Bedding and Nesting Material

There are countless types of bedding materials available on the market now for hamsters, but they all range in quality, absorbance, value for money and surprisingly, whether they are safe or not!. Here is a simple list of which materials are ok to use as bedding material for you hamster/s cage, and which are not.

Make sure you renew the bedding in your Roborovski/s cage or tank every two weeks or so (renewing the nesting material every couple of days, if needed).

Safe Bedding Materials

Safe bedding materials include -

- Woodshavings (cheap) (naturally diogradable, absorbant and stores heat. Available from nearly all pet shops). (Aspen small animal bedding is fine, do not use the reptile variety.)

- Hemp-based (cheap) (unlike wood shavings and straw, hemp-based bedding is virtually dust-free, very absorbant and odours are combacted rapidly. Also, hemp-based bedding generally lasts longer than wood shavings.) 

- Barley straw (midprice) (uncompressed) (no sharp points like compressed straw, and virtually dust free. Normally treated with odour-reducing chemicals)

- Corn granulated based (expensive) (super-absorbant, but is much heavier than normal bedding meaning it gets spread round the cage evenly. It doesn't get stuck in the Roborovski's fur and eyes either and has a nicer feel to the Roborovski's feet).

- Paper based (expensive) (like corn based, also super-absorbant and dust-free, but unlike corn based, has very good odour control. Most brands are toilet flushable too!).

Hazardous Bedding Materials

Dangerous bedding materials include - 

- Any Pine, Cedar or other softwood based beddings (the beddings are dangerous (they containg phenol oils) and therefor are unsuitable for your hamster's cage, read here - http://www.afrma.org/rminfo2a.htm  for the know-how).

- Cat litter (apart for the paper based type) (Cat litter is far too dusty.)

- Scented beddings (to disguise your hamster's odour, normally lavendar or lemon scented)  are not advised either, as a hamster's key sense is its sense of smell, and the smell that these beddings give off irritate the hamster's airway, causing confusion and distress).

- Compressed straw (too sharp and may cause harm to the cheekpouch if tried to store).

Safe Nesting Materials

Safe nesting materials include - 

- J-Cloth (Strips of J-Cloth is fine as a cheap, all-round available nesting material)

- Paper based cat litter (is absorbant, warm and safe to use as a nesting material for your Robo/s, although not that cheap)

Hazardous Nesting Materials

Dangerous nesting materials include -

- Fluffy beddings (normally made of cotton). (these are dangerous because of the risk of your Roborovski's arm or leg getting caught in it, resulting in amputation or dislocated)

- Materials that do not dissolve in water (if the hamster tries to eat the material, it's digestive system might become blocked, but be-careful, as the packaging of the product will most likely state it is digestible, but this is only true in theory)