Question & Answer
Hamster Eating His Poop

By Jane Landis
Q: Does anybody know if it's normal for a hamster to eat/play with it's leavings?  Will this make it sick? Do they do this when they're stressed?

A: It's not only normal, it's essential. Hamsters are very efficient with food and water. They eat their poop to digest more nutrients from it that their bodies couldn't absorb the first time. Their poop is actually an irreplaceable source of nutrition. Babies eat their mother's poops to establish their own intestinal flora.

It won't make them sick at all, and doesn't signal stress.

They make two kinds -- one which they choose out to eat again, and one which is devoid of further nutrition. They often collect the reusable ones in the nest or food area. Please don't do anything to prevent it.

Funny little critters!

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