How to Easily Clean a Hamster’s Habitat or Cage
By Rashmi, April 15th 2021
Cleaning the hamster's environment at least once or twice a week, depending on how dirty it gets, is advised.
Quick Preparation Tips
- To transport your hamster, turn the hide hut upside down.
- Remove the soiled bedding with a non-slotted scoop and a small hand-held broom.
- Disinfect the habitat/cage and its removable components with half-diluted vinegar.
How to move the hamster before cleaning the cage?
- Hold the hide hut (or a hamster ball) in front of the hamster in the main habitat and wait for him/her to climb into it, then transfer the hamster to an aquarium or another cage; this way, you won't have to capture the hamster with your hands, which may terrify the hamster and expose you to bites.
Where to move the hamster when cleaning the cage?
While the primary habitat is being cleaned, set up a temporary second habitat for the hamster to live in.
As a temporary environment, a 10 gallon tank is ideal. In the aquarium, place a wide ceramic bowl of sand bath (Keeping the sand bath in an aquarium helps guard against sand spills outside the habitat.), a wheel, food bowl with food, all on top of some bedding.
This allows the hamster to clean itself, and spend time in the aquarium without getting stressed out while its cage/habitat is being cleaned.
- Fill a spray bottle halfway with vinegar and halfway with water. This will be used to disinfect the main habitat as well as the sections that may be removed.
- Clean the food bowl by emptying it and spraying it with the vinegar mix.
- After that, remove the wheel from the cage, rinse it, and disinfect it with vinegar.
Remove the soiled bedding with the non-slotted scoop and small hand-held sweeper
after removing the cage's base.
To mask the stink, cover the waste with a sheet of newspaper.
Disinfect the base container by washing it and spraying it.
Fill the water bottle halfway with clean, drinkable water after washing it.
Half of the water bottle must be air to provide air pressure to push down the water; otherwise, the hamster will not receive any water from the dispenser if the container is totally full.
All removable pieces of the habitat/cage should be washed to remove the vinegar.
Reassemble the cage with the wheel, add fresh clean bedding to the bottom of the cage, reattach the water bottle, and fill the food bowl with fresh hamster chow.
- Return the hamster to its clean home or cage.
Please keep in mind that I've successfully used this cleaning approach on our Roborovski hamster. Other hamsters, I'm not sure, might jump out of the hide hut during the relocation, or the temporary tank habitat might not be acceptable for them.