Can Chinchillas Eat Hamster Food?

Chinchillas are very cute animals that love to play. They also enjoy eating fruits and vegetables along with their daily dry food. But can chinchillas eat hamster food?

The answer is no – chinchillas cannot eat hamster food. This isn’t because they aren’t physically able, but simply because it doesn’t contain the right nutrients that a chinchilla needs to stay happy and healthy. 

Below, we’ll look at the reasons why you shouldn’t feed hamster food to a chinchilla in more depth. We’ll also explore some of the foods that you can feed to a chinchilla, talk about correct portion size, and more.

Why You Shouldn’t Feed Hamster Food To A Chinchilla

The main reason why you shouldn’t feed hamster food to a chinchilla is because chinchillas have different nutritional requirements than other rodents. For example, they need a higher dose of vitamin D, which is generally lower in hamster food than in food designed specifically for chinchillas. 

Chinchillas also need a good source of numerous other vitamins and minerals include:

  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Magnesium
  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Manganese
  • Iron
  • Iodine
  • Selenium
  • Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5).

These minerals are found in high concentrations in chinchilla food.  Chinchillas also require a diet rich in fiber, as well as a balanced amount of protein. These nutrients are all present in chinchilla food, so there’s really no reason to give them hamster food instead!

What Are The Risks Of Feeding Hamster Food To A Chinchilla?

While feeding hamster food to your chinchilla may seem like a great idea if you’ve run out of chinchilla food or can’t find any in your pet store, there are actually several risks involved with doing this. Here are three of the most important ones:

Chinchillas are prone to developing respiratory problems if they’re fed too much hay. Hay is made up of grasses and other plants, and these plants contain certain types of mold spores. If your chinchilla eats too many of these spores, he could get sick from them.

Hamster food is not suitable for growing chinchillas. While it contains plenty of nutrition for adult hamsters, it does not provide enough calories for young chinchillas.

Hamster food has also been known to cause diarrhea in chinchillas. It’s possible that this is due to an ingredient called “methionine,” which is a type of amino acid that’s common in hamster food. However, it’s unclear whether methionine causes diarrhea in chinchillas, or whether it just happens to be one of the many ingredients in hamster food that makes it bad for them.

What Food Should I Give To A Chinchilla?

You need to feed your pet chinchilla a variety of natural ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and grasses. When you feed them a varied diet such as this, they’ll be getting all of the vitamins and minerals they need every day. It also keeps feeding time interesting, and means that they won’t get bored of eating the same thing every day.

Some of the most popular foods for chinchillas include:

  • Apples
  • Beans
  • Berries
  • Carrots
  • Corn
  • Figs
  • Grapes
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Raisins
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Yams

Grains like barley, oats, wheat, or rice should also be fed to your chinchilla too. These should be served raw, so don’t be tempted to cook them beforehand. Not only will they be unappetizing, but they’ll also lose some of their valuable nutrients in the cooking process.

How Much Do Chinchillas Need To Be Fed?

A chinchilla should be fed approximately twice per day, once in the morning and again before bedtime. Some people even suggest feeding them three times per day, but this is usually only necessary when they are sick or recovering from illness or an operation. As long as they’re not ill, then two meals per day should suffice.

It’s important to remember that chinchillas are small animals, so you should always keep an eye on how much they’re eating. If they seem to be hungry, then increase the number of meals you offer them. However, if they’re leaving food behind or storing it away, then reduce the number of meals you provide.

It’s also worth noting that chinchillas can become obese if they’re given too many calories. This can lead to health problems including diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure, and liver damage. So make sure you monitor your chinchilla’s weight closely, and adjust their diet accordingly.

How Are Chinchilla Food and Hamster Food Different?

The main difference between chinchilla food and hamster food is that chinchilla food contains more fiber than hamster food. Fiber helps with digestion, and makes your pet feel full longer. Chinchilla food also has a slightly sweeter taste than hamster food, which is far more appealing to a chinchilla than hamster food. 

Chinchilla food also comes in various forms, including pellets, cubes, crumbles, flakes, and patties. You can find these different types of chinchilla food at any pet store or online.


To sum up, you shouldn’t feed hamster food to a chinchilla. It simply doesn’t contain the nutrients they need and, over time, could end up causing them some serious health issues. Feeding your chinchilla a healthy, correct diet is essential for their overall wellbeing. By providing them with a wide range of nutritious foods, you’ll ensure that they stay happy and healthy throughout their life.