Hamster Cheek Pouches

Hamster Cheek Pouches

Here we can see, “Hamster Cheek Pouches”

Hamsters have distinctive, stretchy cheeks that they employ to store food and transport bedding. Syrian (golden) hamsters are frequently researched in laboratories due to the distinctive properties of their cheek pouches. Unfortunately, a hamster’s cheeks can also be a breeding ground for infections that owners should be aware of.

Hamster Cheeks

Cheek pouches are present in all hamsters. These huge pockets are evaginations of the oral mucosa, and they can extend back to the hamster’s shoulders.

The pouches principal function is to transport food from one location to another. Hamsters in the wild utilize their cheeks to transport food back to their burrows. This practice inspired their moniker, which loosely translates to “mister saddlebags” in the local Arabic dialect where they originate.

Like other animals, hamsters have two cheeks. Sometimes they cram both cheeks with food while simply stuffing one side. It is usual for hamsters to use their cheeks to transport food around or back to their beds. Even after filling their cheek pouches, they will frequently continue to feed. Females may even conceal or carry their babies in their cheek pouches.

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Diseases of the Hamster Cheek

Overall, hamster cheeks are one of the cutest aspects of the animal. A hamster with large cheeks makes you want to smile and hug your tiny, fluffy companion. However, this area of the hamster’s body is prone to a few health issues. You can avoid many future difficulties with your pet hamster if you know the potential issues.


Cheek pouch abscesses are very prevalent in pet hamsters. These are localized infections that cause pus to accumulate in the cheek pouch and can swiftly spread to the rest of the body.

An exotic animal vet would usually treat this with antibiotics and, in some cases, thorough cleaning of the cheek pouch. Without treatment, your hamster’s infection may grow uncomfortable, leading him to stop eating, and the infection may spread to the rest of his mouth and, eventually, the bloodstream.

Abscesses occur for a few common reasons:

  • When your hamster attempts to insert anything pointy into its mouth.
  • A tiny cut or puncture will result if the hamster nicks its face on something in the cage.
  • When a crooked tooth protrudes into a person’s cheek.


Another prevalent concern in pet hamsters is cheek pouch tumors. Tumors are usually malignant and affect only one of the pouches. However, they can invade the entire cheek pouch tissue, extending back to their shoulders.

Pouch tumors are often hard and have a different feel than a full pouch. Unfortunately, these tumors (often squamous cell carcinomas) have a terrible prognosis and are difficult, if not impossible, to remove completely while allowing your hamster to eat normally.

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Cheek pouch eversion is extremely uncommon, although it does occur. When the cheek pouch flips out of the mouth, this is called eversion. You will see a pink lump in the corner of your hamster’s mouth, and they may have difficulties eating.

Your exotics vet can restore the cheek pouch, but it may need to be sewn back into place if it continues to pop out.


Cheek pouch impactions are another uncommon condition, but they occur occasionally. For example, large food particles and bedding can become lodged in your hamster’s cheek pouch and become impossible to remove. In addition, when food or food particles decay in the pouch, an impaction can become infected or abscessed if it is not cleaned out.

Generally, hamsters have little difficulty getting food into and out of their mouths. However, if your hamster has had a huge pouch for a lengthy period, you should be aware of this problem.

User Questions

How do hamster cheek pouches function?

Pouches on the cheeks of hamsters resemble little deflated balloons. The pouch swells when food enters, and retractor muscles squeeze the pouch and pull food back.

What causes hamsters to empty their pouches?

If you give a hamster enough time, it will empty its cheek pouches on its terms. On the other hand, forcing them to remove the food or do it on your schedule might cause hamsters to become stressed when there is nothing wrong.

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Do hamsters poop via their mouths?

Today I discovered that it is common for hamsters to pull out their feces and place them in their mouth to check for any missing nutrients. I thought this was the most amusing thing I’d ever hear until I saw that many people had asked Quora if hamsters defecate out their mouths.

Can you brush the teeth of a hamster?

Because hamsters small mouths and proclivity to nip make it impossible for owners to brush their teeth, food can become impacted between the back teeth, resulting in bacterial development, gum ulcers, and, in rare cases, tooth root abscesses (infections).

Do hamsters yawn?

Stretching and yawning: Yawning frequently indicates that your hamster is comfortable and calm rather than overly drowsy. If your hamster stretches when yawning, further evidence that he is a highly relaxed hamster. Freezing: This entails your hamster remaining in one position for a few minutes.


I hope you found this helpful guide. If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to use the form below.


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