Hamsters room funny small creatures that happiness us with their adorable and also downright quirky behaviors. Among these actions is the way that they stuff their cheeks complete of food because that seemingly no factor at all. So, what is the reason for cramming their small faces v pieces of food? We’ve excellent our research to phone call you specifically why hamsters do this.

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In the wild, hamsters will keep food in your cheek pouches till they’ve returned to the safety of their nesting area. Due to the fact that hamsters are delicate to opportunistic predators in the wild, that is typically unsafe for them come pause and have a meal the end in the open. They save their food until it deserve to be relocated to wherein he or she to know it is safe.

If your domestic hamster is law this, don’t worry about it! This is a natural and also healthy behavior that poses no danger to their well-being. It likewise doesn’t mean that your hamster feels unsafe in their habitat. This is simply a organic inclination that hamsters have. Proceed reading if you want to learn more about this element of hammy behavior, as well as things the you, as an owner, have to be on the lookout for.

What’s Up v `Those Cheek Pouches?

A hamster’s cheek is nothing prefer yours or mine. Their cheeks save rather large pouches that extend all the method back, to your shoulders. To illustrate just how large a hamster’s cheek pouch is, take into consideration the reality that a grown Syrian hamster deserve to store an entire shelled peanut in one of their cheek pouches. This enables hamsters come carry around a many food discreetly and efficiently.

In fact, hamsters have been recognized to carry much more than just food in your cheek pouches. They might move somebedding this way if they are creating a nest. It is also not at all unheard of because that a mother hamster to keep her pups in these substantial pouches. This, when it could sound unsettling, protects the pups native environmental threats and allows the mother to move them as easily as she moves her food.

These pouches, unlike person cheeks, save on computer no outstanding glands. This means that in addition to maintaining their food, babies or bedding product safe, lock are additionally keeping that dry. A hamster can even eat while their cheeks are stuffed come the limit!


What should a Hamster Owner Know around Cheek Pouches?

When a hamster’s cheek pouches are thoroughly stuffed, this deserve to make the animal’s head look virtually doubled in size! It’s fairly an outstanding feature and entertaining to watch.

A hamster’s cheeks could be the cutest thing around them in your eyes, however these pouches room unfortunately breakable to some not-very-cute problems. In most circumstances, you’re not very likely come run into tremendous difficulties relating to your cheeks. Still, it’s essential to be aware of the troubles that may arise in this sensitive and important area the a hamster’s anatomy.

The information here is to aid you end up being an notified hamster owner. Never shot to diagnose or treat her hamster at residence for any kind of cheek-related issue! This is very delicate organ in a small and small pet. Work with a an excellent exotic pets veterinarian and never hold-up treatment if you suspect anything is wrong.


Some that the treats and also daily foods that hamsters enjoy have the right to have sharp edges – favor sunflower seeds, because that example. If a item of food to be to reduced the inside of the cheek, one abscess can form. Abscesses are localized infections, identified by swelling and the presence of pus.

Because hamsters are so very small, this type of infection deserve to spread quickly. Come prevent long-term or life-threatening damage, keep your eyes open for these signs:

The hamster’s cheek watch bulged, even when they aren’t storing food.The swelling on the hamster’s challenge is very firm, unlike when they room storing food.You can visibly check out the pus-filled abscess when/if you acquire a opportunity to look right into the hamster’s mouth.The hamster appears to eat less. Abscesses deserve to be quite painful.

Bringing her hamster come the vet is the just course of activity to take it if an abscess is suspected. Your veterinarian will craft a treatment plan and get your hammy earlier into food-storing order in no time!

Read much more about abscesses in hamsters.


A hamster’s cheek bag becomes affected when they are, for part reason, unable to totally empty their cheeks that food. If a piece of food becomes lodged in ~ the cheek pouch and also the hamster cannot eliminate it themselves, infection is possible. This is since the food will, end time, rot inside of the hamster’s mouth.

If your hamster appears to have had a filled cheek pouch for an extended period of time, it may be impacted. If addressed prior to infection take away place, the removed of the offending foodstuff can solve the trouble in mere minutes when excellent by an skilled exotic pet vet.

Read more about why every hamsters need an excellent veterinary care.


When the cheek bag flips outward and also out that the mouth, this is called eversion. This is very easy come spot, together you will watch a little sliver of pink material (the cheek bag itself) sticking the end from the corner of her hamster’s mouth.

This deserve to only be addressed by a veterinarian. Oftentimes, the cheek pouch should be stitched ago into location – and only a vet should try this.


How have the right to I protect against These Cheek pouch Problems?

Sometimes these things happen regardless of doing the very best by ours hamsters. However, the is never ever a negative idea to act through precaution to minimize the hazard of these events happening to her hamster.

Impaction is often caused by a hamster eating really soft foods. These foods, prefer bananas, room unlike a hamster’s usual fare and also due to your soft texture are very challenging to eliminate from the cheek pouch.

Other issues can it is in avoided through ensuring the your hamster only has access to safe points to chew on. Chewing is an essential part of hamster wellness, as it documents down the this to save them in ~ a safe and also comfortable length. Too-long teeth can snag on the edges of a cheek pouch and also even tear it. Make certain to carry out high-quality chewing playthings or treats, choose untreated wood, because that this purpose.

Sharp edges in the` cage, or also sharp edge of the cage itself, can cause these problems if the hamster has actually taken to chewing on them. Make sure that any type of broken plastic, like toys and also tunnels, room discarded immediately. Damaged hamster cages should additionally be replaced, because that this reason, and a slew that others.

Be mindful of Old Food

A hamster have the right to store a the majority of food for a really long time. This method that there is a strong possibility that you’ll find pieces of old food lying roughly their cage indigenous time to time. Do your best to remove old and also stale food from their cage once you see it.

If you execute a deep and also thorough cleaning of your hamster’s cage once a week, this might not be too large of a concern. Still, save an eye out for this regardless. Stale food is unhealthy food!

Should ns Empty my Hamster’s Cheek Pouch for them?


Never try to eliminate food from her hamster"s cheeks! If you suspect there may be an issue avoiding your hamster indigenous emptying his or her cheeks - obtain them come the vet.

There is no good reason for a hamster owner to try and force the food native a hamster’s cheek pouches. You can feel compelled to carry out so if it seems favor they’re stop an difficult amount that food, or if they’ve to be holding top top the same food because that a long time. But do not do it!

A hamster will empty their cheek pouches on their terms if you offer them enough time. Forcibly make the efforts to remove the food or trying to prompt castle to execute it on your timetable have the right to stress out hamsters once there is nothing in reality wrong. Part hamster owners have also caused damage to the cheek pouches this way, consisting of bruising.

You may worry, but trust that a hamster will do what nature has actually ingrained in them come do. Under many circumstances, castle will effectively evacuate the food themselves. Human intervention in this procedure should only be performed by a qualified experienced when impaction is suspected.

If her hamster has acquired hold the something the they have to be eating and shoved it into their cheek pouch, friend probably have nothing to worry about.Hamsters can not swallow food or any other article that’s being stored in their cheeks.

They will certainly spit it out, similar to they spit out food as soon as they’ve determined that the time.

A Hamster’s Cheek is Their most Impressive Feature


A hamster can bring up to 20% of their all at once body weight in food once it’s stashed in their cheek pouches. Herbal instincts journey them to execute this, therefore don’t fret if your hammy’s cheeks seem prefer they’re filled through an difficult amount the food.

While a hamster’s cheek pouch is both impressive and adorable, that can additionally become damaged or infected. Hamster owners should recognize the indications of abscesses, impactions and also eversions so that they have the right to act conveniently on your hamster’s behalf by acquisition them to a default veterinarian. This deserve to save lock from extensive health problems and even conserve their life.

In short: just enjoy your hamster’s crazy-cute antics, including the cheek-stuffing. That a funny vision to see as soon as they’re walking around with huge cheeks the are full of food. That even much more entertaining to clock them diligently empty your cheeks as soon as they’ve decided it’s time to perform so.

This is perfect normal and healthy behavior for all hamsters, so don’t stress. Her hamster’s merely channeling their wild roots and also natural instincts.

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Learn much more about how and also what hamsters should eat! read our complete guide around hamster nutrition as well as our article around healthy treats for hamsters.