Hamsters and other small rodents need their cages to be cleaned regularly for them to lead healthy, happy lives. This is a quick, step-by-step guide to show you the best way to keep your hamster happy!
Things You Will NeedThe cage (obviously)
A hamster ball or helpful friend or relative to keep the hamster from fleeing while you clean the cage.
A washing-up sponge, brush or scourer.
Fresh litter and bedding
OPTIONAL - specialist cage cleaner/disinfectant
Step 1Get your hamster into his ball or give him to somebody to look after. Cleaning the cage will be easier if you aren't stopping him from escaping at the same time.
Step 2Make sure to put plasters over any open cuts - your hamsters droppings and urine could give you some nasty infections.
Step 3Empty the dirty bedding out. If it's just sawdust, you can put it in the green bin to be recycled. If it has anything else in it, just chuck it in the regular bin.
Step 4Rinse out the litter tray with hot water and the cage cleaner if you have it. If you don't, then do NOT use regular soap as even a tiny trace could cause serious health problems for your hamster. If you haven't cleaned the cage for a while, you may find that some damp sawdust sticks to the tray - scrub it off and make sure that any spots of grime and dirt are fully gotten rid of.
Step 5Remove all the other furniture (shelter, wheel, food bowl, toys etc.) and clean thoroughly with hot water. Many hamster wheels have ladder-like 'steps' on them and dirt and faeces can easily get in between them. Scrub very carefully. Throw away uneaten food from the bowl and refill with fresh food.
Step 6Thoroughly dry the litter tray and every piece of furniture - either by hand, or by allowing it to air.
Step 7Refill the litter tray with sawdust or your litter of choice, and bedding if you so choose. Replace the furniture in as similar a position as possible - this stops your hamster from getting too worried when returns home to find his house cleaned and rearranged. Return your hamster to his cage!
Tips & Warnings- Some hamster owners leave behind a small amount of bedding which the hamster keeps in his shelter as this helps him to re-adjust quickly. I've never personally found it necessary, but you may want to if your hamster is easily scared or very young. You should still replace this bedding after a while, though, or it will become a health hazard.
- As already said, NEVER use soaps or disinfectants not made specifically for cleaning hamster cages and equipment, ESPECIALLY not with food bowls or water bottles.
- Water bottles are generally preferable to water bowls, as they do not require such regular and vigourous cleaning.
- It's best to clean your hamster out once a week