How to Toilet Train a Hamster

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Obtain a litter box.,
Observe where you hamster usually eliminates.,
Set up the litter box.,
Place the hamster near the litter.,
Get a clicker.,
Consider a training area.,
Establish a positive connection with the clicking sound.,
Transition into clicking only when your hamster uses his litter box.,
Reinforce the behavior.,
Be as persistent as you can.,
Clean the litter regularly.,
Use caution when handling your hamster as a form of positive reinforcement.,
Try some trial and error.,
Avoid cedar bedding as a form of litter.

If you want to toilet train your hamster, the first step is to provide your hamster with a litter box. You can purchase a litter box or make you own.

You can purchase a “hamster potty” online or at a local pet store. Such devices are small plastic enclosures that you place in the corner of your hamster’s cage. Many store-bought litter boxes come with their own scoop and bag of hamster-safe litter.You can also make your own hamster potty at home. All you need to do is find a small plastic enclosure, like old packaging of some sort, and cut a hole in it big enough for your hamster to fit through. However, the one downside to building your own enclosure is that repurposed materials may not be resistant to urine and feces. You might have to periodically replace a homemade container if it absorbs these materials and leave a smell.;
, Hamsters are fairly neat animals. Your hamster probably already has a particular corner of his cage where he likes to eliminate. In order to help him understand what his new box is for, you’ll need to observe where he usually does his business. For best results, place his litter box somewhere in this area., Once you’ve established where your hamster likes to use the bathroom, set the litter box up here. Simply clear any sand or chips out of the area and place the box in this space. Make sure it is secure and will not topple over when your hamster climbs in and out.

Most hamsters eliminate somewhere in the corner of their cages. Therefore, most store-bought containers are made in a triangular or square shape so they can be easily fitted into this corner.Cover the bottom of the litter box with some kind of padding to soak up excess urine. Add some litter to the container. You might want to put on some gloves and move a few of your hamster’s droppings into the litter. This will help him understand what the litter box is for., Once the litter box is set up, place your hamster near the new box. Allow him to familiarize himself with the new contraption. Many hamsters will instinctively understand what the box is for, especially if you’ve moved some of his droppings into the box. If your’e lucky, you may not have to spend much time training your hamster from here., If your hamster does not take to the litter box on instinct, you’ll have to do some training. Like dogs and cats, hamsters and other smaller pets can be trained via clicker training. Buy a small training clicker at a local pet store. Clicker training works by teaching a pet to associate positive feelings with the clicking noise. Then, you press down on the clicker each time the animal engages in the desired behavior., Training areas are areas of your home where you can supervise your hamster as he performs a certain behavior. You should use a safe, enclosed space free from any distractions. For example, you can use a box with high sides. Training areas are normally used to teach tricks and not useful behaviors like litter training. However, if your hamster is nervous around his litter box it might help. Try to place him in a training area after you’ve seen him eating or drinking. He may be encouraged to go in his box if there’s nowhere else to eliminate., You’ll need to train your hamster to associate a clicking sound with a positive experience. You can use treats, praise, or petting to teach the hamster the clicker means he’s being rewarded.

You have to time the click well. Take a treat and present it to your hamster. As soon as his mouth is near the treat, click.Do not just click and treat randomly. Watch for any small indication of the desired behavior and then click. If you see your hamster go near his litter box, click and treat. If your hamster eliminates near the box, click and treat., After a few weeks, you should only click and treat when your hamster does the desired behavior. When you see your hamster use his litter box, click and treat. Do not click and treat if he eliminates near the litter box.

, As you observe your hamster in day-to-day life, work hard to reinforce the behavior. Keep an eye on him while you doing activities around your home. Keep your clicker in your pocket or tie it on a string around your neck. When you see your hamster using his litter box, click to reinforce the behavior. After a certain point, you do not have to use treats. Your hamster will learn to associate clicking with rewards and praise in and of itself., Obviously, it’s not possible to observe your hamster 100% of the time. However, work to be as consistent as you can. With time, your hamster will learn that his litter box is where he should eliminate. This will make clean-up time much easier on you.

If your hamster goes outside his litter box, it may help to move his droppings inside the box. This way, he’ll associate the smell of feces and urine with his litter box. He may then better understand he needs to eliminate in the box.

, Hamsters are neat animals. They will not like using a dirty litter box. If the box is not clean, your hamster may eliminate outside of it. Scoop out the litter box at least once a day and change the litter each week when you clean your hamster’s cage.

, As stated, handling or petting is not the best form of reinforcement when training a hamster. However, if you would rather use petting over treats take certain precautions to make sure your approach is effective.

Make sure your hamster is comfortable with you handling him. If you don’t usually pick him up or pet him, take a few days to let him get used to you. Place your hand in his box and let him sniff it before you try to pet him or pick him up. Spend a few minutes handling him each day until he gets comfortable.
Make sure your hamster enjoys the handling or petting you’re using as reinforcement. If he’s squirming, sneezing, licking his lips, or yawning these are signs of anxiety. Stop handling your hamster in this way. You do not want your hamster to associate clicking with a negative experience., Some hamsters may be particularly stubborn about toilet training. Clicker training may not work for all hamsters. Other hamsters may not instinctively use their box. If your hamster does not seem to take to his litter box, try changing things up.

Try a different type of box. Switch out a store-bought box for a homemade one, for example. Your hamster may simply dislike the material you’re using, which could make him resistant to his litter box.
Experiment with a different type of litter. Your hamster may also dislike the litter you’re using so try swapping it out for a different brand. Hamsters tend to take to sand most easily as a form of litter, so look for a sand-based brand.Your litter should be a completely different material than what you use for the bedding and bottom of the cage. If your hamster’s bedding is wood-based, for example, you’ll need to use a paper-based litter. Otherwise, your hamster will not use his litter box., Many people may use cedar bedding as a form of litter or as a bed for their hamster. While sometimes used for other small mammals, cedar bedding can cause respiratory problems in hamsters. Make sure you only use litter marketed specifically for hamsters.

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