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Hamster Bedding And Litter

Provide safe bedding for your hamster to dig and burrow in.

By Audrey Pavia

Hamsters love to dig and burrow. To accommodate these needs, they need deep bedding — at least 2 inches — with plenty of nesting material.

The best bedding is clean, nontoxic and absorbent, with little dust. Good choices include shredded white paper and white facial tissue, aspen or other hardwood shavings, or corncob litter.

Avoid cedar shavings or non-kiln dried pine shavings, which can be irritating and even toxic. Cottony nesting material is a poor choice as well. It can cause blockages if the hamster eats it, and it can get tangled in the hamster’s toes.

In addition to digging and burrowing, hamsters enjoy hiding out and napping in small, dark spaces. It’s easy to accommodate this desire.

You can purchase hidey-holes at pet supply stores. Look for one with no bottom or with a top that comes off. A hideaway that can be picked up or that has a removable roof makes it easier to remove the hamster from the cage or hideaway if necessary.

Nesting boxes and hiding places can also be made from empty cardboard tissue boxes, paper towel or toilet paper tubes, and oatmeal boxes. These are economical and easy to replace if they get dirty or chewed up.

Posted: April 2, 2008, 5 a.m. EDT

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Reader Comments
I use a combination of aspen and carefresh for bedding and toilet paper for nesting. My hamster (and gerbils both!) seems to love it. :)
Bree, Fayetteville, NC
Posted: 11/28/2011 7:52:57 PM
I don't like the Carefresh for my teddy-bear hamster- it gets tangled in his hair, as do pine shavings. I prefer the small granule-type bedding instead.
Heather, Cascade, IA
Posted: 11/24/2011 7:00:00 AM
this helped me a lot!
jasmine g., douglas, GA
Posted: 8/14/2011 5:27:10 AM
My hamster loves carefresh. Adn it is usually is kinda cheap and I only use 3/4 of a bag at a time.
Miranda, Lodi, OH
Posted: 6/20/2011 9:13:11 AM
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