When a hamster makes their home in a cage, they very much like to make it their own.
No matter how much you try and set it up for them, they will sure enough come along and mess it up and organize it another way.
Organizing their home
This means more often than not, just putting a layer of wood shavings down so they can burrow, followed by bedding in a pile will be sufficient for them to sort out.
They will then make their own nest by taking all the bedding and locating in the place where they want to put it. They will also move things around to where they want it. It is very much their territory and will mark it as such.
Marking their territory
Different hamsters will mark their territories in different ways. Syrian hamsters have their scent glands on their hips and dwarf hamsters have them on their stomachs.
Once the territory is marked, they consider it theirs and no other hamster can interfere with it. So being sensitive to them is important.
Considering this is important when it comes to cleaning out their cage.
As with all animals, hamsters will poop and they will pee. It’s an inevitability and this will cause the cage to smell in time.
So how often should the cage be cleaned?
It really depends of what type of cage you have
A small cage will benefit from being cleaned at least once a week. If that cage houses a dwarf hamster for example, it will need cleaning more frequently than a larger cage as there will be more to clean up in a tighter space.
However, if you miss cleaning it for a few days then don’t worry. It can always be done as soon as you can. The hamster wont suffer for it.
So how do I clean my hamster’s cage?
This is a good routine to follow when cleaning a hamster’s cage.
- Try and spot-clean every day by picking out any poop. Since some hamsters have an instinct for them to go to the bathroom in one spot, you might have to just clean that particular place. This might not always be the case though. Check through the bedding just to make sure.
- If you see any soiled bedding, then change it and replace it with new bedding in the place where it was.
- Take out any food that has been uneaten, fresh food is especially important in this regard.
- Do a total cage clean.
- Remove all bedding, wood shavings and accessories from the cage.
- Clean with a pet friendly cleaner and hot water.
- Wipe down and dry.
- Put new bedding in the cage and line with new wood shavings.
- Once a week, change the bedding and clean the cage with hot water
What will happen if I don’t clean my hamster’s cage?
If it isn’t cleaned once a week, then it isn’t the end of the world by any means.
Just try and do it when you next have time to do so.
Once a week is a good routine to get into as it keeps a hamster’s cage smelling nice and fresh.
If it isn’t cleaned regularly the accessories and bedding will start to smell from the deification.
Cleaning it more frequently
If you choose to do it more frequently than that, then the cage may smell fresher.
However, the hamster may not like it because they have made it their territory and it has been over-disturbed.
So there is always a balance to be had when cleaning out the cage and not disturbing it too much for your hamster, so over cleaning it isn’t always a good thing for them.