For hamster bedding, you should use natural and non-toxic materials. Bedding is the material that is placed in the cage. It will provide your pet with a soft surface to move and also absorbs their droppings.
What Should I Use for Hamster Bedding? You can use wood, paper, Aspen Shavings, soft fabric, and newspaper. You should use materials that can absorb moisture and without any harmful chemicals.
It will be a challenge if it is your first time with your hamster. With proper bedding hamster cage look appealing and complete. It supports their body from rough cage surfaces and avoids pressure on their body, especially while sleeping.
What Should I Use for Hamster Bedding?
Beddings are available in a single form as well as with some substrate. Several options are available; you can facilitate your hamster with the best material.
Bedding is essential for many reasons. It absorbs all unpleasant smells in the cage, especially the urine smell of hamsters. It can be used as a chewing material in spare time.
How to choose bedding for your hamster?
Here are some things to be focused on while selecting materials and stuff for your hamster.
Moisture absorption is better in organic matters as compared to inorganic matters. So while selecting the bedding material, keep in the notice that it should be made of organic matter as it absorbs excess moisture from the bedding it prevents microbial growth.
It will act as an absorbent that lightens the smell of urine of your hamster. In short, absorbent material is helpful to keep it clean for a long time. If it doesn’t contain any absorbent material cage will remain smelly and dirty.
The first thing that comes to mind while looking for bedding material is it would be soft and comfortable.
Choose a material that is easy to clean and easy to replace. Bedding material that has a high absorbency rate helps keep the cage clean.
Safe and unsafe substrate
While choosing a substrate, first try it for two-three days as an experimental basis. Notice the behavior of your hamster. If your hamster is enjoying his cage home, it means the substrate is suiting him.
If you find your hamster uncomfortable or showing unusual behavior must change the substrate. It clearly shows that your hamster is not adjusting to it. A combination of two or more substrates can also be used.
Safety of your hamster
Hamsters are investigating nature, and they want to get familiar with everything surrounding them. We all know hamsters have a habit of chewing.
They love chewing things in their free time, so while deciding on bedding material, make sure it doesn’t contain any harmful excipient. As some bedding contains toxic dye to look colorful. It will be harmful to your hamster if chewed.
Temporary bedding such as toilet paper, newspaper, soil cost very little. But it’s not proper and decent bedding. Or they can only be used temporarily. All you have to look for a product with all the mention qualities an economical price. You have to change bedding weekly, so keep this in mind.
Temporary hamster bedding
If you are bringing your hamster for the very first time, it will take time to provide him with all necessities. For the time you have no proper bedding, you can use some temporary bedding options. Homemade bedding is best for your new house member. It is easy to make and spread.
Dry white paper, shredded papers, simple paper, brown paper can be used. One drawback of using paper as bedding is it has very little absorbing power and can be damp easily.
The white paper has a lot of importance as temporary bedding. Blank White or brown paper is preferred, or paper without any ink is favorable. After ingesting the paper, it will not be harmful to the hamster. Some owners use white paper when they are in doubt if their hamster is suffering from any illness like diarrhea.
Toilet paper napkins can be used as a temporary option. They are readily available, inexpensive, unscented, and can be replaced easily. A large strip of toilet paper is used to make bedding with several layers.
A newspaper can be very risky for your hamster as it contains a lot of ink. Especially when it gets damp, it becomes more harmful. And if your hamster ingests it. It will cause toxic effects.
Cotton bedding looks very adorable and seems comfortable and safe. But don’t just go on its coziness. If a hamster ingests cotton, it may cause choking, acute intestinal blockage, and constipation. If not treated timely, it will be contagious for your innocent little hamster.
Floss bedding is readily available in the market. People are attracted to it as it looks comfortable. But it is also hazardous and can cause choking in your hamster.
Soil is a favorite of wild hamsters as they are used to it. And when it comes to pet hamsters, the soil is not a good option. No doubt, the soil is hamster friendly material when used with caution. Garden soil can contain some bugs in it.
Moreover, it also contains pesticides, debris, and other chemicals. Soil is a good medium for the growth of bacteria. Furthermore, soil specific for bedding purposes is expensive. Soil is too heavy to carry in a hamster cage, and absorbency is also not impressive.
They will irritate your hamster, so look for some appropriate solutions. Soil containing different minerals are available. Some of them are excellent for your hamster, while some are harmful.
Most of the time, the soil is not used alone, and it is mixed with paper, shredded cardboard, brown paper. You must add food and water for the hamster.
Inappropriate hamster bedding that should be avoided
Here I am going to discuss some materials that are harmful to your hamster. They cannot be used due to their prominent health hazard.
Pine and cider wood shavings
These should not be used in the hamster cage. Their smell is very light and good. But it contains volatile compounds and harmful chemicals.
Aromatic compounds present in pine and cider wood shavings are harmful to hamsters. They can also cause allergic reactions to your hamster, and if chewed by the hamster, it causes choking and sudden death of your beloved hamster. So try to avoid such bedding materials.
It can absorb the unpleasant smell. But the natural chemicals present in cat litter are very harmful to hamster health.
Cat litter has some disadvantages. As it is rough in appearance, it will be uncomfortable for your hamster. Cat litter is not a good choice as your hamster can not even properly walk on it.
Hamster has chewing habits, and chewing cat litter causes many health issues. It is not digested by the hamster and could result in hamster sickness. After some time, cat litter starts to decompose and, when not replaced timely, its hazardous effects.
It has several benefits as it can be molded easily, and it is available in different sizes. Its absorption is also good and will not irritate your hamster by clinging to him. But if your hamster engulfs it, it will swell inside his stomach.
Corn cob bedding is useful in dealing with odor. It can’t be used in moist places where moisture content in the air is greater as it carries a fungus. And in suitable situations, the fungus grows, and it can also attack your hamster.
It is one of the very inappropriate material to be used for bedding. And it should be avoided to keep your hamster safe.
Best Hamster Bedding
Some beddings are very supportive and appreciated by hamster owners. They are harmless in every way.
Carefresh ultra has excellent absorbing power. And thus, it is beneficial in avoiding bad smells. It provides a neat and clean ambiance to your hamster. Its soft appearance made it perfect for the bedding of hamsters.
It is made of cellulose fibers that are harmless for your hamster. It does not contain any chemicals, ink, dye that causes health problems to the hamster.
It is expensive as compared to other bedding options. But it also runs longer due to its absorbing capability. Carefresh ultra bedding can last for approx ten days.
Carefresh colorful creations
It is the same as a refresh ultra. The major difference between carefresh ultra and carefresh colorful creation is that the later is available in different colors. It is available in blue, purple and many other colors.
As I have discussed earlier, the use of any dye is harmful to the hamster. Carefresh colorful creations use pet-safe dye. That only provides a color for attraction, and if ingested by your hamster, it is of no danger for them.
Kaytee Clean and cozy
It is available in different versions and is useful for many reasons. As the name indicates, Kaytee Clean and cozy are easy to stay clean due to high absorbency. And it is soft and comfortable for your small pet hamster.
It can adequately control odor and help the hamster cage to remain odor-free for a long time. If you don’t want to use carefresh ultra, Kaytee clean and cozy is the other safe option left to you. It is dust-free. Try to avoid scented form as it can cause breathing problems to your hamster.
Aspen bedding has features that distinguish it from other available options. Aspen is a hardwood, and it is free from unhealthy organic compounds.
Aspen shaving bedding is inexpensive. So any hamster owner can easily afford it. It is available mostly in two forms as aspen wood shavings and aspen-sani chips. Aspen-sani chips are cubic cut bedding free from barks and splinters. It is made from the highest quality of wood.
Aspen shavings are scent-free wood; it will not cause any respiratory issue to your little hamster. It is very appropriate for other small pets such as rabbits, ferrets, chinchillas, etc.
It is not as soft and comfortable as carefresh ultra and other brands. It may cause a little discomfort to your hamster paws at the start. But after two-three days, it gets highly comfortable for them.
Aspen shaving bedding has other prominent features, due to which it is becoming the first choice in bedding. Your hamster will form a burrow and will love to live in it.
Covering the whole cage of your hamster to one or two-inch helps provide soft effects to the hamster. Covering the play wheel brings extra benefits.
The hamster will move more efficiently, and the rough and hard surface of the cage will not hurt your hamster. Aspen shaving absorption is very high. And your hamster may stay very comfortable, and its cage will remain free from smell.
It is best to eliminate foul smells. Aspen bedding absorption is about three-four times its weight, and it is made for hamsters of dry habitat. Aspen shavings can absorb the droppings of hamster faster. It is readily available from shops such as carpenter, woodshop, etc.
But it may also contain some pieces of bark that may hurt your hamster. So always try to buy aspen shaving from the pet shop to prevent any aromatic and volatile compounds. It is also free from harmful chemicals.
Aspen wood available in pet shops is heat-treated to enhance the absorbency and to minimize the bacteria. It is excellent in providing ventilation. So layers of aspen bedding will not suffocate your pet. Aspen has biodegradable properties, so it is an environmentally friendly product.
It is effortless and faster to clean. The aspen shavings bedding can run longer than any other bedding. Aspen shaving bedding has a lot of other benefits.
Aspen shaving shows a marvelous result in treating mites and insects in the hamster cage. It takes some time, and your hamster will get used to it. This is a homemade hamster trap, and it helps to capture the hamster.
It provides your hamster with safe material, and your pet will remain calm in it as he can easily relate it with wild burrows. Long time use can cause your hamster to sneeze or respiratory problems.
It is essential to replace it regularly as it contains uneaten food that gets spoiled, hamster wastage. And if not cleaned properly, it causes an unpleasant smell which unsafe for your hamster.
Make sure that aspen is free from any toxic oil. Hamster’s hobby is chewing, and aspen shavings are all safe for them. Hamsters usually chew aspen, shaving bedding as a habit to sharpen their teeth. If your cute little hamster engulfs its pieces, it will not be harmful to it.
So I can say that if you are conscious about your hamster’s health and happiness, you should try aspen bedding. With a lot of benefits, the major advantage is it suits every kind of hamster. Hamster belongs to different areas, and when placed in a cage, it becomes difficult for them to survive.
If they are not looked after properly, they become unhappy, and hamsters can escape from their cage.
Healthy pet critter care is natural bedding of about 30-liter. It provides cozy and natural comfort to your hamster. HPCC bedding prevents extra moisture and keeps the cage dry.
This bedding is best, especially for dry habitat hamsters. HPCC bedding has the capability of absorbing three times liquid as its weight.
How to prepare hamster bedding?
Firstly you have proper knowledge about what was the habitat of your hamster. So you can create such a habitat for him, and he will feel comfortable there.
The preparation of bedding differs from the bedding material you are choosing for bedding. Paper, toilet paper, newspaper bedding is easy and just follow some general rules.
Make sure that the cage is neat and clean before placing the bedding. It is free from any insects, mites, and dust. That can cause an allergy to your hamster.
Aspen beddings, carefresh ultra bedding, they are all available in prepared form. All you have to adjust it properly. A 2 to 3-inch linen is enough for your hamster.
How long can hamster bedding exist?
Temporary bedding such as paper, newspaper bedding is for short time use. Change it on every alternate day. It is your responsibility to keep it fresh to avoid illness. Good quality bedding can last for 3 to 5 days.
Other more appropriate and safe beddings are recommended by experts to be changed once a week.