Mar 162011
 

Combination hamster cages made of plastic and wire have some negatives associated with them. You have to think about these before buying this type of hamster cage.

Size: Many of the basic one-story plastic and wire combination hamster habitats will not have enough space for a normal sized Syrian or Teddy Bear hamster. The plastic and wire cage complete kits usually come with an exercise wheel, a water bottle, and a food bowl. These will all take up space inside the cage. Then your Syrian will need a few toys to chew on as well as both a bedding and a bathroom area. Pretty soon your Teddy Bear or Golden hamster can be restricted to a small area inside the cage.

One way to get around this is to add a second or third story or add some climbing tubes that will let the hamster get to a second cage. But that will cost more money. hamster habitat

Air circulation: Moving air around is a big deal in hamster cages. Hamsters need air circulation because they exercise a lot and because there are fumes from where they go to the bathroom. Both this type cage and aquariums have a problem getting enough air circulating inside the cage. If your plastic cage has a few stories with more wire bars, that would help circulate the air. But if there’s more plastic than wires, there will be less air circulation and this is bad for your hamster. Also, unless your climbing tubes have some holes in them, air won’t circulate much inside the tubes.

Cleaning: All hamster habitats have to be cleaned out every once in a while but this plastic and wire cage can be particularly tough when it comes to cleaning. You have to take the cage apart to clean it. With a wire cage you just take off the top, clean the wire bars, and then clean out the bedding in the base. hamster habitat

With a combination hamster cage you have to do all that as well as take all the plastic tubes out of their holes. That means you have to be extra careful so none of the plastic breaks. Then, even when you get them out, you have to clean all the pieces individually. So there’s a lot more cleaning involved than with a wire cage.

Security: A wire door with a strong latch usually provides good security for keeping your hamster in its cage. A good latch is one that snaps tightly to the wire bars. Some people even use an additional wire to make sure the door stays shut. If the door doesn’t have a latch, your hamster can easily push it open.

On some combination plastic and wire cages the doors on top are just plastic. If these doors don’t have a strong latch, this is an area where even a dwarf hamster can push the door open and escape.

Also, you want to be sure there are no cracked plastic pieces when you finish putting together this type of cage. Your hamster will try to nibble on the crack to make a hole so he or she can get out of the cage.

For the positives about this cage, read Plastic and Wire Hamster Cage Positives.

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Aug 162010
 

If you’re like most hamster owners, you clean your hamster cage about once a week. But before you start you need to gather all the cage cleaning supplies. Here’s what you’ll need and why:

Bucket or sink filled with mild soap and hot water. This is where you’ll drop the parts of your hamster cage you need to clean. For the parts that don’t fit, you’ll have to use the soapy water to clean them by hand.

Other cleaning solution options include unscented dish washing detergent or a drop of bleach for every cup of hot water. Another way to measure is one tablespoon (14.8 ml) of bleach for each gallon (liter) of water in the bucket. DO NOT use dishwasher detergent, laundry soap, or other harsh detergents.

The idea is to kill germs and bacteria. Just remember to thoroughly rinse whatever you wash so none of the disinfectant remains behind.

Plastic garbage bag or paper bag. You will use these to dump the bedding you’re going to remove from the bottom of the hamster cage.

You can use a 10 or 8 gallon size plastic garbage bag. A grocery store paper bag should also be large enough. Although the used bedding may fit in a grocery store plastic bag, the opening is usually too small to fit in a hamster cage bottom.

NEVER dump the bedding down your toilet.

Sponge, paper towel, cloth, or old towel. You will be using these to actually clean off all the parts of the cage and the accessories from inside the cage. The sponge should be used only for cleaning the hamster cage, not your dishes. Use paper towels, cloths, or old towels for drying all the parts after you’ve washed and rinsed them.

Some people have found success using disinfectant wipes on some parts of their cages. Just be sure you rinse and dry any areas you use these on.

Small travel cage or hamster ball. Before cleaning the cage you have to remove your hamster.

Put him or her in a small travel cage with some bedding and food or in a hamster ball that you keep in an enclosed space.

New bedding and food

Once your cage is clean, you’re going to need to add new bedding to the bottom of the cage. And to make your hamster feel comfortable when he or she returns to the cage, you should add some new food to his or her food bowl.

For more information about how to clean your hamster cage, read Easy Steps to Clean Your Hamster Cage.


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