Police were called to the man's York apartment by neighbors complaining about noise, The Sun reported Saturday.
"A 20-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal. He has been released on bail while inquiries continue," North Yorkshire police said.
A source close to the investigation told the tabloid police were trying to determine whether the hamster was dead before the man put it in the frying pan.
"The hamster was dead. But the investigation will center on whether it was dead when they started cooking it, or if the cooking killed it," the source said.