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Old 03-26-2021, 04:38 PM   #1
_buzzandkt
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Join Date: Feb 2021
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Question cleaning cage question

Hello!

I am still quite new to being a hamster owner and just wanted to make sure my cleaning schedule is okay because lots of places say different things.

I spot clean every day/every other day.

Then I replace between 3/4 (or a little less depending on how clean it is) of old bedding every 2 weeks. So about 1/4 or a tiny bit over of the old bedding remains to keep Buzz familiar with scent etc.

And then every month and a half (so after 3 of the changes mentioned above) I do a full change of bedding and clean with white vinegar solution. (should I be using cleaning agents like the vinegar more often than this?)

Thank you in advance!!!
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Old 03-27-2021, 05:07 AM   #2
LunaTheHamster1
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Default Re: cleaning cage question

Hi,

I think it depends on how smelly/dirty your hamster is.
I only have to clean my wheels down and spot clean my syrians sleeping area once a week or more. The less you can do it the less stressful it is for them.

If you have a cage that is 80x50 cm or more then I find i don't need to do a big clean out for a month and a half - 2 months or longer. Even when I do a big clean out I only take off the surface dirty stuff and their sleeping area. the rest pretty much stays clean. So I would say I replace about 1/3 of bedding and keep 2/3rds

I only use vinegar/water cleaning solution on the wheel, not really needed it in the rest of the cage. If you have enough bedding then the cage should stay clean. It's only if they burrow down to the bottom of the cage that you may find you need to clean that area if their is pee stain etc.
I try to avoid cleaning as you are getting rid of their scent and it can be more stressful for them.

This is only what I do, I am sure many other are different, but for me it's all about less stress on my hamsters. I just found that the longer I have had hamsters the less cleaning I do, this is because of all the research I have read up on re cage cleaning and stress.

Also, when I first got Twinkle my current syrian he was a bit of a scaredy cat so I left him alone for 6 weeks (no spot cleaning whatsoever) and all he did was move the dirty bedding around so he had a clean area, so that was an eye opener for me and made me think that the least cleaning you can do the better for them. Obviously don't leave them living in a big pile of dirty/damp bedding, use your best judgement, but I hope you get what I mean.
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Old 03-27-2021, 08:46 AM   #3
Ria P
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Location: Wiltshire, UK
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Default Re: cleaning cage question

How often to clean depends on the individual hamster's habits, the size of the cage and depth of substrate.

I'm guided by my nose. If something starts to smell bad then i'll clean it. If not then i'll leave it alone.

We have two Syrian boys, both living in Alaskas and sleeping in their Ferplast guinea pig houses.
One is a lazy and messy hamster and the other is extremely houseproud. They are both lovely.

One pees and poops in his en suite toilet because he never leaves his house during the day so i have to exchange his smelly toilet for a clean one twice a week.

The other only pees in his toilet which is outside of his house and never pees inside his house. He even tidies up and chucks his poops out of his front door for me to clean up.

The dwarfs pee on their wheels so i clean them with damp toilet paper when needed. If they are really stinky i wash them with mild washing up liquid and rinse well. I only use plastic wheels for that reason.

I'd say that you don't need a cleaning schedule at all otherwise you may end up cleaning something that didn't need cleaning.
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