Hamsters are very clean animals and don't smell if their homes are cleaned regularly. They often go to the toilet in the same place each time, so this makes the job easier. Before you begin cleaning, put your hamster in a holding cage, such as a Habitrail® OVO Den or Transport Unit. Because hamsters are territorial your hamster won't appreciate you moving his home around and so will get in your way or even nip at first if you don't take him out. He may also get scared from all of the commotion.
Daily cleaning tasks
Every day you should:
• Remove wet bedding and clean the toilet area
• Add fresh bedding
• Remove uneaten food, seed husks and left-over fruit and vegetables
• Wash the food bowl in hot, soapy water and then rinse and dry it thoroughly before refilling with food
• Empty, rinse and refill the water bottle, checking it for leaks and blockages
A thorough clean
Your hamster's home will need to be cleaned thoroughly on a regular basis. If you keep up your daily cleaning tasks, it will be fine to do a full clean every 14 days. You can usually leave the bedding and food hoard inside nests undisturbed for around four weeks, so only clean these out every other time, unless fresh fruit or vegetables are present, which should be thrown out.
Each time you fully clean his home, as well as doing daily cleaning tasks you should:
• Throw out most of the bedding
• Scrub the base and tubes with a pet-safe (not household) disinfectant and then rinse thoroughly.
So that your hamster feels comfortable when he returns to his home:
• Save some of the unsoiled old bedding and put this with the fresh bedding so that it will still smell like his home.