Cage-cleaning period

This is not an easy task. In general, a hamster-cage should be cleaned weekly. If you´re (or better: your hamster) is using a toilett instead of a pee-corner, this toilett should be cleaned every other day and you can enlarge the cage-cleaning-period to every other week. Some hamsters are more messy than others, so a two-week-period may be too long for your hamster. This is basically depending on your hamster and on the size of the cage. The bigger (and better decorated) the cage, the longer the cleaning-period can be. Look inside the cage and if it looks too messy, clean it. But do not clean the cage more than once a week. A new clean cage is nice to look at, but it is stress and horror for your hamster. Remember, hamsters are living by their nose and each cage-cleaning will remove all of your hamsters scent-marks.

How to clean the cage

Put your hamster in his ball, in another cage or in a critter-keeper. Remove all the toys and the house. Remove the wire-top and empty the bottom (do not keep food - hamster-food should not be inside the cage longer than one cleaning-period). If the hamster is young and not yet tame or adjusted to it´s environment, keep a bit of the old bedding and nesting material.

Clean all parts with hot water only. Disinfectants or soap should not be used more than once each other month. It is not necessary to mistreat your hamsters nose with the annoying scent of this products more often.

Dry all parts thoroughly!!! Nothing is more dangerous to hamsters than wetness (and drafts, of course). Take fresh litter, fill the bottom up to 2-3 inch / 5-8 cm and redecorate the cage. Provide new tissue for the nest, refill the water-bottle and the food-bowl.

Now the cage is ready for the hamster.

Cage-cleaning during pregnancy/nursing

Please see the Breeding-Section for a closer description. In general: The cage of the mom-to-be should be cleaned a few days after the mating and exact two days before the expected birth. If the babies are born, you have to wait until day 14 after the birth.

Under no circumstances are you allowed to clean the cage more often or in between !!!

Disturbances like cage-cleaning during the first 14 days after the birth will lead your hamster into panic by the risk of the babies life!!!

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(c) Kay Michaelsen 2002