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We often wonder if hamsters can do the same things that we can do. This can range from food to health; this often leads people to ask “Can hamsters throw up?” Throwing up is a natural thing for humans to do so can hamsters do the same thing? The answer is no. Hamsters don’t have the capacity to vomit if anything toxic is in their system.

This can be dangerous for them as there is no way to expel toxic products from their body. This article will be looking at the possible causes of your hamster looking like they are throwing up as well as why hamsters cannot throw up!

What if your hamster looks like they are throwing up?

So. In answer to the question “can hamsters throw up?”, no they can’t. If your hamster looks like they are throwing up then it is likely that they are just expelling food from their poaches. As stated previously, hamsters have no way to vomit which means that you are likely just seeing your hamster take food from their poach and depositing it in their store. If your hamster has expelled something that looks unusual then it could be:


If the expulsion looks brown and is runny then your hamster could have diarrhoea. Diarrhoea, whilst mostly harmless in humans, can be dangerous for hamsters as it can dehydrate them and leave them vulnerable and ill. If your hamster has diarrhoea, consider taking them to the vets so that they can have proper healthcare. Make sure they stay hydrated on the journey. If your hamster has diarrhoea then it could be a sign of:


Another possibility is that the substance is blood. If your hamster is expelling blood then they are in a dangerous situation and need to be taken to the vets ASAP. The sooner you take your hamster to the vet, the better chance they have of surviving. A hamster expelling blood can be a sign of:

  • A urinary tract infection
  • Pyometra – Only applies for female hamsters!
  • Broken teeth
  • Cuts, which could get infected.

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How to protect your hamster from toxic substances

As discussed before, hamsters can not throw up. This means that they are especially in danger when it comes to toxic foods and objects. If humans eat something toxic, we can throw it up. Unfortunately though, hamsters don’t get that privilege! If a hamster eats something toxic then it will stay in their body and possibly do harm. Here are some top tips to keep your hamster safe from toxic substances!

Supervise your hamster at all times

The best way to protect your hamster from toxic substances is to keep an eye on them at all times. Hamsters don’t know what is bad for them and will often poach or eat many things, they haven’t been able to read this blog so they don’t know what is good and what is bad for them!

Only play with your hamster in places where they can’t quickly grab food, such as the sofa. Don’t play with your hamster on kitchen tables or other places where there is likely to be human food. This increases the chances of your hamster eating something nasty!

Know what your hamster can and can’t eat

Sometimes we can accidentally give our hamster toxic foods, not knowing that they are toxic for them. This can especially be the case for cyanide containing foods like apple seeds and bitter almonds. Cyanide, in small quantities, is harmless for humans but can severely endanger your hamster’s health. Keep your hamster away from foods like:

  • Citrus foods – They contain too much acid!
  • Garlic – They can cause blood disorders!
  • Onions – They can cause blood disorders!
  • Iceberg Lettuce – It has no nutritional value!
  • Sweets – Too much sugar!
  • Human snacks – Too much salt!
  • Anything with cyanide – Can quickly kill your hamster!

If you keep your hamster away from foods like these; you can best maximise their health and their lifespan!

How to prevent your hamster from choking

As discussed before, the answer to the question “Can hamsters throw up” is no. Hamsters cannot vomit. This means that they have problems when it comes to eating large foods and this can often lead to choking. Keep your hamster away from:

Cotton Bedding

Cotton bedding is sold at many pet stores; however this doesn’t mean that it is safe for hamsters. Cotton bedding can be swallowed by hamsters which can kill them as it is difficult for them to digest it. Cotton bedding can also be caught in your hamster’s teeth. As hamsters cannot vomit, this causes huge problems for them.

Large food

Make sure that you cut your hamster’s food into small bits if you are giving them snacks. Preprepared hamster food that you find in pet stores is fine but snacks need to be cut down to the right size. Consider cutting seeds in half, especially if you have a dwarf hamster. When it comes to the actual size of the snack, just use common sense! If it looks like your hamster cannot swallow that food then cut it down to size!

Keep them away from household objects

Certain household objects can be poached or eaten by hamsters and cause a choking hazard for them. Items such as coins, pins and wrappers can cause huge issues for your hamster as they cannot throw up back up. This could kill your hamster. Always keep an eye on your hamster and make sure that you don’t interact with anything harmful!

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Conclusion – Can hamsters throw up

So in conclusion to the question “Can hamsters throw up”, the answer is no! Hamsters cannot expel waste products from their body which can cause huge problems for them if they ingest something that is nasty. You can minimise this risk by supervising them at all times and making sure that you don’t give them anything toxic.

Stop your hamster from choking by taking cotton bedding out, cutting down large food, and keeping them away from household objects. If your hamster does look like it is throwing up, it might be diarrhoea or blood! Take them to a vet!

How do you keep your hamster away from choking hazards? Got anymore toxic foods to add? Comment below!