For many animal lovers who cannot or would prefer not to spend copious amounts of time and energy training, exercising, or cleaning up after a cat or a dog, a hamster is an excellent choice for a pet. The small, adorable creatures tend to thrive on their own, and they require much less constant attention than a kitten or a puppy.
However, while hamsters are generally a hearty species and quite easy to care for, they are just as capable of becoming ill as any other type of pet. Therefore, many concerned hamster owners may find themselves thinking:
“Why is my hamster’s poop green? Do I need to rush them to the vet’s office?”
Do not worry. Keep reading to determine why your hamster is having green poop, as well as how to resolve the underlying cause with little to no trouble.
Why Is My Hamster’s Poop Green? Eight Reasons for Green Hamster Poop
Although your hamster may have green poop for several reasons, most of these explanations are simple, and their causes can be remedied quite quickly without even requiring a phone call to the nearest vet.
So long as you do not neglect your hamster and get the issue fixed, they will most likely be fine. As hamsterauthority.com confirms, here are the main eight potential reasons as to why your hamster is presenting you with green poop.
Dietary Changes Can Cause Green Hamster Poop
Altering your hamster’s diet is a frequent cause of a hamster’s poop changing colors. Usually, this is completely normal and even considered a positive sign, especially if the hamster is eating green vegetables like cabbage.
However, the dietary switch can also lead to malnutrition and stomach pains for your pet. If the hamster drags their back legs as they walk, they are definitely experiencing stomach pain.
Please note that you should never feed potatoes or their skins, leaves from tomatoes or rhubarb, candies like honey, food for rabbits, or onion to a hamster. These items are extremely detrimental to a hamster’s overall health.
Another common cause of green hamster poop is diarrhea. Many of the foods listed above can produce diarrhea in addition to stomach pain. Dehydration, overfeeding, allergies, and infections may also lead to your hamster contracting diarrhea.
Your hamster has diarrhea if their poop is both green and watery. If changing their food and water daily does not fix the issue, schedule a vet appointment to determine if your hamster has allergies or an infection.
It is important to note that diarrhea will probably also give your hamster an infection known as “wet tail,” which is exactly what it sounds like. Baby hamsters are especially prone to this condition.
Other obvious signs of wet tail include blood in their green poop and hunched postures. If left untreated, your hamster could die. Get them to a vet as soon as possible if they have wet tail.
Tip: If you are caring for baby hamsters click here to learn how to feed a baby hamster.
Decreases in temperature may produce green hamster poop. If your pet is experiencing this stool change in the cooler months, their green poop is due to the cold. Sudden plunges in temperature can also cause a hamster to become sick.
Thankfully, this cause has a very simple solution. Cover your hamster’s cage to ensure that they are protected from harsh weather.
A dirty cage might make your hamster ill, which then leads to them producing green poop. The buildup of bad bacteria can harm your hamster’s digestive tract if their environment is left unchecked.
Regularly cleaning both your hamster and their cage will prevent illnesses. Deep clean their cage at least one time each week, including the water bottle and food bowl, and change the bedding.
Tip: Click here to learn more about the optimal sand for your hamster’s sand bathing needs.
Hamsters should rarely be given antibiotics, as they can be toxic to your pet and produce stomach problems (and odd poops). Only give your hamster antibiotics if they have been prescribed for them by a licensed vet.
Avoid giving your hamster any form of penicillin, as it would most likely be fatal.
As with most other explanations on this list, stress may cause your hamster to experience stomach problems and, subsequently, to have green poop. Any sudden changes to your hamster’s environment can create stress for them, such as new people or a new environment.
For this reason, be mindful when purchasing a hamster at a pet store, as they may have already bonded with other hamsters whom they will miss. Feeding and grooming your hamster regularly will also decrease the chances of them becoming stressed.
A respiratory infection can give your hamster stomach issues, as well as pneumonia. If your hamster is constantly wheezing, sneezing, producing discharge from their nose and eyes, and being much less active in addition to having green poop, they need veterinary care as soon as possible.
If your hamster has a skin condition, it can lead to both a reduced appetite and green poop. Skin problems typically require treatment and may include ringworm, general irritation, or a loss of fur. Avoid cedar bedding, as it may cause skin irritation in your hamster.
Conclusion: What Color Should Hamster Poop Be?
Typically, according to PBS Pet Travel, a healthy hamster will produce hard, dark pellets of poop that are either black or brown. However, green hamster poop that remains firm is generally due to a hearty diet of leafy vegetables, which is good for your hamster.
Green hamster poop that is also loose or watery is a much more serious indicator of a potential underlying problem.
Although hamsters require far less attention than a larger pet would, they do require proper care in order to remain happy and healthy. Even if your hamster is producing green poop that is somewhat loose or watery, ensuring that your pet is receiving proper grooming, covering, diet, and lack of stress will eliminate a majority of the problem.
Taking your hamster to the vet in a timely manner when they are clearly unwell, as with a respiratory infection or diarrhea and wet tail, will resolve any remaining issues.
Have fun taking care of your hamster, and may you never have to ask, “Why is my hamsters poop green?” ever again.