Is it okay to feed my hamsters mealworms?
by David Imber
Back to Home Page
Back to Newsletter Page
Q: Is it okay to feed mealworms to hamsters?

A: The mealworms sold in pet stores for feeding to reptiles and amphibians are perfectly safe to
serve to hamsters -- lots of protein and other nutrients, and because they're cultivated in a clean medium, they should be disease-free, unlike bugs you might find "around the house".

But hams will get just as much protein and amino acids from steamed chicken or canned cat food. And tofu, while not offering the same animal protein, is still full of good stuff.

So there's no necessity to feed live mealworms, and it's gross to watch (I find it pretty nasty, anyway).
My experience was that one of my hams found and ate a worm, but didn't seem particularly excited about it. Another ham more or less ignored the worm, and then I had to spend fifteen minutes watching it make a new home in my hamster's bedding.

If my hams had really, really gotten excited about the mealworms I'd bear with my own disgust. But they were clearly MORE excited by their daily tofu and occasional steamed chicken. And neither of those slithered and squirmed in their paws.