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Old 11-27-2019, 07:26 AM   #1
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 1
Default Hamster escapes Samla bin, returns to wire cage


I'm a beginner here. I bought a Syrian hamster for my five-year-old son but knew nothing.

The first cage I had was small and tall, with a plastic tray and three upper floors, each covering about half the length of the cage with ladders between them. It is roughly 18in x 12in x 27in.

It was obviously unsuitable after a while. Even with lots of wooden toys, the hamster was biting the cage. It got a bit better when I filled the plastic tray at the bottom with lots of meadow hay on top of wood shavings, as that gave the hamster lots of room to hide, but the bedding ended up right throughout the house.

Looking online I got the biggest IKEA Samla you can get. It's 78x56x44 cm. That's about 677 square inches before you account for the slope of the sides.

I also got a very big hamster wheel - a Trixie wooden wheel that is said to be 33cm x 8cm. But the 33cm wheel was so big, even on top of just a little bedding where I put it, that it stopped me closing the lid fully when I had it in the cage.

I would just put the big hamster wheel in for a few hours at night, with part of the lid uncovered there, and also had a flying saucer.

This morning, I suddenly found the hamster in her old wire cage. I had left the wire cage in a bath, about ten feet from where the new IKEA Samla bin cage is, and it still had bedding in it, and the hamster's scent. The hamster must have escaped from the IKEA bin cage while the lid was ajar, dropped 44cm (I know it was terrible of me to leave the lid ajar for the wheel). Then climbed up some bags near the bath, and climbed through the open entrances of the old wire cage.

I have transferred food and water from the IKEA bin to the old wire cage and closed the wire cage's openings while I decide what to do.

I am assuming the wire cage is still completely unsuitable even if it has lots of bedding on the plastic tray because of the cage biting that took place. It's not suitable for me, let alone the hamster, because of bedding spilling everywhere over the side.

Do I just get a smaller wheel for the IKEA bin cage? How small a wheel is still suitable for a Syrian hamster? Is the IKEA bin cage itself too small?

I have zero DIY skills. I cut my finger just making a hole in the bin cage, and had a kitchen cooling rack, with narrow mesh, over the opening in the bin cage, held down by heavy weights.

I don't think I even have space for an IKEA Detolf cage anywhere that makes sense to keep a hamster, unless I put it in the living room, and even that seems to require the construction of a cage lid so it's not quite the easiest option.

I am based in the UK.
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Old 11-27-2019, 02:25 PM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2019
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Default Re: Hamster escapes Samla bin, returns to wire cage

Can I have a photo of the samla bin cage? Itd be a shame for all your hard work to go to waste. Maybe a fresh pair of eyes are needed. Give you some ideas? Syrians do require the larger wheel I'm afraid, especially the females so downsizing isn't really an option.
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Old 11-28-2019, 12:48 AM   #3
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Default Re: Hamster escapes Samla bin, returns to wire cage

I wouldn’t keep the hamster in the Samla if you have to keep the lid part way open. I also wouldn’t go back to the old wire cage. If I were you, I’d buy one of the large wire cages on the market such as the Alaska (very cheap), the Barney, the Alexander, the Hamster Heaven or the Slavic plaza. No need to construct a lid for any of those.
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Old 11-28-2019, 01:08 AM   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Wiltshire, UK
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Default Re: Hamster escapes Samla bin, returns to wire cage

Yes, i agree with AprilPearl. Go to the Zooplus website where you can get an Alaska for 30 or one of the others mentioned but they cost more. My Syrian lives in an Alaska.

If you want to keep the Samla, you could put the wheel straight on the base with sand round it and section that part off with a fence (large wooden tunnel on its side) to keep the substrate out and have a Trixie ladder leading down to it.

Have a look in the thread "Let's see your cages" under Housing on the Forum where you can see these cages set up.
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Old 11-28-2019, 04:30 AM   #5
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Default Re: Hamster escapes Samla bin, returns to wire cage

Yes, like others have said if you can afford it, maybe the Alaska Cage or the Savic Plaza which is expensive but has 25% off at Petsathome at the moment.
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Old 11-28-2019, 08:37 AM   #6
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Default Re: Hamster escapes Samla bin, returns to wire cage

I agree with the above. Go for the biggest cage you can fit into your home - the Alaska (Zooplus) seems to be the fairest price, but the Savic Plaza (Pets@Home) is just under 57 right now and the Barney (zooplus) is otherwise a great choice.
I recommend looking on ebay, gumtree, preloved and even facebook if you don't mind 2nd hand cages for a lesser price, but most require collection.
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Old 11-29-2019, 08:01 PM   #7
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Default Re: Hamster escapes Samla bin, returns to wire cage

If your hamster uses the flying saucer, you could just get rid of the big wheel and use it in his playground.
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Old 11-30-2019, 03:22 AM   #8
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Join Date: Apr 2019
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Default Re: Hamster escapes Samla bin, returns to wire cage

I think there are a couple of options based on what you described.

1. Getting a slightly smaller wheel: depending on the size of your Syrian, you can use a 28cm wheel. There are Wooden and Plastic Trixie wheels of that size. Jus tplace vey low bedding on that side of the bin cage.
2. As the others have said, a larger cage: if you want to stick with a wired cage, then either the Zooplus cages mentioned, or P@H have some good deals on for this weekend (Black Friday). Hamster Heaven, Savic Plaza, and Ferplast Circeti would all be suitable. I think you need to order online.
3. You could move to a tank (depending on budget). I don't like wired cages either, due to bedding ending up everywhere. I also like the cages to feel like part of the furniture. I have a Living World Eco, and a modified wood vivarium. I love both of them, but they do need DIY. On Zooplus, if you have the budget, there is the Skyline Marrakesh that needs no DIY. You'd need low bedding where the wheel would be, but it would work. There is also the Exo Terra 90 x 45 x 45 tank which you can find on a number of sites, again a good home with no DIY, but it's not a cheap option.
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cage, hamster, bin, ikea, wheel, wire, bedding, lid, lots, samla, small, put, tray, plastic, big, climbed, 33cm, room, ajar, bath, suitable, top, syrian, wooden, biting

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