Hamsters, the dirt-loving creatures, enjoy playing amidst plants and succulents. But, are succulents good for hamsters? You might have to know the answer to this before you let them enjoy themselves in your garden.
While they are herbivores and nibble on plants, you need to know if they are chewing succulents and mark red areas accordingly. This post is for those of you hamster owners who wanted to know are succulents safe for hamsters and what plants are safe to put in a hamster cage.
Are succulents good for hamsters?
Succulents like cacti, jade, piggyback, and those with colorful leaves can harm intestines and it is advisable to avoid contact of succulents with hamsters. While some succulents don’t harm, a lot of them leave red marks stating potential harms.
If you are new to succulents, let me begin with what they are and their impacts on hamsters.
Succulents are plants that grow in dry conditions with thick leaves. Although succulents come in various colors, they mostly share one common trait; these plants hold water in their leaves to prevent them from wilting in the hot sun.
Hamsters are a popular household pet, and many people know that succulents can be dangerous to them. However, there is no evidence showing whether all types of Succulent plants will make your hamster sick or not- some seem safe, while others may be harmful depending on their variety!
Protecting hamsters from places showing red marks is better and is also the responsibility of the hamster owner.
Which plants are toxic to hamsters?
Plants like jade, cacti, aloevera, piggyback, and caladium are toxic and can affect the digestive tract and liver since they have thorns and also contain particles that are hamster-unsafe.
Hamsters should not be given any plant that is poisonous to them. A hamster may eat small portions of these plants or chew on them, but eating or chewing on any plant can make your hamster sick and affect the digestive tract.
Here is a list of succulents that you should thoroughly avoid.
Cacti are a popular type of succulents that are very dangerous to hamsters. It is habitual for them to eat small portions of cacti, but the spines on the plant can easily pierce their intestines.
Jade plants are succulents highly toxic to hamsters and can potentially cause liver damage. While these plants can look tiny, they are not safe for hamsters.
Aloe Vera plants with thorns
Aloe vera plants are a type of Succulent that is safe for hamsters to eat or chew on, but only if the plant does not have thorns. Hamsters may eat small portions of aloe vera plants as they are sweet and healthy.
However, hamsters should stay away from aloe vera leaves with thorns because they can injure their mouths and intestines.
Agave is one of the most toxic succulents for hamsters. If a hamster eats agave, it can cause intestinal blockage or poisoning. It also contains a sap that can irritate the skin.
Piggy-Back Plant is one of the most dangerous succulents for hamsters because of its leaves. If a hamster eats this plant, it can cause liver damage, vomiting, and diarrhea. Even small portions of this plant can make your hamster sick.
If your hamster is losing weight suddenly, we also have a dedicated article to explain the same – Why is my hamster losing weight?
Elephant Ears (Caladiums)
While elephant ears are safe for hamsters to eat or chew on, they should be given with caution as Hamsters may eat too much of the plant and become sick.
Elephant ear plants have high calcium content and moderate potassium content, which can cause gastrointestinal problems if consumed in large quantities.
Hamsters may also bite leaves of elephant ears, causing possible injury to their mouths and intestines.
Succulents with Red, Purple, or Black Leaves
Succulents with red, purple, or black leaves are also among the types of succulents that Hamsters should avoid.
While small portions are acceptable, they can get addicted and begin chewing them regularly.
As Hamsters are naturally curious animals, they will most likely try to eat any plant they find in their cage.
What plants are safe for hamsters?
Plants containing high water content and no toxicity are safe for hamsters and these include Gerber daisies, African violets, begonias, and English ivy.
Here is some more information on their safety levels.
African Violets do well in a bright window and like to be kept moist. Hamsters can safely eat the leaves, and most hamster owners give their pets an occasional treat of a leaf or two.
Gerber Daisy is a plant that does well in direct sunlight and prefers moist conditions. The quality of leaves matters before hamsters are fed with them. It is appropriate if hamsters eat only fresh leaves.
English Ivy is a great way to add some greenery to your hamster’s home. Hamsters should only be given the non-toxic varieties of English Ivy, as other breeds may be toxic.
Note. If you are unsure of the list, it is better to avoid English ivy and add it to the toxic list.
Spider plants can be placed near a bright window or under fluorescent light; they prefer moist soil but can also tolerate dry soil. Confirm the toxicity of the spider plant breed that you are giving before you feed.
Pesticide or fertilizer-free begonia can be a wonderful treat to your little one as hamsters love begonia leaves.
Boston ferns do well in indirect light and like to be kept moist. Hamsters can safely eat the leaves of a Boston Fern but should not be given any other parts of the plant.
Philodendron is a perennial plant that can withstand long periods without water. It prefers moist soil and does well with indirect sunlight. Hamsters can eat the leaves but should also ensure that they are free from pesticides.
Hamsters should be supervised while eating any plant, even hamster-safe ones! Hamsters can eat a large portion of a hamster-safe plant in a very short amount of time or chew through the stem of a hamster-safe plant. However, anything in excess can ruin the body. Keeping an eye on the movement of your little one helps!
Can I put live plants in my hamster cage?
Live plants, including herbs and grasses, can be placed inside a hamster cage but a toxicity test needs to be conducted before they are allowed to grow inside the cage.
Live plants are a great addon to hamsters since they interact with them and also eat them on the go. Since they are primarily inquisitive, they tend to eat live plants but well before that happens, a toxicity test is always mandatory.
What plants are safe to put in a hamster cage?
Herbs, including oregano, mint, parsley, dill, coriander, and thyme, and grasses including cat grass and hamster grass are safe to put in a hamster cage.
There are a few things to keep in mind when you do that.
- Herbs are good and can add excellent aroma. But, ensure that your hamster is not always in contact with herbs since too much of aroma is also not healthy.
- All herbs mentioned here are healthy and safe for hamsters but they need regular watering to keep them alive and growing. Ensure you have a facility to water them.
- Grasses like cat grass are absolutely affordable and can be let to sprout in the outdoor space where your hamsters have their playtimes.
- Keep an eye on the part consumed by hamsters to ensure that they are safe and do not overeat as well.
Are succulents good for hamsters? Not all! I have given you a list of hamster-friendly plants and succulents to keep in their vicinity.
Always begin with one plant and then take it forward!