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Old 02-18-2016, 03:51 PM   #1
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Default Pets shop cages

How do pets shops get away will selling such small cages claiming they are big enough? Why hasn't anything been done?

Last edited by souffle; 02-19-2016 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 02-18-2016, 04:53 PM   #2
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Default Re: Pets at home cages

Good question. I think because there is no legislation on minimum cage size in the Uk. There was a welfare law passed in the last year or two that states that pets have to have a suitable environment for their species, but the wording is quite vague and not specific to exactly what is not suitable. The cages are cheap to buy and it's an extra sale when they sell a hamster. All commercial really. But if they stocked more suitable ones people would buy them. I really think it needs legislation, so manufacturers have to make the cages a minimum size.

Pet shops probably think they'll lose custom if people realize how big a cage they need.
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Old 02-18-2016, 05:53 PM   #3
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Default Re: Pets at home cages

Pets shops like P@H make their money from selling food and accessories. Items like cages are big sale items so they want those sold. Now I personally don't have a problem with that, I never begrudge a business making a reasonable profit, but the reason P@H sell those particular types of cages is because that's what sells - and of course with modular cages there all those extra tubes and attachments for people to buy which add up to a very expensive cage in the end. The larger 'less interesting' cages just don't sell as well. I personally think that if they had to adhere to guidelines for what could be sold for suitable cages they would sell just as well because people won't have the option of unsuitable cages. Those rubbish modular cages are no more expensive than big standard cages like the Barney cage.

I do feel there needs to be some responsibility on the part of the consumer. I think too many people are unwilling to accept that if they want a pet certain welfare needs must be met and if they can't then they shouldn't get one in the first place. Pets are not toys. Buying the hamster is the cheapest part to owning a hamster. I think things are only going to change once there is proper legislation and enforcement in place in addition to proper education for pet owners. I think pet shops, particularly big ones like Pets at Home, have the potential to be a fantastic resource for animal welfare education as well as a place where you can confidently buy suitable products. That's what I would like to see one day - people being able to go to a place like Pets at Home and getting really good advice as well as products regardless of the pet in question.
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Old 02-19-2016, 01:01 AM   #4
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Default Re: Pets at home cages

A couple of good points made already. And also, you can get can more smaller cages on a shelf. Larger cages take up more room.
Just a side note though, purely in the interests of balance. While a lot of these cages are quite unsuitable as permanent homes for a ham, the are times when a small cage is beneficial. For example, my robo Hector is an odd bod and doesnt function well in large spaces so his cage is technically on the smaller side (a mini duna). Also, these can be a handy travel cage or if you have a sick hamster a small uncluttered cage can help with recovery so there are reasons why outright banning of small cages could be a problem. Also, for p@h as well as private pet shops, what we are learning about hamsters is changing all the time so that would be a lot of stock trashed every time the size went up, which commercially isn't viable. Like Ruby said, while a lot of these cages particularly the modular, aren't suitable, the onus is on the consumer. In the past, pre Internet, I've bought it because they sold it so I'm just as guilty as anyone of buying unsuitable homes but you can't put all the blame at p@h door.
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Old 02-19-2016, 01:12 AM   #5
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Default Re: Pets at home cages

Pet shops only selling cages of the minimum size would be great.

Pets At Home near where I live doesn't have any suitable cages/tanks for any species of hamster (too small). Most of the toys are only really suitable for dwarfs and even some of them are only suitable for robo hamsters due to small hole sizes.

I have politely advised people who were buying cages about minimum cage sizes and toys etc.
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Old 02-19-2016, 02:20 AM   #6
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Default Re: Pets at home cages

Bigger isn't always better though. All hamsters are different. Some prefer big spaces while others prefer small spaces. If a hamster is unhappy, it is best to play around with different cages and see what works as long as the welfare of the hamster is being met at all times. A bit like hit and miss really.
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Old 02-19-2016, 03:07 AM   #7
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Default Re: Pets at home cages

Whilst I agree with Velma and think that in certain circumstances a smaller cage may be more suitable, I would say that on a whole, I would still be recommending new hamster owners purchase larger cages. After all, how many of the average pet owners are going to want to buy several cages to make sure that their hamsters are in the right one for their needs? From what I've witnessed, many will just buy whichever is there at a price that they're happy to pay and the pet shops, who run their stores like many other shops will just stock what sells.

Times are changing. At one point a lot of pet shops were still selling open rung wheels as being suitable but you'll seldom see them these days because so many more people have been warned off of them. I expect to see the same happen with fluffy bedding eventually and with any luck they will stop selling the smallest cages and replace them with a greater range of larger cages.
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Old 02-19-2016, 06:15 AM   #8
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Default Re: Pets at home cages

Talking of open rung wheels I saw this for sale recently;

Little Friends Wooden Exercise Wheel 18cm - Little Pet Warehouse

Such a shame. Expensive too. I have written a review but its not shown up yet.
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Old 02-19-2016, 11:42 AM   #9
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Default Re: Pets at home cages

I agree small cages can be really good for travel or hospital cages, or an older sick hamster. But also as CMB says - they should be marketed as that - a minimum cage size as standard. Smaller cages labelled as hospital or travel cages (not 'starter' cages) - and hospital and travel cages should also meet a minimum size requirement (ie not ice cream tub size!). This would then give the option for hamsters like Velma's Robo to move to a smaller apartment if necessary

I basically feel that a cage is always small compared to free roaming and it's their main active space and their environment - you can make small cosy areas in a big cage as well.
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Old 02-19-2016, 12:47 PM   #10
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Default Re: Pets at home cages

I think that if they did stock better cages less people would buy a hamster in the first place and instead opt for something like 'just a goldfish', which opens a whole new can of worms - hamsters aren't the worst off at these places. I have owned goldfish for 11 years now and after a small amount of research you will know a 100 litre tank is only suitable for one common goldfish, yet somehow many years ago I was sold a 10 litre tank... for two. How on Earth they can get away with such is madness and in my eyes a disgrace, it's like saying you can buy a dog and stuff it into the bathroom with a few scraps of meat and a kennel to keep it entertained. The only ones that get away with it are the reptiles, in my Pets at Home they do provide correct advice about cage sizes, feeding and general care (apart from keeping them on sand, but I won't get going with that). The reason I think they do the best thing in the most part for the reptiles is that less people want them - they aren't quite as cute as the other pets and many don't like them, so the shops can afford to put out big enclosures that may scare away some owners because if you want a reptile you want it for yourself, not your kids and so are prepared to pay up. What I am getting at is that the pet shops are selling what people are prepared to pay for, a cheap entertaining 'toy' to put in the corner of the children's bedroom in the case of our poor hammies: ultimately, if they tell the people what they want to hear, they'll believe it because it is less hassle than doing what's right.
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