The first stepBefore you put your hammy in his new cage, disinfect it with some drops of mild disinfectant and water. Rinse it out and dry it well. Do not put a hamster in a wet cage.
Where to place the cage?Avoid places that are in hot sun, in draught, or near radiators. Also, the cage must be out of cat reach if you have them. Even though the rodent is usually safe inside, a feline can scare it.
Bedding material and nestling materialBedding material is the one you place in the bottom of the cage, and nestling material is the one that your hamster will take into its favourite hiding spot to line the nest to sleep in.
Aspen, pine, and other wood shavings make very good bedding materials because they basically are non-toxic, dry and absorbent. However, you had better avoid cedar beddings because its smell can be too strong for a little hamster. Shavings produced specially for small animals is the best choice.
Nestling materials can be hay, white paper, and cardboard. You can put those in the nestling box - it should encourage your hamster to make its nest there.
Water, food, and accessoriesPlace some food in the cage and set up the water bottle. So that your hamster does not get bored, provide it with some toys and other accessories such as an exercise wheel, wood chews, and perhaps a toilet paper roll.
The best way to introduce the hamster to its new cageWhen you have brought your hamster to its new home, let him settle in the cage as soon as possible. But do not pick it up because the animal may be stressed after the journey, and handling it incautiously can make it worse. Instead, place the transportation box on the cage floor and let the hamster go out when it feels like.
Give the hamster some days to come to its sensesEven though it is best to start the taming process as soon as possible, do not do it the very first day you have brought your pet home. Let the hamster get used to the new environment and explore the cage for a couple of days. Do not handle it unless it is really necessary (feeding, for example). Remember that any change of home is stressful, so do not rush the things and let your hamster start feeling comfortable again.
Cage cleaning requirementsCleaning the cage once a week should work fine. Usually, its most important aim is to change the bedding to a fresh one. Every month make a major cleaning that includes washing cage accessories with soapy water and cage disinfection. Use a toothbrush to clean all parts better. Even the inside of the water bottle must be cleaned.
Image credit: Ady Kyte