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Can A Hamster Drink Out of a Bowl?

Have you even wondered to yourself, can a hamster drink out of a bowl? This article will go into detail whether it is safe for your hamster to be able to drink from a bowl or not. You might be surprised!

Can a Hamster Drink Out of a Bowl? (Is it Safe?)

Yes, a hamster can drink out of a bowl. However, it is highly recommended that your hamster drinks out of a water bottle instead because bowls can become contaminated which can lead to health issues for your hamster over time.

Can I Give My Hamster Water in a Bowl?

A fresh water supply is essential for any animal, especially that of a pet, whose upkeep and health is in the hands of it’s owner. Some pets for example tortoises require water within a bowl so they can both drink from it and absorb it. However, for some pets like rabbits many pet owners find it preferable for them to have their water supplied in a bowl. But which is better for a hamster, a bowl or a water bottle?

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When answering this question it is necessary to determine what environment a hamster lives in to determine if anything within it’s environment could contaminate the water. Hamster cages predominately have saw dust or wood shavings within them that could potentially get into the water.

Hamsters also move items around their cages often creating nests for hibernation periods or to shield themselves in the day as hamsters are nocturnal beings. Therefore, their bedding and other items in their cages could find themselves in the water and prevent the hamster from obtaining the water it needs to survive. This is why most pet owners use a water bottle rather than a bowl for a hamster’s water supply.

Are Water Bottles or Bowls Better for Hamsters?

When comparing a bowl with a bottle it is important to acknowledge the potential risks that could happen with the use of each item. Can the item be knocked over? Can the item be contaminated? What is the likelihood of the item getting broken and preventing the hamster from accessing the necessary water?

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Depending on how heavy the water bowl is, it could be argued that the water bowl could be knocked over by the animal. Whilst this is far more likely to occur with a plastic bowl than a ceramic one for example, it is still a concern for the pet owner to consider.

Secondly, as mentioned previously, the possibility of a bowl being contaminated by bedding or other items within the hamster’s enclosure is also a concern. The water a hamster needs should be fresh and pure and equally it’s bedding needs to remain dry.

The possibility of bedding getting wet or water getting contaminated isn’t an issue with a water bottle. Although, it is possible for a water bottle to break it is unlikely. Most pet water bottles are also made with a mechanism that means they do not leak or spill, but only let the water out as the pet touches it.

A pet water bottle also has only a small hole from which the pet can drink from, which means that it does not get contaminated by bedding or other items and that also it can’t get clogged up from them either. A water bottle is also much easier to maintain for a pet owner. They are located on the outside of the cage and angled into the cage which means they can be removed easily to replace with fresh water regularly.

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It is less invasive for the hamster’s environment and easier for the animal owner. The animal water bottle can also be secured at the right height that the hamster can drink from it, but that it is not so close to other items within the animal’s environment.

Having a bowl instead of a bottle can also increase the risk of hamster mortality, which is a serious issue to consider as a pet lover. If the bowl is too deep the hamster could accidentally drown themselves if they lean in the bowl too far. This is just another reason why a bottle is a much safer alternative.

How Long Can a Hamster Go Without Water?

Like with most living things, a hamster cannot last very long without food or water. It is believed that a hamster on average can go three to four days without food and water. Whilst this isn’t something that any animal should have to experience, hamsters do go for long periods on smaller amounts of resources during hibernation.

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Environmental factors also determine the length of time a hamster can go without eating or drinking. If the temperature in the environment is too hot a hamster will not last as long without water. Similarly, if the hamster is unwell it will also decrease the amount of time they can survive without proper hydration.

Whilst hamsters can store food within their cheeks it isn’t possible for them to store water within them. The amount of water a hamster requires as its intake is also dependent on the breed and size of the animal.

For example Syrian hamsters will require more water than a Russian Dwarf Hamster due to its size. The gender of the hamster also can be a determining factor in the size of the hamster and also the amount of water the pet requires. It is argued that a female hamster requires at least twice as much water as a male of the same breed. A hamster’s health can decline quickly if it does not have access to enough water.

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Therefore, if the water is absorbed by hamster bedding that has gotten into the water bowl a hamster could get dehydrated very quickly. Water bowls in hamster cages then require closer monitoring and management to make sure that the hamster’s water intake is enough. If a hamster is not actively drinking enough water it could signify that a hamster is suffering from illness or potentially have oral problems that are preventing it from drinking.

It is essential for a hamster’s health that the water supply is constantly available and easily obtained by the animal. Hamsters also like to exercise and so they will attempt to take breaks during time on an exercise wheel for example to re-hydrate themselves.


To summarize, a hamster’s water supply needs to be safe, uncontaminated and easily accessed by the animal. So can a hamster drink water out of a bowl? Yes, however water bottles are much safer and easier to maintain than a water bowl because they have less of an opportunity to become contaminated. A hamster’s health can rapidly change if it doesn’t have the correct access to water and that they can only last on average up to four days without water.

If you enjoyed this article, please check out our Can a Hamster Die Without a Wheel? Article!

Can A Hamster Drink Out of a Bowl?

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