There are a variety of hamster cages on the market and it’s important to know a bit about them before you make the investment. They can be really expensive things, so you need to know what you’re paying for. Of course not all hamster cages are expensive and it’s possible to get a good deal on one if you know where to look. Most pet shops will have a range of different cages but some of them may not be suitable, so here’s a list of things to check before you go out and “splash the cash!”
Is the cage big enough?
The minimum size for a hamster cage is 360 square inches. Anything bigger than this is absolutely great, yet anything smaller and your poor hammy will be squashed! I know that Pip’s cage (my robo hamster) is 24 inches by 19 inches by 19 inches (450 square inches). It’s a rotastak “pink palace” cage and you can see my full review of it here. Alfie’s cage is a Ferplast Duna Fun hamster cage which is 22 inches x 19 inches x 15 inches (418 square inches) and you can check it out here. .
Which type of cage?
There are many different types of cages: wire cages, aquariums, plastic cages and bin or barrel cages. There are pros and cons to each type, but none is really any better than the other.
- Good access to your hamster.
- Good ventilation .
- Relatively inexpensive.
- Easy to get hold of and quite common.
- The wire bars in these cages create a giant climbing frame for your hamster, which can be fun and a good source of exercise for him/her.
- Your hamster may nibble or chew on the bars. This is not good for your hamster and can result in broken teeth and other injuries.
- Your hamster can fall from the bars when climbing on them. This can result in injury.
- Some very small hamsters can escape through the gaps in the bars.
- You can see your hamster really well through the glass.
- An aquarium is sturdy, with little chance of your hamster gnawing through the glass and plastic.
- It is a great cage for a dwarf hamster as they have little chance of escaping from it.
- It is a cage with a simple layout so you don’t have to bother with lots a plastic tubes etc.
- Bad ventilation.
- It can sometimes be difficult to get access to your hamster in one of these cages.
- They can be difficult to clean and this can lead to unhygienic living conditions for your hamster.
- They’re heavy!
- Similar to aquarium style cages but with added tubes and extra floors
- Great for watching your hamster in.
- Ideal for Dwarf hamsters because of the very small chance of escaping.
- Often, these cages are in bright colours which makes it nice to look at.
- Usually badly ventilated.
- Complicated layouts with tubes and multiple floors can make the cage difficult to clean.
- It can be difficult to get access to your hamster, as there are so many places for it to hide in these cages.
- These cages can be really expensive.
BIN OR BARREL CAGES:
- These are homemade cages, so they are always really cheap.
- You can design the cage-layout yourself to suit you and your hamster’s needs.
- You can make these cages as big as you want.
- Sometimes, depending on the layout of your cage, it is possible to fit more toys in a bin cage.
- They can be really ugly!
- You have to buy all the equipment yourself, which can cost more than a store-bought cage.
- It can be more time consuming making your own cage then buying a factory-made one.
Cages for different breeds:
SYRIAN HAMSTER CAGES:
If you think a Syrian hamster is best for you, then you are pretty much free to choose which ever cage you want! Syrian hamsters are quite adaptive creatures and thrive in any cage that meets the basic requirements.
DWARF HAMSTER CAGES:
If you think that a dwarf hamster is best for you, then you are slightly more restricted in your cage choice. As they are a lot smaller than their cousins, the Syrians, they are slightly better at escaping. So if you choose a wire cage, for example, you will need to check that the gaps between the bars are too small for a dwarf hamster to squeeze through. That’s why it’s sometimes easier to get an aquarium or a plastic cage for a dwarf hamster, just in case your hammy wants to go on an adventure!
Cages with lots of levels for your hamster to explore are great because it provides entertainment for your hamster during the long nights! There are plenty of cages with extra floors, tubes and cubby-holes for your hamster to enjoy. These cages are fairly common and are only slightly more expensive than your ordinary, bog-standard cage. In my opinion, every hamster should be treated to one!
Well that’s it! You should have a fair idea of what you need from a cage. You can check out my reviews of the cages my hamsters are in (or check out the list of hamster cages from Petplanet, where I got mine) on my “reviews page” or you can go straight to my “hamster accessories” page, where you can find all the information you need about hamster accessories.