If you own a modern hamster cage such as the Qute, cleaning takes just a couple of minutes. Older-style cages will take longer to clean. This page of the Omlet Hamster Guide tells you how to make the various types of hamster cage clean and shiny.
The Qute Hamster Enclosure
The Qute is the last word in hamster cages. It’s super-easy to clean,. The top part has horizontal bars, so that droppings fall straight into the removable bedding tray below. To clean the Qute, you simply lure the hamster up the tube into the top of the enclosure, and then push the tube up so that your pet can’t descend again. All you need do then is slide out the bedding tray and tip it into your compost bin.
Spray the tray with a hamster-friendly disinfectant, give it a wipe, refill it with fresh bedding, and you’re done. Replace the bedding, return the tube to its original position, and the hamster can access all areas again. It’s a good idea to clean all the cage accessories while you’re at it, too.
Cleaning a cage is Qute simple…
Traditional-Style Hamster Cages
Whatever type of hamster cage you have, the cleaning stages will be roughly the same. This is the basic cleaning routine, to be carried out each week:
- Remove the hamster from the cage and put it somewhere safe. A spare enclosure or exercise ball will do (but make sure the hamster doesn’t roll away unsupervised in the ball). Make sure there’s bedding, food and water in the spare cage, otherwise your hamster will quickly become stressed. Cardboard boxes are not a good idea, as they will be gnawed through in no time.
- Remove all the cage accessories, including the food bowl. These will need to be cleaned after the bedding and soiled tray has been sorted out.
- Take the tray, or the base lining (depending on the model of cage you have), and tip the old bedding into the compost bin, or into the garbage if the bedding is not made from compostable material.
- Wash the empty cage with a hamster-friendly cleaner and a cloth. Use a clean cloth each time you clean the cage, or make sure the dedicated hamster cloth is properly cleaned each week. If your cage has bars, make sure you clean them too, scrubbing and wiping them dry with the cloth.
Hamsters love a freshly cleaned space – then they can mess it up all over again!
- It’s now time to clean all those accessories you removed earlier. Keep them well scrubbed, as your pet will be licking and nibbling all the objects in his cage, and you don't want him ingesting anything bad.
- Let everything dry off thoroughly for a few minutes, and then refill the cage with fresh bedding. The bedding will get wet if it’s put into a moist cage, and hamsters can then easily catch chills. You can now return all the clean accessories to the cage too.
- Make sure the food bowl and water bottle are properly leaned each time. Dirt can quickly build up on them, and bottles can become blocked, preventing your hamster from drinking.
- The hamster can now be returned to his cage. Some owners maintain that putting a small amount of the old bedding on top of the new stuff will help the hamster settle in without worrying about the lack of familiar odors. There’s certainly no harm in doing this.
- Always let your pet get used to his freshly-cleaned enclosure for a few minutes before picking him up. He’ll need to settle in and reassure himself that all is well.