In this post we’ll look to see if cherry tomatoes are safe for hamsters to eat, along with discussing the nutritional benefits of cherry tomatoes and how you should go about feeding them to your pet!
What Are Cherry Tomatoes?
A cherry tomato is a small, round tomato that’s believed to have originated from an intermediate genetic admixture. They can vary in size from the size of a thumb to a golf ball, but are essentially spherical. They are also slightly oblong in shape. Despite the common misconception, they’re one of the most commonly consumed fruits (not vegetables!), and they’re an excellent choice for any recipe!
The ripeness of cherry tomatoes depends on the variety. When the flowers start to bloom, they’re ready for harvest. The plants will use the nutrients in the soil to produce the fruit. As the fruit matures, it’ll turn golden yellow, orange, or red, depending on the type of tomato plant you’re growing. To maximize flavour and taste, pick cherries when they’re not fully ripe. If the fruits are picked before they’re ripe, the flavour will be compromised.
Cherry tomatoes are easy to grow outdoors, but do best in containers and the ground. For smaller garden spaces, use trellises or tomato stakes. You can attach the trellis to the side of your house to save space. If your garden space is limited, use vertical trellises or tomato cages to support your plants. They’re an excellent way to make the most of the space available in your backyard.
Can Hamsters Eat Cherry Tomatoes?
Let’s answer the question “can hamsters eat cherry tomatoes?” Yes hamsters can eat cherry tomatoes! But they should only be fed in small quantities as part of balanced diet.
While these fruits are not considered a natural part of a hamster’s diet, they do provide a number of nutrients that are beneficial to the hamster’s health. These include vitamin C, which helps build the immune system, iron, which prevents anemia, and vitamin K, which aids in the normal clotting of blood. In addition, they contain fiber, which aids in digestion.
Benefits Of Cherry Tomatoes For Hamsters
While tomatoes aren’t part of a hamster’s natural diet, they provide some nutritional benefits.
Tomatoes contain vitamins that support the immune system, and hamsters can benefit from them too. For example, vitamin C is essential for the hamster’s metabolism, while vitamin K is essential for bone health and blood coagulation. Tomatoes also contain low levels of carbs, which prevent them from raising their glycaemic index.
Another benefit is that cherry tomatoes are rich in fiber, which is important for a hamster’s digestive system.
One of the biggest problems with introducing new foods to your pet hamsters diet is obesity. As we know, they enjoy chewing on a wide variety of vegetables and fruits. Some foods can cause an unhealthy weight gain in hamsters if not fed in moderation. Fortunately, cherry tomatoes are an excellent treat choice for hamsters because they are rich in nutrients, low in calories and don’t contain much natural sugar or other unhealthy ingredients that can cause obesity.
Risks Of Cherry Tomatoes For Hamsters
A few people worry about the health risks of feeding cherry tomatoes to hamsters. But the reality is that there are no known health risks related to this fruit.
While cherry tomatoes are a tasty treat and not considered dangerous, it’s important to note that they may be dangerous for hamsters if you feed them excessively. Moreover, tomatoes can cause allergies, so it’s important to keep the hamster’s food intake moderate. Small pieces of tomato can be provided to a hamster as a treat, but it’s not advisable to give your hamster a whole tomato. Although tomato products are not harmful to hamsters, too much of them can lead to serious health problems.
It is however very important to remove the stem/leaves. The green parts of the tomato plant are toxic for hamsters, so they should be removed before feeding your hamster. If fed, your hamster could develop a condition called colitis. The symptoms of this condition can range from diarrhea to bloat and stomach pain.
Hamsters are known for storing their food, and this can cause problems for a couple of reasons.
If any cherry tomatoes are left uneaten in your hamsters cage, they could rot, start to smell and attract insects.
Your hamster may also store uneaten cherry tomatoes in their cheek pouches, and it’s not uncommon for hamsters to develop abscesses, which can be sore for your pet.
That’s why it’s advisable to monitor your hamster when giving them cherry tomatoes and immediately remove and discard any uneaten cherry tomatoes from their cage.
How To Feed Cherry Tomatoes To Your Hamster
As with the introduction of any new food to your hamsters diet, if you are going to try feeding your hamster cherry tomatoes, you need to monitor your hamster closely whilst eating them.
Despite the good health benefits of tomatoes, you have to make sure to serve your hamster only a small portion. So, don’t give your hamster a whole tomato, as they could choke. Instead take one small cherry tomato and cut it up into small pieces before feeding to your hamster.
How Many Cherry Tomatoes Can A Hamster Eat?
When feeding your hamster new foods, you should always start with a tiny amount to ensure that they like it, and that they don’t encounter an allergic reaction. So if you want to try feeding your hamster cherry tomatoes then we would recommend giving a very small portion size, about the size of a teaspoon.
Another good way to work out what is the right amount of cherry tomatoes to feed your hamster is to give them a portion they can comfortably hold within their hands.
Other Than Cherry Tomatoes What Else Can Your Hamster Eat?
We have looked at if your hamster can eat cherry tomatoes.
Other than good quality hamster food, what else could you be feeding your hamster?
Grains are a staple food for hamsters. You should give about a tablespoonful each day. Grains can be found in commercially prepared hamster mixes, providing protein and carbohydrates. Avoid overfeeding fatty nuts (peanuts and sunflower seeds), as they can cause obesity.
Fresh, organic vegetables are the best choice for your hamster.
If you’re not using organic produce, be sure to clean it properly to get rid of any pesticides.
Whilst most vegetables are generally safe for hamsters, dark green vegetables are the best choice, so things like;
- Broccoli spears
- Carrot tops
- Dandelion greens
- Romaine lettuce
Avoid iceberg lettuce and other high-water veggies or fruits (such as watermelon) to avoid stomach problems.
Like vegetables, most fruit is OK for hamsters in small portions, as a supplement to the usual diet.
Some good choices are;
- Apples (with pips removed)
Remember always remove any uneaten veggies or fruits from your hamster’s cage within 24 hours to avoid them going off.
Often overlooked for hamsters, hay is a wonderful gnawing food that can keep your hamster’s teeth clean.
Your hamster should always have access to fresh water, changed daily.
What’s The Best Diet For Hamsters?
If you have a hamster, you need to make sure that you are feeding them the best food possible.
We’ve discussed if hamsters can eat cherry tomatoes, and whilst hamsters can eat a wide variety of things, their primary diet should consist of good quality hamster food.
There are a lot of options available for your hamster, but not all of them are good! If you want to learn more about the best hamster food, you can read our full review of the best hamster foods here.
If you just want to know what we recommend, it’s Kaytee Pro Health Hamster food.
The Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Food was created by animal nutritionists to ensure that your hamster gets the correct nutrition within their diet.
To support digestive health, Forti-Diet Pro Health includes probiotics and prebiotics. This food is high in natural antioxidants for general health and immunity protection, as well as some bigger, crunchier pieces to promote dental health through natural chewing action.
- Larger, crunchy pieces supports dental health through natural chewing activity
- Prebiotics and probiotics to support digestive health
- Naturally preserved for ideal freshness
- A nutritionally complete diet for hamsters and gerbils
- All natural
Now you know if it is safe to feed your hamster cherry tomatoes. Just remember, always start by introducing a very small portion of cherry tomatoes to your hamster, and look out for any signs of discomfort or unusual behaviour.
If your hamster has an adverse reaction after eating cherry tomatoes, contact your local veterinarian immediately.