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Old 12-02-2021, 04:44 PM  
Hamsters University
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: North of England
Posts: 22,917
Default Re: Burrow full of poop, what can I do?

I find that if you have a bigger house, big enough to fit a corner litter tray in, then the hamster uses the litter tray to pee in. They do seem to like having an ensuite toilet and a toilet in the house is better than peeing in the nest.

However young hamsters do pee in the nest at first - they usually grow out of that quickly when they realise it means their nest has to be removed! I've only had one Syrian who was never fully toilet trained (he still occasionally pee'd in different places, including the nest - as well as the litter tray). All our others used a litter tray religiously.

It isn't just the sand in it, it's the shape of it and the location of it I find. So they may not use a sand bath as a toilet. But they do use a toilet as a sand bath! So I don't bother with a sand bath for a Syrian, I use a corner toilet with sand in. They tend to pee in the back corner and sit in the front part for a wash (and they do seem to like that "ensuite"). As soon as ours get out of bed, they go straight to the toilet and then emerge from the house looking for food.

If you have a small house, they usually choose a corner of the cage to pee in (in which case you'd put the corner litter tray there - they not only fit in a corner but have a high back to prevent splashing). If you have a house large enough to fit a litter tray they almost always move their pee corner inside the house (whether there's a litter tray there or not).

But if you have a medium sized house, they don't quite get the habit. It's big enough that they don't feel like emerging to cross the cage for a toilet. But not big enough to have a pee corner away from the nest - so it all gets mixed up.

The house size you have is a good size - but not big enough to fit a litter tray inside. Whether you can go for a bigger house might depend on the size of your cage.

So if he's peeing in his nest at the moment then you will need to keep removing it (but always leave a little bit of it behind - so it still smells familiar. There's usually a dry bit even if a bit whiffy).

As for the poops I wouldn't worry too much although it does sound unusual for him to get them stuck to him. My thought there was - is there enough substrate under the nest to bury poops? They often do bury them under the nest along with their hoard.
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