Safety Concerns of Hamsters Cages and Bedding



When it comes to a captive, yet accommodating habitat, hamsters of all sizes deserve the best we can provide. In fact, the larger the available space, the healthier the environment tends to be. An abundance of cage space will not only facilitate an area that can be reserved for the recommended play toys and exercise equipment, but will allow room for more than one hamster, should you decide on that option. Roomier habitats tend to minimize territorial issues and it will generally stay cleaner for a longer period of time.

First off, before you buy a hamster, it’s important to determine precisely where, within your dwelling, you intend to situate your new hamsters cage. This is critically important for a couple of reasons: Temperature and Activity. All hamsters are sensitive to overheating and can quickly get into a life-threatening situation when exposed to temperatures in excess of 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, room temperature can have a tremendous impact on the health and well being of your pet. Additionally, exposure to direct sunlight can present a danger even when room temperatures are within the safe range of 65 to 80 degrees F.

The old standard barred cages are fast giving way to the newer multi-level habitats, which offer an expandable environment and easy to clean features. Cage dividers, plastic tubes to connect multiple cages and built-in toys and accessories make the newer generation of enclosed facilities a favorite for both owner and pet hamster. Important considerations when deciding typically have to do with the number and placement of openings, offering accessibility to your hamster and the convenience factor, regarding cleaning and maintaining your hamsters cage.

Other important considerations include the general safety of the enclosure. The smaller species, such as the Roborovski Dwarf hamster are known to be highly skilled escape artists, since they’re so tiny and can fit between the bars of a standard type barred cage. Consequently, by housing them in an aquarium you can eliminate lots of anxiety. Just be sure there’s proper ventilation and security at the top, preferably with a locking lid to keep children, cats and dog away from the tiny little pets.

The hamster cage or enclosure floor should have a minimum of two inches of safe bedding material to allow for their natural inclination towards burrowing and tunneling. Recommended materials include shredded paper, tissue, crushed corncobs, wood chips and hay.

The various alternatives are quite numerous and most hamster owners will quickly render an opinion either for or against every hamster bedding product on the market, so with the exception of a few genuine precautions, one product will work pretty much as well as another. The following is a list of just a few:

Finacard – this is a cardboard product that’s finely shredded and dust free.

Wood Shavings – if you insist on this type of material, be certain to limit your choice of wood to Aspen, as it is considered the safest in terms of being free of harmful phenols, characteristic of both pine and cedar.

Megazorb – not so readily available as other alternatives, this material is composed of sterilized and dust-free dried wood fiber pulp. It’s highly absorbent and nearly odor-free.

Aubiose – a favorite with many hamster owners, this is a material made from organically grown hemp.

Carefresh – a little more expensive than some of the other materials, this product comes in two different materials, white cellulose fiber and reclaimed wood pulp, both of which are free of any inks, clays or dyes. This will eliminate the potential for any issues dealing with allergies and respiratory concerns.

Copyright 2010 Walter Tekman. All rights reserved. Please feel free to share the entire contents of this article with your friends or post it on your site as long as it is left intact with all links unchanged, including this notice.


Source by Walter Tekman

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