habitat.

What Rabbit Food Is Dangerous For Your Hamster?

Rabbit Pellets

I feel the urge to admonish you about rabbit pellets because you mustn’t give them to your hamster. Special hamster pellets do exist and they are meant specifically for them and nobody else.

Don’t forget – rabbits are herbivores and rabbits are omnivores and because of that it is recommended that pellets contain 15%-20% protein but also that 30,3% of fiber. 

On the other hand, rabbit pellets do have a higher percentage of protein, as they should. Every pellet is specially designed to give your pet the most important nutrients. 

I’ve listed here some of the best options for your hamster, so when in doubt, go to your closest pet store and get your hamster some of these, instead of using rabbit pellets.

The best hamster pellets are:

  1. Kaytee Fiesta Hamster Food: The one gives your hamster everything it needs, like vitamins & minerals; it also has pre-plus probiotics that contribute to the regularity of the digestive system. It has no sunflower seeds in it and it is very affordable.
  2. Oxbow Animal Health Hamster Food: This one is a good replacement for sugars and fruits – it satisfies your pets’ need for sweets, but it is a bit expensive.
  3. Wild Harvest Food: This one is, by all means, my personal favorite, because it combines the first two. It provides your pet the blend of fruits, vegetables, and grains, all in one box. It comes with a flip-top pack which helps food to stay fresh and enables you to take the right amount. It is a little bit expensive, but if you want your hamster to live a happy and long life then don’t think about the money. Trust me – it’s worth it.

Forbidden Fruits & Veggies

As I’ve said earlier, there are some fruits and vegetables that you can give to both your hamster and rabbit, but here are the ones who have to be out of reach of your hamster. 

Some of those are:

  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Raw beans
  • Raw potato
  • Citrus fruits
  • Corn
  • Pineapple
  • Apricots
  • Peaches
  • Raspberries
  • Almonds & other nuts
  • Tomato leaves
Chocolate, junk food, or any sugary and salty food are out of the question.
Caffeine and alcohol are lethal for your hamster and are absolutely forbidden for that reason.

What To Do If Your Hamster Eats Rabbit Pellets?

As I’ve mentioned before, there are different kinds of hamster pellets, and you really do have a choice. But if by any chance your hamster eats some rabbit pellets you should definitely go to the vet and tell them what happened. They will know what to do.

There are some ways you can prevent that from happening. If you do own both a rabbit and a hamster, make sure to put their food in different places and also out of reach for both of them, because neither can a rabbit eat hamster pellets and vice versa.

You can try not feeding them at the same time, for example – feeding your rabbit first, and your hamster a bit later. That is also a good way to avoid the hamster hysteria when someone touches their food because they are not known for sharing anything, and I mean anything.

Conclusion

I think it’s pretty clear – there are some safe rabbit food options for your hamster, but why would you burden your mind when you can follow the guidelines for feeding your pet and buy your hamster food that is specifically meant for him.

Hamsters are possessional, so if they feel that you bought food that was only meant for them, their love for you will grow even more. There are affordable options that will not empty your wallet and keep your hamster healthy and happy so – two birds one stone!

The most important thing is to always look after your hamster. If you notice they don’t like something, remove it. Keep it simple and just follow their basic diet, and that’s it!

Learn More: What Can Hamsters Eat? A Complete Food List For Hamsters

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