Jan 092012
 

So you want to buy a new hamster cage for your lovable little hammy. When you’re in your local pet store standing in front of the shelves with hamster cages you’re faced with a lot of choices. You have even more choices when you’re online. Here are two typical mistakes you want to avoid when you’re choosing hamster cages.

Mistake 1: Buying the Wrong Type Of Cage

In my opinion, the only really wrong type of cage is an all plastic cage because it doesn’t give your hamster enough ventilation. Aside from that, when picking a hamster cage you’ll be faced with three main choices: the plastic cage with wire bars, the all wire cage, and an aquarium. Each can be “right” or “wrong” for you and your hamster.

Plastic and Wire: If you like a lot of color, the plastic cage with wire bars could be the right one for you. They come in many different color choices. You might even find colors that coordinate with the room your hamster will be living in.

But this can be the wrong type of cage for you if don’t have the patience to put it together. You’ll find YouTube videos that show people putting them together quickly and easily, but in real life the plastic pieces need to be snugly fit together and can crack if twisted too tightly. Also, when taking these cages apart to clean them, it will take a lot more work than the other types of cages.

Wire: If you want a cage that easy to assemble, is lightweight, and lets your hamster do a lot of climbing, the wire cage will probably be the right choice. The wires sides also make it easy to attach a water bottle and exercise wheel so your hamster gets more space to run around in inside the cage.

But this cage choice can be a mistake if you are going to be getting dwarf hamsters. The wires in these cages may be too far apart, meaning your dwarf hamster can easily squeeze through and get out. Also, if the cage is too tall, your dwarf can get hurt if he or she falls from the top part of the cage.

Aquarium: If you like watching your hamster a lot, the aquarium will be a good choice because of its four glass sides. And if your hamster is a real escape artist it will be much more difficult for him or her to climb up the sides of a glass aquarium.

But an aquarium can be the wrong choice if you can’t handle heavy lifting because aquariums are heavier that the other types of cages. So moving or lifting one up can be difficult for some. And when you add water to wash their insides, they get even heavier. You also have to be careful about putting a screen on top of the aquarium and making sure it stays in place or your hamster can climb up a toy or hamster tube and escape through the top.

Mistake 2: Buying The Wrong Size Cage

I cannot stress enough that a hamster in the wrong size cage will be a very unhappy hamster. You need to make sure your hamster has room to exercise and play. That means you need a cage that’s the right size for the type of hamster you own.

Obviously Syrians, Goldens, and Teddy Bears are larger than dwarf hamsters, such as Roborovskis and Russians, so they need more room.

The larger hamsters should have a cage that’s at least 10”L by 16”W by 16”H (25 x 40 x 40 cm). For wire cages, I would advise getting the 3-story cage with 14”L by 11″W by 25”H (35 x 28 x 63 cm) a good option. An aquarium should be at least 10 gallons.

If you have two dwarves, you may be able to fit them into a smaller cage. But, remember, they will usually be active at the same time so they still need lots of exercise room.

In both these cases, how much you’re going to put inside your cage can also make your cage the wrong size. Once you put an exercise wheel, a water bottle, a food bowl, bedding, and toys in a small cage, it can cut the actual running and playing room way down. So don’t make the mistake of just looking at the size on the box in the store. Think about the type of hamster you own and how much you’re going to put in the cage, then decide on the right size.

For more information read What’s the Right Size for a Hamster Cage?

Consider the type and size of your cage before buying it and you won’t be making these mistakes.

Pin It
Mar 282011
 

The article Types Of Hamsters provided information about the two major types of hamsters: the Syrian and the dwarf hamster. As you dwarf hamster lovers know, there are four primary type types of dwarf hamsters:

  • The Campbell’s dwarf hamster
  • The winter white Russian dwarf hamster, also known as the Djungarian hamster
  • The Roborovski dwarf hamster
  • The Chinese hamster – although sometimes considered a mouse-like hamster, not necessarily a dwarf hamster.
  • If you own a dwarf hamster or are thinking about buying one, an excellent book about this type hamster is The Complete Guide To Dwarf Hamster Care.

    This 72 page book will tell you a lot about taking care of dwarf hamsters. The book talks about:

  • How each of the four dwarf hamsters acts and behaves. This will help you figure out which type of hamster you might like for yourself.
  • Picking the right dwarf hamster. It includes a checklist to help you select the perfect hamster for yourself.
  • How to set up the ideal cage for your hamster.
  • The kind of diet you should use for your baby dwarf hamster.
  • Foods that are dangerous for your hamster.
  • The six steps you need to take to tame your dwarf hamster so he will become a truly social pet.
  • A guide for training your dwarf hamster, even including how to get him or her to do some tricks.
  • The best way to clean your hamster habitat.
  • The typical illnesses that might affect your hamster including what might cause them and what to do to treat them.
  • Breeding dwarf hamsters. In fact, there is an entire chapter about this topic.
  • This concise book is a complete step-by-step manual for taking care of your pet hamster. It’s full of tips, secrets, and good information that will help any dwarf hammy owner.

    The author of the book, George Grayson, has written this guide in plain, conversational English so it’s easy to understand and follow.

    What’s more, the author is currently giving away over $100 worth of free bonuses if you buy the book. Click on this link, The Complete Guide To Dwarf Hamster Care to get more information about this book and the current bonuses being offered.

    In case you were wondering, the book is not very expensive. It’s under $15. And the offer includes a 60 day, 100% money back guarantee.

    So if you own a dwarf hamster, check this book out and learn a lot more about your dwarf hammy!

    Pin It
    Mar 212011
     

    A critical question to ask when you’re getting a new hamster is “What size cage should I buy for my hamster?”

    Size is important because hamsters are active pets – especially at night. They like to run, climb, play with their toys, and burrow. All this activity means they have to have space in their cages.

    The two key questions to ask about space are “What’s inside the cage?” and “What type hamster do you have?

    What’s inside the cage?

    Everything you put inside your hamster cage takes up space. So what goes inside the typical cage?

    Exercise wheel: Because a typical hamster can run about 6 miles (9 km) in one night you need to have an exercise wheel for your cage. This can be a freestanding exercise wheel or one of the kind that attaches to the metal bars on the cage. The freestanding wheel takes up space on the floor of the cage. But even the kind that attaches to the wire walls takes up space inside the cage.

    Tubes: Another way for your hamster to get exercise is to run through hamster tubes. People even connect a lot of tubes so the hamster has a big maze to climb through. Some tubes go outside the cage so they don’t take up any space inside the cage, but some climbing tubes may go inside the cage and take up space.

    Water: Hamsters need water. You can attach a water bottle to the outside of the hamster cage, but its tip still takes up room in the cage. If you don’t use a water bottle you have to have space for a water bowl on the bottom of the cage.

    Food bowl: What you feed your hamster goes inside a hamster food bowl. These can be large or small depending on how much food your hamster eats.

    Toys: There are all kinds of chew toys and play toys for hamsters. You can also get a hamster house or some people even use the cardboard toilet paper holder. Depending on their sizes, these toys use space in the hamster habitat.

    So before you buy your hamster cage, think about all of these items and how much room they will take up in the bottom and along the side of the cage you want. Remember you still need plenty of space for bedding so your hamster has spots to burrow, play, and use as a bathroom.

    What type hamster do you have?

    The other thing you have to consider when you’re thinking about the size of your cage is the type of hamster you have. The typical Syrian hamster, also called a teddy bear or Golden hamster, is about 5 to 7 inches (13 to 17 cm) long.

    Having this type hamster may mean some of the items in your cage will have to be larger. For example, your hammy should not have to bend its back when it’s in its exercise wheel. So you may need a larger exercise wheel in your cage if you have a Syrian hamster. You also have to make sure the climbing tubes you get are large enough for this type hamster to fit through. That means more space for your hamster tubes. Also, because of the Syrians size you have to make sure there’s lots of bedding in the cage so it can burrow.

    The typical dwarf hamster such as a Roborovski is smaller, being about 2 to 4 inches (5 to 20 cm) long. But many people keep two dwarf hamsters together in one cage because they get along with each other. That means providing enough space in your cage for two hamsters to run around in.

    If you want to breed hamsters you’re also going to need a much bigger hamster cage.

    The right size hamster cagehamster habitat

    Most people recommend getting a wire hamster cage that is at least 24 inches wide by 12 inches deep by about 10 inches tall (61 X 31 X 25 cm).

    If you’re planning on using an aquarium, you will need at least a 10 gallon fish tank, but 20 gallons would be even better.

    Smaller cages, that are usually 8 inches long by 12 ½ inches wide by 7-1/2-inches high (20 X 32 x 19 cm) may be adequate for a smaller dwarf hamster. It is too small for the Syrian hamster.

    Available larger cages are about 16 inches long by 24 inches wide by 12 inches high (40 X 61 x 31 cm). This size will give your hamster plenty of room to exercise and burrow around inside its cage.

     


    Pin It
    Mar 162011
     

    If you pick a hamster cage made of plastic and wire it will usually have a colorful plastic top, wire bars in the middle, and a plastic base on the bottom. When you are choosing this type of cage you should think about size, set up, color, parts, and cost.

    Size

    Generally the plastic and wire combination cage is a little smaller than a plain wire cage. Many of these type hamster habitats are usually under 2 feet in length. Some of these cages allow you to make them bigger because they have holes on the top or the side. These holes let you connect hamster tubes that can expand the cage. You can add a lot of tubes or you can bring the tubes to second cage so your hamster can run between the cages.

    Some of these cages also let you add a second story so your hamster has an extra floor in the cage to play on.

    If you’re keeping a couple of dwarf hamsters, this type cage might be good for you. But if you have one large Teddy Bear or Syrian hamster, look it over carefully to be sure he or she is going to have enough room to move around.

    As with all hamster cages, you need to be sure the wire bars are close enough to keep a dwarf hamster, such as such as a Roborovski, from escaping through the bars.

    Set up

    These cages usually come in a box with a lot of pieces that have to be put together. So setting up this type of cage means snapping the wire parts into the plastic base, putting the plastic parts in the cage, then attaching the top and any other plastic pieces that attach to the sides or the top. This can be a big job and smaller kids may need help. hamster habitat

    People disagree on how easy or hard it is to put these cages together. Some people find it easy to get together while others think they are very difficult.

    One problem is the plastic used for the tubing on the tops of this cage. If the plastic is thin or flimsy and you push things too hard when putting the cage together, the plastic can break. You have to be especially careful when you’re squeezing plastic climbing tubes into their holes.

    One of the additional problems is that the instructions that come with these cages are often not too good. So you have to try and put the cage together by looking at the picture on the box.

    One good piece of advice is to put the cage together before you buy your new hamster. That way you have plenty of time and don’t have to worry about your hamster being stuck inside an exercise ball.

    Color

    Although these cages are colorful to look at, keep in mind that hamsters are colorblind so they can’t see the colors. They can, however, see light and dark. So the lighter color plastic will be easier for them to see through while it will be harder for them to see through the darker colors. It will also be easier for you to see your hamster inside the cage if you get a lighter color plastic. But, to tell the truth, you don’t get to choose the colors you want for most of these cages.

    Pieces and parts

    Combination plastic and metal cages usually come in kits that have a lot of pieces. Because hamsters are all different, not all the pieces will be the right sizes for all hamsters. Sometimes the exercise wheels are too small for Syrian hamsters. Sometimes the water bottles leak or don’t fit well inside the cage. Sometimes the food bowls can be too tiny for all the different kinds of food you want to give your hamster.

    So even if you think you’re saving money by buying a kit with all the parts, you may find you still have to buy a separate exercise wheel or a separate water bottle to fit inside these cages. These will cost extra. hamster habitat

    You also want to be sure that hamster tubes that are part of this cage are big enough for your regular size hamster, like a Teddy Bear, to get through. You don’t want your hamster getting stuck in the tubes. If you have dwarf hamsters, you also want to be sure the hamsters have something to grab on to so they can climb through the tubes. If the tubes are smooth you may want to put a thin branch inside the tube so your hamster can more easily climb through it.

    Cost

    These cages vary in cost depending on size. The taller combination cages – like three stories – usually cost around $50 and up. Medium-size cages that are one and two-stories often cost from about $25-$40. Smaller, starter cages can be found for about $25-$35. There are a few very small combination cages available for under $20. To see different cages and their costs go to the hamster cages and accessories page.

    Pin It
    Mar 102011
     

    One of the most typical hamster cages is the wire cage. It’s made of metal bars with spaces between them and usually has a plastic base. Below you can read about the pluses and minuses of the wire bars on these cages. For a discussion of wire hamster cage size, height, cleaning, and security, read Guidelines For Buying A Wire Hamster Cage.

    Air circulation

    As you know, hamsters do a lot of running, so they need plenty of good air flow. The spaces between the bars on a wire cage is a real plus for air circulation. It helps get air in and allows the bathroom fumes to get out. On the other hand, if you put your cage too close to a window or an air-conditioning duct, the cage will be too drafty. Too much cool air can make your hammy ill. So be careful where you locate your wire cage.

     

    Size of the spaces between bars

    The size of the spaces, or how much distance there is between two wire bars, can make a big difference in whether this type cage is the right one for your hamster. Hamsters are escape artists and if the spaces between the bars are too large, your hamster will try to get out

    Larger type hamsters, like a Syrian or Teddy Bear, will usually not fit between wire bars that are 1/2 inch apart, so this type of cage is good for them. Dwarf hamsters, like a Roborovski, may be small enough to squeeze through 1/2 inch bars and escape. This is why many people use an aquarium for a dwarf hamster.

    When you’re thinking about buying a wire cage, check the space between the wire bars. Think about whether or not your hamster can squeeze through the space.

    Gnawing

    Remember, hamsters need to gnaw on things because their teeth are always growing. Some hamsters are going to gnaw on the wires of the cage. Make sure the wires are chew proof. That means they are not made with paint that can chip off and hurt your hamster. To make sure your hamster has something to gnaw, be sure to keep quite a few chew toys in the cage.

    Some hamsters gnaw on the wire bars just because they’re bored. So make sure your hamster has enough toys to play with and gets plenty of exercise. Give your hamster some play time outside his or her cage in an exercise ball.

    Also, even if your wire cage is chew proof, some hamster owners find the gnawing noise annoying – especially at night.

    For more information, read What to Do About Hamster Cage Bar Gnawing.

    Security

    There are also a few safety considerations when you’re thinking about using a wire cage. Small children can stick their fingers between the bars. This lets them touch and play with the hamster. But sometimes little fingers can get caught between the small spaces between the wires.

    The spaces between the wires also may mean that your other pets can try to attack your hamster. For example, cats can stick their claws between the bars and try and grab your hamster. If you have a wire cage place it up high enough so that other pets don’t try to get to reach your hamster in the cage.

    Attaching items

    Wire bars can also be convenient when you want to attach hamster accessories. For example an exercise wheel can be attached to the cage. A water bottle can also be attached to the side of the cage. By attaching things to the side of the cage you can get more space at the bottom of the cage so your hamster can have more room to run around.

    To buy hamster cages, go to the hamster cages and accessories page.

    Pin It