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Old 03-05-2018, 01:34 AM   #1
jack5125
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Default New to hamster care. House advice for a robo.

Hi all,

I am new and will make an introductory post when I am home this evening. I am new to hamster care as my girlfriend wanted a hamster and I wasn't especially fussed. But, after 2 to 3 weeks of him being home I love it and have been reading hamster care information videos etc. I am obsessed now.

I have a 11 to 14 week old roborovski hamster called frodo. I have him in a cage too small as my girlfriend bought it with advice from pet store and have the savic spelos xl unit. This is too small and the wheel is crazy squeaky. I have ordered a alaska cage as it is decently sized and was on sale. This is online from zooplus and I am worried about frodo escaping through gaps. Should I just get another cage and save this one for future hamsters I may get or will it be OK. I have read that people have their robos in this cage and have no problems. I house him alone and I am taming him everyday with box method and have had some success he sits on my hand and let's me lift him slowly up and down with no hassle and like being stroked when sitting there while eating.

Anyone advice on this?

Thanks a bunch if you can help!

Last edited by souffle; 03-05-2018 at 04:37 AM.
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Old 03-05-2018, 06:46 AM   #2
racinghamster
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Default Re: New to hamster care. House advice for a robo.

Hi Jack. Welcome to the world of mental robos! The Alaska cage wouldn`t have been my first choice for a wee robo to be honest as I would have suggested going for a Zoozone 1 tank and meshing the lid, but I kept all my single robos in an older style cage like the Zoozone 1 called a Gabber Rex. I never required the grill to be fitted so removed it entirely. Robos remember are ground dwellers as most hamsters are, with the exception of the Chinese hamster which are far more mouse-like than your typical hamster and are good climbers. So unless you have a dog or a cat or other pets like a ferret hanging around, you don`t really require the lid as long as you don`t provide anything high inside the cage where Frodo might get curious and try to get out, but I never found this ever happened with robos as they are too bust scurrying around or wheel running!

The bars on the Alaska could be a bit wide for a young robo yes, so it might be wise to either return this cage for a refund, or keep it for another hamster as you say that would benefit from it later on. The Zoozone 1 costs around 30? online and in some shops. Have a google for one. There is also the larger Zoozone 2 but it`s 100cm long! I'm not sure a robo actually needs such a large floor space when they have a good wheel and enough space in a Zoozone 1.

Hand taming a robo is no easy task and I would say allow plenty of time for this and never to force Frodo into any handling situations. Robos tend to jump and if he was inside a box or in your hand and leapt, he could badly injure himself, so take care that he`s only handled inside his own cage for now. Once he`s in a larger cage, he won`t need to be out on the floor or played with to be honest as robos are very much their own entertainment! They love their wheel (I use medium 6.5" inch silent spinner wheels) and although fast, robos handle them well once they know how to stop!

Hope this helps and I see you are near a friend of mine being near Hamilton!
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Old 03-05-2018, 07:12 AM   #3
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Default Re: New to hamster care. House advice for a robo.

Congrats on your new hamster, Frodo sounds like a lovely little guy, good to hear that taming is going so well.

The Alaska bar spacing is fine but there are some larger gaps at the corners although those can easily be blocked with cable ties, that's what I did when I when I had a Chinese hamster in mine just in case.
My main concern with the Alaska is the height, it is quite a tall cage & even some robos will try to climb the bars so you have to be very careful how you set it up so there's no risk of falls, it might be easier to get a different cage.
I'm not a fan of tanks myself but not many cages have narrow bar spacing, the Savic Mickey is one option although it is quite expensive & the metal shelf needs to be taken out, you can easily add a wooden shelf or use a large house as a shelf instead, not being a very tall cage once the base is filled with substrate it doesn't really need a shelf tbh. Another good barred cage with narrow spacing is the Grosvenor hamster cage.

If you want a new wheel I wouldn't go for a silent spinner, the old ones are fine but the new ones don't work at all well now, P@H do a similar style wheel which would be suitable for a robo or you could use a wooden wheel (needs to be pained with plastikote water based enamel to protect it from pee!).
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Old 03-05-2018, 07:46 AM   #4
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Default Re: New to hamster care. House advice for a robo.

The Ferplast Kios is another good cage with very narrow bars. I had one but gave it to a friend. It only has a small door on the front and on the top though, however the whole lid can be easily removed for easier full access.
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Old 03-05-2018, 08:08 AM   #5
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Default Re: New to hamster care. House advice for a robo.

I think the Ferplast Kios has the opposite problem to the Alaska in that it's not really tall enough is it RH? I can't imagine you'd have room for a decent size wheel once the base was completely filled with substrate.
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Old 03-05-2018, 10:39 AM   #6
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Default Re: New to hamster care. House advice for a robo.

I would need to find a link to the cage cypher but the base is deep. I was able to use a medium silent spinner in one with the metal wheel base nailed onto a 1" inch slab of wood! This was to prevent the wheel rattling about or moving. I just covered the base with substrate. I suppose if the wheel was sat on top of five inches of substrate however this might make the top of the wheel hit the top of the cage! But my base being wood, I was able to have a thin layer of shavings underneath it and then cover it over with just enough shavings for the robo to leap on and off comfortably without the area being too deep.

I found that my robos never dug down deep except inside their next, so I would `top-up`the shavings as necessary when spot cleaning but never found the depth needed to be more then a few inches.
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Old 03-05-2018, 12:11 PM   #7
jack5125
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Thumbs up Re: New to hamster care. House advice for a robo.

Thanks for all the help!

I've placed a request for return. As I will keep an eye out for deals on a good syrian hamster cage when the time comes nearer.

I have had a look at some of the suggested ones you both have listed and they all seem good for me. But their prices are all similar and I dont have many accessories a bendy bridge, playball, some toilet roll connected tubes and sometimes a treat toilet roll thing that he loves.

I think the extra shelf that comes with the grosvenor would be nice although I dont know how much frodo would appreciate it and I can always buy or makeshift my own at some point.

They are all around 40-45 pounds where I can see them. Is there 1 of them that is stand out better? Or, is it preference on tank like style on zoo zone 1 which is 5 pounds cheaper than the grosvenor and ferplast kios.

Apparently the ferplast kios has a 15cm Base I seen it in a previous thread after a bit of googling. Here are the ones I have found:

ZooZone medium: 40 Pounds which seems to be slightly smaller
Ferplast Kios: 45 Pounds May be harder to arrange but may be worth it
and the Grosvenor: 45 Pounds Comes with little shelf and tiny spacing for good ventilation and no escaping I guess?

I have also seen the Barney Cage and it has 7mm spacing or would this be better to buy for a syrian or bigger dwarf? it is only 5 pounds more than the other 2 at 50 Pounds

What do you guys think? I am still a little unsure I would normally go for cheapest if they were similar but 1 has deep base 1 is a tnak with cage lid and the other has super tiny spacing and a platform included (which I don't know is even a good thing just seems to use it currently running up and down it sometimes).

Thanks again to a newbie hamster owner!
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Old 03-05-2018, 12:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: New to hamster care. House advice for a robo.

Hi there. We have a robo and I went through all the dilemmas about the right cage. We have a Barney for our Syrian. I ended up getting the Kerry Terrarium, although would have liked the 100cm Marrakesch, pr the 100cm maxi duna multy, but didn't have space for another 100cm cage and the Kerry Terrarium is fine - I added a wood platform on legs. It is a lovely tank, but I am used to cages and find handling our robo difficult with only top access.

It might depend how tame your little guy is. If he's in a small cage like the spelos at the moment, this might be the time to get him used to being handled - they are harder to find in a larger cage

If he's quite hand tame then the Kerry would be a good option. The Duna Multy is not a bad option but I personally wanted to go a bit bigger than that.

There can be issues with robos and barred cages. 7mm bar spacing should be fine - with larger bar spacing, it isn't just escapes but I would worry they could get jammed in the bars trying to escape. The other issue is falls from a height and injuries with a cage, when they can climb bars up to roof level (or even monkey bar across the roof and drop).

When you're spending money the decision is quite important. I think you can make a larger cage a bit smaller if necessary, by filling one end with bedding as a digging area, but if you get something 70cm or so you may wish you had got something slightly bigger and want to upgrade again.

The Barney would need, in my opinion, a full level in for a robo, due to the height, even though the bar spacing is 7mm. But it could be a great cage for a robo. As with most cages, there are odd areas that have bigger gaps. With the barney it's round the doors. The top door I find needs pegging down or there's a gap under it. The two small front doors have a 1cm or more gap just below the catch. I have a row of cable ties along that bit.

I am thinking of moving our robo to a cage just because I like having a front door and thinking handling will become easier. I had the SAvic Mickey 2XL for our last Syrian and found it a great cage - it is not as tall as some and has 7mm bar spacing plus a front opening door. Although with a big door like that it might be better to have the cage nearer floor level in case a hammy made a run for it when you open the door! It is basically the same cage as the Hamster Heaven but with smaller bar spacing and without all the plastic extras like shelves and tubes (which are useless anyway - and robos can't climb tubes, they have furry feet pads).

Although the Ferplast Duna tanks don't have front doors they do have quite good access as they are very large top doors and not so tall as the Kerry.

If I could choose a cage I would either go for the Savic Mickey 2XL (80cm by 50cm and about 36cm tall interior height). Or the Barney - and make a full level for it out of wood (which could be a pain unless you're good at diy).

Tankwise I think the maxi duna multy is a good choice. Both cost around 80 to 90. I am actually thinking of selling the Kerry and gettign another Savic Mickey 2XL. The Hamster Heaven is cheaper but personally I wouldn't be happy with 1cm bar spacing for a robo.

The other advantage of 7mm bar spacing is - it's mouseproof So if you ever get mice, they can't get in.

The Kerry and Duna tanks have small bar spacing on the lids so they are fine.

This is the Savic mickey 2xl - the wire grid shelf needs to come out - bad for hammies feet.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Savic-Micke...ic+mickey+2+xl

This is the maxi duna multy. I think it's lovely.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ferplast-Ma...axi+duna+multy

There is also the Zoozone 2 which is about the same size - it's cheaper but has large 2cm bar spacing which would need meshing. Have heard the maxi duna is much easier to open and close though and the zoozone 2 lid can be a fiddle.

https://www.petplanet.co.uk/product....71&pf_id=59760

You could keep the Savic spelos - it makes a good pet carrier for vet visits! Also very useful as a small hospital cage for an old or sick hamster.
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Old 03-05-2018, 12:49 PM   #9
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Default Re: New to hamster care. House advice for a robo.

This is the Ferplast Kios that Racing Hamster mentioned. I also considered it and it's not a bad cage. You would fit up to an 8" wheel in ok, but personally I think a little bit more floorspace is better. The difference between 70cm and 80cm doesn't sound much but it does make a difference to how much enrichment you can fit in the cage.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ferplast-Ki...last+kios+cage

For wheels. There aren't really any good 6.5" wheels. The 6.5" silent spinner used to be the popular one but there have been issues with it being stiff and not spinning as well since a manufacturing change. You would definitely need to "try before you buy" with that one. There are a few 8" wheel options which are fine for a robo (mine has a 9" wheel). Zooplus has two -the Karlie wood one and the Trixie 20cm one. The Karlie wood one is silent but would need painting with plastikote to waterproof it. An 8" wodent wheel is fine too (although may need something to hold the base down so it doesn't move about).

https://www.petplanet.co.uk/product_...427&pg_id=2767

This is the trixie wood wheel - it's a bit cheaper on Zooplus but you'd have postage on top

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Trixie-Wood...xie+wood+wheel

Standard trixie wheel

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Trixie-Exer...xie+wheel+20cm

Plastikote for wood wheel - non toxic and water based- a couple of coats helps waterproof (or pee proof) wood items like wheels or shelves.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Plastikote-...stikote+enamel

Some people make shelves out of Ikea knuff magazine racks too - although the little hole in the end needs blocking off or hammies can get stuck in it.

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=kn...w=1252&bih=553

It is addictive isn't it! Our last Syrian was my stepson's but I absolutely fell for him and he became my baby I was heartbroken when he died and we now have another Syrian and a Robo.
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Old 03-05-2018, 01:04 PM   #10
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Default Re: New to hamster care. House advice for a robo.

I'm totally unconvinced by the Kios then!
You need a good 15cm of substrate plus maybe 20cm for the wheel (a little more with the stand) & I think that's more than the height of the kios in total so it just wouldn't work.
Other than that it comes down to personal preference really some people prefer tanks others cages, lots of people do keep robos in barred cages with no issues at all.
My personal choice would be the savic mickey mostly because I really like to have a good size door on the front rather than the top of a cage but it is an expensive option so I would say if that is an important consideration the Grosvenor is the best option.
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