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Old 04-04-2016, 03:52 AM   #1
JahJah
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Join Date: Mar 2016
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Default Cage extension?

Hi everyone!
I currently have my hammy living in the large Pets at Home cage, but I would like to get a second cage to attach and expand it. I really like the look (and price) of the Rosewood Pico XL, but it doesn't have space for pipes which is how I planned to attach them.

I notice that there is a water bottle hole at the top which I wouldn't need as I already have a water bottle, maybe I could get a pipe in there?

Here's a link to the Pico:
Pico XL Hamster Cage at wilko.com
And this is the one I already have:
http://www.petsathome.com/shop/en/pe...ster-wire-cage

Does anyone have any ideas? If need be, I can just buy another cage the same, I just really like the Pico.
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Old 04-04-2016, 03:55 AM   #2
cypher
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Default Re: Cage extension?

The Pico cage really isn't very suitable, even as an add on, there's a real danger of falling with the height, possible bar climbing & poorly thought out levels & ladders, I wouldn't recommend it personally.
You'd really do better cutting your loses & starting over with one larger cage, they do better with one good size level & a nice deep base really.
Have you looked at the cages at Zooplus? There are some really good ones there.
The barney, alexander, alaska & hamster heaven are all good cages.
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Old 04-04-2016, 05:58 AM   #3
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Cage extension?

Agree with Cypher - Both cages are far too small for any size of hamster. It's a shame that pet shops sell them. Apologies if you like it but the Pico cage is horrible! Totally unsuitable for a hamster as it's too small, too high and has fall risks. RSPCA minimum recommended size is approx 80cm by 50cm continuous floorspace (ie in one cage). So if one of your cages meets that, then an add-on cage could be a bonus, but really you'd be better with one larger cage.

I've just upgraded our hamster from an 80cm cage to the 100cm Barney cage - the Barney is really good value at less than 50 and it comes with most of what you would need. It has a good sized house, a shelf and a ladder. Even the wheel isn't bad for a temporary measure - it's about an 8" wheel - which would be ok for a dwarf hamster but a Syrian would need something bigger/sturdier quite soon.

This is the Barney cage at Zooplus, as Cypher mentioned. It might not look so much fun but it can be made to look fun quite easily with a few toys (home-made or otherwise) and you'd have a very happy hamster in there.

Barney Pet Cage | Great deals at zooplus!

The Alexander is also a great cage and comes with everything you'd need except a wheel - it has 3 houses (although one has a window that's small and needs taking out or the window blocking off) - but it costs a bit more.

Great deals on small pet cages at zooplus: Alexander Small Pet Cage

Both of those cages have narrow 7mm bar spacing so are quite futureproof as suitable for either a Syrian or a Dwarf hamster. Both species need a lot of floor space as they are very active creatures.

The Alaska is about the smallest size suitable - and is only 33 but could do with a house (the white one on the shelf isn't really suitable for a Syrian as the holes are too small) so that reduces it's value for money a bit, when the Barney comes with a good house and shelf. It has 1cm bar spacing so would be more suited to a Syrian than a dwarf hamster.

Alaska Hamster Cage | Free P&P on orders 29+ at zooplus!

How long have you had the pets at home cage? Some people have been successful in taking them back for a refund, even after they have been used, if they haven't had them very long. That way you could afford more

I noticed on the description of the large pets at home cage it says it is suitable for one syrian hamster. Which it isn't - so someone should tell them that I reckon!

Not sure if you have a Syrian or a dwarf hamster, but Syrians also need an 11" to 12" wheel - which won't fit in small cages really. Most cages, even the larger ones, only come with a small 6" wheel as standard, which is ok for a dwarf hamster (just) but not for a Syrian.

We can recommend wheels if you like, when you've decided on a cage. The cheapest suitable one is about 9 I think.

The Hamster Heaven is also popular and meets RSPCA minimum recommended standards, but I reckon the Barney and Alaska are better value. Most people end up taking out the tubes and penthouse as hammies tend to block tubes up and pee in them, and they are an escape risk. People usually end up removing at least one of the shelves to fit a syrian sized wheel in, plus the ladder breaks sometimes. But it's a well made cage with a nice big front opening door. Our hamster grew quite large and was too big for those kind of tubes, so hammies are better with larger rat, sized floor tubes really. But there are people who are happy using the tubes and penthouse if their hammy isn't too big.

Hamster Cages: great selection at zooplus: Hamster Heaven 80 Cage
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Old 04-04-2016, 06:13 AM   #4
JahJah
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Default Re: Cage extension?

Thank you for your advice guys!

I found out the cage was slightly too small after I bought it- but thought I could just extend it a little later.

I had a look at your suggestions and I really do like the Barney cage as there's a lot of space for toys, whereas the Alexander looks quite rammed with all the wooden bits.

I don't think I'll be able to take the Pets at Home one back, as there are marks on the bars from opening the doors etc, but I'll just have to wait a little while to invest, I think. Just out of interest, would there be any plausible way to connect the two? Since I already have mine and probably won't get a lot back for it.
Thanks
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Old 04-04-2016, 06:25 AM   #5
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Cage extension?

Well - you could try for a refund maybe. If not, it would be good to keep as a playcage for when you're doing cage cleans. I use a pet carrier for that at the moment. I agree about the Barney - and it's good value - and less to paint with plastikote (pet-safe waterproofing paint). Although it wouldn't matter if you didn't paint them - houses and shelves can be replaced - but it can save a bit of money in the long run. The Plastikote costs about 4.50 a pot and one pot should easily do two coats on the inside of the house and on the top of the shelf

I would suggest trying to upgrade your hammy as soon as you possibly can or he could start developing stress behaviours like bar chewing or just getting lethargic.

If money is an issue right now, you could go for the Alaska and make a shoe box house Cut a hole in a shoe box for a door and cut the floor out and put the house on the substrate. Makes a nice house that's dark inside and has a roof for a shelf and a lift off top so you can spot clean inside it Cheap to replace as well.
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Old 04-04-2016, 06:56 AM   #6
JahJah
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Talking Re: Cage extension?

Hi again, I actually sold a couple of things on eBay recently, so I had a little free money- my Barney is on the way!! I'm so excited!!

Thank you so much for your help, he does chew the bars sometimes so I really hope this will stop him/reduce the amount he does it.

With regards to that PlastiKote, I've never heard of it before. Is it for wooden toys to make them last? That would definitely be a worthy investment.
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Old 04-04-2016, 07:17 AM   #7
JahJah
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Talking Re: Cage extension?

Hi again, I actually sold a couple of things on eBay recently, so I had a little free money- my Barney is on the way!! I'm so excited!!

Thank you so much for your help, he does chew the bars sometimes so I really hope this will stop him/reduce the amount he does it.

With regards to that PlastiKote, I've never heard of it before. Is it for wooden toys to make them last? That would definitely be a worthy investment.
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Old 04-04-2016, 10:49 AM   #8
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Cage extension?

Excellent It's a kind of water based pet-safe varnish that waterproofs the wood in case they pee inside the house. You can get it on Amazon or they might have some in a local hardware shop. I hate any kind of diy things but it's easy to use, doesn't take long at all. It's like a thin milky liquid - doesn't have a smell really. I painted it on with a standard half inch paint brush I got from the diy store.

Plastikote B26W 59 ml Enamel Paint Bottle - Clear: Amazon.co.uk: DIY & Tools

If you get it somewhere else, make sure it says it's the water based one.

I put a couple of coats on - it only takes about 2 hours for a coat to dry, so you could do it a day before the hamster cage is ready to set up for your hammy to move into.

You'll need lots of substrate so he has a soft landing if he decides to climb to the roof and jump off

I'm not sure what substrate you're using, but this Fitch paper bedding works out quite cheap as you buy it in bulk. The smallest 10kg size lasts me about 6 months.

The more you put in the less you waste really, as the bottom layer tends to stay dry. Have added Erin's Hamsters cage cleaning tips video below as it really helped me - our hamster was a nervous wreck over cage cleans and got very stressed and he's much better about it now with this method. The main thing that helps is having a potty litter tray and putting it in the corner which they choose as a pee corner.

So assuming you have enough substrate already, and are using the Barney cage wheel at first, the shopping list is just plastikote (or take a risk and leave it unpainted - you could always make a new house out of a cardboard box). And a potty litter tray, and possibly some Chinchilla bathing sand to put in the potty.

Hamster Potty corner Litter Tray for Mice Hamster Gerbil Cage House. Size: 16 × 7 × 12/12 cm: Amazon.co.uk: Pet Supplies

The sand works out cheaper if you buy two at the same time and save on postage.

https://www.viovet.co.uk/Supreme_Sci...g+sand&sct_r=1

For toys you can use a ceramic cup on it's side, a cardboard inner tube from kitchen roll (best to slit it down the side so it expands) and so on. Mostly they just like a nice cosy house, a shelf and lots of substrate. And food of course

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jVnEjrXbww
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