Basic Cage Hygiene
Basic cage hygiene and management is very important in keeping hamsters. Hamsters are very clean methodical creatures.
I carn't do it all myself
They like to keep their cage, and themselves clean. They keep themselves clean by grooming. It will be noted that he will put his paws into his mouth, then proceed to brush them through his coat. You should not bathe, or wash a hamster unless there is a medical or hygiene problem.
They keep their environment relatively clean by using a corner for the toilet, one for storing food, and a usually a separate area for grooming in.
Weekly Cage Cleaning
A hamster feels secure when his home takes on his or her own distinctive odor. All animals mark their territory in one way or another. Hamsters do this by depositing a substance from the sebaceous glands
When using strong detergents such as bleach and disinfectants they remove that odor / scent. Detergents and bleach are also harmful to our pets. They leave residual particles in and around his environment, these can be inadvertently ingested and therefore should not be used.
A hamsters sense of smell is unbelievably acute. Even when dry the smell of bleach lingers, and this removes all traces of his odor / scent. In the wild, and even in captivity they use this scent to find their way around, and to associate different points and places.
Before doing any cage cleaning, read hamster Behaviour
You can do your bit to help by cleaning the cage periodically. Once a week or every 2 weeks maximum. Wash the base with hot soapy water, a mild washing up liquid will suffice and then dry off.
Bleach, detergents, and most disinfectants are harmful to animals. A vet grade disinfectant Virkon
is much safer to use with animals.
Wash all toys accessories and utensils in the same way including the water bottle food dish, rinse, dry off and replace.
Daily cage clean.
The corner of the cage that he uses for his toilet area can be scraped together with an old paint scraper then disposed of, then dry out with a tissue and the substrate replaced every 2-3 days, it does not need washing every time it is cleared out.
Remove daily any uneaten fresh food that is left lying around this will prevent the onset of fungus developing. Clean food dishes, water bottles, refill and replace.
Good cage hygiene, good house keeping, a good diet, and you have a happy healthy hamster.