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Old 01-21-2018, 05:47 PM   #1
Little_Coco
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Default Cage Size? + Extra Help?

Hi! I just got a hamster (of course a Chinese) for a early birthday present on January 7th 2018, so earlier this month.

I don't know if the cage is to small, though. She seems to be happy though and runs everywhere, and it's not a big cage at all. All of the YouTube videos I've watched recommended big and fancy tanks and cages, but I have a little one. Should I switch it out to a big one? Coco (the hamster) is very small and I don't know if I should even consider getting a big one or not. I'd like opinions. Also, what brands of cages do you use? Is it hamster cages or is it like, another thing, such as rats/mice cages?

Another thing is she isn't sleeping in her bed. She sleeps under her wheel under all of the bedding, is this normal?

Also another thing, I know they burrow a lot, but she isn't burrowing in the new bedding. I cleaned her cage for the first time today and she's been staying in her wheel, which I know is normal, but I saw she attempted to go where she usually slept, but I'm afraid she cannot burrow. Last time she just grabbed a whole bunch of bedding and plopped it where she would burrow to burrow. Would she do that or should I add a little more bedding?

One last thing. I use a mixture of Kaytee seeds & such and Oxbow pellets and she doesn't seem to be eating the pellets, what do I do about that?

Thank you so much! I'm a new hamster owner so I don't know many of these things, I'd love to hear advice so my young little baby can live a happy life!
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Old 01-22-2018, 04:21 AM   #2
Vectis Hamstery
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Default Re: Cage Size? + Extra Help?

She's still young and settling in so I'd suggest giving her time Personally I wouldn't feel there's an immediate need to upgrade her cage right away; get to know her preferences and allow her to settle in; this will also give you time to look at different cages and see what may suit. Different cages suit different hamsters I like bin cages or tank cages for my Chinese, with diabetics in narrow barred cages for better ventilation. I don't like the modular cages as they are hard to access and clean.

My Chinese do like to snuggle down under nesting material or substrate in a cosy spot to sleep. They like having a nest box, even if it's just a cardboard box, so they feel secure to sleep.

I like at least 4 inches of substrate in the cage - most of my Chinese will burrow but some prefer to climb! Having more substrate means also that it can be longer between full clean outs (with just spot/partial cleaning in between) which I find hammies prefer so their scent isn't removed entirely as often.

Are you feeding every day? To reduce selective feeding, you can feed a good amount less often. I'm not familiar with the foods you're feeding so not sure whether there would be an alternative.

Congratulations on Chinesey ownership
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Old 01-22-2018, 02:50 PM   #3
Westie UK
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Default Re: Cage Size? + Extra Help?

I'd never go back to a store-bought or branded cage, after transforming a plastic storage box (80 x 50) into an amazing space for my hamsters, just by ventilating it. It's much cheaper and larger than 90+% of cages online or in shops.

It's better to have a bigger cage than one that's too small. Look into getting another asap (storage box cage being a fantastic cheap option). Hamsters often sleep in unusual places too, so try not to worry about that - just make sure she has a couple of places she can get cosy for bed. Give her more time to settle, but aim to get or make her a bigger cage
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Old 01-23-2018, 12:20 AM   #4
cypher
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Default Re: Cage Size? + Extra Help?

Each hamster is an individual so you have to try to assess what your ham enjoys & needs rather than going by standards you see online but I do find my Chinese hams have enjoyed plenty of space & tend to be very active busy digging, burrowing & climbing so have had reasonably large but not huge cages, something around the size of the Hamster Heaven is a good size, I prefer barred cages as it allows plenty of easy interaction & as they love to climb you can attach ledges & shelves for them to climb on & it's easy to hang hammocks for them which they love too.
From the food you're feeding I'm guessing you're in the US? If so then you may have difficulties finding a good cage & may want to consider making a bin cage.
They do love small seeds & it's understandable that she won't eat the pellets if she has an alternative, good dwarf hamster foods are hard to find in the US too so if you need to use the oxbow to make up a good diet for her then you will just have to wait until she's eaten them before giving any more seeds, oxbow isn't ideal for them though so I would try to find a mix she enjoys. Some members in the US like to get . Burgess dwarf hamster harvest from Viovet, a UK company that delivers to the US.
The cleaning may have upset her a bit, other than spot cleaning keep cleaning to a minimum, you don't need to do a lot.
They often prefer to burrow down in deep substrate & make a nest rather than use a house but a wooden house or cardboard box (both with no base) will often be used if it's a good size & just sat on deep substrate.
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Old 01-23-2018, 06:23 AM   #5
Fluffagrams
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Default Re: Cage Size? + Extra Help?

I think that it's important to keep an open mind about caging until your hamster has had the chance to settle in and you get to know more about her personality. I've had some Chinese that have thrived in slightly larger cages and others who have needed something smaller so I really don't think that there is such a thing as a 'one cage fits all'. Most of mine live in bin cages but I've got one who likes his tank and one of my previous Chinese loved her wire cage.

They often love to burrow and they can make some rather impressive nests but I always give them a nesting box so that they have the choice. One of my lads doesn't often use it though and will often sleep underneath his shelf in a nest he's built himself. On the other hand another of my lads is rather lazy and doesn't bother to burrow or make nests and just tends to leave things as they are.

In terms of clean outs, I find that cleaning out too often will upset them and I'll always keep some of the old substrate back so that some of their familiar scents remain and I don't clean the toys on the same day as I give them new substrate. Deeper substrate levels usually allow for a longer time between clean-outs as well as giving them the extra opportunities for burrowing.
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Old 09-28-2019, 02:42 PM   #6
keiraxblackburn
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Default Re: Cage Size? + Extra Help?

do you know the floor space and what cage is it,for a large cage i recommenced looking on zooplus there cafes are plenty large enough and over the bare minimum of 450 so perfect.and that’s completely normal or them to burrow under things possibly add a hide with no base and some tunnels as enrichment hope this helped
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