All you need to know about hamster cage cleaning

Hamsters are sensitive creatures and they love their cage clean and smell good. They are very prone to certain illnesses like diarrhea and if you neglect to clean your hamster cage, you might be responsible for it falling ill.

How often should I clean the hamster cage?

  • Cleaning your hamster cage too often can cause undue stress to your pet, while cleaning too little will leave them with unpleasant living environment. Though you may set a routine for thorough cleaning every two weeks, your immediate action will be required if you see droppings or wet areas in bedding materials, or if you see leftover food laying around the cage.
  • Also, you may have to clean your cage more often if you see that the walls of the enclosure are looking dirty or smudged or if the cage smells. All these situations are signs that your cage requires deep cleaning or else you will put your hamster’s health at risk.

How to clean hamster poop?
Extended exposure to urine and feces will cause make sure you clean the hamster poop the right way. The poops and other litters inside the tank give birth to germs and bacteria and wiping them with a cloth and water is not enough. To make the tank hygienic, you need to take some measures to disinfect it as well as cleaning it. Make sure you have:

  • A clean and dry cloth. A cotton cloth is best for scrubbing and cleaning the cage. You can use paper towels as well.
  • Instead of using water to clean the tank, I suggest using a Hamster Cage Cleaner manufactured by a reputed brand. It serves two purposes, first, it cleans the tank. Second, it contains some anti-mites property that disinfects the cage as well.
  • Do not forget to change the bedding. I advise using a new one and discarding the old bedding every time. Do not wash and reuse the once dirty bedding.

Although I recommend some ready-made cage cleaners but avoid using any harsh chemical like bleach. No doubt, it will make the cage extra clean but will make it infectious as well.

Hamster cage cleaner: what can you use to clean a hamster cage?
Suggestions on the use of vinegar to disinfect hamster cage is quite commonly heard, but I personally don’t go for this option as vinegar, even after dilution, will lower hamster’s immune system. Antibacterial soap, will be good enough for your routine cleaning. You can also use disinfectant that is designed to clean hamster cages if you find it really dirty. This type of disinfectant will not contain any chemicals that may harm your hamster. Your hamster will also be able to recognize their cage as they will have put their own scent on it and using a mild disinfectant will ensure that the cage is cleaned properly but does not get rid of this scent.

Where should I put my hamster when I’m cleaning the cage?
You won’t be able to clean the cage properly unless you have removed your hamster from it. Place your hamster in somewhere safe, like a secondary cage, a playpen or an exercise ball so that they can enjoy their time alone.

Here are some tips on moving the hamster:

  • Use you both palms to pick the hamster up supporting its entire body in a gentle manner. Do not pick him up with a single hand especially from neck like he is hanged. Instead, support his entire body but maintain a grip or he is very quick to run away.
  • You can put him in a temporary enclosure or inside a rolling ball. Remember, do not put him inside the rolling ball for more than 30 minutes as he needs fresh air and a break from rolling.
  • Do not forget to wash your hands before and after shifting your hamster. It will protect both your hamster and you from germs.

How to clean hamster cage after one dies?
The steps to cleaning a hamster cage after one dies is not a lot different from your bi-weekly thorough cleaning, but to make sure your surviving hamster can stay healthy, there are a few areas to pay attention to.

  • It is suggested that you scrub the entire cage and let the soap sit on the cage’s surface properly. If you have a mesh type of cage, you need to clean each of the bars. For aquariums cages, it’s important to clean each corner properly
  • Let the cage dry before putting them back together since germs love damp areas. It’s even better if you can leave the cage in the sun as sunlight also helps to disinfect the cage
  • Pay attention to other objects of the tank like water bottle, food bowl and entertaining toys and make sure every single pieces is cleaned, disinfected and completely dried before putting back to the cage
  • Dispose old bedding properly, seal it in a waste bag and clean your hands before you touch any new ones
  • Sand-bath your surviving hamster and allow any dirt on the body to fall off naturally. You can buy chinchilla sand here and put it in a little bowl for your hamster.

Still have other questions?  Send me a note and I’ll answer.

To check out how to select the best hamster cages, click here.

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