As a responsible pet owner, the health issue is always what we concern about most. Except for common diseases like wet tail and obesity, diseases on the urogenital system are more likely to be ignored.
To prevent such illness, we should always pay attention to the condition of the urine of our fluffy and adjust the feeding strategy correspondingly.
You may refuse to pay much attention to the urine because it smells terrible. Thus, in this article, I will introduce some tips to lower urine observation’s disgusting feeling by the maximum level.
How often should a healthy hamster urinate?
The frequency varies a lot from hamster to hamster according to the food they eat, the bedding choices, and their habit. But for a healthy hamster, once a day is greatest.
What should the urine be like?
The appearance of healthy urine differs a little bit according to the hamster species. For Syrian hamsters, the pee should be transparent，while milky white or misty yellow is also acceptable. For dwarf hamsters, especially Siberian hamster families, their pee should be transparent without a little yellowish color.
Factors affecting urine
Food is always the most important factor working on the condition of urine because its effect will show soon after eating.
Food rich in pigment will make the color of urine change correspondingly. For example, after eating a carrot, which is rich in carotene, your hamster’s pee is very likely to turn reddish. I have to mention that the red from a carrot is very different from blood, while the latter one is symbolic dark red, so there is no need to panic when you find your hamster pee is reddish.
Food rich in calcium may result in milky and viscous urine.
- Possible effects
Both of the food I have mentioned above lead to diseases on the kidney. Whether natural or artificial pigments are an extra burden for hamsters, redundant calcium will finally result in calculus.
Once you find your fluffy show any similar signs as I have mentioned above, I strongly suggest that you stop feeding the specific kind of food immediately and try to make your fluffy take in much water. Fresh fruit is a good choice but avoids fruit rich in fructose. Since most hamsters hate drinking water directly, a dilute solution of glucose can both meet the need for water and luring your fluffy.
Usually, urogenital diseases will result in abnormal urine. If your fluffy is suffering from such diseases, it is very likely that there will be blood in his urine, and his pee will be dark red or brownish-red.
Urogenital diseases are, in fact, common diseases for hamsters, especially those in captivity. The leading cause is mostly fungal infection. Below is what you can do.
(1) Increase the frequency of thoroughly cleaning. Dirty and wet beddings are the hotbed for pathogenic fungi.
(2) Change bedding options. Wood chips are always the best choice, though maybe a little more expensive. Cellulose wadding is also a new popular choice, which even beats traditional wood chips by its excellent water imbibition and permeability. Paper is strongly NOT recommended.
(3) After you do these above for a week and your fluffy’s urine fails to get back to normal, you’d better take him to a vet.
3 steps to observe urine (Recommended procedure)
- A pair of gloves and a mask
I bet you do have a pair of gloves because you definitely need it to clean the cage.
A mask is the most important tool in the observation of hamster pee. Firstly, the hamster pee really stinks, so a face mask can effectively reduce the suffering. Besides, since hamsters would use urine to mark their own territory, their pee contains a high ammonia concentration. A face mask makes sure that you are safe from the stimulating, poisonous gas.
In my opinion, the face mask is the thicker, the better. Thicker masks cause greater trouble in breathing, but since the whole observation will not last long, they can protect you better.
Another vital necessity for these protections lies in protecting you from any possibility of virus affection. As far as scientific research reveals, small rodents’ urine can spread several kinds of viruses, including lethal Yersinia pestis and Haemorrhagic fever. Therefore, protection is never too much.
- Appropriate opportunity
Though the fresh urine is the best for observation, you can’t wait aside the hamster cage all day long, creating unnecessary hamsters’ pressure.
The perfect choice is to offer your fluffy some food rich in moisture like fresh fruit on the regular cage- cleaning day. The metabolism of hamsters is rather fast, so it will not take long to find that your hamster pees in the corner. Then it is the right time for you to observe the urine along with cleaning the cage.
- What to observe?
When you clean the hamster cage, you will definitely get all the beddings out, and our mission is to observe the remains of urine on the beddings. Choose the area as fresh as possible, because dried areas are in a darker color, which may influence your judgment.
Then you should pay attention to the color and the viscosity of the urine, as I have mentioned above.
Always keeping an eye on your hamster’s urine when you clean his cage has no disadvantages. I hope every fluffy would be happy and healthy.