Bedding and Hay in the Hamster Enclosure

Besides running, hamsters have another great passion: digging. After all, in the wild, hamsters live in self-made underground burrows. We will show you what you absolutely have to consider when choosing the bedding in the hamster enclosure.

In the wild, hamsters create burrows and burrows. In order to enable their natural behavior when kept in cages, there must always be enough bedding distributed over the entire surface of the hamster enclosure.

Suitable bedding for the hamster enclosure

The hamster has a great passion for digging and should definitely be given the opportunity to keep it in a species-appropriate manner. It is advisable to fill the hamster enclosure with small animal litter or hemp litter and sufficient hay. When choosing the litter, you should make sure that it is dust-free, as the hamster’s airways can react very sensitively to dust. There should also be no foreign bodies or large splinters of wood in the litter that could injure the hamster when digging.

Dwarf hamsters also need a sand bath to care for their fur, which all other hamster species are happy about. Here you should only offer your hamster chinchilla sand.

Different types of bedding for hamsters at a glance

Small animal litter

  • from softwood chips
  • very absorbent
  • good for digging
  • commercially available everywhere

Hemp litter

  • less dust but more expensive than small animal litter
  • unmixed not suitable for digging corridors
  • suitable for male teddy hamsters with long and fine fur

Linen bedding/flax bedding

  • very fine and dust-free
  • unmixed not suitable for digging corridors
  • suitable for male teddy hamsters with long and fine fur

Chopped straw/straw meal

  • made of finely chopped straw
  • low-dust, soft
  • good for digging

Softwood granulate

  • fine granules
  • unmixed not suitable for digging corridors
  • suitable for teddy hamsters with short fur

Cotton bedding

  • very soft
  • often used for nest building
  • not suitable as sole bedding

How much bedding belongs in the hamster enclosure?

Since the litter is not only there for digging, but also has the function of absorbing the hamster’s excrement, there must be plenty of litter in the hamster’s home. The litter height should not be less than 20 cm for dwarf hamsters and 25 cm for golden hamsters. To keep the litter stable when the hamster digs, you can add a layer of straw or hay to the litter.

Build your hamster a real digging paradise. To do this, set a few flower pots with drainage holes or clay tubes on the ground before you pour in the litter. Then cover everything about 20 cm high with the bedding. This way your hamster can build real dens and tunnels and feel “at home”. But you can also make your hamster happy by first putting a layer of fine-grained bark mulch in his hamster home and then spreading a layer of chinchilla sand on top. Not only is he great at digging, but he also has very natural bedding.

Necessary requirements of the hamster enclosure

The plastic tub of a hamster enclosure should be at least 30 cm deep, as the shavings literally fly when digging and digging. If the trough of your hamster enclosure is not high enough, you can extend the lower border with a little manual skill. Simply get ten-centimeter-high plexi or acrylic glass strips of the right length from a hardware store. Drill two small holes in each end. Now you can fasten the plexi or acrylic glass strips directly over the floor pan of your hamster enclosure using binding wire. The hamster can already dig as much as it can, and the area around the cage is spared from the flying wood shavings.

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