When searching for bedding for your hamster, you should consider the following: his comfort; your ability to clean his habitat; the price of the product; and the product's odor control.
Your hamster will spend most of his life in the cage and burrowed in bedding, so his comfort must be prioritized. Hamsters may also produce unpleasant odors, which may be reduced with the right bedding and regular cleaning.
I have reviewed some popular odor control beddings to help you select the best product for your hamster:
Top 5: Hamster Bedding For Controlling Odor
Product Image & Rating (Out Of 10)
Kaytee Clean and Cozy is generally the most well liked by my hamster, Griffin; it is very cozy for him to burrow into and live in. Now, Kaytee has developed a version of Clean and Cozy with an element pet parents will love; odor control. This bedding also absorbs six times it's weight in liquid, making cage cleaning a simpler task.
This bedding is eligible for Amazon Prime Shipping, and pet parents may select "subscribe and save" to have bedding delivered to their homes when they will need it at a reduced price.
So Phresh Bedding is made of crumbled paper, is 99% dust free, and recommended by veterinarians. The bedding soft and easy for hamsters to arrange into a cozy burrow. Pet parents report that this bedding makes spot cleaning easy and it controls odors well. It is also biodegradable for the green hamster parents who compost waste at home.
Carefresh Bedding is another variety of bedding that pets love to live in. My hamster Griffin makes himself comfortable in this bedding very quickly. It is soft to the touch and easily conforms to his burrowing.
This product is also very absorbent and 99% dust free. What sets Carefresh apart is that the bedding is made from natural sources of wood and cellulose fibers, free of chemicals, to protect the health of your small pet and the future of our planet.
While the Arm & Hammer Cage liners may make clean up easier for pet parents and appear less wasteful than traditional bedding, these cage liners have limitations; the liners are not intended to replace bedding. They are designed to line the bottom of a pet's habitat to catch urine that is not absorbed by their bedding.
The Arm & Hammer cage liners are great for absorbing liquid waste, preventing the residue left from urine on the bottom of a cage. Since they are designed to be placed beneath bedding, it would be very difficult to change them without removing everything from your pet's habitat.
Frequent complete cage cleanings can be stressful to small animals. These liners are best suited for guinea pigs and rabbits, as they produce more urine than the smaller members of the small animal family.
The most significant benefit to wood shavings as bedding for small animals is that it is usually inexpensive and all natural. While this So Phresh Bedding checks the box of being all natural, pet parents report that the price has doubled over the last year.
Another concern pet parents should have when considering wood shavings for bedding is that they may cause respiratory issues in small animals. Some pet parents report that they have used this type of bedding successfully for years.
Although this bedding is advertised as being low dust, pet parents report that it is dusty and they have had to allow the bedding to air out before allowing their pets to use it.
Implementing a Successful Odor Control Game Plan
While the type of bedding that is used may help control odors, the product you select is only one factor of a successful odor control game plan. There are other ways to help control the odors in your hamster's cage, such as:
Getting into a Clean Routine
The most significant step to defeating odors is getting in the habit of regularly cleaning your hamster's cage.
100% cleanings weekly will cause your hamster become stressed out, plus you will waste bedding. You have probably observed your hamster burrowing and making himself at home in his cage, and you might feel bad undoing all of his hard work anyway.
Every day, remove any uneaten food, especially perishable items such as fruits and veggies. If you have multiple hamsters, be sure to check the bedding for deceased babies or deceased adults that should be removed.
Every week, spot clean your hamster's habitat by picking out the dirty bedding and add a equal amount of clean bedding. Try to train your hamster to use a litter box to make this task extra efficient.
Every month or six weeks, depending on when you notice odors, take your hamster out of the cage and put him in a smaller cage or in his hamster ball, then remove all of the bedding. Clean off all of his toys and dishes with moist paper towels, not with chemicals. Then use Nature's Miracle Cage Cleaner to break down any residue from urine.
Keep the following tips in mind:
By forming a cleaning routine, your hamster's cage should not accumulate unpleasant odors. If you have a hard time remembering to do these things, consider setting a reminder for yourself on your cell phone, or dedicate a certain day of the week and day of the month to perform these tasks.
Using the Right Amount of Bedding
Be sure to add approximately two to three inches of bedding to your hamster's habitat. They need this depth for a few reasons:
Keep in mind that the right amount bedding does not mean you will never have to clean your hamster's cage, and bedding does not clean the cage for you.
Choosing the Best Type of Cage
The best type of cage to keep a hamster in is a rectangular glass fish tank with a mesh lid. The mesh lid is essential to allowing good ventilation in your hamster's habitat, not only for their quality of life, but also to prevent a build up of odors. The more ventilation a habitat has, the less odor will accumulate. Further, is it not healthy for a hamster to be trapped inside with the odors of his waste.
One hamster should reside in at least a ten gallon aquarium, but ideally twenty to forty gallons. The larger the cage, the less odor you will have.
Classic hamster cages made of wire and plastic may be cute and offer good ventilation, but they are small and difficult to clean. The smaller the cage, the more odor will accumulate due to the waste being concentrated in a smaller area.
Even though they are small, hamsters are smart and may think of a not so pleasant idea to keep their quarters clean in this style of cage, like my hamster Griffin. He climbed up the wire to poop outside of the cage!
He no longer had the option once I moved him into a fish aquarium. I also found that he established a potty corner, which made spot cleaning a snap.
Choosing your Hamster
My personal recommendation is one male hamster of any variety. Some pet parents have told me they noticed that smaller varieties of hamsters tend to have fewer odors than their larger cousins; I have only had a short haired hamster, so I cannot confirm if this is true.
Female hamsters also tend to have a heavy scent when they are in heat. Also, the more hamsters you have, the more likely it is that their cage will smell unpleasant, and choosing the largest possible habitat will not make a difference.
Hamster Care For Beginners
Choosing a HamsterWhat's the first thing you should do if considering a hamster for a pet? It's important to do your research and choose what kind of hamster you want to buy. There are four common breeds that people can adopt as pets.
Picking a CageA common mistake made by many beginner hamster owners is their choice of a cage. The colorful cages you find at the pet store might be pretty, but they don’t have enough space for your pet hamster. The ideal size for a hamster cage is 24 inches by 12 inches, and the height should be about 12 inches.
Decorating the CageWhat should you put in your hamster cage for him to play with? This is another common question asked by new pet owners. There are some ideal layouts that might look complicated at first, but you might find that decorating your hamster’s cage is fun!
Feeding Your HamsterThough you can purchase bags of ready-made hamster food at the store, part of the fun of owning a pet is preparing treats for them.
Playing With Your HamsterAfter you bring your new pet home from the store, it will take a few days for them to trust you enough to play with you. It’s better to let them hide and adjust to their new environment; don’t force them to come out into the open.
Cleaning Your Hamster’s CageIf you don’t keep your hamster’s cage clean, they could become ill. You should clean out your hamster’s cage at least twice a month. If you clean it more often, you might cause your hamster stress, as the hamster grows accustomed to the scent of his cage.
Protecting Your HamsterIf you’re bringing your hamster into a home where there are already pets such as dogs and cats, the hamster is vulnerable to your dog or cat. Keep an eye on him; put him in a room where you can close the door, and don’t allow your larger pets to come nearer.
Can Hamsters Travel?We do not recommend that you take your hamster with you on vacations because they become distressed in unfamiliar settings.
Keeping Your Hamster HealthyYour hamster has a short life span, compared to other pets. Hamsters in ideal conditions live for 3 years on average.
ConclusionHamsters make for wonderful pets, and will bring you plenty of joyful moments.
Considering how much of your hamster's life will be spent in his cage, burrowing in his bedding, choosing the right product is very important. This product has the potential to enrich a hamster's life, making him feel safe and happy, or it may cause him to experience respiratory issues and negatively impact his quality of life.
By following the tips offered in this article, your hamster's cage will not be a source of stink.