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Old 01-05-2017, 01:25 AM   #11
Almi
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Default Re: New Hamster Owner!

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Originally Posted by AmityvilleHams View Post
I'd be wary of putting kitchen rack type items in hamster cages.It could easily get chewed,and since most would be made of unsafe metals or have unsafe coatings that would be extremely dangerous if not potentially deadly
It says it's made out of steel and coated in plastic?
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Old 01-05-2017, 04:12 AM   #12
cypher
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Default Re: New Hamster Owner!

The plastic coating could be chewed off & ingested which wouldn't be good.
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Old 01-05-2017, 07:32 AM   #13
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Default Re: New Hamster Owner!

Hello and welcome! There are so many options available for hides out there as long as you do some looking around. As many people have already said, rat toys work best for Syrians size wise so always check those out. Someone here already mentioned bendy bridges, these are great toys and can be used is many unique ways which makes them fairly cool, those plastic igloos you see can be alright if they're not chewed and you ensure there's no moisture build up in them. Another idea is a homemade hide out of things such as popsicle sticks (like said above) but using UNTREATED PINE and safe glue (or wood joints such as Mortis and tenon and dovetail if you're more skilled) can work to make a cheap and simple hut, or even several. Something else that's very cheap is a cardboard box such as a shoebox, but these can look a bit low quality so if you're looking for a nice hide what I've said before works better. Can't wait until I hear about your soon-to-be little one and hope you two have many happy years together!
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Old 01-05-2017, 12:32 PM   #14
Almi
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The plastic coating could be chewed off & ingested which wouldn't be good.
That is absolutely true, but don't they make hamster cages and accessories out of plastic that can be chewed? It's just PE (polyethylene) plastic. Obviously this is concerning to me, since I use these in all of my hamster cages. They do chew on them, but I didn't see it as any different than them chewing on a plastic hamster toy.
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Old 01-05-2017, 12:36 PM   #15
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I believe the item linked was vinyl coated,which is very different and unsafe.Plastic itself should not be chewed as it isn't a digestible material,so chewing on a plastic hamster toy isn't the best way to say something is safe.
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Old 01-05-2017, 01:56 PM   #16
Almi
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I believe the item linked was vinyl coated,which is very different and unsafe.Plastic itself should not be chewed as it isn't a digestible material,so chewing on a plastic hamster toy isn't the best way to say something is safe.
Are you saying that a hamster automatically consumes whatever it chews on?

It says "PE coated steel construction" on the description. The plastic on these shelves seems to be the same kind of plastic they use for pet products, so they must be just as safe as plastic hamster toys, right? Though, I did notice that they don't seem to list what kind of plastic is actually used for those. On the igloo hides it just says "durable plastic." Do you think commercially-made plastic hamster accessories are unsafe, then? I am all for avoiding plastic; these wire shelves are the only form of plastic I usually use in my cages.

What about those tree trunk hideouts? I'm pretty sure those aren't edible, and probably plastic.
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Old 01-05-2017, 02:10 PM   #17
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It doesn't always happen,but it is highly likely.

Plastic is heavily debated,interestingly enough.It is not breathable like wood and some other materials,so it could cause respiratory problems(mostly plastic igloos and tubes).The majority of hamsters will chew just about anything in their enclosure,hence a second reason for plastic being avoided.

If they're plastic,they're not edible and are therefore unsafe unless you have the extremely rare hamster that somehow doesn't chew plastic.

I don't think would be that shocking to have something marketed towards small pets be unsafe,considering how many things even from high quality brands are actually unsafe for various pets.
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Old 01-05-2017, 05:52 PM   #18
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Those tree trunk hideys look like they are made out of alfalfa because we get a lot of alfalfa toys in the UK.

I wouldn't use those ladders things. For a start, their paws can get trapped easily between the ladder rungs and walking on wire/mesh surfaces has been liked to causing bumblefoot in hamsters. Climbing bars is different. Secondly, as Amity has pointed out the plastic/vinyl is likely to be unsafe and if you can't be sure of it, don't use it! Chewing and ingesting plastic can cause internal blockages. Chewing the wire (when the plastic has all been chewed) can damage a hamster's teeth so there are so many reasons for why you shouldn't use those rack ladder things.

I don't like the idea of plastic in cages either, unless it's necessary (for a bottle). Most hamsters will chew on it and plastic has extremely poor ventilation. I find wooden toys much safer and would stick to those.
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Old 01-05-2017, 11:09 PM   #19
cypher
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Default Re: New Hamster Owner!

Hamsters don't always ingest what they chew on but it is a possibility & a risk not worth taking, I'm not a big fan of any plastic for hams but if they did have something, even a plastic hamster toy or hideout that got chewed I'd remove it.

I'm pretty sure the tree trunk hideouts you mentioned are the edible alfalfa ones too.
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Old 01-06-2017, 12:52 PM   #20
Almi
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You guys make some good points with the plastic coated wire. Like I said, I also tend to stay away from plastic, for the same reasons. Honestly, I think there are risks with everything. Using this item is a risk I'm willing to take, because I feel the risk is extremely small, and worth the enrichment it gives the hamsters. I suppose it just depends on what you are comfortable with. Hard plastic is something I definitely avoid because it can break into shards, and the hamster has to shave off little bits, making the risk of swallowing some higher.

The hamsters do chew the plastic off of the legs of these over time. I have used the same ones for several years now, and it has taken that long for just the legs to be chewed, so it's obviously not a favorite chew toy. Once the plastic is taken off, they might gnaw on the wire, but as long as its not incessant, I don't think this is a problem. The amount of plastic being chewed is so negligible, and once it's off, it's gone. It's also quite soft, so they can pull it off easily with low risk of swallowing it.

Lots of people, including members here, regularly use plastic in their hamster's home. Though I've always worried, I've never actually heard of a hamster getting sick or passing away after chewing a small amount of plastic. I've also always worried about bar chewing, but never actually had hamsters develop tooth problems from chewing wire. (I have seen hamsters develop tooth problems from poor breeding practices, though.) Don't some of you use wire cages with plastic bases?

I will remember to never suggest an item that has plastic on it ever again, but I don't see any reason to single this item out as unsafe. To me, it is an extremely useful item for hamster habitats and it comes with very little risk. I might also add that I only used it as an example...I imagine you can find wire racks that aren't coated with plastic, or a similar item made out of wood, just like you can find wooden versions of plastic hideouts. Honestly, I quite liked some of the DIY suggestions here. I have a bunch of popsicle sticks laying around...I should get the kids busy.

Chesca - You could put these in the cage sideways to use as climbing bars. I have also used them in this way to create a means of attaching a water bottle meant for a wire cage. I was suggesting setting it in the cage on its feet and putting a heavy tile on top of it, so there's no risk of legs falling through. The bars are too thick and smooth to cause bumblefoot.

As for the tree trunk hideouts, they are definitely not edible. I have used the edible log toys; they have an ingredients list and are obviously made out of wood pulp (with things like alfalfa and molasses/honey added). I looked at the description, and it says the tree trunk hideouts are made out of a mixture of plastic and wood.
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