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What to Use for Hamster Litter… What Do They Prefer?

know your litter

Hay there valued human customers. When it's time for you to (ahem) go, we bet you prefer it to be in a place that is comfortable, clean, and not very smelly. It’s the same for hamsters. You want your fuzzy hammy to be healthy and safe, so think carefully about what to use for hamster litter before putting it in their enclosure. Choosing the right litter for small animals is super important.

Simulate Their Natural Habitat

To stay relaxed and comfortable, all hamsters burrow. To simulate their natural environment, they prefer hamster litter that facilitates burrowing and nesting.

Hamster in bedding

What Kinds are Safe?

Some hamster litter is more absorbent, and some reduce odors better than others. Conversely, some bedding advertised for hammies is health risks. To keep your little buddy safe, your litter needs to have the following characteristics. 

  1. Minimal dust (hamster respiratory systems are very delicate)
  2. Does not clump (Clay-based cat litters could cause a nasty blockage if your hammy ingested the material.)
  3. Absorbent
  4. Unscented 
  5. ​Free of additives

You’ll want to choose unscented paper or aspen bedding for your resident hamster. Fortunately, Small Pet Select has a full hamster product line, including bedding that’s safe.

Dangerous Litter: Softwood

You need to stay away from a few more attributes when considering what to use for hamster litter. You might think pine or cedar shavings are safe as they come from the woods and they smell nice. Unfortunately, these softwood varieties give off phenols. Phenols are organic compounds. Without going too deeply into the chemistry, you should know most simply that phenols vaporize into the air and they are toxic. However, as we mentioned earlier, safe hamster litter choices are plentiful.

We're all ears graphic

Here at Small Pet Select, we like to say, “when you provide a good litter, your pets will be relieved!” (We do love a pun.) We'd love to hear how your hammy enjoys our litter or feature cute photos of your fuzzy friend in our Weekly Cuties. Please email your comments and pictures to or post on our socials.

DISCLAIMER: Recommendations and external links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by Small Pet Select of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual.

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