An old hamster cage can be reused to host a new hamster as long as the cage is thoroughly cleansed. The reason for death will determine how you clean out your hamster’s cage, but failing to do it correctly might jeopardize the health of your new hamster. You can also attach the old cage to an existing cage, sell it or donate it.
Read on as I explain further the steps to take when cleaning an old hamster cage and other uses of the cage apart from reusing it.
Reuse The Old Cage to Host a New Hamster
Yes, as long as the cage is thoroughly cleansed, you may place a new hamster in an old cage. The reason for death will determine how you clean out your hamster’s cage, but failing to do it correctly might jeopardize the health of your new hamster.
Sanitizing your hamster’s cage isn’t the same as cleaning it, particularly if you have a huge cage and simply clean out a portion of it at a time. Come with me in the following paragraphs as I guide you through the process.
How Do I Clean an Old Hamster Cage for A New One?
If your hamster died of natural causes like old age, organ failure, or a non-contagious illness like cancer, all you have to do now is remove the scent from the old cage.
If your hamster died of a contagious condition or if the reason for death is unknown, you must take care by completely disinfecting the cage so that your new hamster does not get ill. The following are the measures you must take.
Ensure The Cage Is Empty
Remove all of the bedding and discard the used stuff. Even though part of the bedding seems clean at first glance, it’s essential to replace all of the bedding weekly for a new start and a clean environment.
Remove any food and water dishes and any tunnels, wheels, or toys. This keeps any filthy bedding or food particles out from beneath the items. Because this is a thorough cage clean-up, and you must get rid of any scent left on anything, you’ll have to get rid of all of the substrates.
Wash The Cold Cage Thoroughly
Scrub the empty enclosure with cage cleaning solution or warm water and mild soap. You may also use vinegar instead of soap to clean the cage, but be sure to properly rinse away any residue.
It may be beneficial to disassemble your hamster cage, depending on the sort of cage you have been using for your hamster. This makes it easier to deep-clean each part and eliminates the difficulty of reaching in via tiny doors or access points.
While you clean the rest of your hamster’s set up, put the cage aside to dry.
You may need to clean the cage thoroughly sometimes. For instance, if the hamster in the cage was very sick or if the cage bottom had too many urine stains.
You’ll need to get a hamster-safe disinfectant from your veterinarian. Make sure it doesn’t have a strong odor or leave a residue. Use it exactly as directed on the bottle, and clean the affected areas properly.
Whatever method you select, be sure to thoroughly rinse everything. It will be much too much for the hamster if you can still smell it. Scrub it with unscented soap if it needs it.
The urine stains (the white, crusty spots) will take a lot of scrubbing and are difficult to remove. While the disinfectant may remove some of it, most will only be eliminated after soaking overnight.
When you’re finished, wipe the cage dry and ensure there are no damp patches. The bedding will adhere to such spots, making mold development easier.
Clean The Accessories in The Old Cage
After you have washed all of your hamster’s toys, wheels, tunnels, and bowls in the cage, you are through with the cage cleaning. Urine, feces, and germs may all be found in the cracks of tunnels, behind dishes, and on the surfaces of toys, making it necessary to clean them thoroughly.
Regular exposure to this kind of filth might result in ear infections or vision difficulties. Once the accessories have been cleaned, rinse them well to ensure that no soap or cleaning solution has become stuck within them.
Leave The Old Cage to Dry
If your hamster died due to natural causes, allow your cage to air-dry completely before putting any fresh substrate, supplies, or a new animal into the cage. To clean the cage, spray it with disinfectant (either vinegar and water or a pet-safe disinfectant), allow it to soak, wipe it off, and let it dry for one to two weeks.
If your hamster died of a contagious condition or the reason for death is uncertain, call your veterinarian for help immediately. The longer you dry your cage, the safer it will get.
Reassemble The Old Cage
You can begin putting everything back together after everything has been cleaned, dried, and is ready to be assembled.
Starting with the bedding, evenly distribute roughly an inch/2-3 cm of bedding throughout the cage’s surface. Put a little extra in the corner where the hamster hides/nests. Make a point of scattering fragments of the bedding around the cage.
This amount of bedding will be enough if your new hamster is a runner. However, if he’s a digger, he’ll require at least twice as much bedding to burrow into it.
Place everything back in the cage the way before you cleaned it—everything, including the hideaway, the food dish, the water, and the toys. The new nesting material and remnants of the hamster’s previous nest should be placed directly outside the hamster’s hideaway.
Other Ways to Dispose of an Old Hamster Cage
Sell the Cage
If you’re short on funds and have an old cage on hand, you may refurbish it and sell it. You’d be surprised how much a good clean and a new coat of paint can improve it.
Because hamsters are mainly colorblind, you don’t have to be concerned about the color startling them or impacting them.
When you upcycle a hamster cage, you may be able to recover your whole purchase price or even earn a little profit. A crusty old hamster cage will not sell well on the market, but a brightly colored, gently used cage will.
Donate The Cage
You may inquire at local animal shelters and pet shops, particularly if they house little animals, to see if anybody needs a cage.
Many shelters are non-profit and would gladly accept your old cage, particularly if it is clean and well-maintained. Other groups will accept the cage regardless of its state and make any required repairs.
Attach It to An Existing Cage
Add it to an existing cage for more space. Create openings at the cages’ ends and secure them using duct tape or super glue. If using superglue, let it dry overnight.
This ensures the glue dries thoroughly and your hamster doesn’t get trapped.
This reduces the animal’s exposure to glue fumes. Small yet vivacious, hamsters are. Giving hamsters more area to run and play can only benefit them.
An old hamster cage is not useless; you can sell it, use it to host another hamster, attach to an existing cage or donate it. I hope this article gives you the best idea of what you need to do with your old hamster cage.