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Scatter Feeding vs Bowl Feeding for Hamsters

What is scatter feeding and what are the benefits?

Scatter feeding is when you take your hamster’s food mix and scatter it around your cage. Many people use a measuring spoon, take a scoop of their hamster’s food, and sprinkle it around their enclosure. This is so that their hamsters can explore and use their senses to find their food, and this emulates their natural behaviors.

Scatter feeding should only be done for their food mix. For fresh food such as fruit and vegetables, we highly recommend using a bowl. If you scatter feed fresh food, it could dampen the bedding or leave unwanted residue that’ll make it harder to clean.

What is bowl feeding and what are the benefits?

Bowl feeding is done when you take a shallow appropriately sized dish and put your hamster’s food mix into it. Bowl feeding is beneficial for hamsters who have mobility issues, as they usually have a harder time walking around the enclosure. Bowl feeding can also be used to see how much your hamster actually pouches, or to see if they have preferences for certain seeds and grains.

We recommend using a bowl to serve food they don’t have regular access to such as fresh vegetables, fruit, and treats.

What do you recommend?

If your hamster doesn’t suffer from any mobility issues or from any diseases that require precise feeding, we highly recommend scatter feeding. Scatter feeding provides enrichment and helps your hamster become a little more active. Scatter feeding also emulates what they do in the wild and helps them use their natural senses to find food.

If your hamster has mobility issues or other diseases that make it hard for them to find food, bowl feeding is the better option. Remember to keep your bowl in the same place so your hamster always knows where it is.