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Old 03-24-2019, 12:37 PM   #1
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Cornwall UK
Posts: 39
Default Substrate query

Hi all,
I have read that soft wood shavings ect aren't safe for hamsters?
What is the best type of bedding? I have been looking at Aspen and megazorb? Thought I'd get opinions before ordering.
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Old 03-24-2019, 12:47 PM   #2
Hamsters University
Serendipity7000's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: North of England
Posts: 20,609
Default Re: Substrate query

All pine shavings in the Uk have to be kiln dried by law. The problem with pine and cedar shavings is the phenols (the piney smell) which are harmful to hamsters respiratory tracts and more. Kiln drying removes most but not all of the phenols. Any pine shavings bought need to say kiln dried and dust-extracted on the bag and can still be a bit dusty. Some people think they're fine kiln dried and still use them but there are a lot of alternatives now, which work out as cheap.

I use Fitch (recycled food grade paper) - and prefer it now - main thing is hamsters love it - it's light and fluffy and quite soft and they sometimes use it in their nests as well and can tunnel or make mountains out of it. It's similar to Carefresh, but better in my opinion as it's dust free and a better texture. It costs 22 for a 10kg bag and a 10kg bag lasts me about 6 months with a 100cm cage - mainly spot cleaning for 6 to 8 weeks-ish then a half substrate change.

I haven't used Megazorb - some people do - I believe it can be a bit dusty. Only tried Aspen once and wasn't keen - also dusty and a bit hard and sharp bits.

Kaytee Clean and Cosy has become quite popular on here recently too, since it became more easily available in the Uk, but I think the white one is best - I got one of the coloured ones and could smell the ink/colouring (although it may wear off with airing).
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