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Old 01-18-2020, 06:46 AM   #1
Petite
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Default A new home....

My gorgeous winter white dwarf had to be put down yesterday. I think I could offer a home to another collection of 4 paws(possibly a robo, but definitely another dwarf) but I'd like to change the cage.

I had the winter white in a Ferplast Favola cage (60 x 36.5 x 30 cm) and she seemed quite happy, but I wasn't satisfied with the access - just a little door on the top - which meant for proper access we had to practically dis-assemble the cage. It also made it difficult to interact with my hammy.

I'd love some recommendations on ideal cage size for a dwarf, best makes, and - most important - one that has really good access. Ideally I'd like a cage with an entire top opening, and preferably another reasonably large one on the side.

I wouldn't write off a terrarium, as long as it was well fitted out, and have looked at a ManoMano Tectake wooden cage-cum-terrarium, but I know it would be necessary to protect the wood, and last hammy was a serious gnawer.

Please, any suggestions? Thanks for reading.
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Old 01-18-2020, 07:03 AM   #2
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Default Re: A new home....

So sorry for the loss of your dwarf hamster. Play well at the rainbow bridge.

Have a look at the Exo Terra. They do a low, 90cm wide one with front opening doors. They are expensive but sometimes come up second hand in the small ads.

There is a more affordable version on the market but i forgot what they are called. Someone here will know.
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Old 01-18-2020, 07:20 AM   #3
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Default Re: A new home....

I just posted on your other thread xxx I also need to start planning for another hamster when we have to say goodbye to one - and I think it's great to start getting things right in advance. What is your budget? Silly question - none of us wants to pay too much. I'm asking because I have the Savic Mickey 2XL which I absolutely love as a cage and it's great for a dwarf hamster - not too big, not too small, and a lower height than most so safer for dwarf hamsters.

I originally got it for our first Syrian but found it a bit cramped as he was a very large Syrian and needed a 12" wheel, which took up too much of the cage. Even so he was very happy in it. I then used it for our Robo and felt it was an ideal cage for a Robo. It is basically the same cage as the hamster heaven, but has narrow bar spacing and no holes on top for tubes and penthouses (which is better I reckon). Has the same lovely big front door which really helps with interaction with tiny robos.

It is only sold by Amazon and is not cheap - the price is usually around £80. The Exo Terra mentioned above is also great - front opening and a good size.

Other options are the Ferplast Duna Multy. Robos vary in personality but are highly active, so even if it's a shy robo they often need a fair bit of space at night to be active in. But they also need plenty of overhead cover so they feel secure - so plenty of floor toys and tunnels and ideally a good shelf to provide more overhead cover. I even had a rat sputnik next to my shelf - huge for a robo but if you put bedding in it they like going in it and again it provides good overhead cover.

The Duna Multy's have a nice big door on top - however it is still top opening and it limits set up with hanging things from the roof. But is a very safe height for a robo and plenty of people use them for dwarf hamsters. Depending on how you set it up the standard duna multy might be big enough - but I personally think the Savic Mickey 2XL is a better size and quite a bit more floor area overall. I really wanted a 90cm or 100cm cage for our robo - the 80cm cage was a compromise as I already had a 100cm cage with a syrian Hamster in it.

But it really depends how much enrichment and what size of items you put in. You can still have a good set up with plenty of enrichment in an 80 x 50 cage or possibly a duna multy.

Anyway, my recommendation would be the Savic Mickey 2XL - it's the only cage that's low enough and with narrow bar spacing, that I am aware of (other than a 100cm cage from Germany called the Elmo which is basically the same size as the Maxi Duna Multy but does have a couple of small side doors.

I would also recommend the Exo terra if you can find a good second hand one because they are massively expensive new! About £180.

Or the maxi duna multy with platforms (you can make or buy platforms). But then it's difficult to see them from above through the top door with the platforms. Maybe one platform and a labyrinth house.

Think space for wheels as well. I had a 9" wood wheel for a robo plus a 6.5" flying saucer and he used both regularly. They are very fast and active and funny, but like all hamters, very particular about their nest and hoard and sorting things the way they want. They tend to ignore any houses provided and burrow down in the substrate - unless you give them something like a labyrinth house and they like that as it's dark inside and mimics an underground burrow with rooms (light doesn't go round corners).

It's difficult spot cleaning without destroying their burrow etc when they make one under the substrate, but not impossible. Our robo actually used a litter tray when I gave him a labyrinth house, but he regularly moved in and out between the house and his burrow so I was never quite sure where he was peeing - the good thing about that was I could just do one half of his cage at a time and he would just move to the other burrow!
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Old 01-18-2020, 07:53 AM   #4
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Default Re: A new home....

These are the cages mentioned and a number of other options for a robo

Savic Mickey 2XL. 80 x 50 cm. Despite the cost I think it's a good investment - well made, sturdy cage and suitable for any species of hamster in the future. Lovely big front door. The metal grid shelf needs taking out. Low height of 38cm (about 36cm internally) - deep base for about 6" of bedding (which reduces the height a bit more). Substrate doesn't fall out through the narrow bars

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Savic-Micke...9357227&sr=8-1

Maxi Duna multy - bigger at 100 x 50cm. Big top opening door - deep base for bedding - same height as Savic Mickey 2XL. Lots of scope for enrichment and filling with wheels, toys, platforms and houses. Difficult to hang things from the roof so you need things on legs like platforms and larger houses possibly. Good size for a labyrinth house, a platform and two wheels plus large tunnels (I like the big cork tunnels as they are also something to climb over). You can make it "smaller" inside" by fencing off one end and filling it with bedding - and then expand it into larger as the hamster adjusts. Not cheap! But also a good investment and suitable for any species of hamster in the future. Looks lovely. Lighter than a glass tank and easier access. Personally I prefer front opening, not just for interaction with the hamster, but prefer it myself too. Not cheap! But also a good investment for the future for any species of hamster.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ferplast-Ma...9&sr=8-1-fkmr0

Standard Duna Multy 71cm x 46 cm and 31cm high. Probably the cheapest option, good size if set up carefully. Personally, if space is an issue, I would go between size with this and the Maxi Duna Multy - ie the Savic Mickey 2XL. Unless you prefer the perspex tank style. A labyrinth house and platform would fill it up pretty much.

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

Skyline Marrakesch. Internal measurements are 92cm x 45cm and 35cm tall. Glass tank style with waterproofed wood ends and great lid. If money is not really an object. It is slightly smaller than the maxi duna multy. If you like the tank style. Also suitable for any species of hamster. Looks very nice. Some depends on whether or not you want front access. I had the Kerry Terrarium for our Robo initially - it looked lovely but I hated having top access only and found the size too limiting with the straight sides (75 x 45). The Marrakesch top access would be easier due to the length. But I prefer front access every time and then you're limited to cages - or the Exo Terra

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

Detolf - if you have the space. This can make an amazing set up - you can have a third of it as a digging end and lots of scope for enrichment. Needs some diy to make lids and it needs something to stand on which bumps the price up. Standing on kallax units it provides storage under. Cheap option for standing it on is Ikea Lack coffee tables. Suitable for any species of hamster. If you have space and don't mind some diy.

https://www.google.co.uk/search?biw=...4dUDCAY&uact=5

https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/p/detolf-...rown-10119206/

Elmo cage. 100cm x 50cm (not a bad price even including shipping from Germany). This already comes with a shelf as well and a basic wheel. Top opening plus two small side doors. This is basically a cage version of the maxi duna multy.

https://www.amazon.de/PETGARD-M%C3%A...9358458&sr=8-3

Alexander cage. 100cm x 50cm Also has 7mm bar spacing. Due to the height it needs a full level to avoid fall risks. This is easily achieved as it already has 3 shelves - people achieve the full level by using the ladder as another joining shelf and another piece of wood across the remaining gap and something like a small ladder for access up to the top level (you need something hanging from the roof over the access for the ladder to avoid fall risks). Masses of scope for enrichment and space and it comes with 3 good houses, including a built in long house which you could make dark inside by putting a bendy bridge over the door. However, only has small side doors and difficult to see down through the big door on top with a full level. So not the best access for a fast robo possibly. The wood items need painting with plastikote to make them wipe clean - not essential but a good idea. Two pots of plastikote at £4 each to add to the cost, but it comes with everything else needed apart from tunnels and a wheel.

https://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/small...r_cages/174238

Exo Terra Terrarium as mentioned by Dali's Mum 90cm x 45cm and 45cm tall. Front opening tank style cage with lovely big opening front doors, lift off mesh roof also. This also comes in a lower height of 30cm which might be ok for a robo but also less space below door height for substrate. The 45cm tall one is future proof and suitable for any species of hamster. Again you need platforms on legs etc as no bars. Massively expensive new! I could never find a second hand one.

https://www.reptiles.swelluk.com/exo...um-90x45x45cm/

Conclusion:

Think about whether you want a tank style or a cage. I love the look of the tank style ones, but top opening only doesn't work for me. Big front opening door is a big help. I would prefer a cage with a big front door any day as long as it's low enough for a robo and safe with narrow bars.

Duna multys are a fairly easy option and a compromise - good visibility and big door on top - but more fiddly to set up with no bars.

The Marrakesch would be easier to set up with the straight sides to fit platforms up against and Getzoo sell some very good platforms in different sizes and heights.

My idea would be a 90cm Savic Mickey 2XL but it's only 80cm - it is still a good size if you have variety and enrichment in it
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Old 01-18-2020, 07:57 AM   #5
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Default Re: A new home....

This is how I had the Savic Mickey 2XL set up for our robo. Labyrinth house on right at cage base level with substrate round the outside of it so it's sort of underground (and a bit inside so it's not bare floor!). Shelf over it and sputnik next to shelf. Sputnik hangs over sharp edged cheese cube so it can't be fallen on if they climb bars. Wheel back left, flying saucer front left. Buried hay house centre - he liked to tunnel into that and hoard in it. Later added large cork log as a ramp instead of the ladder. He loved that - woiuld scratch away at the inside for nesting material and run over the top - used as a ramp up to the shelf and as a tunnel leading under the shelf.

On the bottom photo - I put a flat piece of cork in front of the wheel as a firm surface/step up to the wheel so he could get in and out easily - he made a very cosy second burrow under the piece of cork - it was a work of art! So cosy. Shelf good for harder heavy items as well - his sand bath is on the shelf and his food bowl.

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Old 01-18-2020, 08:27 AM   #6
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Default Re: A new home....

I'd recommend the Savic Mickey 2XL too, or the Hamster Heaven used without the penthouse or tubes, the big front door is a huge bonus & you don't really need a top opening door with that, the Savic Mickey 2XL might be preferable for a robo as the bar spacing is a llittle narrower but for a Russian the Hamster Heaven is fine & usually a lot cheaper.
I've kept Russian & CHinese hams in both these cages & they work really well.
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Old 01-18-2020, 10:52 AM   #7
Petite
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Default Re: A new home....

Thank you so much, Ria, Serendipity and Cypher - there are some wonderful ideas here. Serendipity, all those links are great! I really like the idea of the Detolf - although I haven't actually told my other half yet how big it is! There's also the snag of getting it to our island as we don't have an Ikea, but there may be a local courier service who would collect it from over the water.

It's actually helping me to think about and plan for our next 4 paws. Tempted by another winter white, although it will never replace Theo, of course - or maybe a robo.

I really appreciate all this help and advice!
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Old 01-18-2020, 10:58 AM   #8
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Default Re: A new home....

Just an extra thought: if I got a Detolf and two hamsters, would it work to separate them by putting some kind of partition in the middle if / when they started fighting? I've only kept two once before, and had to buy a second cage when the inevitable happened. Could they be stressed out by the scent of another one just the other side of the partition?
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Old 01-18-2020, 11:13 AM   #9
Petite
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Default Re: A new home....

I've just had another thought re accessories. I have collected a number of rather nice wooden toys, house, seesaw, swing, etc, and would like to re-use them. Is it enough to wash them and / or spray with the kind of pet spray you can get for cleaning cages?
Sorry for so many questions!
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Old 01-18-2020, 11:21 AM   #10
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Default Re: A new home....

If they've been used with another hamster, toss them. It is not worth the risk of passing on anything to a new hamster. Wood is porous, so any cleaner you use on them would be impossible to fully remove from the wood which could also be a big safety risk.
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