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Old 08-10-2018, 12:24 AM   #1
PumpkinSpice92
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Default Cage Cleaning/Change-up Help

Hello!

My hamster Podge has been in her current cage just over a week now and I'm wanting to change some bits up within the cage (bigger wheel [she's in the HH and as of now is using the wheel it came with], a suspension bridge and some wooden chews to attach to the side of her cage).
I obviously don't want to stress Podge out so I want to know the best way to do this. How long I should wait before changing things up within the cage and giving her a clean out? Should I make small changes every day or change everything up at once?

Thanks in advance
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Old 08-10-2018, 12:47 AM   #2
cypher
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Default Re: Cage Cleaning/Change-up Help

I would do a bit at a time, start with the wheel as it is important that her wheel is plenty big enough & that's unlikely to stress her out, maybe add the chews to the side of the cage at the same time & do the bridge later, if you're adding things rather than moving things around they don't mind so much.
How is the suspension bridge hung? Anything with small chains or open rung ladders isn't safe for them.
I wouldn't do any more than spot clean pee for at least a few weeks or even a month, you don't need to do full cleans so after that you can just clean up a small area at a time if it needs it always putting back some of the old nest or food hoard if you do those areas.
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Old 08-10-2018, 01:37 AM   #3
PumpkinSpice92
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Default Re: Cage Cleaning/Change-up Help

The wheel is due to be delivered today so I will put that in ASAP, I'm going to have to take out one of the platforms to do so... do you think that will be okay and not stress her out too much?

The bridge I'm wanting is this one
http://www.petsathome.com/shop/en/pe...b-exclusive%29
do you think that will be okay?

I'll take your advice about only spot cleaning for a few weeks - her bed is really the only thing that starts to smell after a few days - I'm TRYING to get her to use a litter tray/sand bath as a toilet. She used one in her old cage and it was great cos I only had to change that, but since moving into the HH she wees/poos in her bed which is quite annoying!
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Old 08-10-2018, 01:46 AM   #4
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Cage Cleaning/Change-up Help

What Cypher said I would be inclined to wait just a few more days and just change the wheel for now - generally they need about two weeks to settle in. A few more days will take it to 10 days which would give more settling in time and won't make a lot of difference with the smaller wheel. I assume to put the wheel in you'd need to take one of the platforms out of the HH? Adding new things now and then tends to be accepted quite well but if it means removing something or moving things around they can get stressed.

If it means taking one of the platforms out then I would wait till day 10 and just remove the platform and add the new wheel, scatter a bit of food and hide a few treats and then not do anything else for a while. One thing that would be good to add at this time is a litter tray Although I think the HH comes with a litter tray? Is she using it? They do tend to use the potty if you put it where they have chosen to pee for a toilet (often a corner of the cage - so don't put the wheel there!). If she's chosen a pee corner then move the toilet to that corner if she's not using it already. This really helps as then there is even less spot cleaning needed - you just empty the litter tray every 5 days or so and the cage stays mostly clean and dry. Don't worry about poops - they're not dirty or smelly, they're like little hard black seeds and sometimes they eat them or hoard them (which is normal - they have two stomachs and can redigest vitamins etc from the poops). So unless the poops really start taking over then no need to spot clean them much at all.

Basically if you have enough substrate in (at least 3 to 4 inches but a bit more is good) and she uses a litter tray, the cage will stay clean and dry. It's also best not to remove the nest or hoard - they are very precious about those. Dry hoard can be left for quite a long time, but if they get pee'd on then you would need to remove at least part of the nest or hoard. But always replace any hoard with new food in exactly the same place (and leave some of the old hoard behind) and put new nesting material out somewhere in a pile so to she can forage for it and take it to rebuild her nest.

Before adding extra chews or toys, best to check on here as some aren't safe/good. Then you won't upheave her twice if somethig needs taking out again Best thing you can add is plenty of substrate, a potty and the new wheel - and scatter/hide some treats for her to find (eg a nut or some pumpkin seeds).
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Old 08-10-2018, 01:59 AM   #5
PumpkinSpice92
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Default Re: Cage Cleaning/Change-up Help

Hi Serendipity - I will wait a few more days to change it up then as it will require removing one of the platforms (probably the pink, she quite likes the green one!).
She does have a litter tray - she didn't seem to like the one that came with the HH, so I've put in the dog bowl she had in her previous cage which she did use. Hopefully she'll start using that as she's peeing in her penthouse atm which I'm having to clean up regularly (I remove the soiled bedding/treats but make sure she still has quite a bit of old bedding and any treats which haven't been soiled) then put a bit more bedding in (she uses shredded paper fyi).
She potentially needs a little bit more substrate then, I'd say she only has about 2 inch. I've got a list of safe foods printed from the wiki on this site, she loves pumpkin seeds and monkey nuts which I scatter feed to keep her occupied XD
Any opinions on the bridge?

Thanks for the reply
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Old 08-10-2018, 02:08 AM   #6
cypher
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Default Re: Cage Cleaning/Change-up Help

Sorry to say that suspension bridge isn't safe at all, it's basically an accident waiting to happen, if you've bought it already then maybe you could return it?
Is she sleeping in the penthouse? If she is sleeping & peeing in there then I would just remover it completely, if she doesn't have a good sized house you could just use a cardboard box with no on top of the substrate (completely fill the base of the cage if you can) if she begins to sleep in the cage itself rather than up in the penthouse she may be more inclined to begin using the litter tray.
She will be a bit upset losing the penthouse but it will be a lot healthier for her not to be sleeping & peeing in there & she should settle again soon enough.
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Old 08-10-2018, 02:10 AM   #7
mangoandmimi
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Default Re: Cage Cleaning/Change-up Help

I don’t think that bridge is the safest thing. I had a similar one years ago for my second Syrian and she nearly got her paw trapped.
The trixie long bendy bridges (they do a 55cm one) are much better and will attach to the sides of the cage
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Old 08-10-2018, 02:16 AM   #8
PumpkinSpice92
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Default Re: Cage Cleaning/Change-up Help

Cypher: yes she's sleeping in the penthouse - I bought her a house with no bottom to sleep in but she never used it, if she sleeps in the actual cage she buries herself behind a bendy log bridge - is this okay for her or should I buy a house/try her with the one I already have? I'm curious though as to why sleeping/weeing in the penthouse is a bad thing?
Cypher and Mangoandmimi: oh no! I'd read reviews before ordering and they were all positive! I've ordered her one of those long bendy bridges too so perhaps that will have to suffice!
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Old 08-10-2018, 02:51 AM   #9
cypher
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Default Re: Cage Cleaning/Change-up Help

The problem with the penthouse is mostly because it's a small enclosed plastic space which means it will get damp in there, the pee will cause a problem in such a space & means you have to clean far too frequently which is stressful for them, you can also get mould which is really bad for them.
If she wants to sleep behind a bendy bridge or just burrow down into the substrate that's fine, some will do that anyway as they prefer it or it could be that the house isn't really suitable, which one do you have?
The long bendy bridge should be fine for her, they aren't natural climbers so floor toys are better than climbing toys generally anyway, the bendy bridges can be useful for providing access to things though.
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Old 08-10-2018, 02:55 AM   #10
PumpkinSpice92
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Default Re: Cage Cleaning/Change-up Help

Cypher - Thanks for the info. She's got the small carrot cottage by woodlands (linked below in case you didn't know which one I mean)
http://www.petsathome.com/shop/en/pe...carrot-cottage
She really enjoyed standing on the top of it and nibbling the carrot bits but never really went in it!
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