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How Often To Change Hamster Bedding? 3 Practical Tips

Learning how often to change hamster bedding is important if you want to keep your hamster healthy and happy. Unlike other pets, hamsters are generally quite low maintenance and require infrequent cleaning and maintenance.

Failing to do any maintenance or not caring for your hamster and their home enough will certainly cause health issues. In this short article, we will explain how often to change hamster bedding and recommend some smart tips we use to maintain your hamsters so they can live happier for longer.   

Related: Hamster Cages

How Often To Clean Your Hamster Cage?

Most hamster cages need to be cleaned once a week. Although this can vary from the size of the hamster cages, the depth of the bedding and in general how clean (or messy) your hamster is. The smaller the hamster and the bigger the cage the less frequently you will need to clean it.

Also, the deeper the bedding the less likely you will need to clean out the hamster cage thoroughly as it will last for longer.

Remember there are 3 different types of cleaning that needs to be done for every hamster no matter the size of hamster or cage. These are:

Spot cleaning

This happens every day or at least a few times a week. It is literally cleaning spots of dirt usually that have built up around food or the waste area.

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Partial cleaning

This happens ever 1 – 3 months. Here you remove and replace at least a 1/2 the bedding to revitalise the cage a get your hamster feeling “fresh” again.

Full cleaning (At least once a year)

How often to clean your hamster cage

Here you take out all bedding wash or replace. (try to keep a few small bits in for scent recognition)  Then you wash and wipe down the entire cage with warm, spay water and dry everything thoroughly.

The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) recommends you should do basic cleaning takes on your hamster’s cage every day. These include cleaning and removing old food, changing soiled bedding and removing any faeces from your hamster’s cage.

How Often To Change Hamster Bedding?

It’s a recommendation from the ASPCA to remove all old shavings in hamster cages and replace them with completely fresh ones at least once a week. You should scrub the cage using hot, soapy water every week too.

It’s important you ensure that the cage is completely dry before you try and add back in new bedding and new shaves. If the cage is not completely dry you will end up with moist or wet shavings which will then need to be changed again.

Can I Use Wood Shavings For My Hamster?

Usually, Wood shavings are popular amongst new and experienced pet owners for bedding. Only use shavings that are supposed to be used for pets and don’t try to DIY bed shavings at home as they could be toxic for your hamster. Aspen shavings are very common for hamsters.

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Try not to use bed shavings that pine or cedar. it has been proven that the chemicals are harmful to your hamster’s health. Remember some hamster do try and eat bedding materials so if your hamster does show signs of nibbling or eating bedding try another brand.

Knowing how often to change hamster bedding is important to keep your hamster healthy and happy. Follow the guidelines above to make sure that your hamster is always clean.


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