6 Hamster Bedding Mistakes Everyone Have Made

Hamster has become a popular pet lately. In fact, despite its popularity, some owners still make common hamster bedding mistakes that might lead to the suffering of your hamster, or even worse, death.

There is no need to worry! Having a hamster at home is a piece of cake.

Let’s find out what you have to avoid when preparing the living environment for your hamster.

What is Hamster Bedding?

Hamster bedding, or you might know it as a substrate, is simply what you use to cover the bottom of your dear hamster’s living environment.

Overall, the main function of hamster bedding is to help your little hamster adapt well to the domestic environment in your home.

How to Choose Hamster Bedding

The selection of hamster bedding is important but very tricky as you have to take several factors into consideration.


Of course, one of the most important factors is the level of comforts for your hamster. Normally, discomforts will come from rough surfaces or any spiky materials you choose for bedding.

Instead, you should go for smooth and soft materials that provide your hamster with an ideal environment to live.


Urination happens fairly when you have a hamster. Therefore, it is necessary to choose some materials that absorb excess moisture very well.

Not only does it help your hamster to feel comfortable, but it also prevents possible health issues that occur to your hamster.


Raising pets is somehow similar to having a baby; you have to be committed. However, financially speaking, you had better choose hamster bedding that matches your budget the best.


Many people claim that hamsters are scent-free, but it is not true. In fact, their urine might result in an uncomfortable smell, especially if you do not clean it after weeks.

Therefore, it is better if you choose some bedding materials that help to reduce their urine’s scent significantly.


Cheek pouches seem to be the cutest feature of hamster and also one of the main reasons why many people want a hamster for their own. Besides, hamsters use cheek pouches to consume foods and even bedding material as well.

The fact is that most hamsters will swallow or chew some of their bedding, which drives you to select the material very carefully. Otherwise, your hamster is likely to suffer from health problems.

This article will shed light on this problem by showing you top hamster bedding mistakes.

Top 6 Hamster Bedding Mistakes

Thorough research is important to make the best nest for your hamster. However, the sad fact is that most of us understand it but hardly do it. As a consequence, your hamster usually suffers from uncomfortable bedding.

To avoid this scenario, you should know what to avoid in choosing hamster bedding.


The newspaper is the first thought of many people when it comes to choosing bedding mistakes. The first advantage of the newspaper is that it is very economical and environment-friendly.

Nevertheless, this is one of the biggest hamster bedding mistakes you might have ever made. The main reason is due to inks.

As mentioned above, hamsters usually chew or swallow some parts of their bedding. As a result, they often tend to eat newspaper if you use this material for their bedding.

Newspaper can be considered as toxic because of its inks that people use to print. In fact, we are also warned that inks in the newspaper might pose threats to our respiratory system and suggested not using it to cover foods.

The same effects might happen to your little hamster. Thus, you should avoid using newspaper to protect your hamster from health problems.

Cedar and Pine

Even though wood shavings are accepted to be one of the best materials for bedding, you had better not use cedar and pine wood shavings. They should be prohibited at all costs.

In fact, the use of these two materials for hamster bedding has been a controversial issue for a very long time. Although there is no conclusion from experts, most pet owners recommend not using them for the following reasons.

The first and also most important reason is that cedar and pine put your hamster in the danger of phenols. This substance is found in cedar and pine and is believed to result in respiratory and liver problems.

You can smell phenols immediately, as soon as you open the bag. Some might like its aroma, but it is a problem indeed. Although the main function of phenols is to eliminate moths and insects, they do have negative impacts on other animals as well.

Besides, the eyes and nasal passages of your hamster are exposed to irritations due to phenols as well. Phenols cause weakness in your hamster and stimulate the bacteria’s growth which eventually results in fatal pneumonia.

If your hamster digests cedar, the likelihood is that it will experience digestive problems.

So in general, countless problems result from the use of these two materials, and there is no doubt that they are the most serious hamster bedding mistakes you should avoid.

Unfortunately, many people who have not done research on the potential risks of cedar and pine are often attracted by their low price and purchase them for hamster bedding. This needs to be stopped now!

Fluffy Bedding

Softness, as mentioned above, is an essential factor to consider. Understanding this very well, many people choose fluffy bedding to create the fullest softness. However, it seems to be counter-productive.

Artificial fibers are the main ingredient used to produce fluffy bedding, and they cause harmful effects when being digested.

Also, hamster’s legs are usually fragile and small. If you buy fluffy bedding, the probability is that your hamster might get injuries.

Scented Bedding

Do not misunderstand what we just mentioned above! The hamster bedding should be good at absorbing uncomfortable smells from urine. It should not be scented.

Scented Bedding is one of the most common hamster bedding mistakes. It is the main reason for hamster’s breathing difficulty.

Furthermore, many toxic chemicals are found in scented bedding, and the consequence is that your hamster suffers from various health problems.

Corn Cob

Corn cob is among top hamster bedding mistakes, mainly due to the producer’s false advertisement. Corncob creates a favorable condition for molds to develop easily and they will attack your hamster and cause health problems.

As it is very tough to digest, your hamster will experience digestive problems. Moreover, impaction is the real danger for your hamster when it eats corn cob. Common symptoms of impaction are constipation, abdominal pain and bloating.

Cat Litter

Like other hamster bedding mistakes, the selection of cat litter for your hamster’s nest probably leads to digesting issues.

Also, we also need to pay attention to some harmful substances that cat litter might contain and their unwanted effects on your little hamster’s health.


Overall, these are some common hamster bedding mistakes. The level of severity might vary from a mistake to another, but they all pose threats to your hamster.

Thus, you are recommended to keep these materials far away from your hamster’s home. Whenever choosing a suitable material, you need to check whether it contains mites or insects so as to protect your hamster from harmful enemies.

I hope that considering all information in this article; you can come up with the most suitable choice of hamster bedding. This not only makes your hamster live healthily but also helps you enjoy the raising of your hamster to the fullest extent and minimizes the medical expenses.

Let’s share this article so that more and more pet owners avoid preventable problems in the future!