Jun 222011
 

Hamster behaviors are appealing and building a hamster habitat with connecting tubes only make those antics more fascinating. In their natural environment hamsters live in burrows with winding tunnels connecting to small chambers.

Hamster connecting tubes are plastic or acrylic passageways that emulate this environment by linking together different parts of the hamster habitat into an integrated living space. Hamsters love to scramble through these simulated tunnels that cater to their natural instincts.

Extending the living environment

Your hamster’s basic living environment can be boring, both for the animal to live in and for you to watch. Adding hamster tubes gives your pet more room to explore. The running and climbing involved provides your pet with exercise and intellectual stimulation. You as the owner get not only the satisfaction of knowing you have provided a better life for your pet but the amusement of watching it interact with its enhanced environment. hamster tubes

Before you design your hamster’s home, put yourself in the animal’s place. You are just a few inches tall, and if you stand on your hind legs you can reach perhaps four or five inches from the floor. If you add a ladder, elevated platforms, and climbing tubes to its home, your hamster can now move in all different directions.

Design the hamster connecting tubes

Plan to connect the tubes at an angle that the animal can negotiate. Short stretches can be nearly vertical, but tunnels of any length should be only a little above horizontal. Keep in mind that dwarf hamsters may have trouble climbing up tall vertical tubes.

The tunnels can be U or lollipop shapes off a single enclosure, or they can connect two or more hamster cages. They should not be short enough that your pet gets bored, or so long that they get lost or tired.

While the tubes need not lead anywhere other than back to the hamster’s living quarters, they can be connected to different and additional living areas for your pet to enjoy. In fact, some hamster cages have holes that let you connect tubes so you hammy can run back and forth between cages.

Like the tubes, these additional running areas should be cleaned whenever they require it. One advantage of the interconnecting environments is that they usually come with plugs, permitting you to shut your hamster in one part of the habitat while you clean a different part.

Think about your pet’s safety, too. To a hamster, connecting tubes can be a trap, particularly if the animal is rotund and the passage is small. Make sure the tunnels are of a large enough diameter for your hamster to negotiate at a run, not a wriggle.

Connecting the system hamster tubes

Hamster tubes come in segments, either straight or bent, that twist together. Most hamster environments can be created by snapping the tubes together with no tools. Some hamster cages come with holes to which the tubes can connect. Be careful not to twist too hard when connecting the tubes to the holes or the plastic can break.

Like any pet, a hamster depends on its owner to provide it with a suitable environment. Hamster tubes can be an inexpensive and visually appealing option to accomplish that. They represent very good value for the money because they keep you entertained while exercising your hamsters.

For more information, read Hamster Tube Tips.


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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? hamster 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.
hamster tubes

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 cage

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.
hamster cage
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.

 


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Mar 162011
 

There are some positives that you should know about when you’re thinking about buying plastic and wire combination hamster cage. Let’s look at them.
hamster cage

Exciting Colors: The plastic parts of these cages come in colors that make them very attractive. Typical colors are yellow, red, and green. But there are also purple and blue cages, and some are even pink. Even the parts that come with the cage kits are made of bright colors. Looking at your hamster as he or she runs around the cage and climbing tubes can make it a lot more fun to watch your hamster when it plays.

hamster cage kit
Complete Kits: Most of these type habitats come in a box as one big kit. They usually include a food bowl, an exercise wheel, and a water bottle. Some of them have bags with food, bedding, and even some hamster potty litter. What this means is that you get everything in one box and you don’t have to buy a lot of separate pieces. If you’re just getting your first hamster, it makes this kind of cage very convenient.

Hamster Tubes: Many of these cages have holes that let you add hamster tubes to them. That means you can expand your cage by adding different climbing tubes. You can connect to another cage to give your hamster more room, or you can build complex mazes outside the cage with all the different tubes. If you want to look at how you can put different tube mazes together be sure to click on Hamster Tube Video Reviews.
hamster cage

Many Choices: When you’re looking for these kits at Amazon or your local pet store, you’re going to have a lot of different choices. These cages come in one story, two-story, and three-story sizes. They can come with an exercise wheels and climbing tubes. Some even come with a little carrying kit that’s part of the cage. This is great because you know you’re not going to be stuck with one choice. You get to look around and pick something that you really like to look at.

Easy to Put Together: For some of these hamster cages you just have to attach the wire middle to the bottom base with large clips and then just snap on the top. The cages that come with a hamster tubes are sometimes more difficult to put together.

For the negatives about this cage, read Plastic and Wire Hamster Cage Negatives.


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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. hamster cage

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 cage

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 cage

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.

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Feb 182011
 

There are some steps you should take when you want to let your hamster loose to play inside hamster tubes.

Plan

Plan the layout of your tubes before you start to build them. If you build first, you may find you don’t have enough space for the tubes. The tube layout will depend on how you’re going to use your tubes.

One option is to have a large hamster cage and keep all the tube pieces inside. You can have small pieces that go horizontally across the cage. Or others that twist and turn in a circle inside the cage. Or make a design that lets your hamster climb from the bottom to the top level of the cage. hamster cage

Another way to go is to start with a hamster cage that has some tubes as part of its design. They usually go outside the cage. You can then plan on adding on more tubes to the ones outside the cage. In this way you can keep building until you have a large maze of tubes that are outside the cage.

Some people use two cages and use the tubes to connect the cages and let their hamster run between the cages.

Another simple option is to put together some tubes that the hamster uses just for exercise, like a hamster exercise ball. You put the hamster in the tube maze you’ve built when you know you’ll be there to watch him play.

When planning your layout, do leave some space in the cage for the hamster to rest. Inside the hamster cage you should still have bedding in an area where your hammy can get some rest and sleep, a bathroom area, a water bottle, running wheel, and of course, a food dish.

Build

Attach all the tube pieces carefully according to your plan. Read the instructions and work slowly. Some tube pieces are harder to get together than others and you don’t want to break any pieces. Be especially careful if you are attaching tubes to a cage opening. You don’t want to leave space that your hamster can escape through.

Getting your hamster to use the tube

Syrians and Teddy Bear hamsters usually take to climbing through the tubes pretty easily. But dwarf hamsters may take some coaxing.

Don’t go crazy when you first set up the tubes. Try a few at a time. Give your hamster some time to sniff around the new tubes. Your hamster may be used to burrowing, but plastic tubes are probably a new experience for him. One trick is to put some treats inside the tubes. Your hamster will then climb inside the tube to get the treat. Do this a few times until your hamster gets used to the tubes.

Expandhamster tubes

Once you see your hamster easily moving around the few tubes, you can start adding some interesting twists and turns.

Make a circle around the cage, make a maze, or go from one level to another. Add a lookout. Make sure your put the tubes where you can see them so you can enjoy watching your hammy run through them. If you are running tubes horizontally on the floor, leave some space for people to walk around them. You don’t want anyone stepping on the tubes and breaking them!

Also consider these hamster tube tips.


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