A hamster is the cutest thing, and also everyone loves a hammy’s complete cheek pouches. But how do they work ? What execute hamster cheek pouches do ? are there difficulties your hamster can build with his cheeks ?

I’ll be covering this topic alongside Teddy, my Syrian masculine hammy, and also give his examples wherever necessary.

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How the hamster’s cheek pouches work

A hamster’s cheek pouches are two bag-like structures, that operation alongside the mouth, every the means to the earlier of his shoulders.

It’s usually a pair the really huge cheeks, that can get and stay stuffed for but long the hamster needs them to.

The hamster have the right to eat and run with his cheeks full, with no problem. This is because the cheeks themselves stay in ar along the hamster’s shoulders, and also are very elastic.

In the wild the hamster actually travels big distances v his cheeks full, for this reason he can cover much more ground without returning to his colony often to tempt predators.

This also way that the hammy can sprint at the fall of a hat v his groceries in tow, if he has to.

Imagine a hammy running in slo-mo with the dessert, in ~ night, chased by an owl. Every while pushing a shopping cart through all his might.

Sometimes, components of every little thing the hamster place in his cheeks end up in his mouth. Usually this isn’t a problem, for instance if he’s got food in there.

But once it comes to non-food items, it’s essential to be mindful what you enable into your hamster’s cage.

For example the file towels or toilet file squares your hammy hides in his cheeks have the right to have tiny bits that finish up swallowed. Even if he offers them because that nesting purposes, it still happens.

If you desire a more scientific take it on hamster cheek pouches, and want come know more in-depth about them, girlfriend should definitely check the end this research by ScienceDirect.

Hammies keep food and nesting product in your cheeks

Most of the time hamsters save food in their cheeks. This is what you’ll uncover there most of the time, and it’s very convenient for them.

This way that if friend fill her hammy’s food bowl, he will literally ingredient his face, and also then bring it come his nest. He might run roughly for a pair of minutes though, due to the fact that the food can stay there for a couple of hours if it has to.

Be cautious what girlfriend feed her hammy though, since an extremely sharp or crumbly foods items can provide him a cut and cause serious difficulties in his cheeks.

So, also if your hammy could technically eat a level Pringle (no salt, though), he’d obtain shards everywhere and also it’s no a great idea.

Actually, you can gain a far better idea of what come feed her hammy here, through a perform of safe and unsafe foods items to feed her hamster. You’ll uncover the veggies, fruits, meat, dairy, breads, and nuts he deserve to safely eat.

Hamsters also store nesting product in their cheeks, choose dried leaves, twigs, and also grass. Or, record towels and also bits that toilet file or cardboard, if he’s a pet.

The cheeks are cleared when the hamsters reach your nest

In the wild, hamsters travel far and vast to obtain their food. A wild hamster deserve to cover up to 9 km/5.5 miles in a night. One night !

That’s a most running around. When he does gain home he have the right to empty his built up stash, and also enjoy a quiet dinner through himself, no predators around.

He can stop at any point during his run and also just seize a snack native one if his cheeks, and then save running. Yet for the most part, the cheeks are unloaded when the hamster will a for sure place.

What about your domestic, cuddly girlfriend ? If he’s anything favor my Teddy, he’ll shove food mix in his cheeks til they almost burst, climate go and also hide it all away in his hideout.

Hamsters do have stashes, both in the wild and also in the comfort of your home. It’s your instinct, to hoard. Remember the purchase cart/grocery part from prior to ? Imagine her hamster having whole organize pantry, through all the foods.

Hamsters actually consistently sort v their stashes, and also throw the end moldy or wilted food. In his cage he doesn’t really do that, due to the fact that most that his feeding is most likely dry food the keeps for an extremely long. However in the wild the will have an assortment of every little thing he have the right to find, and sometimes he can’t discover the best.

Why hamsters have actually cheek pouches at all

Well, hamsters have cheek pouches for 2 significant reasons: to hoard food, and to have the ability to run far if they have to.

The hamster’s cheeks deserve to hold a most food, up to the tantamount of 4 shelled peanuts (Syrian hamsters, Dwarf species keep less since they’re therefore small).

Hamsters advanced to have this properties actually, due to the fact that they’re food animals. This means that they’re always hunted, by nearly anything larger than them. Given their little size, many pets are larger than them.

So hamsters had actually to have the ability to take turn off at a moment’s notification if a predator to be around. Castle don’t have to drop their food anymore.

The various other reason hamsters evolved to have actually a cheek pouch is the the terrain hamsters live top top is not very rich. In that, not may things grow in the regions hamsters come from. That means from southern Turkey, to Syria, come Russia, Mongolia, and also parts of China.

The wild parts, wherein the hamsters live, space not an extremely easy come live in. For this reason hamsters have to make do with dried grains, a few seeds, a stray veggie here and also there. They can find a worm or cricket and eat the too.

In short, hamsters have to travel far and vast in order to uncover enough food. This is why they have actually their cheeks, to keep the food they’ve already found, and take it v them ~ above the remainder of your excursion.

And in the end, when they come home, they will add it to their stash.

Common difficulties with hamster cheek pouches

Unfortunately the hamster’s cheeks can develop several problems. Some deserve to be because of the foodstuffs they’ve save on computer in the cheeks, like an extremely sticky foods, or an extremely sharp foods.

But let’s take a look in ~ what can happen to your hamster friend’s cheek pouches. In all of these cases the hamster have to be taken instantly to the veterinarian, that will have the ability to give him clinical care.

In general, the vets that have the right to handle a hamster are called “exotic vets”, and will be able to assist you.

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Impacted cheek pouch

This happens once the hamster can’t empty his cheeks completely. Sometimes bits of food or nesting material obtain stuck, for miscellaneous reasons. The hamster can try to get every one of it out, however sometimes it simply literally it s okay stuck.

Those food and also nesting product particles can rot and also develop right into an abscess if left uncheckes, i m sorry is no safe for the hamster. So, this is a situation that have the right to be mainly avoided by being cautious what foods you give your hammy.

Never provide him anything difficult or moist. For instance a difficult noodle will be determined by the hammy together a grain, an stored because that later. Protein (like meat or egg)is eaten immediately, grains not so much.

So a sticky noodle or pasta will gain shoved into the cheek, whereby it will leave residue for the following food item to stick to and also so on.

Hamsters can’t stick your tongue right into their cheeks come clean lock out, like us humans. For this reason it’s vital that you as an owner are cautious to identify if her hamster has actually a problem.

Abscess in the pouch

An abscess can kind for numerous reasons, but the end result is the same. A tiny bag that pus forms, and also not only is that painful because that the hamster, that is additionally toxic.

Once the pus breaks and also spreads right into the cheek, the hamster might swallow it and also develop another disease known as sepsis. Finest to prevent that completely.

You deserve to make sure your hamster has a very tiny chance of forming an abscess through never giving him something spicy to eat. For example something very extremely dry, choose the late on some bread types.

Do store in mind the it can happen with seed too, in a case where your hamster’s cheeks are currently full and also he tries to put a seeds in over there (which frequently has a spicy end) and also cuts himself.

He can hurt self on other in the cage, or construct a tooth trouble that demands fixing – much more on hamster dental issues here.

An abscess is not basic to spot, so you have to be mindful to look for a continually swollen cheek. Or, a feasible bad odor coming from your hamster’s mouth due to the fact that the pus will have actually a smell.


Hamsters, favor rats, can build tumors in the head area. Hamsters often tend to acquire them in your pouches, i m sorry will affect how well they deserve to eat and store food.

A tumor in a hamster’s cheek is not commonly benign, and also unfortunately the treatments room hard. They room available, however removing the tumor without harming the hamster or incapacitating the in some way is an extremely hard.

The operations involves component of the hamster’s mouth, for this reason he won’t really be able to eat fine afterwards.

That being said, over there is no known, clear way to prevent your hamster acquiring a cancer tumor.

Everted (inside-out) cheek pouches

These can happen sometimes, and no one knows really well why it happens. I’m not certain if it’s painful because that the hamster, although ns guess it would be.

The hamster’s cheek pouch simply comes within out, choose your pants pockets when you’re acquiring dressed in a hurry. They’re an extremely noticeable, due to the fact that it’s the really flesh, hanging exterior the hamster’s mouth.

Those are, fortunately, straightforward to treat. Her vet will have the ability to put the pouch earlier in its place, and make sure it continues to be in place afterwards.

How to make certain your hamster’s cheeks room safe and also healthy

A couple of steps can be required to make certain your hamster continues to be safe, and also keeps his cheeks intact. Now, granted, some things you can’t avoid, like the hammy overstuffing his cheeks. Yes, the can totally do that.

But here’s what you can do to keep your hamster’s cheeks safe and healthy:

Do not offer the hamster sharp foods, or an extremely crumbly dry ones he have the right to scratch or cut his cheeks on.Keep one eye on the every day, and notification how his cheeks look when stuffedNotice if over there is one odd odor coming from the hamster’s mouthKeep an extremely sticky or saucy foods items away from the hamster, even if the tries come eat themMake sure his cage is safe, and also he has nothing to cut himself on, choose sharp pieces or dried paint, or bits the plasticHamsters rarely ever need a veterinarian, however make sure you have actually one on speak to if necessary

Those space the basics, and there isn’t much you can do as well as that. Regrettably cheek difficulties are not straightforward to treat at home, and also when lock do happen they’re largely severe.

All you deserve to do is store your hamster healthy and safe by offering him good, for sure food, safe bedding and also nesting material, and also keeping him together stress-free as possible.

Hamsters make an excellent pets, yet they are really sensitive. As such, i would just recommend lock to people who have the time and also patience to work with them. They’re harder come tame than cats and also dogs, and also can forget their owner after a when if left unchecked.

A word indigenous Teddy

I expect you found what girlfriend were trying to find in this article. I understand us hammies look cute with out cheeks full. But we do have actually cheek bag problems, girlfriend know. We rely on friend to store us safe and also healthy.

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