Hamsters are very clean animals and don’t smell if their cages are cleaned regularly. They often go to the toilet in the same place each time, so this makes the job easier. Before you begin cleaning, put your hamster in a holding cage, such as a Small Pals Pen, travel box or Living World Exercise Ball. Because hamsters are territorial he won’t appreciate you moving his home around and so will get in your way or even nip at first if you don’t take him out. They may also get scared from all of the commotion.
Daily cleaning tasks
Every day you should:
– remove wet bedding and clean the toilet area
– add fresh bedding
– remove uneaten food, seed husks and left-over fruit and vegetables
– wash the food bowl in hot, soapy water and then rinse and dry it thoroughly before refilling with food
– empty, rinse and refill the water bottle, checking it for leaks and blockages
A thorough clean
Your cage will need to be cleaned thoroughly on a regular basis. If you keep up your daily cleaning tasks, it will be fine to do a full clean every fortnight. You can usually leave the bedding and food hoard inside nests undisturbed for around four weeks, so only clean these out every other time, unless fresh fruit or veg is present, which would go off.
Each time you fully clean the cage, as well as doing daily cleaning tasks you should:
– Throw out most of the bedding
– Scrub the cage with a pet-safe (not household) disinfectant and then rinse thoroughly.
So that your hamster feels comfortable when he returns to his cage:
– Save some of the unsoiled old bedding and put this with the fresh bedding so that it will
still smell like his home.
When cleaning out the cage, check for damage and any holes where your hamster may escape.
Check for rust and sharp edges on wire cages and ensure the door and its catches are secure. Check the seal on tanks and inspect the lid for signs of gnawing.