You should never remove all your hamsters’ food stashes when cleaning their enclosure but only reduce their number and size and remove all seeds and food that show signs of rotting to prevent it from affecting the entire food stock.
- Why never remove your hamsters’ food stash?
- What to do with the hamsters’ food stash after cleaning?
- When should you remove your hamsters’ food stash?
- Why is my hamster stashing food?
- Where does a hamster store its food?
- How long do hamsters store food?
- What can I do to prevent my hamster from creating food stashes?
- Why is my hamster storing food but not eating?
- Why do hamsters store food in their cheeks?
- Final Thoughts
Why never remove your hamsters’ food stash?
You should know that when your hamster’s food is still in his bowl, he does not consider it his own.
Your hamster will only feel safe if he has a supply of food that only he knows where it is and only he has access to it.
Removing his food stash will create a feeling of insecurity combined with stress as he doesn’t know if he will have anything to eat in the next few hours or days!
What to do with the hamsters’ food stash after cleaning?
When you clean your hamster’s enclosure and change its bedding, you must be careful not to destroy its tunnel network and nest, but especially not to remove its food stash.
Just make sure there is no mold or anything weird going on!
Since fresh food, pellets, and seeds that contain fat go bad first, be sure to check and remove them, same for any pieces of fruit, vegetables, meat, cheese, seeds, and nuts that your hamster has eaten just a bit of.
You will often find several food stashes and you should never remove them all; always leave one or two food stashes to avoid stressing your hamster.
Remove the old food stashes often and leave the ones your hamster has recently created.
When should you remove your hamsters’ food stash?
Hamsters are often careful to keep their food supply clean and dry, but accidents can still happen, such as when your hamster drops its water bowl and water gets into the food stash.
If you find that your hamster’s food stock is wet and you judge that it will rot quickly, you must remove the food stock.
You will then either drop a handful of food and replace this food stash or you will give him extra portions so that your hamster can rebuild his food stock quickly.
You should also know that an old hamster or a sick hamster cannot take care of his food stash, so you should do it for him when you clean his enclosure.
Why is my hamster stashing food?
Hamsters hoard food for the same reason that humans do, it’s an innate behavior that provides them with a sense of security and to avoid overexposure to predators and weather hazards.
A hamster that lives in an enclosure doesn’t think that differently than a hamster living in its natural environment.
Since hamsters are relatively easy prey and they know this by instinct, they have adopted this behavior of hoarding, carrying food and nesting materials in their cheek pouches, and storing food in special chambers dug next to their main chamber where they sleep and spend most of their day.
Hamsters have developed this natural behavior to both minimize the amount of time they spend outside their burrows, be exposed to predators in an environment that offers almost no means of hiding from them, and stockpile food to cope with harsh winters and also before giving birth.
Female hamsters hoard food when they’re pregnant or gave birth.
Where does a hamster store its food?
A hamster can create several hiding places where it will store food, these small cavities are usually created in its bedding and not far from its nest so that it can easily access it to eat without going to the surface.
How long do hamsters store food?
Hamsters store their food as long as there is food to be stored. If you continue to refill your hamster’s bowl every time he empties it, you can be sure that your hamster will continue to carry this food, especially the solid seeds, and add them to his food stashes.
You should know that a hamster can carry up to 20% of its weight in its cheek pouch and in their natural environment, their food stash can weigh up to 200 lbs when they find plenty of food.
What to do with the food you collect from the food stashes?
It is not necessary to give the food back to your hamster, you don’t know how long it has been in the food stash and if it is not spoiled!
It is better to throw it away in your garden or backyard, wild animals and ants are more resistant to diseases and will surely eat it.
What can I do to prevent my hamster from creating food stashes?
You should never stop your hamster from storing food! These food stashes give him a sense of security and well-being and he uses them to eat without exposing himself to danger and especially to snack during the day without having to come to the surface!
You can just try to measure the amount of food you give to your hamster to avoid that it makes big stocks of food or creating several food stashes which will become difficult to manage and keep clean!
Why is my hamster storing food but not eating?
It may seem like your hamster is just storing food but not eating, so don’t worry too much because your hamster is not hungry or he’s eating but you just can’t see it!
Hamsters are most active at night and spend their time exploring their enclosure, repairing their tunnel network, playing, and running on their wheel but they often stop to eat a little before resuming their activity.
Hamsters may also wake up during the day and nibble on their food supply without you seeing them. But If you think your hamster has stopped feeding, it is probably due to other reasons such as stress or illness.
Why do hamsters store food in their cheeks?
Hamsters store food in their cheeks because it is an instinctive behavior that gives them the ability to keep moving while gathering food.
Hamsters don’t use their cheeks to store food but just to carry it into their food stash.
Hamsters can also keep eating even after their cheeks are full of food, they have developed this behavior to be always ready to empty their cheek pouches but run away with a full stomach when in danger.
How long do hamsters keep food in their cheeks?
In the wild, hamsters will collect food and keep it in their cheek pouches until they return to their burrows and put it in their food stores.
If your hamster fills his cheek pouches and continues to eat, don’t worry, he just doesn’t feel safe and is ready to run away as soon as he sees danger; he just doesn’t want to go back into his hideaway with empty cheeks!
How to empty a hamster cheek pouch?
You should never empty your hamster’s cheeks, but if you absolutely must, like when you have to give him medicine; you will gently push that food to the front of his mouth; that’s what he does with his front paws when he empties his cheeks into food storage.
Hamsters hate having their items, nests, tunnels, and especially their food stashes touched because they always need to know that they have food in storage and that no one can take it away.
You can remove one food stash at a time but not all the food stashes at the same time! And it’s best to just make sure the food doesn’t rot and just remove a little bit of the food to prevent these food stashes from becoming abnormal and starting to become nests of bacteria and mold.