Looking For The Best Hamster Bedding For Your Furry Friend? We Investigate The Top Choices And Help You Pick The Right Bedding For Your Hamster.
When you first bring home your hamster, you might be surprised by how many different types of hamster bedding are available.
When there is so much choice, it can be really hard to figure out what will work for your pet.
In this article we’ll look at the top types of hamster bedding.
Do you have a dwarf or Syrian hamster? Do you want bedding that is disposable? Or do you want to be able to wash and re-use it?
Are you after the safest hamster bedding, or the snuggest?
Whatever you are looking for, we can help you find the bet hamster bedding for your tiny friend .
Best hamster bedding
Hamster bedding is the material you line your hamster’s enclosure with. There are quite a few materials to choose from, each with their own pros and cons.
So, what makes the best hamster bedding?
Let’s take a look at your options.
What can I use for hamster bedding?
A surprising number of materials are in use as hamster bedding at the moment.
Good hamster bedding should provide a clean, and safe environment for your pet. For your sake, you might also want it to be odor free
Your hamster will be in contact with their bedding for most of the day, so it pays to make sure it is as comfortable and harmless as possible.
Let’s look first at how to make sure your hamsters bedding is safe.
Safe hamster bedding
Safe hamster bedding should always be a priority.
Hamster bedding might be unsafe because it physically hurts your hamster. It could also be unsafe because it’s toxic to them.
It goes without saying that we shouldn’t have to worry about our hamster cage bedding harming our furry friends.
Current ASPCA advice is to steer clear of any scented bedding. The chemicals used in these could upset your hamster, or even make them ill.
You should also be wary of anything dusty. Particles can damage your hamsters airways, and affect their ability to breathe.
The RSPCA and ASPCA both suggest paper as the best option for your hamster.
But while paper is definitely the safest option, it is not the only one.
With all of this in mind, lets take a look at aspen bedding.
Aspen bedding for hamsters
Aspen bedding for hamsters is a popular choice.
Kaytee aspen bedding claims to be processed to remove dust. The less dust the better as far as your hamster’s lungs are concerned.
This bedding material is dense, and therefore great for hamsters to burrow through!
Kaytee aspen bedding is specially processed to minimize dust.
Your hamsters bedding should be as clean as is reasonably possible. So you get a great looking bedding material, with none of the toxicity of pine and cedar.
Aspen bedding doesn’t have the same health risks of some of the woods we’ll discuss later, but that doesn’t make it perfect.
The main concern with wood chips is that they have sharp edges. Hamsters often put things into their pouch, and could be injured if something sharp got in there.
For something a little less risky, we’ll look at care fresh bedding.
Carefresh hamster bedding
Some brands are focused on delivering fresh, clean and safe bedding.
Carefresh hamster bedding is popular with hamster owners all over the world.
Carefresh’s custom hamster/ gerbil bedding is specifically designed with small pets in mind.Unlike most hamster beddings, which are multi purpose, also suiting rabbits and guinea pigs.
This bedding looks really comfortable to us. It might even make you jealous of your hamster.
Carefresh custom hamster / gerbil bedding (https://www.amazon.com/carefresh-Custom-Hamster-Gerbil-Bedding/dp/B00OUVD7Z0/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1505999561&sr=8-5&keywords=hamster+bedding)
The reviews are a little split on this one. Some claim that there’s quite a bit more dust than expected. Dusty bedding is an issue, but other reviewers found no dust at all.
It may be best to see what you think with this one, and always keep an eye on your hamster for a change in behavior.
Now we’ll explore paper bedding. Widely considered to be the safest option.
Paper bedding for hamsters
Paper bedding for hamsters has a long-standing popularity, especially when it comes to DIY hamster bedding.
Homemade hamster bedding might make up a lot of peoples experience with paper, but it isn’t all there is.
Paper has the advantage of being cheap and readily available. This paper bedding from Carefresh also boasts 3x the absorbency of wood shavings.
Using a more absorbent bedding helps to keep your pets home cleaner for longer. It’s important to point out that paper bedding has the fewest health risks associated with it.
When looking for Hamster bedding, shredded paper from your own home might be the cheapest option.
This isn’t ideal, as conventional shredders create long strips of paper.
It would be quite easy for your hamster to become tangled in one of these strips.
If you still thinking of making bedding for your hamster, shredded toilet roll works a lot better than conventional paper.
Making your hamsters enclosure colorful can be great fun for kids and adults. Lets take a look at some pink bedding.
Pink hamster bedding
Hamster bedding is often available in a range of colors! Pink hamster bedding is great for anyone who wants to show off their favorite color.
This Healthy Pet bedding in pink, is listed as non toxic. One of the principle concerns in colored bedding is that the dye used might harm the animal.
This bedding also boasts long lasting odor control and can absorb three times its weight in water!
The reviews on this one are a little divided. Most users were very happy with the product, but a significant number were concerned with how it ‘balls up’. Some users were also concerned by the lack odor control. You might want to try it out and see for yourself!
Now we’ll take a look at pine based bedding for hamsters.
Pine bedding for hamsters
Pine bedding for hamsters smells nice, and is entirely natural. The concerns come from its potential toxic side effects.
Kaytee pine bedding is recommended for use only in well-ventilated, large enclosures.
This particular bedding also claims to be 99.9% dust free. The natural scent of pine can help to mask unpleasant odors, and keep parasites at bay.
Lets answer the most important question, is pine bedding safe for hamsters?
The ASPCA lists pine and cedar chips as not suitable for hamster bedding. Their main concerns are the fumes and dust that the wood may produce.
Studies have found long-term exposure to pine dust damages human lungs. For this reason it may be best to use caution, and ask your vet if pine bedding is right for your hamster.
For some more controversial materials, lets look at fluffy bedding.
Hamster fluffy bedding
Everyone wants their pets to be comfortable.
You might consider buying your hamster fluffy bedding.
Kaytee clean and cozy bedding boasts low dust, and great odor control.
All of us know hamster cages can get pretty smelly, so this is a big plus.
Hamster cotton bedding
Hamster cotton bedding, and other fluffy bedding, is the subject of a lot of controversy.
There’s currently a petition to ban fluffy and cotton hamster bedding, due to it’s perceived health risks. But is this really a concern?
There’s not been a large study, and the petition is mostly based on anecdotes. Lots of hamster owners do still use fluffy hamster bedding happily.
The principle concern is that hamsters may choke on bits of fluff in the bedding.
Cotton, and other fibrous materials, can also produce a large amount of dust. Any amount of dust inhaled by your hamster could potentially cause problems.
It’s important to keep in mind that while there are a lot of stories behind this campaign, there hasn’t been a study.
So, we can’t be entirely sure, but it looks like cotton needs to be looked into before we declare it unsafe.
Cedar bedding for hamsters
Cedar bedding for hamsters is available, but you might not want to use it. Out of all the wood chip bedding materials it seems to be the most dangerous.
Its naturally pleasant aroma could make it the best hamster bedding for odor control. Cedar also boasts some great parasite repellant properties.
There are a bunch of positive aspects to using cedar bedding, but one big negative. Safety.
The dust from western red cedar has been shown to have some nasty effects on humans. One test compared cedar workers and office worker. Workers who had been in contact with cedar dust had significantly lower lung function than those who did not.
No specific tests have been carried out with hamsters with regards to dust, but it’s still a real cause for concern.
In scientific trials use of red cedar bedding has been shown to increase the incidence of tumors in susceptible strains of mice!
Trials have also shown that being in the prescence of cedar wood changes the metabolism of laboratory rats and mice.
This is enough to make me avoid it for my hamsters in future.
Dwarf hamster bedding
Dwarf hamsters are smaller, and therefore more vulnerable, than other varieties. It’s natural to be a little cautious when looking for dwarf hamster bedding.
This HPCC paper bedding would be great for a dwarf hamster, or any hamster for that matter.
Sticking with paper gives you the best chance your hamster will get along well with their new bedding.
It’s understandable that you might be a little more cautious with your pet, compared to the average hamster owner.
The best bedding for dwarf hamsters, will be the best bedding for any other hamsters.
Best bedding for Syrian hamsters
Syrian hamsters are among the largest varieties. You might want to look for hamster bedding alternatives for your Syrian hamster. Something non-toxic, that will adequately control odor, and absorb any mess.
Syrian hamsters are solitary, whereas dwarf hamsters live in groups. Despite these differences, they require very similar things from their environment.
Although a product might claim to be the best bedding for Syrian hamsters, their needs in this respect are not very different to other hamsters.
We’d recommend using a reputable paper bedding material, like some that we’ve mentioned earlier.
How much is hamster bedding?
When you change something as regularly as bedding, the cost can add up quickly. Cheap hamster bedding that also does the job is in high demand.
How much is hamster bedding? This depends quite a lot on the brand, but the paper-based beddings are almost always the cheapest.
All of this has led a lot of people into researching how to make hamster bedding themselves. Hamster bedding cost is going to be a factor in anyone’s decision.
How much bedding do hamsters need?
Most hamsters love to dig. And the more bedding they have the more they can dig.
One fascinating study showed that hamsters’ body condition was better when they had deep bedding when compared with shallow bedding.
The ability to tunnel and hide in a feeling of safety and security will make for a happy little hamster.
What is the best bedding for hamsters?
We’ve looked at lots of different bedding materials for hamsters. So, what is the best bedding for hamsters? Paper bedding seems to have the fewest health concerns, and is also very absorbent.
I’m going to go with what’s safe, and suggest paper bedding.
Once you have picked your bedding, then stick with it. Studies have shown that changing your hamsters bedding causes a stress response.
What hamster bedding material do you use? Let us know in the comments below.
Symptoms, pulmonary function, and bronchial hyperactivity in western red cedar workers compared with those in office workers – M. C. Yeung, S. Vedal, J. Kus, L. Maclean, D. Enarson, K. S. Tse (http://www.atsjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1164/arrd.1918.104.22.1688)
Insect feeding and oviposition deterrents from western red cedar foliage R. I. Alfaro, H.D. pierce Jr, J. H. Borden, A. C. Oehlschlager (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF00988634?LI=true)
The toxicity of constituents of cedar and pine woods to pulmonary epithelium G. H. Ayars, L. C. Altman, C. E. Frazier, E. Y. Chi (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0091674989900730)
Hamster Care ASPCA(https://www.aspca.org/sites/default/files/upload/images/hamster_edu.pdf)
Hamsters – RSPCA (https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/rodents/hamsters)
Malkinson, AM 1979 Prevention of butylated hydroxytoluene-induced lung damage in mice by cedar terpene administration. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology
Wade, AE et al 1968 Alteration of Drug Metabolism in Rats and Mice by an Environment of Cedarwood. Karger Pharmacology
Sabine, JR 1975 Exposure to an environment containing the aromatic red cedar, Juniperus virginiana: procarcinogenic, enzyme-inducing and insecticidal effects. Toxicology.
Hauzenberger, AR. 2006. The influence of bedding depth on behaviour in golden hamsters. Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Bedding Depths http://www.tierschutz.vetsuisse.unibe.ch/e191756/e224004/e224515/e239753/Diss_Hauzenberger_ger_eng.pdf#page=11
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