Can Hamsters Vomit? Why Hamsters Can’t Throw Up!

I know it is a little odd question to look answer for, but many Hamster owners wonder that even after eating more than their capacity, their little ones never throw up. But then how do they cope with all the extra food?

So, I decided to do some research on the same and also consulted a few experts, and here is what I have learned

Hamsters are incapable of vomiting as they do not have a gag reflex. Also, their diaphragm cannot assemble the power to get moving the food through their throat. The stomach muscles of Hamsters are delicate and lack the strength to throw up.

This may sound good to you, but it is not. If your Hamsters cannot vomit, they will not be able to clear their stomach of all the extra food.

If your Hamster is making some weird noises while breathing or is breathing from their mouth, then it an alarming situation.

Hamsters are always hungry and they will continuously eat as much food as they can. Therefore, you must keep a check on the amount of food you feed your Hamsters.

Why Can’t Hamsters Vomit?

Hamsters can’t vomit as they lack a gag reflex.

Hamsters do not have any knowledge about the concept of vomiting therefore they are never cautious about the same.

Your little one will keep eating irrespective of the fact it can put their lives in danger. The things which make we humans vomit cannot be applied to Hamsters.

Hamsters do not have the strength to vomit as they have a thin and a week diaphragm.

Hamster’s digestive tract is one way. Food once swallowed through the mouth excretes only as feces.

We, humans, have certain limitations and warnings we know that will make us sick. Hamsters have no reason to run their mind in these directions.

Hamsters should never reach the point where they need to throw up. They will always rely on you without understanding it, therefore you must be extra careful about it.

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Is There Any Way By Which Hamsters Throw Up?

There is no way in which Hamsters can throw up. The closest thing that Hamsters come to vomiting is coughing.

Hamsters do not cough without any reason. If your Hamsters are coughing there is something definitely wrong with them.

Your Hamsters may cough either when they are suffering from an infection or they have something stuck in their throat. Coughs may indicate that your Hamsters are trying to clear their throat.

You should never try to induce your Hamsters to vomit. It can be life-threatening for them.

If you ever feel something is stuck in their throat, immediately take them to a vet.

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Medical Issues Caused By Not Throwing Up

You must probably be thinking that not throwing up is a good thing for your Hamster. Also, if your Hamster does not throw up, it will reduce your cleaning work. But, does not work this way.

Not throwing up is more of a curse for your Hamsters as it can lead to several health complications in them.

Some of the medical issues are listed below:

  • Digestive Blockage: f any day your little ones overeats, they will not be able to vomit or throw the extra undigested food. It can get stuck in their digestive tract and create a blockage, leading to obstruction. Therefore, Hamsters are under constant risk of digestive blockages.
  • Choking: It is difficult for Hamsters to get rid of the food, which is stuck in their throat. This can lead to choking hazards in Hamsters. You should help your Hamster out or take them to the vet before your Hamster loses the ability to breathe.
  • Toxicity: If your Hamsters eat something toxic, they cannot get rid of it by throwing up. This is why rat poison kills rodents. Not only Hamsters, but there are also other small animals too that undergo similar issues.

Your Hamster’s inability to not throw up should never be taken lightly.

Inability To Vomit Can Block Your Hamsters Digestive System

By now, you must know that Hamsters cannot judge their appetite. They will probably eat all the food you give them without realizing that they might be over eating.

Though your Hamsters are small, their diet is not that small. Therefore, you need to be careful when you feed your Hamsters. You must keep a check on the amount of food you feed your Hamsters.

Also, you might get tempted by seeing the cute face of your Hamster. But never share your meal with your Hamsters even if they request by making strange noises.

Although your Hamsters will happily eat all the food you provide them, but it will become very difficult for them to digest.

Some food items like meat and bread which we humans eat daily are very difficult for Hamsters to digest. It can lead to gastrointestinal blockages in them.

Foods that are unsuitable for Hamsters to eat or digest will remain in their stomach. Due to this, Hamsters will not gain enough nutrients or hydration.

The best option is to supply your Hamsters with a good amount of hay. You can also provide your little one with small quantities of pellets.

If you want to treat your Hamsters, you can provide them little slices of fruits or vegetables.

You must also keep a check on your Hamster so that they do not over-groom themself. It can dangerous for Hamster if they swallow their fur.

If you are careless, your Hamster may even fill in their digestive track with their hair. In such cases, your Hamsters should be given immediate medical attention.

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Blocked Airways In Hamsters

As your Hamsters cannot vomit, they are more prone to choking. If any day your Hamsters overeats or eats at a quicker pace, their airways can get blocked.

Some Hamsters eats very fast when they get food after a long period. Therefore, it is important to fix a schedule of your Hamster’s diet. You should try and give them their food at the same time each day.

Some signs of blockage in the air passage of Hamsters include:

  • You will notice them breathing through the mouth. If you ever notice your Hamster breathing through their mouth, there are high chances that something is wrong with them.
  • Bulged out or swollen eye is also one of the symptoms of air blockages in Hamsters. It is a general sign that there is a lack of oxygen in your Hamsters blood.
  • Sometimes Hamsters also make weird loud noises when they have something stuck in their throat or when there is an air blockage.
  • Hamsters also continuously shake their head in such situations, this indicates your Hamster must be struggling to lose something that is stuck.
  • Also, if your Hamsters walk-in hind legs, with their head, tilted back, this shows your hamster is desperately trying to suck in air.

If your Hamster has a blocked airway, it means that they are choking, which can be very dangerous if immediate action is not taken.

Hamsters Cannot Vomit After Eating Any Toxins

Your Hamsters will never be able to throw up, once they have swallowed any kind of toxins. Therefore, Hamsters inability to vomit is a curse.

Even you should never try to induce vomiting in your Hamsters. It can be life-threatening for them.

You should keep your Hamsters away from a few toxins. Some of them are:

  • Pesticides and chemicals on fruits and vegetable
  • Rat poison used in pest control
  • Damaged or bruised food products
  • Lead-based products
  • Human medication

Some of the signs include loss of appetite, change in body temperatures, fur loss, and lethargy.

You should always keep an eye on the amount of food intake by your Hamsters and keep aways from everything toxic.

If you have any suspicions about your Hamsters health, then it is advised to take them to the vet immediately.


  • Hamsters are physically incapable of vomiting as they do not have a gag reflex.
  • Hamsters do not have the strength to vomit as they have a thin and a week diaphragm.
  • There are a lot of health complications caused by not throwing up
  • Hamsters’ inability to vomit can block their digestive system
  • You should never try to induce your Hamsters to vomit. It can be life-threatening for them.
  • Lastly, is you have any suspicions about your Hamsters health, immediately take them to a vet.

Sources: Laboratory Hamster, NCBI Research, Gastrointestinal diseases in Hamsters.


Hello, I am Mohini, the founder of this blog. I am a qualified Animal Nutrition. I am here to help everyone understand their pets better.

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