Cleaning Pocket Pet Cages

If you own a “pocket pet” like a hamster, guinea pig, gerbil, rabbit, mouse, or rat, you’ll need to thoroughly clean his cage on a routine basis. It will provide a healthy and clean environment for your pet as well as make a fresh and odorless attraction in your household. Below, a Cedar Park veterinarian tells you what you’ll need and how to go about cleaning your smaller pet’s cage.

What You’ll Need

You’ll need a list of items before you go about cleaning your pet’s cage. First of all, get a pair of rubber gloves and goggles for protecting yourself. Next, have paper towels or cleaning cloths of your choice, brushes, and small putty knife or razor blade for getting hardened material out of tricky spots. A set of sponges is also needed—one sponge for cleaning, one for rinsing, and one to disinfect the cage afterwards.

In addition, you’ll need a back-up cage to put your pet in while you’re cleaning his main cage. This is important to avoid any toxic chemicals coming in contact with your pet. Consult your Cedar Park vet for any other products you may need for your particular pet’s cage.

Cleaning Timetable

How often you clean your small pet’s cage depends on the size and behavior of your particular pet. If you have multiple small gerbils in the same cage, for instance, you’ll probably need to clean and disinfect it more often than a single litter-trained rabbit. Ask your Cedar Park veterinarian—he or she can tell you how often you’ll need to give the cage a thorough cleaning.

Regardless of how often you do a full-on cleanout and disinfection, you’ll need to remove uneaten food and excess feces, clean up any spills, and refill your pet’s water bottle with fresh, clean water on a daily basis.

How to Clean

Before beginning, move your pet to his back-up cage. You may want to relocate the back-up cage to another room to avoid any fumes reaching your pet.

Remove water and food dishes, and wash them thoroughly with soap and water. Take out any decorations or toys in the cage, and wash them the same way. Get rid of soiled bedding or litter.

Once the cage is bare, go about washing and rinsing the inside walls and floor with the sponges and paper towels or cloths. Take time to read the cage manufacturer’s cleaning instructions for help. Use the putty knife/blade to loosen any tough spots.

Rinse everything thoroughly, and let it dry. At this point you may want to use a disinfectant—that is fine, but ALWAYS check with your Cedar Park vet before using one to make sure it’s safe for your pet. Again, allow the solution to dry before reassembling the cage.

Once everything is clean and dry, you can put your pet back into his newly cleaned cage. Clean up your materials, and don’t forget to wash your hands. Don’t be afraid to ask your Cedar Park vet if your cleaning practices are good for your pet, as well as what sort of schedule you should be keeping to ensure your pet’s safety and health.

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