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Looking up hamster care tips is absolutely essential when it comes to figuring out how to deal with your new furry friend, especially if you have never had a hamster before! It may seem easy at first, but there are so many decisions to make, and hurdles to overcome, when it comes to getting your hamster. This is why lots of people ask questions such as ‘what can hamsters drink’ and ‘how long can a hamster go without water’.

We will be looking at both those questions and many more. This is your ultimate guide to what a hamster can drink, and how you can give it to them.

What should hamsters drink?

Your hamster should be drinking water. Water is the lifeblood of animals, and no hamster can survive without having a constant supply of delicious water. This means that your hamster’s staple supply of liquids should consist of water.

Just like with humans, water is absolutely essential for hamsters. It should be one of your first considerations when you are getting one. You cannot substitute it with any other liquid as this will eventually kill your hamster.

How long can a hamster go without water?

As we stated before, hamsters need water. They cannot live without it. But there may be a situation where your hamster is unable to access water, and you are unable to help them. You may be on vacation and have forgotten to refill the water, or you could be away from the house for some other reason. Whatever the reason, it is vital that you get your hamster water as soon as possible.

Hamsters can only survive for a few days without access to water. Hamsters will become dehydrated after a day without water, and their health will begin to deteriorate from there. After around three days, it is possible that your hamster will die due to a lack of water. It is the most important thing for their health, and it is vital that they have access to it at all times.

If you are away for a long time, make sure that you have a trusted person who can go into your house and refill your hamster’s water. Better yet, entrust them to a friend whilst you are gone. This means that they still have lots of human contact.

How to make a hamster drink water?

Hamsters usually jump at the chance to drink water, if they are dehydrated. Hamsters love water, and as we have seen, they cannot live without it. But there may be some situations where your hamster needs water but is unable to drink it. They may be unconscious or have some kind of illness that means that they cannot access water at the time.

In this case, you can apply water to your hamster manually. You need a small pipette for this. Use the pipette to take a small amount of water and slowly drop the water into your hamster’s mouth. Only do one drop every few minutes, as you do not want to risk flooding your hamster’s lungs with water. Please only do this if you know what you are doing, if you don’t, then take your hamster to the vet who will be able to help your furry friend.

Why is my hamster not drinking water?

As we have stated, hamsters absolutely love water. It keeps them fit, and alive. It’s the perfect drink for them! However, there are a few reasons why your hamster may not want to drink water. We will be going in-depth on these reasons below.


Illness is a major reason why your hamster may not be drinking water. Illnesses such as wet tail can cause serious problems for your hamster’s health, and these illnesses can mean that your hamster doesn’t want to drink anything. In this case, take them to your local vet who will be able to save their lives.

Other illnesses that could cause your hamster to not drink water include respiratory infections, cancer, strokes, and heatstroke.


Your hamster’s age is another key factor in why they may not be drinking as much as they used to. As they get older, hamsters are likely to drink less water. They are using up less energy, and therefore may not constantly be drinking water. This is completely natural.

However, you should ensure that your elderly hamster has an easy route to get to its water. Consider moving their bottle or bowl down to the floor where they sleep and avoid giving them major heights that they have to climb up. Your hamster may not be able to get there for their water.

Why is my hamster drinking so much water?

Sometimes, people can have an alternate problem with their hamsters. Sometimes, they can’t stop drinking water! This can also be a problem for your furry friend. Hamsters’ should not be drinking too much water, either, as that can also cause huge health problems and can be a sign of illness.

Your hamster may have a problem with their kidneys if they are drinking too much water. The kidneys are vital for processing water, and if they are drinking too much then this could indicate that they are having some issues. If you believe that this may be the case, you should immediately take them to the vets in order to get any health problems checked out.

Your hamster could also be suffering from a range of other illnesses, such as wet tail and urinary tract infection. You should make sure that you take your hamster to the vet so that they can decide and then treat your hamster.

How to tell how much water your hamster is drinking?

You may want to figure out how much water your hamster is actually drinking, after all, how do you know if they are drinking too much or too little if you don’t know the baseline! We have some smart tips on how to monitor your hamster’s water intake, to ensure that they are as healthy as possible!

The best way to figure out your hamster’s water intake when it comes to a water bottle is to, simply, make a mark where the water level is. This means that as they drink, you will see how much they have drunk in the last day. This should help a lot in figuring out if your hamster is having the correct amount of water.

If you have a hamster bowl, you can always take a photo of the bowl and then look at it the next day. This should give you an idea of whether your hamster has drunk enough water.

Can Hamsters Drink Tap Water?

Your hamster can absolutely drink tap water! However, you should ensure that you are in a country where you are able to drink tap water. The basic rule is: if you can drink the water, so can your hamster! If you give your hamster dirty water then it can cause some serious illness, and potentially damage their lifespan.

Can Hamsters Drink Bottled Water?

Hamsters can drink bottled water, but they don’t really gain any extra benefits from doing so. As long as your tap water is safe, tap water is just as good as bottled water in giving your hamster the hydration that they need. However, bottled water may be useful if your tap water is not safe.

Just make sure that you don’t give your hamster flavoured water, such as strawberry or peach bottled water. This type of water contains chemicals that could cause some problems for your hamster, and you should therefore avoid it.

When should you change your hamster’s water?

You should make sure that you change your hamster’s water as well, even if the water bottle or bowl is not empty yet. You wouldn’t want to drink water that has been left out for days, and neither does your hamster. There’s plenty of risks that can come with not replacing your hamster’s water as well. The buildup of bacteria can cause infection, this can really hurt your hamster’s health.

We generally recommend changing your hamster’s water every day. This is because water can ‘go off’ very quickly in the open. Open water can contain health risks that we don’t recommend subjecting your hamster to. You should also try to clean your hamster’s bottle or bowl every time it is changed. This is to remove any grime that may have built up.

Make sure that you don’t use soap when you are cleaning your hamster’s water bottle or bowl. Soap can cause problems as it can be toxic to hamsters. You should instead use a pet-friendly disinfectant that you can find at any good pet store.

If you are on vacation, you may not be able to change your hamster’s water. That is fine, just don’t make it a habit!

What shouldn’t hamsters drink?

Whilst we know that hamsters can drink water, there’s also a large number of things that your hamster cannot drink. This is primarily because your hamster should be focussing on drinking water, but also because a lot of these things can actually be quite harmful to your hamster. Some of the things that your hamsters cannot drink include, but are not limited to.


Whilst hamsters can eat fruit and vegetables, we don’t advise giving your hamster the juices of those fruits and vegetables. This is because juices can cause your hamster to be overhydrated, and don’t contain the minerals that your hamster needs. Stay away from juice!


Soda is extremely dangerous for your hamster and could cause a quick death. Although your hamster will find it delicious due to the sugars, it is highly dangerous for them. It contains a lot of sugar and acidic contents that your hamster’s digestive system is not equipped to deal with. We advise that you keep your hamster away from cola.

How high should a hamster water bottle be?

Your hamster’s water bottle should be high enough for your hamster to reach it. You should avoid making your hamster stretch too much to reach it though. Older hamsters could have problems with reaching it. Just make sure that the water bottle is high enough for your hamster to reach it, and you should be fine!

How to figure out if your water bottle is operational

The best way to figure out if your hamster’s water bottle is acceptable for them is to use your finger. All you have to do is push the small ball at the end of your hamster bottle’s tube. If it moves, then the hamster water bottle is working!

Once your water bottle is in the cage, you can easily figure out whether it is working. Watch your hamster and see if they are drinking from it. If you spot little water bubbles inside the bottle, then the water bottle is working as planned! Always make sure that the water bottle is slanted at an angle, as the bottle operates through gravity!

Conclusion – What Can Hamsters Drink?

We have looked at so many questions related to this topic, and we hope that we have answered all of the questions that you may have! This post has gone over so much stuff. We have looked at what hamsters can drink (water!), if they can drink tap water, why your hamster may not be drinking the correct amount of water, and so much more! If you have any concerns, you should go to your vet. They will be able to advise the next steps for you.

We hope that you answered all of your questions! Check out our other articles for more hamster tips.

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