Hamsters can be relatively messy pets, especially if you have them in a barred cage from which they can flick out wood shavings. This can quickly get frustrating, especially if you’re a bit of a clean-freak like me. But I have to admit that I was a little concerned about vacuuming around my hamster. Would the noise scare him? Can I vacuum with my hamster in the room?
Hamsters have very sensitive hearing and are able to hear high frequencies that humans cannot, and as such, loud noises may be too much for them to handle. That being said, it largely depends on the hamster and how they react, but many pet owners find that they can vacuum without causing their pet any distress.
But surely, there is more to it than that. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of vacuuming in the same room as your hamster.
Can You Use A Vacuum In The Same Room As A Hamster?
If you look at hamster discussion groups, you will quickly see plenty of hamster owners that have successfully used a vacuum cleaner in the same room as their hamster, without the animal even noticing.
If you can do this, then great, but it is worth checking on your pet during and after the event. While you may think that they are merely sleeping in their nest, they could be hiding in there because they do not like the noise.
Hamsters have a very acute sense of hearing, and this is to make up for their poor eyesight. While they are not blind, their hearing is undoubtedly superior, and when you think about it, it is no wonder.
These are nocturnal animals who hunt in the dark; there are no lights in the wild, so they rely on their superior hearing to detect predators and find prey. Despite popular belief, wild hamsters have been known to hunt and devour insects.
What’s more, these tiny animals are able to pick up on frequencies that humans cannot. This means that the hum of the vacuum may be a lot more cacophonous to your pet.
Back to vacuuming; because your pet has an incredible sense of hearing, any loud noises could serve as a way of stressing them out. When a hamster becomes stressed, this can cause them to experience significant health problems.
In the main, stress can cause a hamster to become very hyperactive and nervous, and this will be evident in how they move around the cage.
If it is possible, you should remove your hamster from the room before vacuuming by placing the cage elsewhere. However, this will not always be possible, but there are things that you can do to limit the stress that the noise causes.
One of the easiest things that you can do is to cover the cage with a blanket; this will reduce the amount of noise that penetrates through.
It can also be useful to use a canister vacuum and place the canister outside of the room, just using the pipe to clean up, if it is long enough. Since most of the noise comes from the body of the machine, this can limit any disturbance to your pet.
Alternatively, you could consider permanently moving your pet into a room with a hard floor, which you could clean with a brush, removing the need to vacuum at all.
It is important to find a way to clean the room where your hamster is housed, as it is known that hammies can develop allergies to dust and other irritants. If the area around the cage is not well maintained, this can cause problems for your pet.
Can I Vacuum When My Hamster Is Out Of The Cage?
It takes nothing more than a little common sense to realize that vacuuming a room with a hamster running around the floor is not the wisest idea.
However, a common mistake that a lot of pet owners make is putting the hamster into a ball while they run the vacuum around. This may seem like a good idea at first thought, but let me tell you why it isn’t.
In the main, hamsters do not like being in an exercise ball. They find being in this enclosed space stressful, and if you do use one, we would suggest doing so for very short periods of time.
If you put your hamster in a ball while you vacuum, you would feel much more confident that you would not harm your pet with the machine. However, the entire experience could cause a lot of stress for your furry friend.
Imagine being placed in a large plastic ball and then ‘chased’ around the room with a giant, noisy piece of equipment that you had no idea what it was. Sounds scary, right? This is how it would feel to your pet, so if you need to clean up, make sure that your hamster is safely in their cage.
What Is The Right Environment For A Hamster Cage?
It is clear that loud noises are not ideal for your hamster, so aside from keeping the vacuum as far away as possible, you might also want to think about what other noises they are exposed to.
You should try to place the hamster’s cage in a room where there won’t be large levels of noise. Next to a television set or a music system is a no-go.
Similarly, you should avoid keeping them in a kitchen or laundry room where the noise of the appliances could frighten them.
Hamsters are also incredibly sensitive to sunlight, so the cage must always be kept in a shaded place where no bright lights will bother your pet.
That being said, you should also make sure that there are no draughts. You wouldn’t want your pet to catch a chill.
Of course, during the day, the lights may be on in the home, but you should make sure that your pet is kept in a room where there is a level of consistency. Perhaps a living room where the lights will be turned on and off at roughly the same time each day.
Can I play music around my hamster?
There is some suggestion that hamsters may find quiet music soothing. There is no reason why you should not listen to your favorite songs when your pet is in the room. However, you should avoid turning the volume up too high as this may cause distress.
Do hamsters like being out of their cage?
Hamsters are naturally inquisitive creatures who love to explore. On top of this, they need a lot of exercise, and in the wild, are known to run for miles each night. Letting them out of their cage is a great way to do this, and your hamster will likely enjoy this. However, you should be mindful of keeping them safe and providing an area where they can play without escaping, such as a playpen or enclosure.