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If you're like me, you want the best for your pets. Conventional pine and cedar litters are not good for the health of your hamster, gerbil, mouse, and rat. I use Carefresh instead. It is a recycled wood pulp paste (or something like that). It can be quite expensive though.
I didn't want my rodents sitting in uncomfortable aspen shavings (aspen is the only other safe litter, as it doesn't have all the oils that pine and cedar do). So I had an idea. I started buying one huge bag of aspen for $8.99 and one large bag of Carefresh for $19.99. This lasts me about 2 months for 4 rodents.
I also use toilet paper as their bedding inside their houses, and when I'm really running low and need to stretch the litter, I fill in with shredded up paper egg cartons.
For their food, I mix in plain rice puffs or Cheerios. The hamsters love them, and they are really cheap in the grocery store.
Use newspapers in small animal cages instead of buying bulky animal filler.
By Rennae G
You won't need to clean the cage as frequently if you litter train your little critter. Place some kitty litter (unscented, clumping is what I use) into the "pee corner" and when they have it all figured out, place an "outhouse" in the cage with some of the used litter in there (along with some clean litter).
All my hamsters have been litter trained. It cuts down on the cleaning AND the smell!
I use aspen and personally love it. I like the smaller pieces though, as I think they are softer. ;) Newspaper isnt good material to use. The ink runs when wet, can rub ink on the hamster, etc.. Definately not recommended.
Also, for litter boxes, I use chinchilla sand. (not dust)You can also use play sand, which is cheaper. You should still clean the cage out once a week though!
Plain, unscented toilet paper is an excellent nesting material. ;)
I use bird cage litter for my ferrets litter box. It is not dusty and inexpensive! Very easy to clean too!