Is Straw Good for Hamsters as Their Beddings?

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Many other small pets, such as guinea pigs and rabbits, use straws as bedding for inside their cage. You may be left wondering whether straw is a suitable bedding alternative for hamsters.

Is straw safe for hamsters?

Straw should never be used as bedding in a hamster cage as it can be sharp and could potentially damage the insides of your hamster’s mouth, pouch, and skin. There are much better bedding alternatives for hamsters.

There are much better alternatives to straw bedding. Straw can cause a range of health problems that are easy to avoid if you were to swap to different bedding.

Why is Straw Not Safe for Hamsters?

Some hamster breeders and owners will recommend straw as it can be a great way to absorb odors, although there are many concerns you should be aware of for using straw as your hamster’s bedding.

Other small animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs use staw beddings, so why can’t hamsters?

The truth is straw can be far too sharp and rigged for hamsters and may do more bad than good.

Straw may dig into your hamster skin as it can be quite sharp. If your hamster were to try eating it, it could also cut the inside of their mouths or pouches.

a hamster in a cage with straw bedding, is straw safe for hamsters

Although this may not happen very often, it is best to avoid using a straw and swap it for alternative bedding that is more suitable for hamsters.

Check: How Long Can You Leave Hamsters Alone?

What Are the Best Type Of Bedding for Hamsters?

It’s important to know what the best type of bedding is for your hamster.

A good type of bedding will be soft, comfortable, and great at absorbing bad odors and moisture such as urine and water bottle leaks.

a hamster on a bedding

You’ve got to be careful as some pet store staff lack proper knowledge and may recommend beddings that should not be used for hamsters such as pine and cedarwood shavings.

Pine and cedarwood shavings can be sharp and brittle, which isn’t suitable for hamsters.

Some hamster beddings come with scents that help with odor control. However, some users have reported being allergic to the scents and causing irritations to their hamsters.

It is our recommendation to avoid using these scented beddings unless the odor is really bad. Extra ingredients have been added to the bedding to create the scent.

READ MORE: Why is My Syrian Hamster Not Drinking Water?

Also, don’t forget to know how often should hamster bedding be changed.

Below we have recommended 3 hamster beddings that we use for our hamsters.

Best Hamster Bedding: Our Top Picks

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These are the top 3 hamster beddings we recommend using for your hamster cage.

If you’re still looking for alternatives, we have put together a list of great hamster beddings with a pros and cons list as well as odor-scented beddings that can really help mask the smell of your hamster cage.

If you have allergies, you may want to check out our best hamster beddings for people with allergies.

I’m Using Straw As My Hamster Bedding. Should I Remove It?

If you’re currently using it as their bedding, it is wise to remove the straw and replace it with one of the beddings that we’ve recommended above.

Straw can cause a range of health problems and is a risk for your hamster to use it as their bedding.

Although it may help with odor control, it can be sharp and may penetrate into your hamster’s skin or hurt their mouth.

READ MORE: Hamster Losing Hair: Do Hamsters Shed?

Can I Use Aspen Shavings As My Hamster’s Bedding?

open shaving, is straw safe for hamsters

Aspen shavings are quite inexpensive and are a suitable alternative for your hamster’s bedding, but they aren’t as soft or comfortable for your hamster.

They are also often not as absorbent compared to other hamster beddings that you can use which can lead to a cage that smells more.

Don’t forget to check our hamster care guide!

READ MORE: Do Hamsters Smell as Bad as Mice?

Here are some of the best hypoallergenic beddings.


Is hay safe for hamsters?

Hay is safe for hamsters and can be a great daily source of fiber. It’s a good idea to remove any sharp pieces of hay as it can dig into the hamster’s skin. It is a good idea to remove any wet pieces of hay as it is prone to mold.

Is timothy hay safe for hamsters?

timothy hay

Timothy hay is safe for hamsters to eat and bed in. It is a good idea to remove any sharp pieces of hay so it doesn’t dig into the hamster’s skin and hurt them. Timothy hay can be a great source of daily fiber.

Is meadow hay safe for hamsters?

Hamsters can eat meadow, timothy, and alfalfa hay. Hay is a wonderful source of fiber and can be given to them daily in small quantities.

a hamster in a cage on bedding

Is straw safe for hamsters? Please share your opinion on this topic below!

Alina Hartley
Alina Hartley

Alina Hartley is a small-town girl with a ginormous love of bearded dragons. It all started with Winchester, a baby bearded who was abandoned at the shelter by his former owners because of a birth defect that caused one front leg to be shorter than the other. Alina originally went to the shelter looking for a guinea pig, but one look at Winchester and it was love at first sight. From that day on, Alina has dedicated her life to learning everything she can about bearded dragons. She loves helping new beardie parents start their incredible journey with these magnificent reptiles.
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