Removing Small Caged Pet Odors

Grumpy’s Tips To Remove Small Pet Cage Odors

I hate the smell of pet odor in the morning. I wake up to take my first big breath of fresh air only to inhale the smell of a tiny rodent. You wouldn’t think these little things could produce such strong scents and you would be wrong. But there are some ways to control that odor.


Old Grumpy’s Quick Solution

  1. Change your A/C filters frequently
  2. Clean the cage at least once a week
  3. Use scented bedding that expands
  4. Sprinkle a light layer of baking soda on the bottom the cage
  5. Use an Enzyme Cleaner that naturally eats organic waste
  6. Freshen the air with activated bamboo charcoal


Preventive Maintenance

The good news is that most mammals are like people in that they share cleanliness and organizational habits. To maintain a quality of life they designate areas for sleeping, storage, eating, and bathrooms. If you pay attention to these patterns it will make cleaning and odor control much easier for you.

Do not try to change the areas that the animal has designated. If they found a spot to use the restroom, then that is the best place to place the litter. Unfortunately, hamsters may be the exception and poop anywhere. But the overall suggestions and tips still apply.

Clean Air

The first thing you will want to do to control odor is to make sure the air around the cage is clean. No matter how many times you clean the cage, airborne odors will get trapped if you do not use preventive measures. Make sure to change your A/C filters frequently and that your air ducts are not clogged. Using a HEPA filter vacuum or an advanced system like the Rainbow Cleaner will go a long way to battle odors in your air.

Maintain Cleaning Schedule

The best way to control pet odor is to clean the cage at least once a week. If you have children taking care of small pets… I offer my condolences. This is not a page about how to convince your children to do things. However, I have a few suggested schedule tips that may help you or your children.

  • Daily Cleaning
    • Pick up urine and poop spots from both the litter and bedding
    • Grab the surrounding litter and bedding
    • Do a quick rinse of the food bowl before replenishing food
    • Pick up any loose items the animal may have thrown out of the cage
  • Weekly Cleaning
    • Completely replace all the bedding and litter
    • Wash and disinfect all trays, bowls, bottles, beds, and toys
  • Monthly Cleaning
    • Wash and disinfect the entire cage and accessories.

Use Fresh Bedding

I mentioned this in the previous section but it’s important to stress. Use fresh Bedding because it can build up urine and feces over time. You can do a daily spot clean that takes only a matter of seconds. Grab the surrounding litter and bedding that the animal relieved itself and toss it. You can replace the spot with a little fresh bedding.

Litter Box

Many animals will naturally use a Litter and a litter box. This makes cleaning and odor control much easier for you. Keep an eye on the location that the animal pees and simply place a litter box. Alternatively, you could put a handful of litter in the spot and a light layer of bedding on top. A hamster may use the litter to pee but it is highly doubtful they will poop in one area. Most of them are stupid little creatures and poop anywhere. They are lucky they are cute.


Grumpy Says: “Use fresh bedding because it can build up urine and feces over time.”



Cleaning Tips

Use soap and water when cleaning the cage. Make sure to wash and scrub every part of the cage and accessories. It is probably best to avoid cleaning in the kitchen to prevent spreading bacteria. Have a dedicated brush and sponge for cage cleaning that you keep separate.

Make your cage cleaning easier and more efficient for yourself. Use an enzyme cleaner that naturally eats away at organic materials like urine. I have suggested Nature’s Miracle products for other odor fighting solutions. They have a Cage Cleaner that is specifically good at removing tough, caked-on debris from the cage. Works well as a spot cleaner if your pet leaves an accident while outside of the cage.

Each animal is different when it comes to the frequency of baths required. It is best to ask the location you acquired the animal for their recommendations. I do have some general tips for small animals. Waterless Shampoo is a quick and safe way to clean your little furry animal. Baby shampoo is typically safe on animals and from my experience leaves their fur soft. Pet fragrance sprays act like perfume and is a quick solution to mask odors in-between baths.


Cleaning and odor control tips for cages are basically the same for aquariums. However, due to their heavy weight, it may not be easy to use soap and water. You can use rubbing alcohol once you have taken everything out. Use a vacuum to clear out small debris that you may have missed. If absolutely necessary you can use bleach, but make sure the bleach smell is completely gone before putting anything back.


Grumpy Says: “Use an enzyme cleaner that naturally eats away at organic materials like urine.”



Odor Eliminator Solutions

Baking Soda

Household Baking Soda is always my go-to solution to clean and deodorize around the home. Sprinkle a light layer on the bottom the cage before you add fresh bedding. This will absorb odors and reduce moisture in the cage. You can also use baking soda when you are washing the cage with a sponge.


Normal White Vinegar is a natural solution to eliminate bad odors and to kill bacteria. Add a little vinegar to your sponge and thoroughly wipe the cage. Don’t worry about the vinegar smell, it will dissipate along with the bad odor.

Enzyme Cleaner

Use an Enzyme Cleaner that naturally eats away at organic waste. They are specifically good at removing tough, caked-on debris from the cage.

Expanding Scented Bedding

Don’t just use normal bedding to absorb urine. Scented Bedding that expands is better at reducing odors. It has scented bits that add a light fragrance to the air. It is more absorbent because it expands to about 3x the original size.


Consider using a Supplement that you can add to your pet’s food. They work by pumping a liquid on the food which cuts down on the odor of their waste. Just like people taking supplements, the results will vary from pet to pet. Give it a shot, it may cut down on overall odors.

Activated Charcoal

My number one recommendation for absorbing impurity odors from the air is to use activated bamboo charcoal. I usually suggest a brand that comes in little bags that you can place just about anywhere in your home. Although you could use them, I would suggest Activated Charcoal Enclosures in case your pet feels the need to rip bags open.


Grumpy Says: “Sprinkle a light layer of baking soda on the bottom the cage before you add fresh bedding.”