Modulation of feeding by opiates, putative satiety peptides, and dopamine was explored in the Chinese hamster, an animal that develops diabetes mellitus in certain inbred strains. Diabetic hamsters were hyperphagic relative to their nondiabetic controls, but both groups exhibited natural circadian variation in feeding. Starvation provoked hyperphagia of about 1-h duration in both groups. Naloxone and butorphanol had no effects on Chinese hamster feeding. Opiate receptor binding on Chinese hamster brains demonstrated no specific binding of naloxone or ethylketocyclazocine, but IR-dynorphin concentrations were comparable with that in rats. N-allylnormetazocine, a σ-opiate receptor agonist, appeared to stimulate diabetic hamster feeding. Peptides reputed to have satiety effects in rats were without effect in Chinese hamsters: cholecystokinin, bombesin, somatostatin, and pancreatic polypeptide. Calcitonin limited feeding in both groups but may be nonspecific. Dopaminergic blockade by haloperidol also limited feeding, and diabetic hamsters were more sensitive to this. Although Chinese hamsters clearly can modulate their food intake when diabetic, we conclude that the opiatergic and peptidergic influences on feeding are very different from those in rats and may be of little importance.