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Old 02-10-2021, 08:47 AM   #1
Shadow Cat
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Join Date: Jun 2018
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Default Barney cage ramp - Alternative ideas?

Hi all

I have a syrian female in the Skyline Barney cage and all in all I'm pretty happy with it. However, as she's getting older (she's a year and 4 months now) she's struggling more and more to climb the ramp to the top level where she likes to store her food.

The ramp is just flat wood with only three grooves, it doesn't have much grip. She manages most of the time by using the bars of the cage beside it to climb up. But I want to make it easier for her in any way I can.

Does anyone have any ideas on anything I can do to either make the existing ramp easier to climb, or have an idea on something I can use instead.

Thank you for your help.

(I'm sorry, I can't seen to post a picture, but if you google 'Skyline Barney pet cage' you'll be able to see what I mean if you're not familiar with the cage.
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Old 02-10-2021, 09:36 AM   #2
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Location: North of England
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Default Re: Barney cage ramp - Alternative ideas?

Hello. I stuck hemp mat on my wood ladder so it was easier to grip. But to be honest if she is struggling to climb things she could have an accident. And it might be better to remove the ramp and have more enrichment at floor level. That is what I did with the Barney cage when one of our Syrians got older. Set him up a retirement bungalow. Leaving most things the same. I moved the shelf right up to roof level - so he could still feel "under" it - they like to sit under shelves as well as climb on them. It was flush against the roof so it he did happen to manage to climb the bars up to it there was no space for him to get onto the shelf and fall off.

In the space where the shelf had been I added extra toys at floor level - a cork log (low level climbing and a tunnel to go through. A rat tube at floor level tied to the bars at that end. And a hyacinth ball which I would stick pumpkin seeds in regularly - to distract from the changes and something new to like. They like getting the seeds out of the ball.

You might find she prefers it as its easier. Just scatter a few treats after the changes.

There's a video of it here. This is also the Barney cage (the 100cm one) even though it has different coloured bars (it was called the Barney Special). You get a glimpse of the shelf at roof level early on. There are some photos of it below as well. This was for a very old syrian so I knew he couldn't climb the bars so I risked a hammock high up as there was no way he could reach it but it gave overhead cover which can make them feel more secure with the open space.

At the right hand side he had shallow steps leading to the house roof if he wanted to get up there as it wasn't far to fall from but eventually I took those out as he was too doddery so didn't want him climbing up there either.

Older Syrian Hamster cage set up - YouTube

2016 bungalow resized.jpg

2016 Sept new cage layout (21) resized.jpg

Last edited by Serendipity7000; 02-10-2021 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 02-10-2021, 09:36 AM   #3
Ria P
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Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Wiltshire, UK
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Default Re: Barney cage ramp - Alternative ideas?

If you fill up to the top of the base with substrate and keep the shelf as low as possible you shouldn't need a ramp and could place a bendy bridge there instead or you could use a Trixie bendy ladder for a better grip.
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Old 02-10-2021, 11:33 AM   #4
Shadow Cat
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Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 156
Default Re: Barney cage ramp - Alternative ideas?

Thank you. That's very helpful. I don't think she's struggling struggling yet though, she's just not as active as she was. It's quite nice actually, she was too flightly to handle when she was younger, but now she's mellowed a bit I can get her out the cage more easily.

The way I have the cage set up, both her houses are underneath the shelf, so I wouldn't be able to add anything if I removed it, I'd only be taking away. It seems a shame but I will keep an eye on her and if she really looks like she can't get up there I will take it away. Putting it near the roof might be hard as well. One of the bars snapped so I had to zip-tie a bendy bridge over the broken part so she wouldn't hurt herself. I'll figure something out when the time comes though.
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