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Old 11-09-2019, 07:58 AM   #1
Harper37
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Default best cage for a pair of hybrids

I have two hybrid hamsters who live together as a pair in a mini duna, I am now aware that this is too small for them and am wondering what the best cage for them would be.
I have used tanks in the past however I did not like them as they are difficult to move and I found it difficult and annoying to make a lid.
Online i have found a grosvenor hamster and rat cage, and a zoozone 1 for sale near me and was wondering if either of these would be suitable? I don't mind spending more money however I can't really fit anything longer than 80- 100cm in my room and I would like the cage to have a nice big opening access door. Thank you for reading, I appreciate any suggestions!
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Old 11-09-2019, 05:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: best cage for a pair of hybrids

Please separate your hamsters. Hybrids should not live in pairs, it is not natural, they are solitary animals and do not live in pairs, even when mating. It might be okay now, or for another week, or months, but someday it might end up in a fight or even death.

Get one cage per hamster. You can make a bin cage for very cheap and they are perfect for dwarf hamsters (4000 cm2).
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Old 11-09-2019, 05:35 PM   #3
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: best cage for a pair of hybrids

I don't entirely agree with Dessi. If they are living together happily then there is no need to separate them but it they often do need separating at some point as they can fall out and it lead to serious injury or death so the slightest sign of squabbling or fighting and it is best to separate them. This can often start when their hormones kick in when they're a bit older. Having said that only sibling pairs of the same sex should be kept together - you can't introduce unrelated hamsters. Bullying is another issue - one may end up a lot smaller (because the other one is getting all the food) so that needs keeping an eye on too.

In terms of a cage - the Grosvenor would be fine. The Hamster Heaven is a good option if you remove all the tubes and penthouse and shelves. For a pair the cage set up is important and there shouldn't be any shelves or levels (this can cause them to get territorial and start fighting). You also need two of everything - two houses, two wheels, two food bowls and water bottles. Houses need to have more than one entrance so if one blocks the entrance the other can still get out.

They may live together in one house but always need the option of a house each and a wheel each - again to prevent territorial behaviour.

Having said all that, something like a cage move can lead to them falling out - it's stress and a change, so you'd need to keep a careful eye on them after you move them over.

You could just separate them now and them have a cage each - but if you want to try keeping them together then just keep an eye on them when you upgrade the cage.

You would need to be prepared though and have a spare cage in case they need separating quickly. The mini duna would do as a stop gap spare cage but really you'd then need two 70 to 80cm cages.
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Old 11-09-2019, 05:38 PM   #4
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Default Re: best cage for a pair of hybrids

Just to add - if you like the tank style (and it may be more familiar to the hamsters as well) there is a larger size duna cage - the duna multy. And also a bigger one - the maxi duna multy.

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

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ferplast-Ma...3346285&sr=8-1
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Old 11-09-2019, 10:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: best cage for a pair of hybrids

I agree, it’s best to separate them. While russian dwarfs can live in pair or groups, more often than not they end up falling out and it’s not worth the risks of injury. I also had a pair when i first started keeping hamsters and poor Franny ended up with only one ear. One of my current rescues (Vanilla) is also missing half his tail where his ex-cagemate bit it off.

You’ll need 80x50cm or larger cages for each of them. I recommend getting two Alaskas as they are very affordable, spacious, and have front openings so can be stacked.
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Old 11-10-2019, 01:03 AM   #6
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Default Re: best cage for a pair of hybrids

Thank you all so much, they were being sold as a pair when I got them and I couldn't bare the thought of splitting them up (although I know that they probably wouldn't have minded), so I brought them both home.

I've owned 3 hamsters in the past (2 syrians and a robo), however i no longer have any of their cages. I was given the mini duna for free second hand and always used it as a spare cage (for taking to the vets, putting hamsters in whilst cleaning out etc) so am housing them in that for now, and have a medium pets at home hamster cage in case of any fallouts. I also have two of everything except a sand bath, if I have one big one, will this be okay?

If I was to go for the grosvenor cage, should I use the same bedding and set everything up exactly as it is in the mini duna to minimize fighting? And would getting a 100x50cm cage such as the savic plaza or criceti 100 minimize fighting further?
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Old 11-10-2019, 01:55 AM   #7
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Default Re: best cage for a pair of hybrids

Some experienced dwarf owners have actually found that using a cage that is too large can increase the likelihood of fighting as they become more territorial so it’s a really difficult balance between allowing them to have enough space but not too much that it encourages squabbling.

Personally I feel that at most, I’d only go as big as the ZooZone 1 for a pair. If you are going to upgrade, you will need to use old substrate to maintain a group scent and just top it up if needed.
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Old 11-10-2019, 05:07 AM   #8
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Default Re: best cage for a pair of hybrids

I agree the size thing needs to be balanced and an upgrade from a mini duna to 100cm cage would be a big change. The standard duna multy is the same size as the zoozone 1 Some might depend on the size of the items you use and how much floor space is left! So a couple of small square tissue box houses and a couple of 6.5" silent spinners wouldn't take up a lot of room and a zoozone 1 be plenty of space.

But two labyrinth houses and 2 x 9" wheels and a flying saucer would take up a lot more floor space. So some depends on what kind of enrichment you had in mind but I have also heard that too much space can also create territorial behaviour. One problem in recent years has been 6.5" silent spinners aren't what they used to be and often don't spin properly since a manufacturing change. So people have been getting 8" and 9" wheels for dwarf hamsters which take up more room. There is a silent spinner lookalike wheel 6.5" that petsat home sell I think - that is smaller.

So the set up might need to allow for enough space so they can actually have space from each other but not so much that there is a lot of open space.

The Grosvenor is probably about the same size as the Zoozone 1 as well (a bit smaller than the hamster heaven). You would need to take the shelf out. I would be tempted to go with the standard duna multy and two 9" trixie wood wheels (they need plastikoting so they don't get stinky and check for any splinters). They're big enough for both to run in at the same time but not too big for a single dwarf to run in and they spin easily. Plus a couple of small cardboard houses with two or three entrances cut in them, scatter feeding rather than food bowls and two water bottles.

As the cage is bigger it will take more substrate so put new substrate on the bottom and move all the old substrate across and spread it out on top - don't clean anything just move everything across - then don't clean or change anything for at least two weeks while they settle in. If you have any existing houses and toys move those across as well and add the two small cardboard box houses with the holes cut out. Although if the existing house only has one entrance I wouldn't move it across. Any tunnels need to be big enough that they can both fit inside or one can block the other one in. So I would only use larger tunnels that have an additional hole on top - something like the one below.

https://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/small..._wheels/609617

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Plastikote-...3387891&sr=8-1

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rosewood-Bo...3388015&sr=8-2
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Old 11-10-2019, 06:20 AM   #9
Harper37
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Default Re: best cage for a pair of hybrids

thank you so much for your advice! I have two of the pets at home 6.5" silent spinner wheels, as I like to have at least 6 inches of bedding in their cage, and thats the biggest wheel that can comfortably fit in the mini duna with that much bedding. As for hides, I have open-bottomed ones so that if anyone gets blocked in, they can dig their way out (and they seem to enjoy digging tunnels from one house to another), should I swap them out for hides with two exits?

I also have the tunnels with loads of holes in them, however with two wheels, two food bowls, two water bottles, two hides, a tunnel and a branch (from a pet shop marketed for small animals, I can't remember what kind of wood it is, but i did check that it was safe) the cage is already full and I haven't even put a sand bath in yet!

I'm looking into the zoozone 1, however I'm not sure how much more space the extra 20cm width will actually give me as the sides slope a lot more and I would still like to be able to fit in a lot more enrichment? are there any good cages that are 80-90cm, and would that size be suitable?
Thank you again for your help!
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Old 11-10-2019, 07:01 AM   #10
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Default Re: best cage for a pair of hybrids

The Zoozone 1 needs the lid meshing. Personally I would get the standard sized duna multy. 20cm extra may not sound much but with the extra depth of the cage as well it does providing a surprising amount of floorspace. I know when I upgraded from an 80 x 50 cage to a 100 x 54 cage it didn't sound much but made a huge difference (I'll add the photo of one on top of the other below).

90cm is tricky without it being really expensive. The exo terra terrarium is 90 x 45 but costs a fortune. There is a rub bin that is about 80 x 60 and makes a good bin cage.

The Maxi duna is 100 x 50. That might be good if filled up well or you could section off part of it to make it a bit smaller internally eg. It isn't cheap either though - about 100 at the moment when the standard duna multy is about 45.

I found an 80 x 50 cage like the hamster heaven gave that bit more floor area - but then it is a change from a tank to a barred cage. It might work ok.

I think with what you have the standard duna multy would be ok. I would only use the branch at floor level though or it could become like a ramp.

This is the rub bin

http://www.reallyusefulproducts.co.u...145_0litre.php

The maxi duna multy (this is the equivalent to the larger Zoozone 2 - the Zoozone 2 is cheaper but the lid needs meshing).

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ferplast-Ma...3394073&sr=8-1

Porton aquapet and viovet sell the standard duna multy

https://www.viovet.co.uk/Ferplast-Duna-Multy/c44524/

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

Junglepets make a custom tank for hamsters that is 90cm x 38cm with a fitted lid - they can make it without the shelves if you ask or make it 90 x 50 if you want. It doesn't work out that cheap as you have to pay for pallet delivery which is about 50 I think. A tank would be heavier of course.

https://www.junglepets.co.uk/hamster...x15-1392-p.asp

There is also the Skyline Marrakesh - not cheap - internal measurements are 92cm by 44cm.

https://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/small...es_wood/437277
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