How Often Should You Clean A Hamster’s Cage?

Hamsters are clean small animals that are good first pets. They are fun and with interesting personalities making them easily lovable.

Another characteristic that makes them a favorite is being easy to care for. Hamsters can clean themselves up leaving only the cage to you.

If you would like to know more about hamster cage cleaning, read on.

How often should you clean a hamster’s cage?

A hamster’s cage should be cleaned once per week or once every two weeks if it is big. Spot cleaning, however, should be done daily. Cleaning a hamster’s cage prevents odors and keeps them from falling sick. After cleaning, you should still keep the cage looking like it normally does to avoid confusing and stressing your pet.

How to know when to clean a hamster’s cage?

Cleaning your hamster’s cage should be done regularly. However, it’s good to know how often the cleaning should be done to maintain your pet’s cleanliness.

The following factors should determine this:

How many hamsters you have

If you keep five hamsters, you cannot clean their cage in the same frequency as someone who has only one. This is because more hamsters mean more waste.

The number of pets you are keeping will largely determine how often you clean their cage. If you keep one pet you can clean the cage only once a week but if you keep more you may need to clean it more than that as it will be messier.

Size of the cage

The size of a cage will determine how often you should wash it too. If it’s big, then you can clean it once every two weeks or even once per month.

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Bigger cages do not get messy fast because the dirt gets spread out over the cage. This prevents it from getting concentrated in one spot reducing odors.

A small cage however will be vice versa. Dirt piles up in one place making the cage stink more.

A small cage will require frequent cleaning because your pet should not live in untidy spaces.

Condition of your pet

Older hamsters will have a hard time grooming themselves compared to younger ones who are more energetic. The older your hamster gets, the harder it will become for them to maintain cleanliness needing more cleaning on your part.

A sick pet suffering from a condition like diarrhea will get their cage dirtier compared to a healthy pet. This will require you to clean up the cage more often.

How to clean a hamster’s cage

There are two ways of cleaning your pet’s cage. It can be done through either spot cleaning or full cleaning.

Spot Cleaning

Spot cleaning is the cleaning of only the soiled part of a cage. For instance, hamsters usually use one area for their bathroom needs which makes it easy to only spot clean the bathroom area without cleaning the entire cage.

Spot cleaning should be done daily. You can spot clean by removing the soiled part of bedding, uneaten foods, and picking up any droppings in the cage.

This is very essential and it makes it easier to clean the cage during full cleaning.

Full cleaning

Full cleaning doesn’t need to be done daily as it’s the cleaning of everything in the cage including the cage itself. It can be done either once a week or once every two weeks depending on the size of the cage.

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Steps involved in full cage cleaning

First, you should take out your hamster. You can put them in an exercise ball or on a playpen.

Do not take them out and leave them to roam unsupervised as they can easily get lost due to their adventurous nature and tiny bodies. If they will be in an exercise ball, remember not to keep them in there for more than half an hour.

Then, take out everything else from the cage. The water bottle, food bowl, toys, and beddings all need to be cleaned and changed.

Use warm soapy water for cleaning. If there is any stuck matter, scrub it off because you should not return it with matter sticking on it.

Use gentle soaps without scents to avoid harming your pet with strong smells. You can use dish soap or vinegar mixed in equal parts with water.

These are both antibacterial and safe for your pet. They will help get rid of germs and bacteria that can make your pet sick. Rinse everything with pure water afterward.

Scrub the cage to get rid of stains and food buildup. You can put it in the shower under hot water for an extra rinse.

After cleaning, you can wipe everything dry or take it all out to air and dry up on its own. Make sure that nothing is still moist when putting it back to prevent mold from forming.

All shavings should be replaced weekly and new ones added so this would be a perfect time to do just that. Ensure that you do not use cedar or pine wood shavings as they produce toxic chemicals that are bad for your pet’s health.

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Put things back in the cage exactly as they were and add something that your pet can identify as theirs e.g. their nest. This will keep them from getting stressed out because they could otherwise feel like they are in a new place.

If your pet was sick, always clean and disinfect everything in the cage once they get better.


A hamster’s cage should be spot cleaned daily. Full cleaning should be done once a week or once every two weeks depending on the size of the cage, the number of hamsters you have, and how dirty the cage is.

Cleaning should be done using mild dish soap or equal parts of vinegar and water. Regular cleaning prevents odors and bacteria build-up that can make your pet fall sick.

After all the cleaning, everything should be placed back in the cage in the same order as it was before to avoid confusing and stressing them.

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