Why Do Hamsters Throw Their Poop? [& 7 Ways To Stop]

Why Do Hamsters Throw Their Poop

Hamsters mark their territory with poop or their scent glands.

Hamsters are adorable little creatures that bring joy to many households. They have a reputation for their quirky behaviors, and one of the most puzzling ones is their habit of throwing poop. Yes, you read that right! Hamsters are known to fling their stool around their cages, which can leave their owners both baffled and amused. In this article, we will delve into the reasons behind this peculiar behavior, shedding light on the intriguing world of hamster antics.

An Engrained Behavior

Because it’s an engrained behavior

First and foremost, it’s essential to understand that throwing poop is a deeply ingrained behavior in hamsters. This behavior can be traced back to their wild ancestors, who used it as a survival tactic. In the wild, hamsters are prey animals, and they have developed various strategies to deter predators. One of these strategies involves scattering their feces to create a misleading trail. By doing this, they confuse potential predators, making it more challenging for them to track down the hamster.

Nutrient-Rich Feces

They likely won’t eat it because it won’t be as enjoyable or nutrient-rich feces

Contrary to what you might think, hamsters do not throw their poop with the intention of eating it later. In fact, they are unlikely to consume it because it won’t be as enjoyable or nutrient-rich as their regular feces. Hamsters are known for their selective eating habits, and they prefer fresh, high-quality food. Therefore, the poop they discard doesn’t serve as a future snack but rather as a form of waste disposal.

Boredom and Play

When bored

Hamsters, like any other pets, can get bored when they don’t have enough stimulation in their environment. When hamsters are bored, they may resort to unusual behaviors to entertain themselves, including flinging their stool. This could be their way of turning an otherwise mundane task into a form of play.

Marking Territory

Marking territory

Another reason why hamsters throw their poop is to mark their territory. Hamsters have scent glands located on their bodies, and these glands produce a unique scent that helps them establish ownership of their space. By spreading their feces around, hamsters are not only disposing of waste but also leaving their scent in different areas of their habitat, essentially marking it as their territory.

Cleaning Their Habitat

Cleaning their habitat

Hamsters are surprisingly tidy animals when it comes to their living quarters. They prefer to keep their space clean and free of waste. By throwing their poop away from their nesting area, they may be attempting to maintain a clean environment. This behavior can also be a way for them to remove waste that they consider unsightly or intrusive to their living space.

When Hamsters Poop in Response to Stress

Lunging to Bite You; Flinging Stool; Increasingly Aggressive Towards Owner

Sometimes, hamsters might exhibit the poop-throwing behavior in response to stress. If a hamster feels threatened or anxious, it may resort to this behavior as a defensive mechanism. If you notice your hamster becoming increasingly aggressive or exhibiting other signs of stress such as lunging to bite you, it’s essential to identify and address the underlying causes of their anxiety.

Seeking Missed Nutrients

To see if it has any missed nutrients

In some cases, hamsters might explore their feces to see if they’ve missed any essential nutrients during digestion. This behavior is more common in the wild, where resources are scarce. In captivity, where hamsters are typically provided with balanced diets, they are less likely to engage in this behavior.

Dealing with Hamster Poop


If you’re a hamster owner, you’re likely wondering how to deal with this unique behavior. The answer is simple: spot-cleaning. Regularly clean your hamster’s cage to remove both the thrown poop and any other waste. This will help keep their habitat clean and odor-free, providing a healthier environment for your furry friend.

Is Hamster Poop Toxic?

Hamster poop is quite dangerous as it sometimes carries the infamous Salmonella bacteria which causes Salmonellosis in humans

While hamster poop might seem harmless, it’s essential to handle it with care. Hamster feces can carry bacteria, including the infamous Salmonella. Salmonella can cause an illness known as Salmonellosis in humans, which can lead to symptoms such as diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. To minimize the risk of infection, always wash your hands thoroughly after handling your hamster or cleaning its cage.

Common Questions About Hamster Poop

Is it normal for hamsters to pull out their poop? (It is normal for hamsters to pull out their poop)

Yes, it is entirely normal for hamsters to engage in this behavior. As mentioned earlier, it’s an engrained behavior that has roots in their survival instincts and territorial marking.

Why does my hamster poop when I pick him up? (Your hamster is scared, so he poops himself)

When a hamster poops when picked up, it’s usually a sign of fear or stress. Hamsters are naturally skittish animals, and being handled can be intimidating for them. It’s crucial to handle your hamster gently and ensure they feel safe and secure during the process.

What does unhealthy hamster poop look like? (Paler in color, soft and watery)

Healthy hamster poop should be firm and dark in color. If you notice pale, soft, or watery stools, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue, and you should consult a veterinarian.

Why did my hamster poop in his food? (If they struggle for food at a later date, they will eat the poo as they don’t take all nutrients in from their food, and nutrients are still left in their poo)

Hamsters may poop in their food for various reasons, including territorial marking or a lack of proper litter training. If this becomes a recurring issue, consider adjusting their cage setup and ensuring they have a designated area for waste disposal.

In conclusion, hamsters throwing their poop may seem unusual, but it’s a behavior deeply rooted in their instincts and territorial nature. It’s essential for hamster owners to understand and manage this behavior to provide a clean and healthy environment for their beloved pets. Remember to practice proper hygiene when handling hamster poop to minimize the risk of illness, and always consult a veterinarian if you have concerns about your hamster’s health or behavior. Embracing the quirks of your furry friend is all part of the joy of being a hamster owner!