Do you own a cage-dwelling pocket pet like a hamster, guinea pig, rat, mouse, or gerbil? One of the most important aspects of their care is regular cage-cleanings. Learn how to properly clean and sanitize your pet’s cage as a Cumberland County veterinarian gives you advice.

Get Your Supplies

Before beginning, gather your supplies. You’ll need rubber gloves to protect your hands, paper towels or cleaning cloths, sponges, brushes, and a putty knife or razor for getting tough spots. You’ll also need soap and warm water, and a sanitizing agent if you choose to sanitize your pet’s cage when you’re finished cleaning.

Move Your Pet

Move your pet to a back-up cage before you start cleaning. The back-up cage should be stocked with whatever your pet will need in the time it takes for you to clean the main cage. Consider putting your pet’s back-up cage in another room to completely avoid any fumes or chemicals reaching your companion.

Know the Timetable

Of course, how often you clean your pet’s cage depends on your pet itself. If you’re keeping multiple animals together—for instance, social animals like mice and rats—you’ll probably need to clean out the cage more often than if you own a solitary gerbil. Consult your veterinarian for further advice on how often you should clean out your pet’s cage. Of course, every pocket pet needs their cage cleaned of uneaten food and soiled bedding daily.

Clean and Sanitize

Now you’re ready to begin the cleaning process. Remove all objects from the cage, like food and water dishes and toys. Clean them thoroughly with soap and water and let them air-dry.

Remove soiled bedding or litter. Take your sponges, brushes, or cleaning cloths and set about washing the walls and floor of your pet’s cage. Use the putty knife or razor blade to loosen tough spots. When you’re done washing, rinse everything thoroughly with clean water. Once everything is completely dry, you can use your disinfectant. Always check with your Cumberland County veterinarian to make sure the product you’re using is safe.

Put everything back together, and return your pet to his newly-cleaned cage. Be sure to wash your hands!