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Old 08-14-2019, 11:05 PM   #1
Griel
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Default Cleaning

I can't spot clean because my hamster isn't toilet-trained.

How long do you go between cleanings? Would it be safe to only change the substrate if it starts to smell, or should I change it out every half a month?
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Old 08-16-2019, 01:48 PM   #2
Hammygal
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Default Re: Cleaning

Quote:
Originally Posted by Griel View Post
I can't spot clean because my hamster isn't toilet-trained.

How long do you go between cleanings? Would it be safe to only change the substrate if it starts to smell, or should I change it out every half a month?
If you can tell where it pees, you can scoop out that area,then cover it with more bedding.
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Old 08-16-2019, 07:24 PM   #3
emma_teddy
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Default Re: Cleaning

it’s never a good idea to fully remove all of your hamsters bedding. at the most i’d say remove half and that’s only once a month/every other month depending on how large your cage is (should be 450 sq in or more).

hamsters usually pee in one place. if you can tell where this is (easier to spot with a white bedding) just scoop out that area every few days and replace it.
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Old 08-17-2019, 12:19 PM   #4
Cotton
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Default Re: Cleaning

It varies from hamster to hamster, the size of his/her habitat and the type(s) of substrate you are using.

My Roborovski doesn't have a specific toileting area that I can see so I change his bedding/substrate once a week.

The Syrian I adopted in July has a clearly defined toileting area so I clean that daily and the rest of it approx. every two weeks.
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Old 08-18-2019, 10:28 AM   #5
Ria P
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Talking Re: Cleaning

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotton View Post
My Roborovski doesn't have a specific toileting area that I can see so I change his bedding/substrate once a week.

The Syrian I adopted in July has a clearly defined toileting area so I clean that daily and the rest of it approx. every two weeks.
Really??! That seems an awful lot of cleaning for a hamster (Robo) that is so tiny that the pee probably evaporates. Do you change all his substrate weekly? How does your Robo react to having his tunnels destroyed, hoards and nests removed on a weekly basis?

Fortnightly cleans for a Syrian who uses a toilet thats cleaned daily seems way excessive too.

My intention is not to criticise and I do apologise if it comes across that way but I clean my Syrian's cage when the cage and he gets a bit miffy, about once a month or a bit longer.

My Robo I only got a couple of days ago so have no idea when I'll clean his tank next but he's so tiny that I didn't even bother with a toilet. Again, I'll wait till the cage gets a bit miffy and let my nose be my guide.

Weekly cleans are a thing of the past when hamsters used to live in tiny cages I would have thought. Hamster care is much more hamster centred nowadays one should hope.
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Old 08-18-2019, 02:50 PM   #6
AmityvilleHams
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Default Re: Cleaning

Weekly cleans and even twice weekly cleans are indeed a thing of the past Ria P! We've come very far in the hamster community to have learned that we actually only need spot cleaning if anything during most times, and that the deeper the substrate the longer they'll go for cleaning.

In fact, we've come far enough with some German help to figure out that a square meter cage for a Syrian with 12+ inches of substrate may never even need cleaning in the entire life span of a hamster, because full cleanings are just not needed. We instead focus on slowly removing very small portions of substrate, and over time this does mean the initial substrate is replaced without stressing the hamster out by doing too much at once.

When you're gradually replacing substrate regardless of cage size or species(so long as the substrate is deep enough such as 6+ inches for dwarf species and 12+ for Syrians), it does mean you shouldn't ever need full cleanings except in the most extreme of circumstances(such as certain illness and bug infestations that would require such thorough cleaning).
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Old 08-18-2019, 07:20 PM   #7
Cotton
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Default Re: Cleaning

Amityville, there is a lot of useful information in your post. Thank you. I appreciate it. However, there is a "only one way is the right way" thinking that is evident here in posts sometimes.

Both hamsters have been examined by a veterinarian and they are very healthy with space and substrate that exceed the recommended requirements. The Roborovski's home reeks after a week. Not the Syrian's. The veterinarian said some hamsters just have a stronger odor than others. Hopefully, Ria and Griel won't have that with their hamsters.

Last edited by Cotton; 08-18-2019 at 07:26 PM.
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Old 08-18-2019, 07:28 PM   #8
Cotton
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Default Re: Cleaning

I agree with you, Ria! Let your nose be your guide and only do it when you have to.
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Old 08-18-2019, 07:32 PM   #9
Griel
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Default Re: Cleaning

Thanks everyone, this is very helpful. Looks like it varies.

I only clean out a hide or a toy every few days (she has many hides), when I see that's got lots of poop inside. I don't do any spot cleaning and she doesn't have a specific toilet corner, she just goes wherever she wants to.

My Robo hamster's cage doesn't smell at all even after a month, but I do change half of the substrate out then, because I get concerned it is unhygienic. I remove the substrate and wipe down that half of the cage with damp tissues as best I can.

She does get mildly stressed during the cleaning as I leave her in the cage while I do the cleaning, but she'll usually hide in the other half that's not cleaned and peek out anxiously. She goes back to relaxing immediately after I'm done with it all and close the cage.

I raised this question because I was worried I was cleaning the substrate out too infrequently despite not spot cleaning any of her pee, if it would be unhealthy for her or something. Or am I doing it too frequently? There isn't any odor even after a month.

And I'd like to know if there is anything else I'm doing wrong.
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Old 08-18-2019, 07:36 PM   #10
Cotton
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Default Re: Cleaning

That's great there's no odor after a month, Griel!
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