Hamsters are the tiny pets we, especially our kids, like to have around the home. They are adorable and could make your day with their antics. They are new entrants in the pet world, which is why we may be apprehensive of bringing one home. For instance, do hamsters smell? Just in case they do, can we do something about it?

In this article, we’re going to smash all the stereotypes associated with hamsters.

Do Hamsters Smell?

Do hamsters smell is one of the frequently asked questions by people who consider owning low-maintenance pet hamsters.

The answer is pretty simple: no, hamsters, don’t smell!

They don’t have an unpleasant smell of their own. If you see a foul smell emanating from a hamster or its cage, the culprit may be hygiene. The truth is, a hamster does not smell, but that unpleasant and unwelcoming odor that your hamster may have might be because of its cage. The cage is your hamster’s bedroom, bathroom, and dining room. They have waster in their cage and secretion of an odorous pheromone released from their scent glands, causing that unpleasant odor.

But this smell can be neutralized.

How to Take Care of a Smelly Hamster?

We all know that a smelly hamster is no fun. So, what can we do to help with that odor? How can you take care of it?

As described earlier in the article, there is no such thing as a smelly hamster. Hamsters are super low-maintenance animals that clean themselves and don’t tend to smell at all. Their self-cleaning attributes make them great pets for people that do not like high-maintenance pets.

The smell you may experience coming from your hamster is not from the hamster itself but the cage of the hamster. You may notice that your hamster immediately begins to clean itself after you have put him down right after handling. Yes, it is trying to remove your scent there, and yes, hamsters are that clean!

Here are two ways that can help you eliminate the unpleasant odor coming from your hamsters’ cage.

Keep the Cage Clean

Photo by Frenjamin Benklin on Unsplash

Like you would want your house to be clean, your pets want the same. They can actually get sick by all the bacteria living in their cage. If you experience a smelly hamster, the first thing that you should do is clean its cage—and do it on a regular basis, at least once a week.

Proper maintenance is required to get rid of that unpleasant smell in the environment. The fresh-smelling environment can do a lot for your hamster’s health. Make a cleaning schedule and stick to it. Make sure you check your fur balls cage daily for poop, soil bedding, and even rotting food. You need to take out all the elements from your fur balls cage and then clean it with mild soap everywhere. You may notice that they poop in only a specific place that is far away from their bed. So all you need to do is to take advantage of this and keep the cage nice and clean.

Potty-Train Your Hamster

Yes, you can actually potty train your hamster! And this is something that is quite easy to achieve. Train your hamsters to poop in specific places rather than pooping everywhere. They don’t already do that naturally because they are clean animals, and they have this habit as an instinct.

All you need to do is to choose an area in the cage where you want your hamster to poop and then line the poop with sand so that the scent is masked. The sand can even soak up the urine and can help in training your hamster. Not only will it keep the cage clean, but it will also save you a lot of time as you will only have to do spot-cleaning every day rather than cleaning the whole cage.

Why Do Hamsters Smell?

The only reason why hamsters smell can be because they have scent glands. These scent glands make them smell really bad. It is because they release secretions from these glands right into their bedding. So when you clean your hamster’s cage, it is not only poop and urine that you need to look out for but also make sure you look after the scent secretions. Do full sterilization of the cage at least once a month to get rid of all that smell.

How Can You Make Your Hamster Smell Nice?

Hygiene plays a huge role in its odor. Fortunately, there are certain ways that can help you keep your hamster nice, clean, and smelling fresh.

  1. Make sure you have a cage that has plenty of ventilation. Ventilation controls and eliminates odor.
  2. Deeply filling the cage with lots of wood shavings can help in absorbing all the unpleasant smells in the cage. On the other hand, it can be a great digging activity for your hamster. 
  3. Spot-cleaning the cage is the key to a fresh-smelling hamster.
  4. Make sure you thoroughly clean the cage once a week at least.
  5. Designate a potty corner for your pet. This also helps a lot.
  6. Keep your guards on for what you feed your furball, as certain foods can affect the health and digestive system of your hamster.

Can You Give Your Hamster a Bath?

Many hamster owners wonder if they can give their hamsters a bath or not. The answer is: No, bathing your hamster can be really dangerous for the hamster as it’s prone to certain diseases and infections. Remember, your hamster is a self-cleaning animal, and they groom themselves. Bathing and using soap can harm their natural oils and fur, making them susceptible to different conditions.

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