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Old 07-22-2017, 02:01 PM   #1
Hammielover
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Default Good cages for all hamsters?

I'm looking to buy a cage that would be suitable for all species of hamsters as I am going to adopt soon after I have everything I need. Still not sure which species, I'm waiting to find "the one" . I want one that will last a long time and will be good for any ham I adopt both soon and further down the line. So it would have to have appropriate bar spacing, height for wheels etc.

Any recommendations?
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Old 07-22-2017, 02:43 PM   #2
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Default Re: Good cages for all hamsters?

There really is no "one size fits all", even when it comes to hamsters of the same species! Cage size is highly debated amongst all owners, you're going to get a lot of different opinions by asking this question. Just a fair warning before I delve into my thoughts and opinions

The minimum, if you want to possibly add a Syrian, should be a cage of (3,937 cm sq) 1,550 sq in (now people will argue this, but no other cage size has ever been scientifically proven to be suitable, in my opinion. Only this one). If you have a cage of (3,937 sq cm) 1,550 sq in, it will comfortably house a Syrian down to a robo. However, here's where it gets complicated...

Not all Syrians will be satisfied with this size cage, needing cages that may be (5,080 sq cm) 2,000+ sq in! Besides that, Chinese hamsters tend to be very shy, and do better in a well furnished, but smaller cage. Thus, if you get a super energetic Syrian, you probably should cross a chinesey off your list. Remember though, that a (2,286 sq cm) 900 sq in cage filled with stimulation and deep bedding, is much more suitable than a 1,550 (3,937 sq cm) sq in cage with just the bare essentials! Make sure that for whatever size cage you get, you can pack it with toys, tunnels, and bedding. A large bin system, IKEA hack, or custom aquarium works best for housing Syrians

To achieve (3,937 sq cm) 1,550 sq in, you can try....

A double detolf from IKEA
3 SAMLA bins from IKEA
Or a custom aquarium that equals 1,550 sq in (3,937 sq cm)

If you'd like to have a cage that's a bit less, overwhelming, you may want to consider cutting Syrians out from your list. For example, a robo could happily live in a cage of just (1,525 sq cm) 600 sq in, while a Syrian would almost never tolerate that. Overall, as an owner, you'll need to decide whether you will keep Syrians, or dwarfs. If you'd like both, that's absolutely fine, but do be prepared that you may be spending quite a lot on housing.

Well why not smaller? Many people keep their Syrians in smaller? I cannot tell anyone whether to get a square metre cage or not. It's your hamster in the end, and if you decide you will keep your Syrian in a 600 sq in cage, nobody will judge you nor attack you for it. However, Syrians really are large rodents (when you compare Syrians to other rodent species, you're likely to describe them as being rat sized. Meanwhile, a dwarf would be more mouse or gerbil sized) and should have decent amounts of space. Besides that, in the wild, they have huge territories and can travel several miles nightly- something a 600 sq in cage just won't replicate. Now some owners will keep their Syrians in smaller, but if you notice, many (including myself!) are constantly combatting things like bar chewing (which like it or not, is usually due to something about the environment being unsuitable), corner digging, pacing, attempting to escape constantly, etc. This is why I highly recommend large cages, aside from that, bigger is better. When it comes to any species, if you go too big, you can always section a cage off, and expand as needed. If you go too small, you'll have a hamster stuck in a tiny prison, and that's just no good! Go as big as you and your wallet can xx

Sorry for the rant! I get very passionate about cage size If you'd like me to share the studies done on cage size, I'd be happy to! Apologies if I got any inches to cm conversions incorrect, just a quick conversion using google. Remember again that this is just my opinion, and other opinions WILL differ
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Last edited by velma; 07-24-2017 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 07-22-2017, 03:15 PM   #3
FelicityAnn
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Default Re: Good cages for all hamsters?

I'm with Drago on sizes
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Old 07-22-2017, 03:35 PM   #4
Hammielover
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Default Re: Good cages for all hamsters?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drago View Post
There really is no "one size fits all", even when it comes to hamsters of the same species! Cage size is highly debated amongst all owners, you're going to get a lot of different opinions by asking this question. Just a fair warning before I delve into my thoughts and opinions

The minimum, if you want to possibly add a Syrian, should be a cage of (3,937 cm sq) 1,550 sq in (now people will argue this, but no other cage size has ever been scientifically proven to be suitable. Only this one). If you have a cage of (3,937 sq cm) 1,550 sq in, it will comfortably house a Syrian down to a robo. However, here's where it gets complicated...

Not all Syrians will be satisfied with this size cage, needing cages that may be (5,080 sq cm) 2,000+ sq in! Besides that, Chinese hamsters tend to be very shy, and do better in a well furnished, but smaller cage. Thus, if you get a super energetic Syrian, you probably should cross a chinesey off your list. Remember though, that a (2,286 sq cm) 900 sq in cage filled with stimulation and deep bedding, is much more suitable than a 1,550 (3,937 sq cm) sq in cage with just the bare essentials! Make sure that for whatever size cage you get, you can pack it with toys, tunnels, and bedding. A large bin system, IKEA hack, or custom aquarium works best for housing Syrians

To achieve (3,937 sq cm) 1,550 sq in, you can try....

A double detolf from IKEA
3 SAMLA bins from IKEA
Or a custom aquarium that equals 1,550 sq in (3,937 sq cm)

If you'd like to have a cage that's a bit less, overwhelming, you may want to consider cutting Syrians out from your list. For example, a robo could happily live in a cage of just (1,525 sq cm) 600 sq in, while a Syrian would almost never tolerate that. Overall, as an owner, you'll need to decide whether you will keep Syrians, or dwarfs. If you'd like both, that's absolutely fine, but do be prepared that you may be spending quite a lot on housing.

Well why not smaller? Many people keep their Syrians in smaller? I cannot tell anyone whether to get a square metre cage or not. It's your hamster in the end, and if you decide you will keep your Syrian in a 600 sq in cage, nobody will judge you nor attack you for it. However, Syrians really are large rodents (when you compare Syrians to other rodent species, you're likely to describe them as being rat sized. Meanwhile, a dwarf would be more mouse or gerbil sized) and should have decent amounts of space. Besides that, in the wild, they have huge territories and can travel several miles nightly- something a 600 sq in cage just won't replicate. Now some owners will keep their Syrians in smaller, but if you notice, many (including myself!) are constantly combatting things like bar chewing (which like it or not, is usually due to something about the environment being unsuitable), corner digging, pacing, attempting to escape constantly, etc. This is why I highly recommend large cages, aside from that, bigger is better. When it comes to any species, if you go too big, you can always section a cage off, and expand as needed. If you go too small, you'll have a hamster stuck in a tiny prison, and that's just no good! Go as big as you and your wallet can xx

Sorry for the rant! I get very passionate about cage size If you'd like me to share the studies done on cage size, I'd be happy to! Apologies if I got any inches to cm conversions incorrect, just a quick conversion using google. Remember again that this is just my opinion, and other opinions WILL differ
Thank you for the help its really appreciated!

You make very good points. Every hamster comes with a different personality and I can't please them all. Although Chinese hamsters are my favourites, I have to cross them off my list anyway as they're super hard to find here now A Syrian is what I'm really looking for because I haven't had one for a while but again I'm open to others.

As much as I'd love a detolf setup I'm struggling to find space. I'm going to have to move a few things around but I'm looking more into getting a cage rather than an aquarium, unless I can find a cheap second hand one. For now I'm thinking more along the lines of an Alexander, Barney, Hamster Heaven or Alaska style cage.

If you could share the cage size studies that would be great! I always love learning new things.
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Old 07-22-2017, 03:43 PM   #5
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Default Re: Good cages for all hamsters?

If you have no other choice (although do note that I strongly encourage larger), those cages you listed are suitable. Here's the study

http://www.tierschutz.vetsuisse.unib...06_ger_eng.pdf

Scroll down for English

ETA: nevermind- I linked the English one!
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Old 07-22-2017, 07:11 PM   #6
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Default Re: Good cages for all hamsters?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammielover View Post

As much as I'd love a detolf setup I'm struggling to find space. I'm going to have to move a few things around but I'm looking more into getting a cage rather than an aquarium, unless I can find a cheap second hand one. For now I'm thinking more along the lines of an Alexander, Barney, Hamster Heaven or Alaska style cage.
One note on the Alaska, the bars can be quite flexible and there can be some gas around the doors (a bit hit and miss, I've had a couple of Alaska's both with different gaps and stuff) So I'd probably avoid that one, if you want to be able to house any species in it, as a nimble Chinesey may be able to find a gap big enough to squeeze through
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Old 07-22-2017, 11:01 PM   #7
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Default Re: Good cages for all hamsters?

Out of those cages you mentioned I wouldn't recommend the Hamster Heaven for a syrian, it's not as tall as the other cages & difficult to fit a good size wheel in.
What Ghosts said about the Alaska is true but I've never had a problem keeping Chinese in one, I did put cable ties through the gaps at the top to make them smaller though.
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Old 07-23-2017, 11:21 AM   #8
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Default Re: Good cages for all hamsters?

I am really in love with my alexander cage, I also love the maxi duna multy. Both great for syrians or dwarves.
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Old 07-24-2017, 01:17 PM   #9
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Default Re: Good cages for all hamsters?

If you get a wire cage with narrow bar spacing. Like the Alexander or Barney cage they are about 100cm by 50cm. These could be used for Syrian hamsters or dwarf hamsters. They come with house(s) level(s) depending on which you get. Zoo plus sells them, but I have seen second hand ones on eBay, gumtree etc. You would need to clean them with a pet safe disinfectant if bought second hand just in case the hamster that had used them was ill.
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Old 07-24-2017, 03:50 PM   #10
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Default Re: Good cages for all hamsters?

I'm with Drago on sizes as well, the way I see it is the bigger the better, I read the report you put on your thread Drago, very interesting and very informative as well
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