One of the most frequently asked questions about hamsters is on whether they can eat paper. This article has the answer.
Can hamsters eat paper? Yes, hamsters can eat/chew on paper: as long as it is plain paper that doesn’t have potentially toxic ink on it.
If you use paper bedding in your hamster’s cage, there is a good chance that you will catch the hamster chewing on it at some point. This is usually quite harmless.
Of course, you can’t offer your hamsters paper as a ‘food’. But if the hamsters get to eat/chew on the paper they encounter in their cage or elsewhere in the house, that shouldn’t be too bad.
Is Paper Safe For Hamsters To Eat?
Paper is safe for hamsters to eat/chew on: as long as it is plain paper, without the potentially toxic inks. Hamsters routinely eat (or more accurately chew on) paper, without seeming to suffer any harm. So it is safe for them.
One type of paper that hamsters are quite often exposed to is toilet paper.
Thus it is not uncommon to find someone specifically asking, is it safe for hamsters to eat toilet paper? And the answer is ‘yes’ – though there remains a marginal choking risk.
There are a few cases in which you find that a hamster died of eating a paper towel. In such cases, the problem tends to be specifically that of choking. Chances of that happening are rather low.
Nonetheless, people who are using toilet paper bedding for hamsters are advised to separate it, so that they spread one sheet (and not two). This minimizes chances of choking, even if the hamsters eat the paper.
Ultimately, what happens if a hamster eats paper is that they tend to chew on it, without swallowing. But even if they swallow, the paper tends to go through their bodies and come out as poop.
In this sort of discussion, you are bound to find someone wondering, is newspaper ink bad for hamsters? And the answer is ‘yes’ as it can be toxic.
Thus if you have to allow your hamsters to chew on paper, it better be plain rather than printed paper.
Is Paper Beneficial For Hamsters To Eat?
The phenomenon of hamsters seeming to eat paper can be very puzzling. Upon noticing it, you often find someone asking, why is my hamster eating her paper bedding? Or why is my hamster eating its bedding paper generally? Is it beneficial?
That phenomenon (of hamster eating paper) can be particularly alarming the first time someone encounters it. You often find the individual panicking and saying ‘Help! Hamster is eating paper bedding’.
The true position however, is that the hamsters tend to be just ‘chewing’ rather than actually ‘eating’ the paper.
There are also scenarios in which, after chewing the paper, the hamsters stuff their cheeks with it. That is as opposed to swallowing it. Thus if my hamster stuffed his cheeks with toilet paper, I would understand it within this context.
We can say that eating/chewing paper for hamsters is beneficial to the extent that it keeps them occupied and prevents boredom.
Further, we can say that eating/chewing paper (especially the likes of cardboard) for hamsters is beneficial to the extent that it helps in filing away their teeth.
Here, it is worth pointing out that paper is of course not actual food for the hamsters. Thus when designing a feeding plan for your hamster, you can include paper as a ‘food’ to be given on some days.
The paper is simply something that hamsters chew on. But it is not really food for them.
Can Hamsters Eat Paper?
So far, we have seen that eating/chewing on paper is safe for hamsters, as long as the paper is plain (without potentially toxic ink). We have also seen that there can be marginal benefits for hamsters when they eat/chew on paper.
Given those factors, one may ask, can hamsters chew on paper (or can my hamsters eat paper)? The answer is ‘yes’ – hamsters can eat/chew paper, as long as it is plain paper, with no potentially toxic ink on it.
Of course, the paper is not food for hamsters. You can’t purport to offer hamsters paper for food. It is just something they chew on, and perhaps use for nesting purposes.
Which Type Of Paper Can Hamsters Eat?
There are many types of paper, ranging from toilet paper to rice paper, newspaper, paper towels and cardboard. What we now seek to know is which of these types of paper are alright for hamsters to eat.
Can Hamsters Eat Toilet Paper?
Yes, hamsters can eat/chew on toilet paper.
Toilet paper is not actual food for hamsters though. But they do chew on it as a way of keeping themselves occupied. They also stuff it into their cheeks. And they sometimes use it for nest building purposes.
So toilet paper is largely alright for hamsters.
Can Hamsters Eat Rice Paper?
Rice paper tends to contain salt and tapioca flour, which may not be very good for hamsters. Therefore hamsters shouldn’t eat rice paper.
Can Hamsters Eat Newspaper?
Newspaper is printed with potentially toxic ink. Therefore it is not alright for hamsters to eat.
If you have to offer hamsters paper, it should ideally be plain paper. Not printed paper, like newspaper.
Can Hamsters Eat Paper Towels?
People often use paper towels as bedding for hamsters. But that brings about the possibility of the hamsters eating the paper towels. And the question becomes, can hamsters eat paper towel rolls? Or can hamsters eat paper bedding generally?
The truth of the matter is that hamsters can eat/chew on paper towels with no problem.
But we do have to reiterate that these paper towels are not actual food for hamsters. Thus one can’t purport to be offering hamsters paper towel rolls for a meal.
But most people are only concerned about the possibility of the hamsters chewing on the paper rolls. That is why you often find someone asking, is it OK if my hamster only chews on paper rolls?
And the answer, as we have seen, is ‘yes’.
Can Hamsters Eat Cardboard?
It can be very tempting to offer hamsters cardboard for them to chew in order to file away their ever-growing teeth. But then one wonders, is it OK for hamsters to chew cardboard?
And the answer is ‘yes’ – as cardboard is one of the best materials for hamsters to chew on. Through it, they can satiate their need to gnaw on tough things, while also having a chance to file away their every-growing teeth.
You of course need to remember that the cardboard is not actual food for hamsters. It is simply something they chew on. But you can’t claim that because you gave your hamsters some cardboard, you won’t be offering them any food that day!
Final Verdict – Can Hamsters Eat Paper
Can hamsters eat paper? Hamsters can eat/chew on paper, as long as the paper is plain (without any potentially toxic ink on it).
Usually, hamsters just chew on the paper, and perhaps stuff their cheeks with it. But they normally don’t actually swallow it. Even if they swallow it though, it usually causes no problem.
Besides ordinary paper, cardboard can also be good for hamsters to nibble on, and thus get to file away their ever-growing teeth.
However, it is worth understanding that, for hamsters, paper is not actually food. Therefore when you offer your hamsters paper, it is simply something for them to chew on: not food.
One can’t offer hamsters paper as food. But they may benefit marginally from chewing on paper: as long as the paper is plain, with no potentially toxic ink on it.
Welcome to Learn About Pet. My name is Rajkumar Ravichandran and I love all pets, travel, and amazing food. I write about my passion and personal experience caring for multiple pets in this blog! ❤️
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