A pet cage requires frequent cleaning, whether your pet is a mouse, a hamster, a snake, or a lizard. We do our housecleaning on a regular basis—or at least we should, and it’s important to do our pet’s home on a regular basis, too. If we forego our housecleaning, we eventually live in a chaotic and very unhealthy environment. Pets—like people—deserve to live in a clean and healthy environment.
Most people perform their housecleaning duties once a week or so. Making yourself a note to do your pet’s cleaning within a similar time frame will ensure he or she lives in a clean cage. Dirty cages aren’t just unsightly. They usually smell bad. Sometimes breathing in that smell is unhealthy for you and your human and pet family members.
Pet Cage Cleaning Supplies
- Any tools needed to disassemble and reassemble the cage
- Box or Well-ventilated container
- Fresh bedding (chips, straw, etc.)
- Plastic Bag
- Liquid dish soap
- Drying rags or Paper towels
Pet Cage Disassembly
After moving your pet to a temporary safe environment—a box or well-ventilated container—cleaning out the pet cage begins with the disassembling of each component of the cage itself. It’s important to remove the top from the cage as well as any parts or pieces that take up space on the interior. Remove doors from their hinges, as anything that moves within the cage provides a surface for bacteria to breed. Food bowls and water bottles must be removed and cleaned.
Hoe It Out
Similarly, to mucking the stalls of a barn animal, removing any straw or wood chips that serve as cushioning or bedding in your pet cage must be removed also. Dumping the soiled chips or straw bedding into a plastic grocery bag is often easiest. This way the mess and smell are contained. Wearing gloves and a mask isn’t a bad idea either, as the chips or bedding is typically soaked with pet waste.
Wash It Out
Filling a bucket with hot water mixed with a few drops of liquid dish soap (it’s always best not to use harsh chemicals when cleaning pet cages) is the next step to take when cleaning your pet cage. Drop the pet dishes and water bottle into the bucket, so they may soak while you tend to the larger tasks at hand. Soak a sponge (one designated for this duty only—not the one you use to wash your dishes or wipe down your kitchen countertops) in the water and proceed to scrub the bottom and the top of the cage.
Wiping away any excess water right away from metal caging will help prevent rusting. Drying the bottom and top of the cage with a rag or paper towel will prevent mildewing. Next wipe out the soaking pet dish and water bottle, rinsing thoroughly so that no traces of soap remain. Dry them and set them aside. If your pet is a rodent, and has a wheel, or there are other pet toys inside the cage, wipe them down thoroughly with a sponge dipped into the soapy water. Dry each item with a paper towel or rag.
Replace the straw, wood chips, or other bedding that goes in the bottom of your pet cage with new, fresh material. Refill the water bottle and hang it on its designated hanger inside the cage. Fill up the food dish if it is feeding time.
Set the hamster wheel or pet toys back inside the cage. Move them to a different spot to switch things up for your pet. After all, you like to switch your furniture around every now and then—right? Why shouldn’t your hamster or lizard enjoy the same interior decorating from time to time?
Prior to replacing the top on your pet cage, place your pet back inside. Add the top to the cage and fasten securely.
Most people notice their pets are more active on the days their cages have been cleaned. It clearly affects their mental health to live in a clean environment, much the same as a thorough housecleaning makes a positive impact on yours.