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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My daughter aquired a hamster from a friend cause they were moving, so Ive been trying to learn as much as possible about how to care for one. I read that when hamsters get stinky that we can't bath them but that we can use baby bum wipes.. Any truth to this or will the wipes irritate? What if i used a damp cloth with Johnsons Baby Shampoo? Would that be okay? I plan on getting Carefresh bedding for it too, cause its better for them and retains smells pretty good.. any tips and info on this would be awesomely helpful :)

Oh and any tips on the best way to clean the cage? I was told to use a vinigar mix or a mild dish soap, some ppl told me bleach.. what works best? and which is safest?
 

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The only "stink" I've ever had associated with a hamster are females - but that's their scent to attract males, and it's better to just suffer through it than risk exposing them to chemicals or chilling them from a bath. If this hamster is stinky, I'm assuming it's female. It never failed - every single female hamster I had, once they reached maturity, started giving off this horrible, stunk-like smell that sticks to your hands and clothing. That's one of the main reasons I tried to stick with males, unless a particular female called to me. Males don't stink at all. Otherwise they are very clean creatures, they're habitual washers just like cats. But if the hamster hasn't reached sexual maturity yet, or is male, being stinky isn't a good thing, and I'd question the care of it by the previous owners. I'm speaking of Syrians, by the way. I don't know how it is with dwarves - but I imagine any stench that isn't associated with sexual maturity is not a good thing. I only had one dwarf hamster, and didn't have a good time with her(she was mean), so, I haven't had any dwarves since.

And honestly, I never use bleach for any of my pets' cages or things. Actually, I don't use bleach, period. Vinegar is a fantastic disinfectant by itself. I use dish soap like once a month, or in preparation for a new arrival to make sure any traces of the last one are gone. For every usual cage cleaning, though, I just use straight vinegar. Also, vinegar and baking soda are a neat, highly effective cleaner mix that's completely safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Oh! That may be the cause! It is a female and a teddybear syrian hamster, I'm not sure how old she is though, but i do notice the smell isnt overly offensive unless you hold her, then u can smell it, and it does stick to the clothes and your hands, its quite icky lol.. so thats probably the case, is the stink permanent? or is it it like every other female's "cycle"?

I like nuzzling her, but i most definitely wont while she's a stinky hammi >_< hope it goes away lol D:
 

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As far as I remember(it's been a few years since I had hamsters, and several years longer than that that I had one which reached sexual maturity), it's there for good. I've never bred hamsters, so I don't know if they have heat cycles, or are pretty much in heat all the time. I don't think there's anything that's really safe to dull the stench, unfortunately, I just suffered through it, even though they never got nearly the amount of play time that my males got.

They don't smell until they've reached sexual maturity, so...congratulations, you have one grown-up hammie, lol.

Just make sure you wear clothing you don't mind getting stunk-up, or donate an outfit for holding her if you have to, :)

I remember my first female where I smelt it - I kept sniffing my hands wandering what the HECK that smell was! It took several days before I realized the smell was from my darling little fuzzy female.
 

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Weird, most of my hamsters were female and the only time I noticed a smell like that was when one of them was stressed (about being handled). It wasn't a normal thing for my girls. What species of hamster did you keep, FlickeringHope? Just wondering if it's a species thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ive looked into the maturity smell issue even more and found that indeed it is common for female Syrian hammies to be smelly ~sigh~

I'm positive Kisses isn't stressed, I made sure the first few days after we got her that my daughter left her alone so she could get used to her new surroundings, and when we do hold her I just sit back and let her roam a bit and do her thing ^^
 

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Syrians. I only ever had one dwarf hamster, who was female, and she killed herself before she reached maturity.

My hamsters were never stressed either :)
 

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I guess I got lucky with mine :lol:.

If they're anything like mice, washing frequently will make them scent mark more so I'd just leave her be.
 

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Zoo Keeper
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Hamsters should never smell its a sign of poor health and or lack of cage cleaning
 

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I only ever had one female hamster but she did not smell! I never heard of that, lol! If my Button or Puff ever smelled it was lingering stink from their nests. They both habitually let their food rot in there as well as peed in bed :p. Button used to get mats in his fur from peeing in bed and turning in it during the day. At night when I took him out I would let him run around for a couple hours and cleaned out his nest. Reducing the food you leave out to about a teaspoon a night might help. This is about all they eat anyway. The rest goes to bed with them. If your hamsters nest area is anything like Buttons was it gets warm and moist in there. I suggest cleaning it every night or 2 and while the hamster is out playing leave it open to dry.

To answer your question about cleaning her, NEVER wipe down a small animal with human baby wipes. All that chem will only harm her. Hamsters will clean themselves.
 

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Zoo Keeper
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actually they make hamster wipes :) Just check out the ingredients :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
well Ifound out the problem was the bedding, we changed it to soft mashed cardboard type bedding and the hamster doesnt stink at all anymore lol, im so happy to be holding that little fluff ball again xD
 

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she-mayor of Whoville
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clean the cage once a week and if you still smell something pungent, there is a problem.
 
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