Can Hamsters Eat Rice?

Is rice safe for hamsters to eat? Yes in small amounts. read on to learn more about the best type of rice to feed your hamster and how much rice you should feed your hamster.

What Is Rice?

Rice is a cereal crop, and is one of the most popular grains in America. It has a long history dating back to the ancient civilizations of China and India. Rice is classified as an edible seed, and can be consumed in many different ways.

Some rice varieties are consumed after they have been processed further by milling, winnowing, or polishing. Others simply go through sifting so that broken grains are removed before packaging.

There are three different types: long-grain, medium-grain and short-grain.

Rice is a very versatile grain and can be used in many different dishes. Some of the most popular rice dishes include:

  • Rice and Beans: This dish is made by combining cooked rice with black beans or other types of beans. It is a popular dish in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Fried Rice: Fried rice is a classic Chinese dish that is made by stir-frying cooked rice with vegetables and meat or seafood.
  • Pilaf: A pilaf is a dish that is made by cooking rice with broth, seasonings, and other ingredients. There are many variations of this dish, which can include chicken, shrimp, or vegetables.
  • Paella: Paella is a Spanish dish that is made by cooking rice with saffron and other ingredients. This dish is cooked at high temperatures in order to create a browned crust on the bottom of the pan called socarrat.
  • Jambalaya: This Cajun dish combines rice, seasonings, vegetables and meat or seafood. It is considered one of the most popular dishes in Louisiana.
  • Risotto: risotto is an Italian dish that is made by stirring Arborio rice into broth, wine, or another liquid until creamy.

The nutritional benefits of rice include a high amount of fiber, vitamin B1, and magnesium. Rice is also a low-fat, low-calorie food that is gluten-free, which makes it a good option for people who have gluten sensitivities. Rice is also known for its high antioxidant content, which can help protect the body against disease.

Can Hamsters Eat Rice?

So can hamsters eat rice? In some cases, hamsters can eat rice. A small amount of cooked or uncooked white or brown rice can be added to a hamster’s diet, but it should make up only a small portion of the overall daily food intake.

Hamsters will often scarf down their food as quickly as possible in order to protect themselves from being attacked by other animals or even their own cage-mates. This behavior is called “husking.” Because they are so focused on eating as much as possible when given the opportunity, they may try to eat more than they really need and suffer from health problems as a result. These health problems include obesity and diabetes, which commonly lead to heart disease and premature death. This is why you shouldn’t only ever feed your hamster a very small amount of additional treat foods separate to their primary diet.

Benefits Of Rice For Hamsters

It’s possible for hamsters to eat white or brown rice in small amounts.

In comparison to white rice, whole grain or brown rice is a superior nutritional alternative for hamsters due to the fact that the outer husk of the rice grain has not been removed. This husk contains B vitamins as well as fiber and iron, in addition to other nutrients.

However, there are much better grains that you can feed your hamster instead of rice. Some good options include:

  • Wheat Germ
  • Oatmeal
  • Barley

Risks Of Rice For Hamsters

Rice is not a natural food for hamsters. Hamsters are omnivores, so they have the ability to eat both plant-based and animal-based foods. They require plenty of protein in order to remain healthy, as well as taurine, which aids with digestion and heart function.

Hamsters should only ever be fed dry or cooked rice sparingly because it does not contain these necessary nutrients. This can lead to malnutrition or malnutrition-related health problems.

The most important thing to remember is to only feed rice sparingly. The effects of eating too much rice by your hamster could include diarrhea if too much is consumed at once.

Hamsters are known for storing their food, and this can cause problems for a couple of reasons.

If any rice are left uneaten in your hamsters cage, they could rot, start to smell and attract insects.

Your hamster may also store uneaten rice 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 rice and immediately remove and discard any uneaten rice from their cage.

How To Feed Rice To Your Hamster

Raw, unprocessed rice is the greatest way for your hamster to eat rice. Uncooked grains of rice will be simpler to store in your hamster’s food pouch. It should not get caught and should be simple to put into and remove from the pouch.

You can cook the rice first if you prefer. Boiled rice is popular, however boiled rice can become clumpy and stick to your hamsters mouth, potentially getting caught in your hamsters food pouch. This could cause obstructions or breathing difficulties for your hamster.

As with the introduction of any new food to your hamsters diet, if you are going to try feeding your hamster rice, you need to monitor your hamster closely whilst eating them.

How Much Rice Can A Hamster Eat?

1-2 grains of uncooked rice as an occasional treat is about the right amount of rice to feed to your hamster.

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 rice 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 rice to feed your hamster is to give them a portion they can comfortably hold within their hands.

Other Than Rice What Else Can Your Hamster Eat?

We have looked at if your hamster can eat rice.

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;

  • Artichokes
  • Broccoli spears
  • Carrot tops
  • Dandelion greens
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Spinach

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)
  • Bananas
  • Pears
  • Strawberries

Remember always remove any uneaten veggies or fruits from your hamster’s cage within 24 hours to avoid them going off.

Timothy hay

Often overlooked for hamsters, hay is a wonderful gnawing food that can keep your hamster’s teeth clean.

Fresh water

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 rice, 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.

Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Pet Hamster & Gerbil Food, 3 Pound
  • 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


Hamsters can eat a small amount of rice, whole grain or brown rice is better than white rice. However, you should not feed your hamster rice as a primary food source.

Instead of eating rice, look at giving your hamster a good quality hamster food that is high in fibre and protein. That will give them everything they need!

Rice is not the only other form of carbohydrate/grain that you can also feed to your hamster. Grains, such as oats and barley are readily consumed by hamsters too.

In addition to grains, vegetables and fruit make for healthy treats for your little furry friends. Timothy hay is an excellent option which provides exercise and dental stimulation too.

Remember always remove any uneaten veggies or fruits from your hamster’s cage within 24 hours to avoid them going off.

Fresh water should be available at all times and changed daily.

Now you know if it is safe to feed your hamster rice. Just remember, always start by introducing a very small portion of rice to your hamster, and look out for any signs of discomfort or unusual behaviour.

If your hamster has an adverse reaction after eating rice, contact your local veterinarian immediately.

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