Birdcage cleaning can seem like an arduous task at first. With so many bars, cracks, and crevices to scrub, it can be difficult for new bird owners to know where to start.
Establishing and sticking to a bird cage cleaning schedule is important to make this task as easy as possible. Breaking the process down into simple tasks to be done daily, weekly and monthly will not only save you time and energy but will also ensure that your bird always has a clean and comfortable cage to live in.
Dirty cages can cause many serious health problems in birds. To minimize your pet’s risk of infection, the cage should be cleaned daily. Follow these simple steps daily to ensure your bird’s cage is kept in top condition:
- Change the cage liner: It is not only unsightly but also unhealthy for birds to walk on discarded food and droppings. Unchanged cage liners can also give off a very unpleasant odor. Avoid these problems by changing your bird’s cage liner daily.
- Clean food and water dishes: Take out your bird’s food and water bowls daily and wash them with a mild dishwashing liquid. This will prevent the growth of bacteria that could harm your pet. Rinse the bowls thoroughly and dry them before placing them back in your bird’s cage.
- Clean surfaces: Use a damp cloth or paper towel to clean cage surfaces, including bars, perches, and toys. For stubborn, caked-on dirt, use a bird-friendly cage cleaner.
Set aside a specific day each week for weekly cage cleaning. Sticking to these tasks will reduce the risk of germs and bacteria taking up residence in your bird.
- Wash the cage tray: Bird cages have a tray at the bottom on which the cage liners rest. This tray should be removed at least once a week and scrubbed with a damp cloth and cage cleaner. Make sure the tray is dry before replacing the inserts and reinserting them.
- Remove and scrub the grid: Some bird cages have a grate in the bottom of the cage that hangs over the tray to allow droppings to fall to the floor. This grate should be scrubbed weekly to remove any dried droppings that may have accumulated on it. The easiest way to clean the grate is to place it in a bath and use a brush to remove the droppings. As with all cage parts, make sure they are completely dry before placing them back in the cage.
- Clean and replace perches: Dirt and debris can also accumulate on perches and are a potential breeding ground for bacteria. They should be soaked and scrubbed once a week to remove any germs that may be hiding on them. Some perches, especially wooden ones, take a long time to dry out after cleaning, so it is advisable to have some “spares” on hand. Place them in your bird’s cage while the clean perches are drying.
- Clean and change toys: Just like human babies, birds use their mouths to explore and play with their toys. Once a week, all toys in your pet’s cage should be removed, soaked, and scrubbed. As with perches, it can be helpful to have a variety of toys on hand for your bird. This way, you can change toys during the weekly cleaning and make sure your bird doesn’t get bored with his toys.
You should clean your birdcage at least once a month. If it is not too large, the easiest way is to remove the perches, toys, dishes, shelves, and trays and place the entire cage in the tub. Those who have larger cages often take them out to the patio or balcony and use a water hose or pressure washer to hose down the cage. Do what works best for you, but be sure to follow these important tips:
- Use a good scrub brush: Buy a sturdy brush with heavy-duty bristles to scrub the bars and bottom of the cage. Use a cage cleaner to loosen hard-to-remove sticky material.
- Be sure to scrub cracks: Bird cages, especially on the bottom, often have many cracks and crevices that provide an ideal place for germs to grow. Use the bristles of the brush to get into the cracks of the cage, and don’t forget to scrub the corners where the bars are welded together.
- Rinse thoroughly and dry off: Always remember to thoroughly rinse every inch of the cage to remove any leftover cleaning products. Wet birds catch colds easily, so it’s important to make sure the cage is completely dry.
Maintaining a clean environment for your pet only takes a few minutes a day, but can add years to your bird’s life. Cleaning your bird’s cage may seem like a lot of work, but you’ll find that you can get the job done with a minimum of time and effort if you stick to this simple schedule. Do your part to keep your pet comfortable by keeping his cage fresh, clean, and germ-free.