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Old 02-26-2016, 03:11 PM   #1
Tacey
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Default How often do you clean the cage?

As the title says really... how often does everyone clean their cages? I'm not sure how often I should be doing Wintrow's (Chinese ham). He appears to make very little mess!
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Old 02-26-2016, 03:19 PM   #2
Sm_banks
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Default Re: How often do you clean the cage?

You should spot clean every day if there is a visible mess, you should do a full cage clean out once a month. All new substrate, new food, a new toy. You get the picture
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Old 02-26-2016, 03:21 PM   #3
hrl20100
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Default Re: How often do you clean the cage?

I spot clean once a week-so remove droppings and any wet patches.
I havent actually ever done a complete full clean. Every month I take out half the substrate and replace it with fresh, mixing the old in with the new. It helps to reduce stress on the hamster.
It helps having a large cage so the mess isn't all over the cage, just in one or two corners.

I re-arrange the cage layout every 2-3 weeks though to give my hamsters variety
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Old 02-26-2016, 10:09 PM   #4
cypher
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Default Re: How often do you clean the cage?

Just spot clean daily where there's any pee then do a partial cage clean no more than once a month, I just do a third to half the cage if it looks as though it's needed, never do a full cage clean all at once, always replace at least some of the substrate, nest & food hoard.
Chinese do love to burrow so the less you disrupt their burrows the better & they can be quite fussy about having things moved around too!
Always check daily that no fresh food has been stashed away & remove that if you find it too.
If they pee in an open wheel it does tend to spray out a bit so I change the top layer of substrate in front of the wheel about once a week & wipe down any nearby surfaces with a damp paper towel or some pet safe fragrance free disinfectant if it's really needed.
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Old 02-27-2016, 02:12 AM   #5
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: How often do you clean the cage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sm_banks View Post
You should spot clean every day if there is a visible mess, you should do a full cage clean out once a month. All new substrate, new food, a new toy. You get the picture
Sorry disagree here - a potty trained hamster can easily go 2 or 3 months or even longer without a 'full' clean, and even then it is better to not clean everything at the same time (ie do a partial clean). Hamsters get stressed by change and by having their scent removed. I learned a lot from this video by Erin's Hamsters and it works really well for me (our hamster got terribly stressed by cage cleans and now he's ok with this new routine). The more substrate you use, the less often you need to do a full cage clean as you only every need to replace the top third to a half. And clean the toys at a different time and the wheel as and when.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jVnEjrXbww

Hamsters have different personalities. A lot of hamsters, like ours, hate anything moving or changing in their cage and like everything to stay the same. Some, like hrl's can find it interesting to have a bit of change. I'd say generally Syrians don't like change. Ours is ok if you add something new (mostly!) but gets very stressed if you change his familiar route and move something to a different place.
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Old 02-27-2016, 02:27 AM   #6
cypher
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Default Re: How often do you clean the cage?

Serendipity I know I've said this before so sorry I keep repeating myself but Erin's method really doesn't work well with dwarf hams (even though she appears to use it for her dwarfs) especially with Chinese which love to burrow as most of what needs to be cleaned tends to be on the bottom of the cage rather than the top!
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Old 02-27-2016, 02:28 AM   #7
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Default Re: How often do you clean the cage?

I agree with everything said by cypher and Serendipity. I last partially cleaned my Syrian's cage on New Year's Day. He pees in two places- a potty and under a removeable slope at the side of his large house. I keep a weekly eye on those but no more as I don't want him to get upset and not use his potty. He has 2 sputniks with hemp mat lining them so I brush off any poo's or debris from eating snacks there every now and then. He mainly poo's in his big house but I leave that undisturbed. It does not smell and I cannot sees it so I don't want to stress him by interfering with his nest and hoard unnecessarily. He is a cautious reclusive boy and so this suits him. I plan my next invasion of his home around Easter time just to make sure all is well. The rest of his cage remains remarkably clean.
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Old 02-27-2016, 02:34 AM   #8
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: How often do you clean the cage?

Sorry! Yes I've only used it with a Syrian and as Cypher says dwarf hamsters can pee in more places! Spot cleaning and deep substrate would be better than full cleans though, even if the bit about taking the top third off doesn't work so well.
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Old 02-27-2016, 02:51 AM   #9
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Default Re: How often do you clean the cage?

I think it depends on the hamster and the substrate used. Wood shavings tends to need to be changed more frequently than things like Fitch or Carefresh.

I've noticed that some hamsters find a complete change of substrate quite stressful which is why I will always put back about a third of the used substrate so my hamsters know that they're home. I tend to spot clean as and when it's necessary and a partially replace the substrate every month or so.

One of mine (a Chinese) was very particular about her toys being in the right place so I tended to keep everything as it was on a whole and she certainly would have been cross if I'd have given her a new toy as well as new substrate.
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Old 02-27-2016, 03:24 AM   #10
cypher
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Default Re: How often do you clean the cage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
Sorry! Yes I've only used it with a Syrian and as Cypher says dwarf hamsters can pee in more places! Spot cleaning and deep substrate would be better than full cleans though, even if the bit about taking the top third off doesn't work so well.
It's not that they pee in more places, although some do, it's that they burrow a lot & spend as much time on the base of the cage as the top, as they burrow basically everything like bits of food & dried poo falls to the bottom!
Hope that makes it a bit clearer.
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