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Old 02-25-2017, 12:29 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2017
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Default How often...

How often should I be cleaning out the cage etc?
I can easily spot clean as both my hammies only use the toilet aka their house in one spot.
I was recommended weekly, but it seems like too much annoyance to the hammies, so is this wrong advice or should I continue this?

Last edited by alipali1; 02-25-2017 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 02-25-2017, 12:53 PM   #2
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Location: Wales UK
Posts: 24,802
Default Re: How often...

You can spot clean daily if your ham doesn't use a litter tray or pee in the sand, just clear any damp areas.
Do partial cage cleans, with your size cage half at a time would be plenty, even a third, once every few weeks would be adequate.
If you clean the nest area always put some of the old nest back & never remove all of the hoard, if it looks old or has some fresh foods in there then just replace it with some fresh dry mix.
Don't use sprays for cleaning unless one of your hams is ill, really all you need is water & a paper towel, if you do need more than that always use an unscented pet safe disinfectant & rinse well afterwards.
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Old 02-25-2017, 02:23 PM   #3
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Default Re: How often...

Spot cleaning should be done daily or possibly every other day. Full clean outs should be based upon how large your cage is. A very large cage 1,000sq in+ may only need to be cleaned every few months while anything under that should be cleaned on about a monthly basis or so. As cypher says, never remove all the bedding at once. Instead, remove 1/4 to 1/2 at most per every one "full cleanout". Make sure not to rinse off toys and keep the set up essentially the same if you can
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Old 02-25-2017, 06:44 PM   #4
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Default Re: How often...

Actually a 1,000sq in+ cage could go upwards of a year without full cleanings Even then if you're gradually removing soiled substrate and replacing it with fresh substrate,a full clean shouldn't ever be needed.That being said,if you have shallow substrate in such a cage size it won't last anywhere near as long and will need replacing more often.

Substrate depth and cage size are the two factors with cage cleaning,but no matter what weekly cleanings are just too much.The push for oversterilization is not good for hamsters,as it not only stresses them out in a way that can cause behavior problems but also weakens their immune system through a combination of constant removal of the good bacteria from their environment as well as constant stress.

As for actual cleaning sprays,the strongest a healthy hamster needs is a plain vinegar and water solution.You want to avoid chemicals,dyes,fragrance,and other things that aren't good that are very common in "pet safe" disinfectants.If you can find a completely natural hamster-friendly disinfectant(extremely difficult,especially since most will use citrus in some form which is not good for hamsters in general although citric acid in small amounts as a preservative can be fine,but that's a whole separate issue)it might work for the deep cleans,but those are only necessary when a hamster contracts a serious illness.Other than that,disinfectants do more harm than good.
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continue, hammies, recommended, spot, weekly

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