Everyone dreams of having their ideal pet. But sometimes, due to certain circumstances, it is not possible to get a cat or a dog, you need a small, sweet creature. Hamsters fit perfectly into this concept. The small size of such an animal allows you to purchase a relatively small living space for it and put it in a place convenient for you. Each animal requires self-care, daily walks, food, water, and house cleaning.
If everything is clear with the first points, then with cleaning the house everything is much more complicated. The main component in the cage, in addition to a drinking bowl and a place for food, is a filler. What exactly is required, why it is needed, as well as its varieties, we will consider below.
What is it needed for?
In practice, of course, you can do without a filler for the tray, but if the animal lives in a cage, then it will serve as a kind of rug, the hamster will be warmer, it will not be on a plastic tray all the time, and cleaning the cage will be much easier and more convenient. A hamster is a very small creature, and therefore it is necessary to select a filler based on the size of the animal and the dimensions of the cage.
The main thing to pay attention to when choosing a filler is how much it absorbs moisture and odor. The bedding you choose will also determine how often you clean and clean the cage. Fillers differ not only in size and characteristics, but also in the material from which they are made.
Types of filler
As mentioned earlier, a variety of pet products are now on the market: from toys, various cages and houses to food and medicine. Fillers also have a wide range of names. There are a large number of companies that, in order to promote the presented product, indicate on the label that a particular filler is the best for hamsters. Therefore, for the right choice, you should understand its composition.
The first and most logical option is hay. This is a budget option, you can prepare hay yourself, without much labor or cost. Hay is useful in that it mimics the natural environment for a rodent, because everyone knows that in the wild, hamsters live in steppes full of grass. It turns out that a pet will not only build a home from hay, but will also be able to eat it, since it is environmentally friendly and safe. Due to the fact that dry grass is very light, it will be convenient for the hamster to burrow into it.
There are also disadvantages of using hay as bedding.
- Due to the fact that the hay may be too dry, it can scratch or injure the animal.
- Hay does not always absorb moisture (it depends on the type of grass itself), and if it does not absorb moisture, then, accordingly, it does not absorb smell either. In this case, the cage will have to be cleaned every day.
- If you collect hay yourself, it is best to process the grass before drying, as dust and dirt can remain on it.
Sawdust is considered to be a universal filler suitable for all breeds of hamsters. This is a safe and common option. Easy to use, absorbs moisture and odor, but does not hold it for too long. The cage will have to be cleaned every 3-4 days, which is already better than hay, when you have to clean the cage almost every day. Sawdust is harmless to the rodent, but only if he does not try to eat it, because this way he can injure his cheeks.
The next disadvantage can be considered that if your pet’s coat is thick, long and shaggy, sawdust is likely to get tangled in its coat and get stuck there. And this means that the animal will need to be cleaned and washed. The sawdust itself is very light, and if the hamster is very active, then most likely this filler will fly out of the cage, and you will need to clean your house as well.
When buying a hamster, you should find out if the animal is allergic to wood. If there is one, the option of using sawdust as bedding should be excluded.
An alternative to simple sawdust will be pressed sawdust or granular sawdust. They are of a higher quality and retain moisture and odor much longer than simple loose sawdust. With these characteristics, the cage will have to be cleaned and washed after about 5-6 days. At a cost, of course, they will be more expensive, but you will be provided with safety and convenience. But this type of filler is not suitable for the smallest dwarf hamsters. It will be very difficult for an animal to run on such granules.
The positive aspects of using this filler are as follows:
- the price is a budget option, if we consider simple sawdust;
- variety – there are large and small sawdust;
- good moisture absorption;
- ease of cleaning.
Among the shortcomings, the following can be distinguished:
- not suitable for hamsters if they are allergic to wood;
- do not completely absorb the smell;
- due to their light weight, they can fall out of the cage.
The next common filler is corn. Corn filler is considered ideal for a furry animal. The first thing you may encounter when buying this type of filler is its rarity. Due to the fact that it is quite rare, its price is very high. You can buy this filler only in large cities or to order via the Internet.
This type of bedding has good properties, thanks to which you will not feel sorry for the money spent. First of all, it is a good retention of odor and moisture. It turns out that the cage can be washed and cleaned about once every 2 weeks. Moreover, this material is safe. There are no wood components in its composition, which means that the hamster will not get hurt, and nothing will get stuck in his wool.
The filler is suitable for a rodent of any size, even for the smallest – dwarf. It will be easy for the pet to burrow and hide in the corn filler. But small particles can then fly out of the cell.
The next filler to pay attention to is linen. The product description states that it will be an ideal option for a hot summer period. Flax lowers the temperature, helps to cool. According to the manufacturers themselves, the product is made from natural ingredients: flax is hand-grown and dried, pressed according to a certain patented technology. Eco-friendly, hypoallergenic and biodegradable. Absorbs moisture up to 5 times its weight, due to this it is very economical.
Due to the fact that such a filler is new on the market, few people know about it and, therefore, there are few reviews on it yet.
Cellulose filler is suitable for rodents that are allergic to wood. Does not injure the paws of hamsters, as well as the skin, does not clog into the wool. It absorbs moisture well, but does not retain it completely, it turns out that you will have to wash the cage about once every 2 days. Suitable for all hamsters.
Many, most likely, wondered, is it possible to make flooring for a hamster on your own? Of course, you can, the main thing is that everything is safe. The first thing that comes to mind is paper napkins. They can be used as an alternative to wood fillers. They can be attributed to cellulose fillers. The main thing is that such napkins should be without a pattern, smell, ordinary white. The hamster will be able to break the pliable paper on its own and “build” a house for itself. Unfortunately, the material consumption will be very high.
Vata is definitely a controversial option, so choose it at your own peril and risk. From the point of view of moisture absorption, cotton wool, undoubtedly, absorbs moisture faster than others, but the smell does not retain at all. Another disadvantage is that cotton wool consists of fibers, because of them the rodent can get confused and damage the paws.
Do not use newspaper as filler. And not because the newspaper does not retain moisture. The fact is that newspaper can be toxic to rodents. After all, the smell of printing ink remains on the paper, and after getting wet it becomes even more noticeable, so the hamster is unlikely to want to be in such a cage for hours until the owner deigns to wash the cage.
The newspaper gets wet quickly from moisture, so you will have to clean the cage every day. And it does not matter that the layer of newspapers is thick. The hamster will simply be uncomfortable, and the smell will intensify each time.
Wet paper does not clean well, you will have to make an effort to rinse the cage.
For information on which filler to choose for hamsters, see the following video.