To you, it is just a cage; but to your hamster, it is home. Hamsters are pretty clean little creatures and they groom themselves several times a day. Everybody is familiar with the image of a hamster wiping its face with its paws. Basically, hamsters like to be clean and as the owner, its your responsibility to keep their cage clean. By regularly maintaining your hamster’s cage you are ensuring their mental and physical health. Many hamster illnesses, in fact, are caused by contaminants in a dirty hamster cage.
Unfortunately, hamster owners should prepare to clean their hamster’s cage every day. You need to remove wet litter, caused by urination, on a daily basis. Remove soiled litter and replace it with fresh litter either every morning or every evening, whatever fits your schedule best. This shouldn’t take more than a few minutes so it isn’t really much of a burden.
On the other hand, you should clean the entire cage and its contents at least once a week. First, you’ll need to give your hamster some place to play while you are cleaning the cage. A hamster ball is a great distraction but many pet owners will plug the bathtub and let their hamster run around. When cleaning the cage, remove all soiled bedding and stale food. Wipe the cage with warm, soapy water and rinse it thoroughly. It’s always best to use a mild, unscented soap as hamsters are highly sensitive to the smell.
When you’re finished cleaning, you just need to put the bedding back in the cage and reassemble the various parts of the cage including food bowl and water dispenser. Just 20 or so minutes a week is enough to keep a safe, clean, and healthy environment for your hamster.