How to maintain a clean bird cage
For bird lovers, a key factor in keeping your birds healthy is to make sure their cages, play stands and other accessories are cleaned regularly. Cleaning your bird cage may seem like a tedious chore at first. With so many bars, cracks and crevices to scrub, new bird owners can have a hard time figuring out where to start.
Setting and adhering to a cleaning schedule for your bird cage is critical to keeping this job as manageable as possible. Breaking this process down into simple tasks to complete daily, weekly and monthly will not only save you time and effort, but also ensure your bird always has a clean and comfortable cage to live in.
When you're cleaning out your bird cage, this is the perfect time to see if your bird shows any signs of discomfort. Here are some helpful tips.
- Daily Cleaning
Change the liner. The liner of the cage should be replaced daily. Newspaper (black and white inks only, as some colored inks can be toxic) is a good choice since it is easy to replace and allows for good observation of the droppings. For smaller birds, some people put several layers of padding in the cage, so they only need to remove the top layer. If you follow this procedure, make sure the remaining lining is clean and not soaked with water or feces.
Clean Food and Water Dishes. Remove bird food and water bowls daily and wash with mild dish soap. This will stop the growth of bacteria that could harm your pet. Be sure to rinse and dry them thoroughly before putting them back in the cage. A good option is to have two or more sets of plates so that while one is being washed, the other can be used in the cage. Stainless steel or impact-resistant plastic utensils are recommended because they are easy to clean and can withstand repeated washing, hot water, and disinfectants.
Wipe the Surface. Use a damp rag or paper towel to clean the surfaces of the cage, including railings, perches, and any toys. To clean stubborn, stuck-on debris, use a bird cage cleaner.
Weekly / Monthly Cleaning
Clean Cage Tray. There is a tray at the bottom of the bird cage for placing the cage lining. The tray should be removed at least weekly and scrubbed with a damp cloth and cage cleaner. Remember to make sure the trays are dry before putting back the liners and replacing them.
Clean and Replace Perches. Perches can also accumulate dirt and waste. They should be soaked and scrubbed weekly to remove any bacteria that may be hiding on them. Some perches, especially wooden ones, take a long time to dry after cleaning, so it's best to keep some "spare" perches handy. Put these in your bird cage while the ones you've cleaned are drying.
Clean Accessories. Much like human babies, birds use their mouths to explore and play with their toys. Once a week, all toys in the pet's cage should be removed, soaked and scrubbed. Also, having two sets of toys is often a big time saver, so the dry, clean ones can be quickly put into the cage while the other set dries. Discard any unclean, worn or broken toys.
Maintaining a clean environment for your pet only takes a few minutes a day, but may extend the life of your birds. Keeping the cage fresh, tidy and sterile ensures your pet stays happy and comfortable.