Hamster owners can attest to witnessing “crazy” hamster behaviors, some really scary and disturbing while others a little concerning.
While a hamster pooping isn’t a behavior but a natural thing, the fact that a hamster can poop too much can be a concern for any pet owner.
So, why do hamsters poop so much and should you be concerned and seek veterinary help?
Hamsters poop so much because of their rapid digestive system and are naturally heavy eaters. Hamsters that consume a diet loaded with fiber along with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables will also poop more frequently than normal.
Why do hamsters poop so much?
There are a few reasons that could explain why your hamster is pooping a lot. Some are natural and normal while others should call for your concern. Below is a keener look at the main reasons why hamsters poop so much and what you can do about it.
1. Rapid digestive system
Hamsters have are naturally heavy feeders with a rapid digestive system. These two combined, along with them having small bodies, means your hamster will be constantly eating and the digestion happening fast, hence the constant need to poop.
2. Hamster stress
Stress is another reason why a hamster can poop more than it usually does. You’re likely to notice this behavior when the pet is subjected to stressful situations such as being kept in small & dirty cages with excessive noise, constant interruption of sleeping patterns, changes in habitat, and high temperatures among others.
Signs of stress in hamsters include hyperactivity, heightened aggression, compulsive behavior, attempts to escape its cage, change in poop color, and muscle rigidity & tremors.
If you think this could be the cause of excessive pooping, here is a simple guide on how to calm down a stressed hamster and keep them calm and comfortable.
3. High-fiber diet
Another reason hamsters poop so much is the regular consumption of a high-fiber diet. Since hamsters are natural heavy feeders with fast digestion, adding high-fiber food to their diet increases the urgency to poop and create space for more.
4. Fresh vegetable diet
Hamsters that are fed a lot of fresh foods such as vegetables and fruits will poop more than normal. Notable vegetables that make hamsters poop more include fresh lettuce and cucumber.
Related: Why Do Hamsters Eat Their Poop?
Is it normal for a hamster to poop a lot?
Under normal circumstances, it is okay for hamsters to poop a lot. As earlier mentioned, hamsters are small animals with a rapid digestive system and are also heavy feeders. This means it’s normal to see a hamster pooping almost every hour.
Their small bodies make it possible for food to pass through the digestive system fast and waste to come out the other end. However, you need to make sure that even though your hamster is pooping a lot, the poop should look as it should.
In our previous article, we talked about how hamster poop looks like when your pet is healthy. The poop should be small, firm, dark-colored pellets with slightly sharp edges. The firm texture indicates that the hamster’s gastrointestinal health is good.
It is, however, important to also keep an eye on the color changes. The change oftentimes depends on the food your hamster eats and can also give you clues about your pet’s gastrointestinal health.
In case you notice your hamster is pooping more than normal and excreting runny stools yet hasn’t eaten a lot of fresh fruits or vegetables lately, you need to consult a vet, more so if your pet continues to excrete runny stool over an extended period.
What factors determine how often hamsters poop?
Pet owners report varying hamster pooping habits, with many noting that their hamsters poop almost every hour. It’s a fact that not all hamsters will poop the same amount and with the same frequency.
So, what factors influence how often a hamster poops? The factors include age, body size, diet, breed, and stress levels. Stress acts as a trigger that makes hamsters poop more than usual while smaller hamster breeds will poop more often than larger breeds.
Can you stop hamsters pooping so much?
By now we have established that it’s normal for hamsters to poop so much. However, if you notice that your little furry friend is pooping more than it normally does, there are a few things you can do to stop this from happening.
1. Reduce high-fiber diet
You can start by switching to a diet that is lower in fiber. A high-fiber diet makes hamsters poop more often than usual, so feeding them a low-fiber diet helps reduce pooping frequency. If you buy commercial hamster food, switch to ones that have less fiber than the one your hamster is currently consuming.
2. Reduce fresh fruits & vegetables
Fresh fruits and vegetables are healthy for hamsters. However, too can lead to excessive pooping, often excreting runny stools. These foods go through the hamster’s digestive system a lot quicker than dry food, which leads to frequent pooping. It is, however, imperative not to get rid of these foods completely but instead reduce the amount you give them.
3. Keep them stress-free
Stress triggers hamsters to poop more often than they normally do. They are nervous poopers and so you should try to ensure they remain calm and comfortable. Ensure the cages they live in are clean, spacious, and placed in spots with little noise or constant disturbances.
You should also ensure bigger pets are not kept near the hamsters or else they will feel threatened and insecure. You should also handle the hamsters gently, provide enough food & water, and ensure they have enough toys to play with.
These are just a few of the ways you can help hamsters that poop so much, often due to stress or poor diet. However, it’s still important to note that hamsters are naturally frequent poopers, and unless there is a genuine reason for concern, it is perfectly normal for them to poop a lot.
Reasons why hamsters poop so much?
In a nutshell, there are four main reasons why hamsters poop so much. The reasons include stress, having a rapid digestive system, eating excessive fresh fruits & vegetables, and consuming lots of food rich in fiber. While it is normal for hamsters to poop a lot, a sudden increase in pooping frequency or excreting runny stools could mean the hamster is sick.