Hamster Cage Setup & Buying Guide

Hamster Cage Buying Guide - If you have a hamster, then you know the importance of a cage to your furry friend’s health and comfort. But finding the right cage for the cute furball is easier said than done. Just what exactly are some of the things to keep in mind whenever choosing hamster cages?

Some of the main factors to consider when choosing hamster cages include size, cage design, accessories, and cost. It’s crucial to ensure that a hamster cage is comfortable and spacious enough for your tiny furball to thrive. 

Read on to learn more about hamster cages and factors to cuponsider when choosing one. I’ll also answer some frequently asked questions to help you on how to pick the best hamster cage for the tiny family member. 

Hamster Cage Buying Guide
 

Hamster Cage Setup & Buying Guide

The Different Types of Hamster Cages

You may think that any old wire mesh or plastic container will do when it comes time and energy to buy a new home for the favorite rodent - but nothing could possibly be further from the truth. 

A good quality habitat is vital if you would like your pet to live an extended and healthy life. 

As many experts assert, poor housing conditions can lead directly to disease and even death in worst case scenarios.

Hamster cages can be found in different types from wire cages to plastic cages, and also glass aquariums. 

Each type of cage has its own group of benefits and drawbacks, as explained below.

Wire cages

Wire cages are the most popular kind of hamster housing. They are usually affordable, an easy task to clean and provide plenty of space for your hamster to play. However, wire cages could be dangerous for small pets because they can easily escape.

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Plastic cages

Plastic cages are an excellent alternative to wire cages if you’re worried about your hamster escaping. They are also effortless to completely clean and come in various shapes and sizes. However, plastic cages don’t provide as much ventilation as wire cages do, leading to respiratory problems in a few hamsters.

Hamster Plastic cages

Glass aquariums

These types of cages are ideal if you want to give your hamster lots of space to play. They also offer good ventilation and can be found in a variety of sizes. However, they could be expensive and so are more difficult to clean than other cages.

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The best type of hamster cage depends on your individual needs and preferences. Be sure to consider all of the different options before making a decision. Armed with this information, you’re sure to find the perfect hamster cage for your furry friend.

What To Look For When Buying a Hamster Cage

Keeping a few things at heart is essential when buying hamster cages. The initial consideration is size. Hamsters need plenty of room to run around, meaning you need to lean more towards large hamster cages. 

In addition to size, there are other important factors to consider when settling on the best hamster cage ideas. One is whether the cage has bars or solid walls. Some people prefer pens with bars, because they allow for more ventilation and offer a better view of the hamster. Others find cages with concrete walls better to clean.

Another thing to consider is whether the cage has a built-in wheel or not. Most cool hamster cages include running wheels, so you might desire to invest in one to keep your hamster engaged and happy. 

Finally, how much do hamster cages cost? Needless to say, price is always a consideration when making any purchase. Cages can be found in a wide range of prices, so it will be essential to find one that fits your budget. Premium cages come with a large amount of features that allow you to try some unique hamster cage ideas. 

When shopping for a hamster cage, keep these considerations in mind, and you also are sure to find the perfect one for the furry friend.

How to Set Up a Hamster Cage

Hamsters are excellent pets for teenagers and adults alike, but are unfortunately quite definitely misunderstood. They are territorial creatures that like to dig and burrow, and also being very active and energetic. Hamsters may also be very clean animals, and when you have one as a pet it is up to you to provide and maintain a hygienic home for them. It is very important provide your hamster with as good a living environment as you possibly can so that they don’t get bored and stressed. The cage may be the most important investment you'll make for your hamster, so consider what your hamster needs for a wholesome and happy house before you create a purchase.

1. Getting a Hamster Cage

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1. Research hamster cages

First of all, you need to think about what kind and size of cage you need to make your hamster as happy and content as possible. The minimum amount of floor space required for hamsters is 600 sq inches. Keep that in mind, as most pet stores sell hamster cages that are far too small and costly. 

Bin cages are cheap and big; look up "how to make a hamster bin cage" and a lot of videos and articles will show up. They are easy and cheap to make, and definitely worth the time. Be sure that whichever cage you choose it is one which has a solid floor so that you can provide ample bedding material for digging and burrowing.  Wire or mesh floors can also cause a painful disease called Bumblefoot.

  • onnecting many smaller cages that end up being 600 sq. inches doesn't count, as is performed in Habitrail Ovo or Crittertrail. Hamsters run miles and kilometers in the wild, so they want a continuous operatening space, very little tiny compartments connected together.
  • Syrian and Chinese hamsters can NOT be kept together in a single cage as they are very territorial and WILL fight. They could seriously injure or kill one another.

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2. Buy a big cage, as big as possible!

American/Hamster Hideout forum minimum - 360 sq. in
RSPCA/United Kingdom minimum - 80x50cm
German minimum - 1 sq. m
Although recommendations vary, the basic principle is the bigger the better.

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Or, use a second-hand cage

It's best to start with a fresh cage, but if you buy or use a vintage one, clean it with mild baby soap, and rinse throughout. To get rid of the smell of the of the previous occupant, you may also work with a mixture of white vinegar and water but only do this occasionally. You may also get some good pet-safe disinfectant spray or wipes
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 Decide where to put the cage.

You should take care when deciding where you will put the cage, as this will contribute to the overall wellbeing of one's hamster. You would like to avoid extremes of heat, so keep it out of direct sunlight and don’t put it next or a radiator or other warmth-source. Equally, don’t place it somewhere very draughty. In the event that you don’t want to keep it inside your home you can put it in a frost-free outdoor shed or garage, but provide more bedding if you do that.

  • Hamsters are very sensitive to light and high-frequency sound. Don’t put it in an area that will have lights going on and off at night, and keep it away from things such as for example televisions, complaceer screens, resources of running water and floor cleaners. These generate ultrasound which may be distressing for hamsters.
  • If you have a wire cage and want to avoid your floor getting too messy from the flying substrate, cut down a cardboard box, which the cage can comfortably sit in (with several centimetres of clearance round the sides), so that it’s sides are not greater than 10cm, and place it for the reason that.

2. Equipping your Cage

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1. Buy a wheel.

Hamsters are very active and need lots of things to exercise in their cages, getting a wheel is a good place to start. Dwarf hamsters need a 6.5 - 8 inch wheel and Chinese hamsters require an 8 inch wheel. Larger hamsters, including Syrian hamsters need a 12 inch wheel. It's very important to get a wheel that is big enough for your hamster. Flying saucers cannot replace a normal upright wheel, as it encourages an unnatural way of running. NEVER use barred or mesh wheels, as your hamster can trap a limb or get bumblefoot (painful sores on the feet).

  • One way to tell if it is too small is to look to see if your hamster is running with an arched back, like a smiley face. If they are, then the wheel is likely too small.

2. Buy a water bowl or a bottle.

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If you buy a bottle, buy a good one that doesn't leak too much. If you get a bowl, buy something like a small bendy log bridge to put over it so that your hamster doesn't bury it or get wood shavings in it, or you can place the bowl on a small shelf.

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3. Decide whether to get a food bowl or scatter-feed.

Using a bowl enables you to keep a good track on how much they are eating, and can be cleaner and easier. However, using scatter feeding brings out the hamster's natural foraging skills. You can also do a mix of both. If you have a pair of dwarves, then scatter feeding is advisable as it can prevent fighting. If you have a Chinese hamster (note! Not dwarf hamsters. Despite what a pet shop may have told you, they're solitary like Syrians, even the males) or a Syrian hamster then it is advwill beable to get a food bowl so that you can check their eating habits.

  • If you get a bowl, buy a small one so it doesn't take up too much cage space.

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4. Choose a house for your hamster.

Most houses are suitable for dwarf hamsters and Chinese hamsters, but many are usually much too small for a Syrian hamster. Bendy bridges could be turned into lovely cave-style houses in the event that you bury them under the substrate! Some hamsters make nests, however they need somewhere to hide and store food anyway.

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5.Buy some toys.

Hamsters are very energetic and need plenty of toys. Be sure to get chews as their teeth never stop growing! Hamsters love toys they can climb and hide-and-seek style toys. Get some tubes, too - they're no alternative to digging but hamsters love running through them! Ensure that they're big enough, though - many tubes are usuallyn't large enough for Syrian hamsters. Also be sure they have ventilation, as though they are long tubes your hamster could have trouble sucking in them.

3. Providing Substrate and Nesting Material

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 1. Choose a substrate.

The substrate is the disposable material you fill out the bottom of your cage with. It’s important to get a good one as it will absorb your hamster’s urine and be what they dig into. There are a number of options other than the traditional wood shavings, and some specialist websites have reviews of different types. Stay away from substrates such as pine or cedar, as they can cause severe respiratory problems! Use 6cm, or 3in, or more of substrate, as hamsters love to dig. Carefresh is a nice bedding and so is aspen.

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2.Choose some nesting material.

As well as substrate, getting some separate bedding or nesting material is important. While bedding is like the carpet, nesting material is similar to the blankets. Avoid material that can separate into small strands like fluffy bedding and cotton wool. This may cause serious problems for your hamster through ingestion. They could also become entangled and get a limb trapped[7] . Their instincts is always to pull on the limb until it had been dislocated, although some very desperate hamsters have already been reported to chew their own limbs off and die of loss of blood!
Shredded tissue or toilet paper, in this instance, is the best nesting material.

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 3.Make sure you have enough and change it regularly.

It’s good to have a good stock of substrate and bedding in the home, so you are prepare usuallyd and can change it regularly. You will have to keep a close on the cage and maintain it clean. It’s recommended to scoop out substrate that's wet from urine every week, called spot cleaning, which will only take a few minutes. The quantity of times you clean your cage completely depends on what size your cage is. 1000 sq. inches or larger cages can withstand a year or more with out a full cage cleanout, but smaller cages might need to be cleaned monthly.

  • It’s a good idea to have a regular cleaning schedule, as your hamster could possibly be distressed if the cage is cleaned all too often or too seldom. 
  • Spot clean the cage to remove poo daily to prevent wet-tail.

4. Keeping your Cage a Healthy and Stimulating Environment

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1. Keep adding new things to stimulate them.

In addition to keeping the cage clean, it’s important to keep it refreshed with toys and things to chew on and dig in. Try giving them empty cereal or granola bar boxes with the printed outside removed to prevent exposure to inks. Hamsters like empty toilet-paper tubes, too, and can love to play inside them until they chew them to shreds. Be sure to cut them so Syrian hamsters can fit.

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2. Handle your hamsters daily.

Hamsters love attention! They each have their own personalities, but handling them regularly will help you get used to each other. But of course, you should be careful at all times. For example, don’t hold them by the legs and wheelbarrow them. It strains their little legs and can hurt them or in severe cases break their limbs.

  • Make sure you give them a chance to get comfortable with their new cage before handling them (about a week is best). Moving into a new cage is a big event for a hamster and they will be more interested in human attention once they are happy.

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3. Give your pet a weekly home check-up.

It’s crucial to provide a good environment for the hamster, but you can also check on their health by hearing their breathing, and if there is wheezing call a vet. Check their paws for lacerations; check their teeth; check their skin to see if you can find any signs of flaky or irritated skin. Make certain their nose will be dry and their eyes clear.

  • You may consider weighing them to see if they're gaining or losing weight, which could tip you off to problems.