How A lot Bedding Do Hamsters Want [+ Calculator]


Hamsters are burrowing animals that dwell in advanced underground burrow methods within the wild. It’s pure for them to create networks of tunnels with nesting and meals chambers the place they sleep and retailer meals. They actually have a devoted chamber they use as a bathroom!

Wild hamster’s burrows are often between 55 and 65 cm deep (22-26 inches), and whereas it could be fairly onerous for us pet homeowners to have a cage giant sufficient to suit that a lot bedding, we will nonetheless do our greatest to supply sufficient bedding for burrowing.

Offering solely an inch or two of bedding gained’t permit your hamster to burrow. Right here’s how a lot bedding they want.

How Many Inches of Bedding Does a Hamster Want

The minimal depth of the bedding your hamster wants will depend on the species of your pet.

Syrian Hamsters

Syrians are the most important hamster species we hold as pets they usually develop between 13 and 18 cm (5 – 7 inches) in measurement, so that they want a number of bedding. Ideally, they need to have 12 inches of bedding however don’t go below the minimal of 10 inches.

Think about three hamsters stacked on prime of one another. Might you bury them within the bedding? If that’s the case, it’s deep sufficient. If not, add extra bedding till the highest imaginary hamster is roofed.

Dwarf & Chinese language Hamsters

For smaller dwarf species and Chinese language hamsters, goal for a minimum of 10 inches of bedding, however by no means go below the minimal of 6 inches.

By offering sufficient bedding, your hamster will be capable of categorical their pure behaviors, dig and construct burrows which is crucial for his or her well-being. This will even lower their stress ranges and make them much less more likely to present harmful habits, comparable to chewing the cage bars or frantically attempting to flee.

How Does Deep Bedding Profit Hamsters?

Much less Stress

Analysis has discovered that Syrian hamsters stored with 10 cm (4 in) deep bedding confirmed considerably extra wire-gnawing and a better working wheel exercise than these stored with 40 cm (16 in) and 80 cm (32 in) deep bedding. The truth is, Syrian hamsters with 80 cm of bedding didn’t gnaw on wires in any respect. All hamsters in 40 cm and 80 cm of bedding dug burrows.

So it’s evident that the extra bedding you’ll be able to present, the higher. Think about three hamsters stacked on prime of one another. Might you bury them within the bedding? If that’s the case, it’s deep sufficient. If not, add extra bedding till the highest imaginary hamster is roofed.

It Fulfills Their Pure Must Burrow

As burrowing animals, digging and dwelling in burrows come naturally to hamsters. Underground tunnels are their secure place to cover from predators and really feel protected. Despite the fact that there could be no predators at your own home, your hamster doesn’t know that. In the event that they’re unable to dig and burrow as a result of an absence of bedding depth, they’ll wish to escape the cage to discover a new place to construct burrows.

Think about being faraway from your own home and positioned in the course of the woods so that you can dwell there with none shelter. That’s how hamsters really feel after they can’t construct burrows.

Your Hamster Cage Ought to Permit Burrowing

As you most likely seen, small hamster cages you’ll be able to usually discover in pet shops don’t permit for a lot bedding. These small cages are unsuitable for hamsters and are usually not manufactured with the hamster’s well-being in thoughts.

I wrote concerning the minimal moral cage measurement for hamsters and a few beneficial cages that match the standards right here. In case your present cage is simply too small and may’t match sufficient bedding, I extremely encourage you to modify to 1 that may. Your hamster will probably be lots happier.

A metallic barred cage ought to have a deep base of a minimum of 6 inches (though extra could be higher) to permit for the minimal quantity of bedding. You may also add a deep digging field to compensate for the shortage of bedding on the backside of the cage.

When you’re going to make use of an aquarium or a plastic bin, these can maintain loads of bedding however make sure that the bin is excessive sufficient to suit a big sufficient wheel in your hamster on prime of the deep bedding.

When you’re utilizing a protracted however quick cage, such because the DIY Ikea Deloft cage, you’ll be able to fill one aspect of the cage with bedding to the highest and go away the opposite a part of the cage for the wheel and a sand bathtub.

What to Use as a Bedding

We’ve gone into extra element concerning the various kinds of secure bedding you should utilize in our hamster bedding publish. An essential factor to recollect is that not all bedding varieties are secure or optimum to make use of.

Be sure that the bedding you employ is:

  • Non-dusty
  • Non-scented
  • Secure for the hamsters (secure if ingested, no toxins and so on.)
  • It will probably maintain burrows nicely and never collapse when your hamster is digging.

Secure and hottest choices for hamster bedding are:

You may also use paper bedding and aspen shavings collectively to supply two completely different textures.

I like to recommend additionally offering a ‘booster’ on prime of the principle substrate within the type of long-strand tender hay. Hamsters love to make use of it for nesting.

Bedding varieties to keep away from:

  • Cedar and pine shavings – these kind of wooden include harmful phenols. Though producers began warmth treating pine to take away the harmful phenols, it’s nonetheless greatest to keep away from it since hamsters are in such shut contact with their bedding and spend hours burrowed in, particularly with so many higher and safer bedding choices.
  • Fluffy cotton bedding – there’s a danger of inside blockages in case your hamster ingests a number of the bedding, and the hamster’s limbs can simply get entangled in this sort of bedding.

Supplies which can be secure however not appropriate as the principle bedding:

  • Paper pellets – these shouldn’t be used as the principle bedding because it doesn’t maintain burrows.
  • Gentle granule bedding – this may be added to your hamster’s cage so as to add selection however shouldn’t be used as the principle bedding because it additionally doesn’t maintain burrows.
  • Bathroom paper – bathroom paper is a superb nesting materials however doesn’t present odor management, so it’ll have to get replaced each day.

The right way to Calculate How A lot Bedding You Must Purchase

Now that you know the way a lot bedding you want in your hamster, it’s time to do some math so you may get the correct amount of bedding. When trying on the product packaging, it may be onerous to determine how a lot bedding precisely you want in your cage, particularly when it’s compressed inside.

Right here’s the right way to calculate how a lot bedding you want:

  1. First, calculate the dimensions of your cage in sq. inches by multiplying cage width by cage size. For instance, your cage is 36″ x 18″ which comes all the way down to 648 sq. inches.
  2. Now, multiply the sq. inches of your cage by the wished depth of your bedding, for instance, 10 inches. That’s 648 (sq. inches) x 10, which makes 6480 cubic inches.
  3. Since bedding measurement is displayed in liters, you should convert cubic inches to liters. To do this, multiply the cubic inches by 0.016387. The consequence gives you the variety of liters you want to have the ability to fill your cage with 10 inches of bedding.

I’ve created a calculator under to make it simpler for you.

Hamster Bedding Calculator

Enter cage width and size and the specified bedding depth in inches or centimeters and let the calculator present you what number of liters of bedding you want.

Deep Bedding = Happier Hamster

Deep bedding is an important a part of your hamster’s cage and presumably an important one. It permits hamsters to precise their pure behaviors of digging and constructing burrows, whereas offering them a sanctuary the place they really feel secure. This side of hamster husbandry is crucial for each their bodily and psychological well being.

In case your hamster is exhibiting indicators of stress, gnawing on the cage bars and continuously attempting to flee, rethink your cage setup and bedding depth. Present your hamster with a minimum of 10 inches of bedding (12 inches for a Syrian hamster), if no more. If the minimal quantity of bedding can’t match inside your present hamster cage, meaning the cage is sadly unsuitable in your pet and ought to be upgraded to one thing larger.


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