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Old 04-27-2019, 03:16 AM   #1
Kyrkogrimr
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Default Cleaning query

So I'm aware that you don't want to be cleaning out the whole cage too often to avoid stress for ham, and that you want to leave the nest alone as much as possible, but Cadmium, charming lady that she is, has decided to use her hide, where she has her nest, as a toilet too So how do I spot clean her toilet area without having to destroy the nest too? For what it's worth, she does have an area of the cage where she likes to sleep buried underneath the substrate, so does that make a difference?

PS. Not sure if this is in the right place, apologies if it's not.
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Old 04-27-2019, 04:29 AM   #2
mangoandmimi
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Default Re: Cleaning query

They sometimes will pee in the nest, sometimes if they're younger and a bit messy or if they don't have an ideal nesting setup. What house does she have, and can you see if she's peeing primarily in a corner of it or something? If you look at good houses (rodipet labyrinth houses are one of the best kinds) you'll see they are divided into sections and hamsters will usually sleep, hoard and pee in different rooms, like they would in wild burrows. So that is one of the easier ways of potty training them. But if you are just using something like a shoebox (no base) then you can place a container in the corner where she is peeing most and hope that she'll use it. Houses much smaller than a shoebox aren't going to be big enough for them to exhibit natural behaviours properly even for a dwarf. For now you're just going to have to do the best you can to only remove soiled bedding without collapsing the nest, don't think there's a particularly easy way about it unfortunately!
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Old 04-27-2019, 05:12 AM   #3
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Cleaning query

Is she a Syrian? If they do pee in the nest then it does need removing, but try and leave a bit of old nest behind that is dry (even if it's a bit whiffy). And put out a big pile of new nesting material somewhere in the cage (but not directly in the house). Torn up strips of plain white toilet paper is best. She will take some and you'll gradually see the pile go down as she regularly refurbishes her nest. She may pouch some.

I find they soon learn not to pee in the nest when you've had to do this! Same with any hoard she has in her nest. If it's pee'd on it needs removing but try and leave a bit of old hoard if there is any dry hoard in there and/or add new food in exactly the same place to replace it. I wouldn't worry about poops too much.

Does she have a litter tray?
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Old 04-27-2019, 06:00 AM   #4
Kyrkogrimr
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Default Re: Cleaning query

Thanks for the replies

At the minute she doesn't have a litter tray, I wanted to see where she was inclined to go rather than just putting it somewhere she didn't want it. Unfortunately, she's decided her nest is where she wants to go >_< I didn't know about houses with sections, so at the minute she has a couple of smaller single room places to hide in. I'll look into something more suitable though I'm guessing it's best to give her a bit longer to settle before I start messing with her cage too much? I've not had her very long.

And she's a dwarf hamster, not a Syrian.
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Old 04-27-2019, 06:14 AM   #5
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Default Re: Cleaning query

I believe dwarf hamsters aren't so easy to train as syrians and can tend to pee anywhere. Does she have a sand bath?

I agree,give her time to settle and get used to her cage and its contents. She will decide where she wants to nest. The multiroom houses do work well for Syrians - I am not sure about dwarf hamsters. Our Robo has one and he likes nesting in it but does tend to pee where he feels like it! But not in his nest (good boy!). And he also has another nest he goes to sometimes. So yes let her find some habits.

Adding a sand bath wouldn't do any harm (if you don't have one) if you can do it wihtout having to move things. They will sometimes use that as a toilet.

I am sure she will stop peeing in her nest when she's settled. You may find when you clean out her nest now, that she abandons that nest and builds a new one - but she may go back to it later.
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Old 04-27-2019, 09:47 AM   #6
Kyrkogrimr
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Default Re: Cleaning query

I haven't put a sandbath in yet because I wasn't sure about which sand was best, as I'd seen some sands aren't great for hamsters, so I wanted to do more research on that - initially I was going to use chinchilla sand, but then I wasn't sure if that was suitable. At this point I just want to give her time to settle before I change up her cage and freak her out again lol But a sandbath was already top of my list for when I clean out her cage properly rather than spot cleaning. Do you have any recommendations for a good sand for her?
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Old 04-27-2019, 12:24 PM   #7
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Default Re: Cleaning query

The one many people use is the Tiny Friends Chinchilla Sand - I'll link it below. Dwarf hammies tend to really like a sand bath. Just a dish with some sand in. Or you can get cute little pot type ones, but any dish will do.

It is true that removing things, moving them round and those kind of changes do stress them, but strangely adding something new is usually accepted very well and they explore it curiously - adds a bit of interest. So adding something new is absolutely fine now - as long as it doesn't mean moving everything else around. Is there a spot you can plonk a sand bath? Maybe moving one little thing to make space would be ok.

This is the sand - I think Pets at Home sell it as well. Also viovet online. It lasts quite a while - you can just scoop out any soiled bits with a little scoop or spoon and not change the whole lot that often.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Supreme-Pet...gateway&sr=8-3
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Old 04-27-2019, 12:36 PM   #8
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Default Re: Cleaning query

Some people get these enclosed type (so the sand doesn't spill everywhere) but they're not cheap and there are other types - or just a pyrex dish! They are quite space saving I guess. You can also get a salt pig that is similar

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kaytee-Cera...ateway&sr=8-47

https://www.amazon.co.uk/WM-Bartleet...kitchen&sr=1-6

I have this one for our robo which is nice. A bit more space to dig and roll in and a half covered roof to stop the sand coming out of the cage! The trouble is the postage adds to the cost.

https://www.rodipet.co.uk/houses/rod...sand-bath.html
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Old 04-27-2019, 12:37 PM   #9
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Default Re: Cleaning query

It would be fine giving her more time to settle as well. Just thinking she may decide to use it as a toilet which might help
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Old 04-27-2019, 10:56 PM   #10
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Default Re: Cleaning query

Thank you for the recommendations, I'll look into that
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