Why Does My Hamster Smell So Bad? How To Keep Them From Smelling?

Hamsters are naturally clean animals. If you are a new Hamster owner you will soon learn that Hamsters love to groom themselves. But, there are a few questions that still boggle a lot of Hamster owners. Do Hamsters smell? Will they smell up the house badly?

Hamsters can be a bit smelly sometimes. However, in most cases, the improper care and the improper cage maintenance is the main reason behind the smell. Sometimes, sick Hamsters also smell. Although Hamsters like to keep themselves clean, the same might not be the case with their living environment.

Some health issues in Hamsters like Diarrhea, Urinary Tract Infection, etc. can also be the cause of the foul smell.

Hamster Essentials
Hamster Essentials

It is nothing that can’t be taken care of. With proper care and cleaning habit, yo will be able to get rid of the smell of your Hamsters.

Do Hamsters Smell Up The House Badly?

Hamsters are naturally clean animals. It is usually the living environment and the cleanliness of their enclosure that determines the smell in your room.

The cage of your Hamster will start to smell bad if you do not clean it once every month. Also, you must spot clean the enclosure daily.

Using good quality bedding and proper cleaning of the enclosure will help you to keep the smell at a minimal level.

Although having a pet can bring a little different smell in the house, most owners are not uncomfortable with it.

How To Get Rid Of My Hamster’s Smell From My Room?

If you take care of your Hamsters and their enclosure on a regular basis, then it’s smell won’t be a problem for you.

After consulting with experts and researches, I have noted down a few things that we must do to avoid Hamster’s smell.

  • Firstly, you must choose an appropriate enclosure for your Hamsters. A minimum of 30-40 gallon tank will provide your Hamster enough space to eat, sleep, and exercise. This shall reduce the mess you deal with every day.
  • Spot clean the enclosure every day. Remove all the uneaten food, pee, or poop of your Hamsters. Your Hamster will now not mess the poop all over their coat.
  • You must use odor-proof bedding to avoid the bad smell. I personally use a combination of Aspen, Kaytee clean & cozy, and timothy hay as the bedding.
  • You must also litter train your Hamster. This will ensure that there is not much poop all around the enclosure, that in return will make your cleaning schedule easier.
  • To get rid of the odor you can use some baking soda and vinegar.
  • Provide your Hamsters with a sand bath. This will help your little ones to keep themselves clean.
  • A balanced diet is important to keep your Hamster happy and healthy. A perfect combination of dry pellets, fruits, vegetables, and treats is crucial.
  • You can also use an air purifier to get rid of the smell from the room.

Does Hamster Pee Stink?

Sometimes, your Hamster’s pee may smell as the bedding used is below standard or this time the enclosure is not cleaned properly.

The pee of your Hamster will start to build up if you do not clean your Hamster’s cage regularly. The ammonic smell of your Hamster’s pee will start to get stronger if not taken care of.

Many Hamster owner complain that their Hamster’s enclosure smell like a fish, this is due to ammonia build up.

The fact is that it is not the cage that smell, it is the pee which releases ammonia, when left for an extended period.

Therefore, If your Hamster’s enclosure smells like a fish, then chances are that either the cage is not deep cleaned often or the bedding being used is not absorbing the pee.

You must build a habit to spot clean your Hamster’s enclosure daily. Deep clean the enclosure once in a month and change the bedding at the same time.

If your Hamster’s pee smell even after following the correct clean-up routine and the correct bedding, then it can be sign of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) or bad diet.

If you have any suspicions about your Hamster’s health, then take them to a vet.

How To Get Rid Of My Hamster’s Urine Smell And Clean The Cage Properly?

When I got my first Hamster, it was a real struggle to find the correct information about their enclosure’s cleanup routine.

A lot of questions kept bothering me. Questions such as, how often should I clean my Hamster’s cage? What is the proper way to do so? And so on.

Now, I have come a long way in learning the steps to do it smoothly and right.

Step 1: Moving Your Hamsters To A Temporary Place

The first step involves moving your Hamster to a safe place. Make sure there are no sharp objects around.

Picture Credits: Dora, The Syrian Hamster; Instagram Handle: thehamstercalledmouse

The best place to keep your Hamster is a temporary cage, any box with an open-top which can hold your Hamster for a while. 

I personally love moving my Hamster to an empty bathtub. Besides safety, it gives them a huge floor-space to play. 

Also, have a look at this amazing playpen I got at an incredible price, from Amazon. My Hamsters love it. It is another best option, that keeps your Hamster safe.

Do not let your little one hover around your house or outside when you are cleaning their enclosure.

As you are not around to look after your Hamsters, they may run into some unforeseen trouble that you may not want.

Step 2: Spot Clean Daily & Deep Clean Monthly

You must build a habit to spot clean your Hamster’s enclosure daily, followed by a deep clean once every month.

Always use a dustpan and brush or a small vacuum cleaner to spot clean the poop around the enclosure. You must do it daily.

Remember that spot cleaning is essential to maintain your Hamster’s enclosure but at the same time, deep cleaning the cage (at least once a month) should be a part of your schedule. You must take care of this.

Always remember that the enclosure will be your Hamster’s home. They will spend most of the time in their cage where they will drink, eat, play, poop every day. 

Therefore, deep cleaning once a week will ensure that the enclosure is free from all kinds of germs and diseases if any, and at the same time will keep a check on the odor too.

The first step that involves deep cleaning is to remove all items from the cage. Right from the water bottle and food dishes to toys, you must take out everything from the cage.

Then, take some warm water and use it to wash all the food and water containers, hiding houses and toys. You can use a mild soap too. I personally love this Babyganics soap which I got from amazon, the best thing about it is that it is scent-free.

Washing everything is important to ensure that any bacteria buildup in any of the items is wholly disinfected and removed.

Make sure you wash everything with clean warm at the end to remove the remaining soap from them.

The next step is to take out all the remaining litter, hay, bedding, and solid water from your Hamster’s enclosure. Then sweep the bottom of the cage to scrub off the remaining litter.

Now you can use a mild detergent to clean the cage. A thorough cleaning shall ensure that any bacteria present will eradicate and thus your Hamsters will be less prone to diseases.

I personally use white vinegar to clean my Hamster’s cage. The process is very easy.

You can mix 1 part of vinegar with 2 parts of water to disinfect the enclosure of your Hamster. If your enclosure has a white sludgy residue(calcium) of urine, then the same can also be effectively removed with the help of this mixture.

The final step shall be to rinse away the vinegar properly so that your Hamster doesn’t get any issue with it and also pat dry using a paper towel.

Step 3: Prepare The Housing Refresh For Your Hamsters

Now that you are done with cleaning the enclosure, the next step involves preparing the bedding. 

Only when the cage is completely clean, then prepare the bedding and set back the enclosure.

You can use an old newspaper on the base of the cage, it ensures any pee or spilled liquid is adequately absorbed and thus smells less. 

Now you can cover the paper with bedding of your choice. I personally use a combination of Aspen, Kaytee clean & cozy, and timothy hay as the bedding. This combination helps in reducing the odor around the enclosure.

After arranging the bedding, put back all the food, water bowls, and other material back in the cage, try to keep them in the same place where they were before.

Once everything is in place, fill the food and water bowl up, and now your little friend is ready to be back in their homes.

Step 4: Follow Up With A Cleaning Schedule For A Healthy Living Environment (Spot Cleaning)

Cleansing your little one’s cage may not be the favorite part of your to-do-list but it is a must if you want to red rid of the smell.

It is really important to follow up on a daily cleaning routine of your Hamster’s enclosure. This will make your Hamster’s remain happy and stress-free.

It is quite an easy task to do. You just have to follow some guidelines, and you are good to go.

Remove all the uneaten vegetables, fruits, or treats lying around the cage.

Next, spot clean any dirty, messy area around the enclosure. If you find any spilled water, clean that up too.

Lastly, refill the water bottles and the food containers with fresh food every day.

Have a look at these amazing food bowl and water bottle, I got from Amazon.

How To Keep My Hamsters From Smelling? (Cleaning Your Hamsters)

Sand Baths are Hamster’s way to keep themselves clean.

Picture Credits: Norma, The Syrian Hamster; Instagram Handle: nelsonandnorma

Water can make your little friend catch a cold. Hamsters are sensitive creatures. If they get wet very frequently, it may also be life-threatening for them.

Also, water can destroy the coat of essential oil and molecules present in a Hamster’s fur.

It is always better to give your Hamster a sand bath. A sand bath will cause no potential harm to your Hamster.

I personally love this Niteangel Small Animal Sand-Bath Box, I got from Amazon. Check it out!

It is advisable to not use water to bath your Hamster unless it is an urgency.

Also Read: Sand Bath And Hamsters

Health Problems Can Lead To A Smelly Hamster

If your Hamster’s living environment is perfect and still your Hamsters smell then it may be due to an underlying sickness.

Some of the common health conditions that can lead to a smelly Hamster are:

  • GI Stasis: This can lead to diarrhea and wet bottom that produces a foul smell.
  • Urine burns: This can make the fur smelly and damp. It might also result in a missing patch of fur and flystrike in some cases.
  • Urinary Tract Infections: This can lead to a foul smell in your Hamster’s urine.
  • Dental problems: This can lead to a smelly breath in your Hamsters.

Some of these diseases are caused by a dirty cage or poor diet. Most of them can be prevented by correcting their diet.

Do Male Hamsters Smell Worse Than Females?

Some Hamster owners claim their female Hamster to be smellier while others claim that male hamsters smell worse.

However, both kinds have their own smell. The bad smell of the male hamster is because of the presence of their scent glands, also known as flank glands.

This gland sometimes produces a greasy, sticky substance that has a distinct smell. Hamster in the wild use this to mark their territory.

In the case of females, they go into heat every few days. During this period, they can get a bit smelly.

It is nothing that can’t be taken care of. You can clean the grease glands of your male Hamsters (if they smell) regularly while cleaning their cage weekly and you shall be good to go.

Why Does My Hamster’s Cage Smell So Bad?

If you are struggling to keep your Hamster’s cage smell fresh, then you probably are missing out on something.

Starting from the selection of the right size cage and the correct bedding to the balanced diet of your Hamsters is important to keep your Hamster’s enclosure smelling fresh at all times.

Spot clean the cage daily, and a deep clean once in 10 days keep all kinds of smell away from the cage.

Most of the time, properly maintaining the cage solves the problem.

However, sometimes we have to do more than that to get rid of the smell.

A poor diet is often a reason behind a smelly Hamster. If your Hamster’s pee or poop is smelling bad, then it might be directly related to your Hamster’s diet.

Also, look out if your Hamsters have any underlying health problems. Sometimes even health complications can be a reason behind a smelly Hamster.

Read this detailed article on, ‘Why Does My Hamster’s Cage Smell So Bad?‘, to learn and understand more about your Hamsters.


So, I think I have covered all the points that I have learned in my experience for taking care of your Hamster’s smell.

Picture Credits: Mouse, The Syrian Hamster; Instagram Handle: thehamstercalledmouse

Although there can be a lot more things you can do, in my opinion, this shall be more than enough to keep your Hamster free of any smell and also keep their enclosure fresh and smell-free

If you found my article helpful do share it with your friends and family so that they can also benefit from it.

Recommended Reading:

Sources: Effects of aqueous cinnamon extract, Research Gate,  Biology and Diseases of HamstersDehydration In HamstersHyperadrenocorticism in Three Teddy Bear Hamsters


Hello, I am Mohini, the founder of this blog. I am a qualified Animal Nutrition. I am here to help everyone understand their pets better.

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