Hamsters are adorable little pets that bring joy and happiness to our homes. Unfortunately, they can get sick easily and can die suddenly from even the smallest health complications.
When it comes to their poop, you can tell your hamster’s overall health based on how it looks. Generally, hamster poop is firm and dark-colored with slightly sharp edges.
If your hamster’s poop has an unusual smell, is softer, and isn’t dark-colored, it could be an indication of an underlying health problem.
It’s important to understand that hamsters excrete two types of poops, the firmer pellets they excrete during the day and the softer ones they excrete at night.
The probability of you seeing your hamster’s night poop (soft poop) is very low because the hamster will eat the soft poop to get as many nutrients as possible.
You can read this article if you wish to understand why hamsters eat their poop and how you can help improve their overall health.
What does hamster poop look like?
A healthy hamster’s poop should be small, firm, dark-colored (black or dark brown) pellets with slightly sharp edges. The hamster droppings have a firm texture and indicate your hamster’s gastrointestinal health is good. However, the color can change slightly depending on the food your hamster eats.
You can also find some hamsters excreting light-brown poop, which should be firm with slightly sharp edges. if your hamster is healthy, he will produce a similar colored poop regularly unless you change their diet.
In case you notice your hamster’s poop is softer/watery or has a different color but the diet remains unchanged, it could be a sign of a health issue. Keep in mind that hamsters are delicate animals and their gastrointestinal health can be easily upset.
A hamster’s poop size largely depends on its body size. Younger hamsters tend to excrete larger droppings compared to older hamsters. Sick hamsters, on the other hand, pass tiny or odd-shaped droppings which could indicate digestive complications and other gastrointestinal issues.
Your hamster should be excreting poop with consistent size, color, and texture. However, if you notice any drastic change in the size, color, or texture of the poop, you should have him checked by a local veterinarian.
Why is my hamster’s poop green?
A hamster’s poop can turn green for different reasons including eating green leafy vegetables, food poisoning, cold temperatures, improper hygiene, lack of balanced diet, and consumption of antibiotics. The green hamster poop should last for less than a day and in case it worsens then you should consult a veterinarian.
Below are some of the things that could make a hamster’s poop turn green.
1. Dietary changes
The most probable reason why your hamster’s poop is green is a major dietary shift where you include leafy green vegetables. Some foods can also cause gastrointestinal complications and stomach pain to hamsters.
You should avoid feeding hamsters foods such as onions, honey, potatoes, tomato leaves, and rhubarb. Hamsters have delicate digestive systems and a major dietary change can cause complications.
Another probable cause for green hamster poop is diarrhea. You can be sure your hamster has diarrhea if the poop is watery.
Diarrhea in hamsters is often caused by the food they eat and bacterial infections from food and water. If your hamster is allergic to the food you feed them, they are also likely to experience diarrhea along with stomach pain and cramping.
3. Cold temperatures
You can also expect to see green hamster poop during the cold seasons of the year. There is no need for alarm if this happens in winter. However, you should be concerned if your hamster’s poop is green, watery and he seems weak and sleeps a lot.
It is not recommended to give antibiotics to a hamster because they can cause stomach complications. The use of antibiotics on hamsters, which should happen only under a vet’s prescription, can make hamsters excrete green poop. Please note that some antibiotics are very strong and can be fatal for a hamster.
5. Respiratory infections
An upper respiratory infection can also make a hamster excrete green poop. In this case, the hamster will be constantly wheezing and sneezing which are accompanied by nasal and ocular discharge. Your hamster needs veterinary care if you spot any of these symptoms.
Chronic stress can instantly kill a hamster. A hamster suffering from stress will experience stomach problems and this will affect the proper digestion of food in the caecum. It’s best to ensure your hamster is not exposed to any stress triggers such as loud noise, direct sunlight, high temperatures, or dirty & tiny cages.
7. Dirty cages
As mentioned above, keeping a hamster in a dirty cage can cause stress. A dirty cage can also make a hamster sick. Make sure your hamster’s cage is clean and spacious enough to avert stress and preventable illnesses.
FAQs About Hamster Poop
Let’s have a look at some of the most frequently asked questions in regards to hamster poop.
1. Why is my hamster’s poop white?
White poop in hamsters could indicate improper digestion, bacterial imbalance, gastrointestinal infections, or consumption of a completely new diet. If your hamster’s poop does not revert to normal color after a day then you need to consult your local veterinarian.
2. Do hamsters eat their own poop?
Yes, hamsters eat their soft night poop, a habit called coprophagy in order to get more nutrients such as vitamin B12 that’s produced in the small intestines but can only be absorbed into the body in the stomach. Hamsters are hindgut fermenters, which means fewer nutrients will be absorbed into the body after digestion unless they eat their own poop.
3. Why is my hamster’s poop getting stuck?
A hamster’s poop can get stuck due to constipation when the stool becomes hard and dry, which makes it hard to pass out. It could also be caused by fur or rug fibers the hamster ingested which later gets entangled with the droppings when he’s trying to poop.
While it’s not a serious issue, you should consult your local veterinarian if you notice that your hamster is struggling to poop or having complications when pooping. If a hamster struggles to poop due to anal blockage it could lead to rectal prolapse which can be fatal.
The best way to prevent this from happening is to regularly groom the hamster, clean his cage, and ensure he’s getting a balanced diet.
4. How does unhealthy hamster poop look like?
A sick hamster will definitely excrete poop with a different texture, color, size, and shape. Their weak digestive system makes it easy to tell when they have a gastrointestinal issue. For instance, a hamster with diarrhea will have softer, watery poop with a slightly lighter color.
However, different hamster illnesses present varying symptoms. If you suspect your hamster is not okay then the best thing to do is to visit a veterinary clinic and have him checked.
5. How often do hamsters poop?
Hamsters poop several times a day and the frequency depends on factors such as breed, gender, age, health, weather, diet, and living conditions. A significant dip or rise in the hamster poop could be a sign of stress or sickness.
6. Is it normal for hamsters to poop a lot?
Yes, it is perfectly normal for a hamster to poop a lot especially when there are noticeable changes in diet and eating patterns. You should, however, be concerned if the change happens out the blue and the color of the poop is not normal. It could be a sign of a health issue.
7. Do hamsters poop when they are scared?
Some hamsters poop when they are scared as the fright can lead to them losing control of their bowel movements. Hamsters can also pee when they are scared. A hamster’s “prey instinct” makes them scare easily especially when they sense danger.
Hamsters are cute, little pets with delicate immune systems. You should ensure they get enough food & water, live in a clean, spacious cage, get enough daylight, and enjoys a balanced diet. If you notice your hamster’s poop color change for no apparent reason, you should seek veterinary assistance.