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Old 04-07-2019, 12:28 AM   #1
betho16
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Question Cage ladder too steep?

Hi everyone!

On Friday evening I went out and bought a Russian dwarf hamster named Speedy who is quite a chunky but lovely boy!

We bought the cage on Wednesday for him which has two floors but weve seen Speedy try to go up the ladder (plastic) and unfortunately its quite steep and therefore he slips when hes about half way up. Does anyone know of any good alternative ladders that we could use to help him? Were going to try lower the floor a little to see if that helps but Im uncertain it will work. If anyone has any advice it would be much appreciated!

Thanks so much
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Old 04-07-2019, 02:04 AM   #2
alpacassei
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Default Re: Cage ladder too steep?

i use long bendy bridges as ladders
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Old 04-07-2019, 02:42 AM   #3
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Cage ladder too steep?

Do you have a photo of the cage? My only concern would be if it's a bit tall for a dwarf hamster - they can climb the bars up the roof and fall and hurt themselves if it's a long drop and they fall on anything hard. Ideally a drop of 20cm from the top is the longest safe drop and then onto soft substrate.

For Ramps I am not keen on ladders as they do come adrift sometimes. And ramps can be landed on when falling. I use the large cork log tunnels - wedged partway under the shelf, so they can climb the side of the log to get to the shelf and it also makes a tunnel under the shelf.

You might need to lower the shelf too if the ladder is steep.
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Old 04-07-2019, 08:04 AM   #4
betho16
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Default Re: Cage ladder too steep?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
Do you have a photo of the cage? My only concern would be if it's a bit tall for a dwarf hamster - they can climb the bars up the roof and fall and hurt themselves if it's a long drop and they fall on anything hard. Ideally a drop of 20cm from the top is the longest safe drop and then onto soft substrate.

For Ramps I am not keen on ladders as they do come adrift sometimes. And ramps can be landed on when falling. I use the large cork log tunnels - wedged partway under the shelf, so they can climb the side of the log to get to the shelf and it also makes a tunnel under the shelf.

You might need to lower the shelf too if the ladder is steep.

Ah thanks so much for this! Im at work at the moment but as soon as Im home Ill message you with a photo of the cage, thanks so much!
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Old 04-07-2019, 08:59 AM   #5
Vectis Hamstery
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Default Re: Cage ladder too steep?

Are you able to put more substrate in? That may help reduce the angle of the ladder while you think about other options.
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Old 04-07-2019, 10:19 AM   #6
betho16
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Default Re: Cage ladder too steep?

@Vectis Hamstery - That's a good idea, haven't thought of that yet! I'll give it a go, thank you!

@Serendipity7000 - Here are some images of the cage!

http://i63.tinypic.com/34ytkw8.jpg
http://i68.tinypic.com/x3setw.jpg
http://i63.tinypic.com/uq16t.jpg

The second floor is a bit crooked as I put the level down 2 bars on one side and 1 bar on the other side so it didn't hit the wheel but I'm going to revise this soon.
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Old 04-07-2019, 11:29 AM   #7
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Cage ladder too steep?

Hi. It is a bit tall. As Vectis says, adding some more substrate will help reduce the angle of the ladder, and also give your hammy something to dig in and cushion falls.

Having said that the height of the cage does have a few fall risks. Long tube runs aren't that popular on here either - a dwarf hammy may have problems with the vertical runs too.

I would suggest adding another shelf so they overlap and there isn't a big drop from the roof, plus removing the tubes and using a couple of them as floor toys or round the inside of the bars on the level/horizontal - if that's possible.

I think most people will also say though that the cage is a bit small - in terms of floor area, and you'd do better with a cage that has a bigger floor area and less height. Unfortunately pet shops do sell these cages that look fun and aren't always suitable.

The wheels are also often too small - even for a dwarf hamster. The wheel needs to be at least 6" diameter - and have a solid back really - holes in the back could lead to injuries.

Are you in the Uk. US or elsewhere? Some people have had success taking a cage back for a refund and getting something else.

Something like one of these is a good cage for a dwarf hammy

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Little-Frie...gateway&sr=8-1

https://www.portonaquapet.co.uk/shop...a-Multy-M36261

Or the Hamster Heaven with the tubes and penthouse removed

https://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/small...r_cages/197362
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Old 04-07-2019, 12:01 PM   #8
betho16
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Default Re: Cage ladder too steep?

Oh dear, not the greatest thing I was hoping to hear! I would 100% upgrade the cage right now if I could but unfortunately I don’t quite have the money for the cage at the moment but will do my best to adapt the cage as well as I can to suit my chunky hammy. He doesn’t run around much at the moment, just sleeps and pops out for some food and drink when he needs, perhaps that because he just doesn’t have enough room.Thank you all for the suggestions, it’s really interesting to hear what can be done and I’ll keep everyone updated

Edit: I have re-arranged the cage and hopefully this should look a lot better: http://i63.tinypic.com/2djnewj.jpg the wheel is 6” so should be okay for now, as soon as I get paid you bet I’m gonna use it to upgrade some bits for him, thank you all for your help!

Last edited by betho16; 04-07-2019 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 04-07-2019, 03:26 PM   #9
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Cage ladder too steep?

I'm sorry! I know it's gut wrenching when you've just bought a cage. The same thing happened to me - I bought another cage within 3 weeks after buying something unsuitable.

That does look better. The main issue is the fall risks. We can't always see what they get up to at night when they're very active. Hammies sometimes climb the bars to the top to see if there is a way out and it's a long drop from the top onto the ladder.

I would suggest, that, if possible you move the water bottle so it's over the shelf where it's a bit higher up. Then if your hammy does fall at that end he can't land on the water bottle.

The ladder still looks a bit steep Can you fit any more substrate in without it spilling out? The good news is, the more substrate you have in, the less you use, because you don't need to clean the base out so often - you can just spot clean - take a handful of soiled substrate out, and add a new handful and mix it in a bit. For quite a few weeks before needing to change the substrate.

Not sure how long you've had the cage or where you got it from, but it could be worth asking for a refund or exchange and say it's too tall for a dwarf hamster.

The easiest thing though, if you don't mind a bit of diy - is to make a full level. A shelf that fits the whole inside of the cage except for a gap at one side for a ladder. And then something else hanging over the ladder gap so it can't be fallen down.
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Old 04-07-2019, 03:32 PM   #10
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Default Re: Cage ladder too steep?

Are you in the Uk? Some people make bin cages as well, which is a cheap option. Ikea sell the 78cm Samla bin which is about 10 to 12. That does involve a bit of diy as the plastic needs cutting to make open areas and mesh them. So it needs some cable ties and some mesh which a diy store can cut to size when bought. And some kind of hot knife to cut the plastic. This kind of thing.

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=ha...w=1252&bih=554

This kind of wheel is a bit safer as it's solid with no gaps for feet or legs to get caught in. So just keep an eye on things until you can get something sorted.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kerbl-Hamst...upplies&sr=1-1

Any hard items on the floor of the cage - eg the food bowl - you could put under the shelf so they can't be landed on.

Something like this on the shelf, to cover the edge, means if your hammy did fall and hit the edge of the shelf on the way down, it wouldn't be so hard. It's also safe to chew

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rosewood-Bo...s%2C156&sr=1-1
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