Changing Hamster Litter?

I just got 2 hamsters a few days ago. I was wondering how do I change their litter? (pine bedding) Where do I put them when I am changing it? How often should I change it?

16 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    change it like once a week or so. Just put them in a lil box or a laundry basket while u change it. all u do is take everything out of the cage and dump the litter in the garbage. wipe it out with a rag and then put new litter in. that's it!

  • 1 decade ago


    1. Take your hamster out of its cage and put it somewhere such as a hamster ball, a box or an enclosed space where it can run around.

    2. Take the top off the cage and remove the water bottle and the food bowl. Empty the bottle, and rinse it out. Use a thin brush to clean the inside and then fill it back up with fresh, cold water. Empty the food bowl into the bin and clean it out, then put in some fresh food.

    3. If the cage has any tubes or ladders etc, take them out and clean them with warm water and a cleaner that will be safe for your hamster.

    4. Your hamster usually has a corner which it goes potty in, this should be cleaned out daily. Wash the cage thoroughly.

    5. Line the bottom of the cage with aspen bedding or carefresh bedding.Make sure that you do NOT use sawdust,pine bedding,or cotton,for these can cause respitary problems and can get lodged in a hamster's throat.

    6. Replace the food bowl, water bottle and re-attach all the tubes and compartments if your cage has them. Replace any toys or chews.

    7. Put your hamster back in his clean cage and let him remake his bed!

    8. NEVER use dish soap as the hamster(if not rinsed good enough)could lick the spot where the soap is and,well.......die.

    [edit] Tips

    * It helps if you have a big cage with lots of space for your hamster to move around, as it will make your pet happier!

    * You should change the hamsters water every day.

    * Using vinegar also works. Please make sure you rinse well before putting your hamster back into the cage.

    * Some people use a disinfecting wipe and then rinse.

    * Habitrail, CritterTrail, and SAM cages are all dishwasher safe! Take the cage apart as far as you possibly can, place in dish washer and run the washer (you can use regular dishwasher detergent). This cleans the cage far better then any other method. If you do not have one of these types of cages, just do it the old-fashioned way.

    * Never use any citrus-scented disinfectants seeing as it can damage your hamster.

    * Sawdust is not recomended because it can get in the hamster's eyes and cause respiratory problems.You cold use shreded news paper-wood can get stuck in thier throat and kill them.

    * Having a hamster ball (around £3.99) is great! Because if you know how to clean a cage, it can run around in your kitchen, cleaning shouldn't take long, it depends how big your cage is.

    NOTE: After cleaning using a ball, ALWAYS offer the hamster food or water, it may be very tired.

  • 1 decade ago

    How you change the litter depends on the type of cage their in. But the basic idea is to dump the dirty shavings into a garbage bag, give the bottom a little scrub down (you'll be able to see where they've been peeing), and put new bedding in. You should theoretically change it every week, but nothing terrible will happen if you're a few days late. You will however, start smelling it if it goes for too long without being cleaned. You can put your hamster in anything he can't get out of. A card board box works for a short time, but they can chew through them if you leave them in there for too long. You could also get a hamster ball for each of them and let them run around - watch out for stairs though!

  • E M K
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Hamsters should not be housed on pine or cedar bedding. Aspen may be ok, but it's better to use one of the litters made from paper or corncob bedding. To prolong the bedding freshness, try using a hamster litter box with hamster litter. (It's called Potty Litter and made by Super Pet.) I have one hamster who only uses her litter box to potty in, and one who doesn't use it at all. It depends on the hamster, but it's very nice for them and you if they do.

    Also, I hope your hamsters are dwarfs. Syrian hamsters, (that's a very broad term that covers all except dwarf hamsters) are solitary animals. They will fight to the death, (even different sexes) and so cannot be caged together.

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  • 1 decade ago

    You should change it at least once a week. More often if it begins to smell. When I had hamsters/mice/rats/gerbils I would put them in a ball to run around while I cleaned their cage. If you have a spare cage, that will work well too. My mother, who kept her gerbil in the bathroom (I have no clue why) would let it run around on the bathroom counter while she cleaned it's cage. Some people keep an old shoe box or two handy to keep the little guys contained in. What you do really depends on what is easiest and most comfortable for you.

  • 1 decade ago

    i'm fairly sure pine shavings aren't good for hamsters so i would change it asap. i personally just use shredded paper for the bottom of my hamsters cage - just shredded up old letters and stuff from round the house - CHEAP! in his bed i use the shredded strips of paper that is a bit like toilet paper - i buy it in my local pet store for about £0.80 and a bag lasts a few weeks (the stuff i use is called Safebed paper wool). i also provide my hamster with a sandpit for digging in and playing in (litter tray filled with sand) and a toilet (jar secured to the side of the cage or a rotostak type pod 1/4 filled with sand) my hamster is very clean so i only need change his bedding and floor covering once a week / once a fortnight - i change his toilet every day.

    to clean the cage you need to put the hamster somewhere safe - i built mine a run - its 4ft x 3ft with a secure lid. its a smiple wooden frame with secure mesh stapled over it (mesh squares no more than 1/2 centimeter square) so my hammie goes in this when its cage cleaning time - you could perhaps put yours in a carry case or buy a smaller cage or rotostak module for when you clean yours out if you cannot make a run. then empty all the old bedding into the bin or bin bag (easier) and disinfect any shelves and the cage floor (use an animal friendly disinfectant - most pet shops sell these) then simply clean out the house, wipe the cage base and shelves and surfaces over with a cloth to dry and then replace with fresh litter.

    it will depend on how clean your hammie is to how often you clean him out. like i said, mine only needs doing once a fortnight really as he wees and poos in his toilet. i change the bed more often as he piles food in there so i change that once every couple of days.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I hope these are dwarf hamsters of the same sex. If they are Syrians, they are going to fight until one is dead. Syrians have to be kept in separate cages. If they are dwarfs, they are social and can live together, but you should keep sexes separate to avoid a population explosion. You can put them in a box or in the bathtub while you clean the cage. Dump the litter, spray the cage with clorox clean up, rinse it thoroughly, dry it, then refill it with litter. Once a week is often enough for my hamsters, but I only have one per cage. Having two in a cage might cause you to have to clean more often.

  • 1 decade ago

    If you have 2 hamsters in one cage you will have to clean more frequently - you will usually be able to tell by your nose but 5 - 7 days in average. If they pee in a single area you can just change that area every other day or so and they will help keep it clean.

    After you dump the shavings, use dish detergent on everything, rinse well. Re-fill with shavings.

    You can put them in a bath tub or a highwall sink if you can cover the drain well. you also can put them in a box - just be sure you have them near you so you can keep an eye on them. you can get a plastic tub, like a storage bin or something similar. You can get balls for them to run in - if it's going to take you longer than say 20minutes to clean don't use a ball - balls should only be used for short stints and be sure they are in the same room so you can keep an eye on them.

  • 1 decade ago

    well, first of all u should change it about once a week, and second of all when ur doing that u should put them the little ball that rolls around, if u dont have the ball there are only like 3-5 dollars at almost any pet store. um.....if u cant find a ball just make like a circle with like cardboard or sumthing and let them run in that ok?

  • Every week or when it starts making a smell. Find a box and put them in it but make sure they cant escape. I used to have a hamster and used to change it like this:

    Cover the litters base with newspaper and then do (erm how can i say it) mashed wood LOL, in other words wood in dust size (a bit bigger) pieces, u can get it from someone that works in wood.

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