Hamster Behavior: Hiding Their Food

Hamsters can have a lot of different odd behaviors that they’ll usually display on a daily basis.

One of those odd behaviors that you’ll see your pet hamster doing often is hiding their food in one way or another.

There are many different ways that they’ll hide their food, like burying it in their bedding for covering up their food bowl.

So as their owner it’s a good idea to know why they’ll hide their food and how they do it, that way you’ll know if your hamster is hiding and eating their food in a safe way.

Why Do Hamsters Hide Their Food?

When it comes to why hamsters hide their food, there can be more than a few reasons why they’ll do this.

The main reasons why hamsters hide their food are:

  • To keep their food safe.
  • To prepare for a time when food is scarce.
  • When they want to hide their food so no one else will take it from them.
  • It’s a way of hiding evidence from a potential predator.

So the first reason a hamster will hide their food is to keep it safe. They’ll try to hide it in a place where they think it’s most safe for them to eat it.

That way they can go back to their food when they feel like it and eat it at a later time.

The next reason a hamster will hide their food is for preparation. So it’s a way for them to store their food in preparation for a time when they think that food might be scarce.

This is something that makes them feel good and comfortable because they have food stored that they can rely on just in case they need it.

Another reason that they’ll hide their food is so that it can’t be taken away from them.

They’ll usually try to hide it where nobody else can find it and they know that they’ll be able to go get it themselves later on when they need it.

The last and most important reason for a hamster when it comes to hiding their food is hiding the evidence. It’s a way for them to hide the evidence of the food and also them being there.

Hamsters will naturally want to hide themselves, and everything that they do from a potential predator.

So when you see them hide their food, they’re also trying to prevent what they think are predators from knowing where they are and where they get their food.

Is It Normal For A Hamster To Hide Their Food?

It’s natural to wonder if it’s normal for a hamster to hide their food especially because it can seem like odd behavior.

It’s normal for hamsters to hide their food though and it’s one of their many natural instincts, and most if not all hamsters will do this every now and then.

In most cases, if a hamster shows a lot of natural behaviors it can mean that they’re happy, so it can be a good thing when you see them hiding their food.

But why is it a natural instinct for them to want to hide their food? Well the reason why this is normal and a natural instinct for them is because hamsters are prey animals.

So it’s normal for a hamster to want to hide their food to help prevent them from being spotted by a predator.

When they’re in the wild hamsters know that this is a good tactic to avoid being caught by a predator, and the domesticated hamsters that we keep as pets will also display this behavior as well.

So because they can be very similar at times, both wild and domesticated hamsters can share a lot of the same instincts and urges, and hiding their food is definitely one of them.

Some pet hamster owners might be concerned that their little pet is hiding their food all the time.

But because it’s normal for a hamster to hide their food and it’s apart of their natural instincts, in most cases it’s usually nothing to worry too much about as long as it’s cleaned out regularly.

Hamsters Hide Food In Their Cheeks To Store It For Later

There are many places where a hamster will try to hide their food and storing it in their cheeks is partially one of them.

If you’ve ever seen your hamster hide food in their cheeks then it’s normal to wonder why they’re doing this.

So hamsters hide food in their cheeks that way they can easily move it from one location to another in the most efficient way possible.

They’ll carry it around in their cheeks for a while until they find a spot that they think is good enough to put it. So that they can hide it somewhere else for safekeeping.

The reason why pet hamsters will do this is that they share a lot of similar instincts and behaviors with wild hamsters and it’s something that both of them have done for a long time.

In the wild a hamster will go out looking for food and when they find the food that their foraging for, then they’ll hide it in their cheeks.

That way they can take it all back to their little hideout very quickly so that they can avoid being caught by any predators that are around.

When they hide the food that they find in their cheeks it also helps them get as much food as possible back to their little hideout in the least amount of trips.

The more food that they can stuff in their cheeks to bring back with them means the less that they have to risk going out to get more, and possibly being caught by a predator that can be lurking nearby.

So even though your pet hamster isn’t in the wild and there aren’t really predators that are around them, they’ll still cheek their food.

It’s usually out of natural instinct and habit and it’s a way for them to bring their food back to a safe location where they can eat and enjoy it in peace.

Hamsters Storing Food Where They Sleep

So it’s true that hamsters will hide food but have you ever seen them hide their food where they sleep?

They can hide it in many different places, so why do hamsters store food in their bad area?

Hamsters will store food in the place where they go to bed so that they can wake up and eat their food without having to leave their home and risk getting spotted by a potential predator.

Plus it’s also a natural instinct that both domesticated and wild hamsters share because it’s something that can help them remain as safe as possible while they’re trying to eat.

Remember that they are prey animals, so when it comes to a hamster they will always try to do their best to reduce the chance of getting caught by a would-be predator.

So if you see your hamster take a lot of their food to their bed, what they’re mainly trying to do is keep some of their food closer to them.

That way they can just snack on it when they wake up without having to leave their bed area.

They will do this so that if they start to become hungry while they’re in their home they won’t have to go out into the open and take a risk trying to forage for more food.

Another reason why hamsters will store food in their bed area is that they have to eat almost constantly because of their fast metabolism.

So for a hamster, it’s smart to take a lot of their food to their bed area so that they can store it.

That way they can eat their food to satisfy their metabolism in peace, while also taking less of a risk by not trying to go out and find more all of the time.

Hamsters Covering Up Their Food And Food Bowls

Hamsters will not only try to hide their food in different parts of their cage, but they will also try to cover up their food bowls as well.

Sometimes a hamster can think that burying their food bowl can make it hidden enough for it to not be taken from them. So when a hamster buries their food bowl it’s a way for them to try to hide it for themselves.

That way, no one else but them will know where it’s hidden and they won’t be able to find it.

Some of the behaviors that a hamster can display are usually linked to the fact that they’re prey animals.

So when a hamster covers up their food bowl it’s also a way for them to hide the evidence from a potential predator as well.

That’s why you may see your hamster cover up their food bowl with their bedding.

What they’re trying to do is safely store it away so that they can eat it later, while at the same time trying to hide it from predators and from other animals that might try to find it and take it from them.

Hamsters also have a natural instinct to want to burrow, so covering up their source of food, which for a pet hamster is usually their food bowl, is completely normal for them to do.

So they’ll try to bury their food bowl with whatever they can and usually, it’ll be with the bedding that they move that’s around it.

Sometimes if there isn’t any bedding around their food bowl you can also see them take bedding from other parts of their cage just so that they can bring it over to their food bowl and cover it up too.

Hamsters are known to have a great sense of smell as well, so you won’t have to worry if they’ll be able to find their food again after they’ve buried it.

They’ll be able to find their food bowl even while it’s buried in their bedding and they can even pick through their bedding to get to the food easily so that they can eat it.

Hamsters Eating The Food That They Hide

So hamsters can store a lot of their food all over different parts of their cage, but do they eat the food that they hide?

Hamsters will eat the food that they hide over time when they feel the need to go get it. However, in some cases, it’s not always safe for them to eat the food that they store away.

For example, if they store a lot of their food while the temperature is hotter around their cage their food can go bad a lot quicker.

It can also be bad for a hamster to eat some of the fresh food that you give them like fruits and vegetables if they’ve been storing it away for a while.

The reason why is that the fresh food that they can hide will go bad quicker than the dry food from the pet store.

If your hamster eats a lot of the food that they’ve stored for a while that’s gone bad then they can start to have some health issues.

So to help prevent that from happening make sure to clean their cage often like at least once a week.

That way you can dump out all of the old food that they’ve stored away, and reduce the chance that they eat some of the food that may have gone bad.

You can even try reducing the amount of food that you give to your hamster each day. Although that won’t stop your hamster from hiding a lot of their food and that’s fine.

Even though they’ll usually still do it, pet hamsters don’t really need to store their food it’s just a natural instinct for them to want to do it.

As their owner, you’re always making sure that they have a good fresh supply of food, but a hamster might not always know that and will still hide their food just in case they need to eat it later.

So if you notice that they constantly have a lot of food hidden that they haven’t eaten yet then you can start to give them a little less food.

You can tell that you can reduce the amount of food that you give them daily when you clean out their cage and always find large stashes of food in their bedding that they haven’t eaten yet.

This can be a good thing because you’ll save on food cost now that you’re not throwing away as much perfectly good food that hasn’t been eaten yet.

You’ll also be making sure that your hamster doesn’t eat as much of the food that they’ve hidden that has potentially gone bad as well.


Hi, I'm Mason, I've kept small animals as pets since I was 8 years old. I love to learn and talk about them basically every day. Over the years I've adopted small pets like hamsters, gerbils, and guinea pigs.

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