Hamsters are small and delicate, so it’s essential to know how to clean them gently without harming or injuring them. For the most part, hamsters are good at self-grooming, much like cats. However, you may need to take action from time to time.
Here are some of the best ways to clean a hamster:
- Brush your hamster with a soft toothbrush.
- Use a wet wipe or cloth.
- Give your hamster a sand bath.
- Give your hamster a lukewarm bath.
- Keep the cage clean.
How To Clean a Hamster
This article will give a more detailed explanation of how to clean a hamster, so if you want to learn more, you’ve come to the right place! Keep reading to find out more.
1. Brush Your Hamster With a Soft Toothbrush
How you clean your hamster will depend on many things, including fur length, how dirty your hamster is, and other methods you’ve already tried. For short-haired hamsters, usually, you need to wipe their fur.
For long-haired hamsters, on the other hand, you may need to brush through their fur as it can get tangled and dirty.
Below are the most important things to note when brushing your hamster or when using scissors:
- Use a new, unused toothbrush with soft bristles when brushing your hamster.
- Be as gentle as possible; hamsters are tiny and fragile, so they can get scared and hurt easily. Their skin is also sensitive, so make sure you use soft strokes. Brushing thoroughly but gently will ensure you get rid of unwanted dirt.
- Use scissors if you notice a patch of fur that has something stuck in it and seems challenging to remove. Some gum may have gotten stuck to its fur, or some other sticky substance might be caught on it. In these cases, you need to be gentle when using scissors.
- Be careful not to get too close to the skin when using scissors. It’ll be easier to use scissors if your hamster’s fur is longer rather than shorter.
- Consider using animal scissors. They’re the best and safest option.
Also read, How To Tell if a Hamster Is Pregnant
2. Use a Wet Wipe or Cloth
In most cases, using a wet wipe or cloth is enough for cleaning your hamster. You can choose to use animal wipes or a cloth with lukewarm water and mild soap. Usually, water is enough, and soap isn’t needed unless your hamster is particularly dirty.
It’s essential that you use water that’s not too hot and not too cold. If it’s too hot, you may damage your hamster’s skin. If the cloth is too cold and wet, your hamster might catch a cold or even worse.
Since hamsters are self-cleaning, you only need to wipe them if they’re physically dirty and can’t clean the dirt off themselves. Always be gentle when wiping your hamster because it can get scared or injured easily.
Additionally, always ensure that you clean your hamster in a warm room; doing so ensures that it won’t get sick and allows it to dry quickly. If you wipe your hamster and then instantly put it back in its cage, it’s much more likely to catch a cold.
Before putting your hamster back into its cage, make sure it’s clean. You don’t want all that effort to go to waste by your hamster rolling around in a dirty cage!
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3. Give Your Hamster a Sand Bath
A sand bath is a simple and effective way to remove dirt and oils from your hamster’s fur. You can find sand for animals at most pet stores in the USA (Houston, Los Angeles, New York, etc.), and it’s essential to make sure you’re buying the correct type. Don’t gather sand from the beach as this isn’t suitable and may irritate your hamster.
Here are the steps on how to give your hamster a sand bath:
- Choose a container. Once you have the sand, you’ll need a small container for your hamster to bathe in. Any bowl or plastic container that you have in your home will work.
- Pour the sand into the container and place your hamster in it: Naturally, your hamster will roll around in the sand and clean itself. The sand will work by removing any excess dirt that’s dried out, and it’ll also remove any unwanted oil and grease.
- Decide where to keep the container. You can choose to leave the container with sand in your hamster’s cage if you want. That way, your hamster can stay clean throughout the week.
- Replace the sand daily. If you decide to leave the sand bath in the cage, make sure you clean it out daily and replace the sand. There’ll often be leftover feces and dirt in the container, so you must replace the sand frequently.
The Tiny Friends Farm bathing sand is an example of bath sand for a hamster. It contains 52.8 oz (1.5 kg) of sand, and you simply pour it into a container and allow your hamster to roll around and play in it. It’s 100% natural sand and free from dust, so it’s a healthy and safe option for your hamster.
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4. Give Your Hamster a Lukewarm Bath
In most cases, bathing a hamster isn’t necessary. You should only consider bathing your hamster if it has come into contact with a harmful chemical, such as bleach or poison.
It’s imperative to understand how to bathe your hamster safely to avoid the risk of illness. To learn more about safely bathing your hamster, here are the steps:
- Decipher if a water bath is necessary. If your hamster has fallen into harmful chemicals, it may require a bath. However, if you want to clean your hamster and it hasn’t been in contact with any chemicals, you should wipe it instead of bathing it.
- Choose a warm room. It’s important to bathe your hamster in a warm space to help it dry quicker and prevent illness.
- Fill a container with lukewarm water. Ensuring the water is at the correct temperature is essential. You don’t want to burn your hamster, but you also don’t want it to be too cold. Soap isn’t usually necessary; water should be enough.
- Gently place the hamster in the container. Once the hamster is in the bath, you can clean it gently with a cloth. It’s best to be as quick as possible to avoid illness.
- Remove from the bath and dry. You can dry your hamster with a small towel. Be sure to keep it as warm as possible, and only put it back in the cage when it’s fully dry.
Hamsters aren’t great swimmers and can easily drown. It’s essential to always keep your hamster’s head safely above the water.
If you have any concerns about bathing your hamster, you should contact a vet.
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5. Keep the Cage Clean
Maintaining your hamster’s cleanliness is essential if you want to keep the cage clean. A clean cage lessens the chance of illness in hamsters, and ideally, you should clean out dirt and food once a day.
Additionally, it would be best to deep clean the cage once every one to two weeks. Follow the following steps to do a deep clean:
- Remove everything from the cage, including your hamster.
- Dispose of any excrement, old food, and other bits of dirt.
- Wipe down the cage and let it dry.
- Make sure all equipment is clean and safe for your hamster.
- Place your hamster back in the cage.
It’s also important that your hamster’s cage has adequate ventilation and is stored in a warm room. A cage with a plastic bottom should allow sufficient ventilation.
Hamsters are self-cleaning, so hand-cleaning them isn’t usually necessary. However, sometimes they get too dirty and need some extra help. The most important things to remember are:
- Be gentle. Hamsters are delicate and get scared easily, so always be careful when cleaning them.
- Use warm water. If using a damp cloth, make sure the water is lukewarm.
- Keep the cage clean. To ensure that your hamster remains clean, you’ll need to maintain its cage consistently.
Related Hamster articles:
- How To Travel With a Hamster
- Why Is My Hamster Biting the Cage
- How To Tame a Hamster
- Why Did My Hamster Die?
- How To Take Care of a Hamster
- How Long Does a Hamster Live
My name is Everly. I am a Milwaukee-based mom of 2 and have been a proud owner of many hamsters throughout my life. Like many of us, my introduction to hamsters happened when I was very young. My family saw several hamsters come and go through the years, and I enjoyed playing with them, but I never fully appreciated them until I grew up and my own children decided to jump on the hamster bandwagon. At that point, I was determined to learn all I could about caring for these adorable pets. Read more