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.

 


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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.

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.

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Feb 192011
 

I’ve looked through YouTube and picked out some of the best hamster videos that show off how people use their hamster tubes. None of these are the simple kind that fit inside a hamster cage. These are the tube set ups that GO CRAZY!

Just remember, if you want to go this route you better have plenty of time to put the tubes together and even more time to take them apart and clean them.

5 CRAzIeST Hamster Cages on YouTube! Tube Overload!

Five different ways to connect tubes to cages. The last one is a collection of still picture showing how the tubes were put together. The person who shot this video also gives you a little description of how it was done with lnks to a basic cage and the tubes. You can see the same cages and tubes on the hamster cages and accessories page.

Time: 1:49

The following are three videos all by the same person: Part 1, 2, and 3.

They are all slide shows showing still pictures of different hamster cages with tubes. FUN MUSIC plays in the background!

Crazy Hamster Cages, Part 1!

Time: 1:16

Crazy Hamster Cages, Part 2!

Also features cats closely observing the cages. Poor frightened roborovski!

Time: about 3 minutes

Crazy Hamster Cages, Part 3!

More music and photos.

Time: 2:18

Tube overload!

A quickie video. Shows the set up for two dwarf hamsters. The tubes go up down and around for one cage.

Time: 41 seconds

Hamster City Part 1

A short video showing lots of tubes that go straight up in the air. Some tough climbing, especially for dwarf hamsters.

Time: 51 seconds

The Evolution of Ham-Tropolis

Still pictures showing how one cage with tubes started and then just grew and grew!

Music used is the Hamster Dance song.

I think taking apart, cleaning, and putting back together this set up would take about a day.

Time: 1:18

Now go make your own hamster tube set up!

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Feb 162011
 

Hamster tubes, those round, colorful, plastic parts, can provide your hamster with great fun and exercise. As part of your hamster cage , you can put together climbing tubes, compartments, and other segments, in many different ways. They can go horizontally, straight up, around curves, and even loop-d-loops. How you arrange them is up to what parts fit together and your own imagination.

But here’s a few things to think about before you start buying assorted tube sets.

Size

Hamsters come in different sizes and so do tubes.

The typical tubes you see advertised will usually work for Syrian hamsters, Teddy Bear, or Golden hamsters . Chinese and Campbell Dwarf hamsters are also usually good climbers. Dwarf hamsters, however, such as Roboravskis may find it harder to climb the tubes. Make sure your buy the tubes with ridges so their feet have something to hold on to.

But even with Syrians or Goldens, if they start to get too fat or get pregnant, they can get stuck in a tube, or “fun nel” as some manufacturers call it. They might even get stuck if they keep too much food in their pouches. If a hamster gets stuck in a tube, you may have to break the tube to get him or her out. So even if the tube size is right when you bought it, keep checking to make sure your hamster can still get through.

Safety

Although your hammy can have lots of fun running through his or her tube, your biggest concern is for your hamster’s safety.

Think about ventilation when buying your tubes. You want to be sure your hamster has plenty of air circulating while it’s in the tubes. Look for tubes that have small air holes. That way, you know some air is getting inside the tubes. (And these holes can help dwarf hamsters climb through the tubes.) If the tubes don’t have holes, and you connect a long row of tubes, there will be less air in the middle – where your hamster might decide to take a rest.

Ease of use

One of the real issues with hamster tubes is how easy, or difficult, they are to put together. Some people claim to have no problem snapping them together. But in many online reviews, people talk about how difficult it is to get two pieces of tube together. And some people have a bigger problem when attaching a tube piece to a hole in the hamster cage.

  • Read the directions. Sometimes the paper that comes with the hamster tubes actually will give you some good tips about putting the pieces together.
  • Start with smaller tube pieces and take your time.
  • Do not glue pieces together.

Cost

A set of hamster tubes can seem pretty inexpensive – they’re usually under $10. But if you start to put a lot of them together, the cost can start adding up. Start small and see how your hamster likes the tubes. Then you can start adding some on a little at a time.

See the Product page for more information.


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