Skip to main content

Follow these steps to keep your bird’s cage clean

Birds might fall on the lower end of the spectrum in terms of pet commitment, but cleaning your bird’s cage will seem like a big hassle when it comes time. It’s more than just scooping out the poop. Your bird will much prefer to have a scrubbed environment, and this will help him live a healthy life. 

Two budgies perch in outdoor cage
Africa Studio/Shutterstock

How often should a birdcage be cleaned?

We recommend cleaning your bird’s cage every week, but that will vary depending on how big the cage is, how many birds are in there, and what types you have. Monitor your pet’s conditions closely and clean anytime it looks like he needs a refresh. You can take a few steps beforehand to make sanitizing the cage easier. Avoid wood and cloth (unless it’s not hard to remove and washable) and stick with plastic and paper for your bird. Remember, you’ll also need to frequently clean his toys, food and water dishes, perches, and any “furniture” to keep him well. But in a few simple steps, you’ll have him in a sparkly home, as good as new.

Find a safe space for your bird

Before you do any cage cleaning, you’ll want to take your pet out. To deep-clean, you need to break down the cage (if you have a model that separates), spray, scrub, and dry all the pieces of your bird’s home. He’ll certainly want to be elsewhere while you do this, and it’ll keep him safe, especially if you’re using birdcage cleaner. A backup cage or his playroom will make great temporary housing for him. As always, beware of any hazards such as sharp edges, wires, or moving parts like fans if you’re letting him out of the cage.

Replace the liner 

You’ll need to experiment to determine what’s best for you when you first get your bird. While there are many liners on the market, newspaper usually does the trick. Be sure to change it frequently — even more often than you do a full clean. The good news: You can buy a cage with a built-in removable tray to replace your bird’s liner or newspaper easily.

Take apart the cage

Some pieces of the cage probably detach to make this process easier. In addition to the tray, you might be able to take apart the top or bottom, allowing better access. As part of this step, pull out all your bird’s things as well, including any feeding dishes.

Parakeet eats seed from cage
Sarycheva Olesia/Shutterstock

Scrub the floor, wall, and ceilings

The least fun but most important part: Cleaning a birdcage means scrubbing some amount of his leavings. Even with your paper on the cage floor, you’ll still find some droppings around, including (somehow) on the bars. Perches in particular can be tricky to clean, and some bird owners find it simpler to use fake wood for that reason. Regardless, you’ll have to do some work here. If you choose to use any cleaning products, use only pet-friendly ones and check with your vet to be sure your bird won’t mind. A sponge or scrub brush and some warm, soapy water will go a long way.

Leave it to dry

If your bird’s enjoying his staycation, leaving the cage to dry will usually be fine. Ensure that no rust or mold could develop, and you’ll definitely want to give the cage a quick wipe first. Don’t put it back together or the bird back in until it’s completely dry. A hair dryer will speed up the process for some of the pieces, but don’t get the metal too hot or melt any plastic (try a cool setting to start).

Put it back together

Putting your cage back together somehow always seems trickier than necessary. Spice up the “reveal” for your bird by rearranging his toys or replacing them with new ones. Birds are curious creatures and will enjoy getting to know their space again. Lastly, replace the newspaper or liner and finally reintroduce your bird. Top off cleaning day by cleaning him, too, so he goes in completely refreshed.

Once you’ve had your bird awhile, you’ll get a better sense of how often you need to clean him and his cage. Keeping up with routine maintenance will save work in the long run and will surely keep him happy. While he’s already out and being bathed, you can check on his toes and beak and replace any food that’s ready for a refresh.

Editors' Recommendations

Rebekkah Adams
Rebekkah’s been a writer and editor for more than 10 years, both in print and digital. In addition to writing about pets…
A simple guide to what to feed tadpoles in your aquarium
A list of everything you should and shouldn't give baby frogs
Small child looks into a jar of tadpoles

Whether you’re taking in rescue tadpoles or planning to keep frogs as pets, you’ll have to adapt continually to their changing bodies. These amphibians undergo a metamorphosis and live as tadpoles for up to 14 weeks, though the last stage of the transition happens in just 24 hours.

You’ll put them to bed as a kid and come back to a teenager. Also, tadpoles are vegetarians, but frogs are carnivorous, so you should prepare for their diet to evolve as they do over the course of a few months. Here's what to feed tadpoles.

Read more
How to clear cloudy aquarium water in a few easy steps and make your fish happy
When your aquarium water is cloudy, you'll have to do some sleuthing to find the cause
Hand cleaning tank with sponge

No matter how talented an aquarist or fish parent you are, you'll probably run into cloudy aquarium water at some point. Maybe your filter breaks unexpectedly or one of your fish has tummy problems, and you wind up with a tank so murky you can't see through it.

If you walk in to feed your fish and stumble on cloudy aquarium water, don't panic. While a good tank cleaning will probably be necessary, it's even more important to discover the underlying problem. We're here to show you how to clear cloudy aquarium water and keep your fish safe from filth.

Read more
Video: Parrots playing basketball is the best thing we’ve ever seen
They also show us the bird version of volleyball
Parrot tilts its head while standing next to a ball

Basketball season might be over for humans, but while you await the return of your favorite sports in the fall, you can enjoy a little game of birdsball. These extremely clever parrots have developed the best bird trick imaginable, tossing and running a ball back and forth and shooting it through the hoops (they're very good at dunking). If you want to watch a parrot with moves that would surely put your own basketball skills to shame, you should check out a video called Parrot Play NBA.

It starts out with a group of four birds, two green and two yellow who somehow know their teammates and how to play. In fact, Noris Buzdugan commented, "Bro they even have matching teams," which certainly adds to the flavor of the game. There's no need for jerseys when you can determine your teammates just by the color of their feathers. The happy birds run back and forth, put the ball through the hoops, and play tug with their opponent. After the basketball game finishes, they squeeze a quick version of volleyball in, tossing the little ball over a net. While the human viewers seem delighted, it's nothing compared to how happy and proud the birds look (we're still not sure who won though).

Read more