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View Poll Results: What do you think the minimum cage size for hamsters should be?
Under 400 sq inches 4 19.05%
400-600sq inches 3 14.29%
600-800sq inches 9 42.86%
800-900sq inches 5 23.81%
900-1000sq inches 0 0%
1000+ sq inches 0 0%
Voters: 21. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-22-2016, 12:18 AM   #1
freyashamsters
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Default What do you think the minimum cage size should be?

I was just wondering, what does everyone on here think the minimum cage size for hamsters should be?
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Old 05-22-2016, 12:48 AM   #2
_Steph_
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Default Re: What do you think the minimum cage size should be?

400 sq in is about 50 by 50 cm which for me is an absolute minimum if there had to be one. Prefer about 800 sq in or 100 x 50cm as being a good size for the hamster and still manageable for the owner in terms of space and manoeuvrability.
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Old 05-22-2016, 01:04 AM   #3
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: What do you think the minimum cage size should be?

I had to convert it lol - we're not very good at thinking about square inches in the Uk.

600 to 800 square inches is equivalent to 80 x 50 to 100 x 50 cm cages. I went for that as a minimum although personally I would like to do 800 to 900.
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Old 05-22-2016, 01:37 AM   #4
cypher
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Default Re: What do you think the minimum cage size should be?

I think that depends entirely on the hamster!
Thanks for the conversion Serendipity, I can't think in square inches either, & I''d agree with you on size but as a guide only, much as I love to see my hams in large cages I do think the needs of the more timid hams can get over looked so for me there is no ideal or absolute minimum.
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Old 05-22-2016, 01:47 AM   #5
WinnieTheHam
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Default Re: What do you think the minimum cage size should be?

I'd like the minimum to be a bit larger than it is at the moment but I agree with Cypher, it ultimately depends on the hamster preference

I had to convert it too! haha.
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Old 05-22-2016, 02:28 AM   #6
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Default Re: What do you think the minimum cage size should be?

I think a minimum should be the lowest possible and then you can have an 'ideal' as a guideline. The current minimum you are referring to, is that the NHC minimum? If so then it's a true minimum, the base line that no one should go below.
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Old 05-22-2016, 02:56 AM   #7
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Default Re: What do you think the minimum cage size should be?

It's a tricky one - when there is a "minimum recommended" people tend to buy that size and don't look bigger. So yes that's a good idea having a minimum and a guideline. What is the NHC minimum?
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Old 05-22-2016, 03:03 AM   #8
Ceretrea
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Default Re: What do you think the minimum cage size should be?

The council minimums are found here:-

https://hamsters-uk.org/content/view/29/48/

Keeping in mind that this is the absolute minimum that a hamster can live in and is backed by appropriate research. It covers every hamster from breeders to pets. When I rehome I advise an 'ideal' cage size for a syrian be no smaller than 60cm long purely because that encompasses the biggest range of choice and prices. Most owners go for 80cm although that's harder now the Barney cage was made into 100cm. Most don't ever go that big because it's not feasible.
I think as it depends on the hamster so much that a minimum cage guidelines shouldn't be too big as Cypher said.
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Old 05-22-2016, 03:06 AM   #9
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Default Re: What do you think the minimum cage size should be?

I think Ceretrea is right. Minimum and ideal aren't the same thing. All my hams are in cages above the NHC minimum but are "too small" by some standards. Partly due to space issues and largely due to my particular hamsters needs but also numbers aren't always what they seem. The minimum size we quote here quite a lot is more of an ideal size and taken from the RSPCA who don't seem to actually quote a size anymore. And along with cypher, I quite agree that bigger is usually better but not always.
My three current hamsters are currently in the following cages. Not because of their species but because of their personalities.
Hector, the robo is in mini duna, which is approx 55cm long. Much smaller than a lot of sizes recommended. But he didn't function very well in the larger size and has always been much happier in a smaller space. If the minimum was set to what most people's "ideal" is then I'd be in trouble and Hector would be miserable.
Lewis, my Chinese is in a duna multy as that was the "spare" cage I had (hector's failed upgrade). It's just over 70cm in length. He seems to like it, it's big enough he can do circuits and we can fit plenty of tunnels and hide outs in it. With Lewis, I feel I wouldn't have bonded so well with him in a big cage.
Cleo, my Syrian is in a kerry terrarium. Approx 75cm in length. I prefer a tank style cage for my hams - for depth of substrate and largely as they're a bit more cat safe (my cats don't go in the hamster room but they are Wiley so on the off chance they might get in, I like to take no chances). I didn't have room the next size as the glass and plastic tanks take a leap up to about 1m with nothing in between. So again it's below some people's minimum of 80cm but it's a straight sided glass tank so the footprint is the footprint. Cages have sloped bases so the size isn't always the size - an 80cm cage has a floor space of less than that, probably about 75cm, the same as my tank.

It's a very long rambley post (Sunday morning, sorry, need more caffeine) to get to the point that minimum sizes and ideal sizes aren't the same and setting them to the same isn't really such a straight forward issue.
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Old 05-22-2016, 03:11 AM   #10
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Default Re: What do you think the minimum cage size should be?

I'm trying to do the maths lol! 1000 square centimetres is 150 square inches? Which is about 40cm by 25cm cage size. I guess that is fair for an absolute minimum but wouldn't leave a lot of room for enrichment. It could do to be a bit bigger maybe. So maybe an absolute minimum, a recommended minimum and a range of "ideal" options, including descriptions or photos of how to set up a larger cage for enrichment rather than just lots of empty space.
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