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Can Hamsters Drink Tap Water? (Quick Answers)

Hamsters make for great pets that don’t require much attention. They are often considered starter pets, but maintaining pets comes with its own set of responsibilities. One is providing proper drinking water to them. 

With all the options available, let’s see which alternative suits them the best.

Can hamsters drink tap water?

Yes, hamsters can drink tap water as long as it is safe for humans. Room temperature water is recommended since hamsters cannot drink too hot or cold water. Minerals safe for humans are safe for hamsters as well. However, there is a risk of chlorine contamination.

Tap water is an inexpensive way option for your hamsters. But it depends on where you live. If the water is safe for you to drink, it is safe for your hamster as well. If you do not drink tap water, provide your hamsters with what you consume yourself.

Tap waters in some areas are not safe for humans to drink as they contain minerals in harmful quantities. Other regions have polluted and contaminated tap waters that should not be fed to hamsters.

Another thing to note is that we humans can retain a lot of minerals compared to what a hamster’s tiny body can. So, this is obvious that minerals that are harmless for us may affect our little friends adversely. Chlorine and calcium are their worst enemy.

If your tap water has too many minerals, it will be hard for your hamsters to process it. If fed regularly, your hamster will fall sick. You can always look for additional resources to know more about the hardness of your tap water on the Water Research Website.

Alternatives to tap water are distillation and boiling. Distilled water is entirely safe for hamsters to drink. If your area has awful tap water, you should settle for distilled or bottled water.

Look for the standard mineral levels in your state’s tap water. Most of the time, the tap water that is safe for you, will be safe for your pet hamster as well. But in doubt, you should consult a professional.

Dwarf hamster:

It is safe for Dwarf hamsters to drink tap water. Sink water or faucet water, as long as it is safe for humans to drink, is safe for hamsters. Bottled water is the safest option for dwarf hamsters.

Is tap water bad for hamsters? Is filtered water OK for hamsters?

Tap water is not necessarily bad for hamsters. The area you live in is a deciding factor for the eligibility of tap water. If your place has a bad reputation for tap water, it is better not to feed your hamster tap water.

Tap water contains essential minerals which are suitable for humans. But tiny creatures like hamsters cannot retain those minerals as humans do.

Minerals in considerable amounts will disrupt the natural function of hamsters, and in worse-case scenarios, your pet will get seriously ill.

Filtered water removes all the minerals in excess amounts, thus making it safe for hamsters to drink. Filtered water is safe for hamsters.

If you have access to safe tap water, you do not have to bear the cost of filtering it as that tap water is already safe for your hamster.

Is tap water or bottled water better for hamsters? Why?

Bottled water is better for hamsters because bottled water goes through the filtration and distillation process. These processes remove harmful minerals from water and make it safe for hamsters.

However, this does not mean that tap water is harmful to hamsters. Tap water that is safe for you is also safe for your tiny friends. The safety of tap water depends on various factors. One of them is where you live.

Check your state’s water quality report to know if tap water is suitable for humans. In most cases, if the tap water does not harm you, it won’t harm your hamster either.

States like Arizona, California, and Ohio have a terrible reputation for contaminated tap water. It would be best if you check out your state’s tap water condition before giving it to your hamster.

Bottled water is the safest alternative, but it comes with a price tag. Bottled water is way costlier than tap water. If you are unsure of the purity of your tap water, you are better off with bottled water.

And if your tap water is safe for you to drink, you can fearlessly give it to your hamster. Tap water saves you from the bills of bottled water.

How much water do hamsters drink?

Hamsters require fresh drinking water regularly. The actual amount is not constant because their water consumption depends on various factors. Factors such as dry weather, pregnancy, activity, and diet should be considered.

On average, hamsters drink about .1% water of their body weight every day. If a hamster weighs around 100 grams, it will consume about 10 milliliters of water. Hamsters roughly weigh the same, so you will only need 10-15 milliliters of water daily.

Syrian hamsters are the largest. They will drink more than other breeds of hamsters. Dwarf and Chinese hamsters are small in size. Hence provide them with adequate water.

It is astonishing that tiny hamsters only intake about a teaspoon’s worth of water every day. Make sure your hamsters have access to fresh drinking water all the time. Cause you never know when they will need more.

Dehydration is hazardous for your tiny friend. Therefore, never let your hamster’s bottle dry out. 

What kind of water should hamsters drink?

There is no hard and fast rule of what water you should feed your hamster. However, water with low minerals and no contamination is preferable. This means bottled water is the best alternative.

But you do not have to go for bottled water if you have a supply of good tap water. Tap water that is safe for humans is safe for hamsters too. Nonetheless, there are some areas where tap water quality is questionable.

If you live in one of those areas where tap water is not of the finest quality, you may have to adopt other pricy alternatives. They are bottled or filtered water.

Filtered or distilled water is the safest option for your hamster. But these alternatives could be costly. Hamsters do not drink that much water, but it is better to plan from the initial stage.

Why do hamsters need a water bottle?

There are plenty of ways your hamster can drink water from. Water bowls are risky as hamsters can easily knock them over. Considering all the factors water bottle is the best option for your tiny friend.

Here are some reasons why hamsters need a water bottle.

A constant source of water:

Hamsters need water throughout the day. There is no specific routine on when hamsters drink water. So, a water bottle is reliable in the sense that it provides your hamster water all the time.

Mark the water bottle at the end when you feel it is time to refill. Clean the whole water bottle after a few days.

Easily replaceable:

Hamsters need fresh water regularly. Water in bowls can get contaminated easily. You can easily replace the water in a water bottle.

Water bottles come with an easily detachable mouthpiece and nozzle that can be opened and cleaned easily. Using a water bottle ensures your hamster gets access to fresh water every day.


Water bottles stay fit in one place. Unlike water bowls, it is hard to knock over. Hamsters are quick animals and will knock over water bowls mistakenly.

The spilled water will make the surroundings wet and make your hamster sick. It will only increase your burden.

On the other hand, water in a water bottle is less exposed to the outside atmosphere; thus, it keeps the water fresh and safe for your hamster.

What temperature water do hamsters drink?

You can easily get into debates about whether you should provide hot water or cold water to your hamsters. While the enthusiasts reason with their logic, hamsters seem to like room temperature water the most.

Room temperature water is suitable for hamsters because you will only change the water once a day, and the hot or cold water comes down to room temperature after some hours.

Hot and cold water is not recommended as it may burn the hamster’s skin. If you live in an icy region, you will have to use an artificial system to keep the water at a drinkable temperature.

The average room temperature is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. If it drops far below this range, you will have to provide warm water to your hamster. Coldwater is never recommended.

Final Thoughts 

Hamsters need water in small amounts, but this tiny amount of water is crucial for their survival. Our top concern is to provide hamsters with fresh, pure drinking water as pet owners. If your hamster is drinking too little or too much water, you should consult a vet as both are discomfort signs.