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Old 03-03-2017, 05:04 PM   #1
arnieA380
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Default need help choosing a new cage for my syrian hamster

Hi all

i recently bought a syrian hamster from pets at home, ( not sure how old the hamster is) but he is so active and fast when we put him in his ball at night for approx 30mins.
soon as we put him back in his cage after the 30mins in his ball he is chewing at his bars again although we have put chews in his cage, we dont know why he keeps doing this.

anyway i would like to purchase a new cage for him we currently have the Zolux Trio Rody Lounge Small Animal Cage Kiwi. i dont know i just feel the not a suitable cage for him with him being so fast etc,

i dont know anything about syrian hamsters but i heard they are active and energetic. iv been looking online and found 4 cages which i like.

savic hamster heaven
alexander small pet cage
alaska hamster cage
rotastak homezone

can anybody recommend any iv fouund or something better.

also if anybody could advice me on what kind of things syrian hamsters like in their cages to keep them occupied that would be brilliant

thank you
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Old 03-04-2017, 01:54 AM   #2
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Default Re: need help choosing a new cage for my syrian hamster

You're right that that cage is much too small for any hamster. He will be chewing the bars obsessively because he's bored - it's not a good trait as it can cause teeth damage and it's a sign of mental distress.

In terms of the cages, the ones that tend to be recommended are
Savic Hamster Heaven
Zooplus Alexander Cage
Zooplus Barney Cage
Zooplus Alaska Cage

So the only one from your list that is unsuitable is a Rotastak Homezone

In terms of toys and accessories that Syrians enjoy, this is a really good thread Top 5 buys?

You also need a wheel that is big enough - if he has to bend his neck or back to run, then it's too small and will cause spinal problems. Most people recommend a 12" wheel, with the Karlie Wonderland, Trixie and Silent Runner being three of the most popular options.

In addition to the time in his ball, is he getting any handling time? That's a good time to let them explore. I like to play with my Syrian either on the bed or the sofa.
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Old 03-04-2017, 03:25 AM   #3
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: need help choosing a new cage for my syrian hamster

Hello and welcome If you can afford it I would go for the Alexander or Barney cage The Hamster Heaven is a great cage but some Syrians can outgrow it and most of the plastic contents end up breaking or being taken out because they get in the way of a wheel or a house - plus the tubes are a bit small for Syrians really - some hamsters can get stuck in them. Definitely not Rotostak. Been there, got the t-shirt.

The Alaska, Barney, Alexander and Hamster Heaven all have a good deep tray for lots of substrate, which is something hamsters need. If it's deep enough they can even dig tunnels and burrows and other normal hamstery behaviour things.

The Barney is a bit cheaper than the Alexander and about the same size, if the cost is too much for the Alexander. On the other hand, the Alexander more or less comes set up and ready to go with almost a full extra level of shelves and 3 houses - you just need substrate, wheel, food, water and a few toys (tubes, hidey places, tunnels etc).

The Barney also comes with a good house and a good sized shelf, plus it has an 8" wheel - which would do temporarily for a starter wheel until you got something else. Although if you did get a cage from Zooplus it can be a good idea to get the 28cm Trixie wheel at the same time because then you don't pay postage on the wheel.

Trixie Small Pet Exercise Wheel | Free P&P on orders £29+ at zooplus!

This page shows the Barney, Alexander, Alaska and Hamster Heaven. Any of them are good for a Syrian really though. The Barney and Alexander both have narrow bar spacing of about 7mm - this is supposed to help prevent bar chewing - it's harder for them with the narrow spacing. Although the bar chewing is probably just because the current cage is too small, but also because your hammy isn't happy with other things about the cage too. They try and let us know if something isn't right for them! eg if a wheel isn't working or is too small, or if there isn't enough substrate, or they can't reach their food - they have to alert us somehow!

Hamster Cages | great selection at zooplus

If you did go for the Hamster Heaven I would remove the penthouse and tubes.

I had the Barney cage for our Syrian - upgraded him from something the size of the Hamster Heaven because it looked too full once I had a big wheel in there (he was a particularly large Syrian and needed a 12" wheel).

The might look a bit plain compared to the colourful ones with tubes, but they are good for Hamsters and you can make them look nice with toys etc. Tubes as floor toys are better than connecting plastic tubes which have bad ventilation and are also an escape route.
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Old 03-04-2017, 03:59 AM   #4
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Default Re: need help choosing a new cage for my syrian hamster

Here are some photos. The first cage is exactly the same size as the Hamster Heaven (similar cage) and this was the set up for our Syrian. The third photo is the Barney cage on top of it and the other photos are of the Barney cage set up.





I took the plastic shelf out when the ladder broke and had a big flat roofed house which made a shelf instead. By the time that and the wheel were in there wasn't much floor space left. Plus the substrate has to be quite low where the wheel is as it is quite a low cage.



I could get loads more substrate in the Barney The substrate doesn't fall out through the narrow 7mm bars. (Cage only part set up)

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Old 03-04-2017, 04:00 AM   #5
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Default Re: need help choosing a new cage for my syrian hamster

This was our Syrian's Barney cage set up - added an extra shelf and a flat roofed house so it had 3 shelves like the Alexander.



A lot more floor space even after house and big wheel in there



And space for floor toys



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Old 03-04-2017, 04:07 AM   #6
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Default Re: need help choosing a new cage for my syrian hamster

Although the larger cages use a lot more substrate/bedding it doesn't work out more costly because the more bedding there is and the deeper it is, the less you need to do a "big clean". You can just "spot clean" mostly - ie take out a handful of substrate that is wet and put another handful in. And only need to change the substrate every 2 to 3 months. This makes it much better for hamster and owner as Hamsters get stressed by change and cage cleans. They will also use a litter tray usually if you provide one. Our hammy always used his litter tray/potty and I just emptied that every 5 to 7 days. If he thought it needed emptying he put substrate on top of it so it didn't smell The rest of the cage stayed dry - in fact in the end I would just do a clean because I reckoned things would be getting dusty! Or because his hoard was taking over. Then you can remove the top 2/3 of substrate, wipe the base and put the bottom 2/3 back, and top it up and mix it in so it still smells familiar. Usually the bottom 2/3 is clean and dry, especially if a litter tray is used. It can be best to clean the toys a different week and the wheel a different week so something always smells familiar to the hamster.

The Alaska cage is fine too - it's about the same floorspace as the Hamster Heaven but taller (about the same height as the Barney). But although it's about 15 cheaper than the Barney it needs a house buying for it as the white plastic one with holes in is no good as a house and needs removing really as the holes are too small for a Syrian. They do better with something open underneath, on top of the substrate and big enough to build a really big nest in. A shoebox makes a good house.

You can also buy substrate in bulk so it doesn't work out expensive. Fitch is very popular on here (it's the white paper substrate in my photos) - it comes in 10kg or 20kg bags and works out really cheap. I used to get the 10kg one for 16.99 as it was smaller to store indoors - lasted me about 6 months usually.
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Old 03-04-2017, 04:12 AM   #7
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Default Re: need help choosing a new cage for my syrian hamster

The Zolux could be good as a pet carrier for the future if you can take levels out. The wheels are far too small in it and could hurt the hammy's back.
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Old 03-04-2017, 03:25 PM   #8
arnieA380
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Default Re: need help choosing a new cage for my syrian hamster

Hi yes we let him out every night in his ball for 30mins and well try to handle him whilst sitting on the sofa, he is so fast so we have to be careful,

we do try to hold him as well then we put him on the sofa.
isit safe if we put him on the floor in the front room with all doors shut?
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Old 03-04-2017, 03:38 PM   #9
arnieA380
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Default Re: need help choosing a new cage for my syrian hamster

how come you recommend removing the penthouse and tubes on the savic heaven cage? do hamsters not really like them.
Also i do think the penthouse looks wierd i mean why put a metal opening on it so all the sawdust comes out?

thank you for all your advice much appreciated, yes currently obviously im using the cage i have Zolux Trio Rody Lounge Small Animal Cage Kiwi with the wheel that comes with it so i defo need to get rid of them wheels im guessing.

Also until i can afford a new cage, do you recommend me just putting lots of substrate at the bottom, or would you recommend me put abit of substrate in each shalf as well?
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Old 03-04-2017, 04:49 PM   #10
arnieA380
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Default Re: need help choosing a new cage for my syrian hamster

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
This was our Syrian's Barney cage set up - added an extra shelf and a flat roofed house so it had 3 shelves like the Alexander.



A lot more floor space even after house and big wheel in there



And space for floor toys



Hi thank you so much for all your help, where di you purchase the extra shelfs and flat roof house from please for your barney cage?
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