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Old 12-30-2021, 05:28 AM   #11
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Help me get rescued syrians in better cages! Need advice!

Hi there. Sorry to say I wouldn’t go with any of the cages linked above by Cherry. The bar spacing needs to be 1cm or less (no bigger than half inch in US) or they can escape. The Favola cage is far too small - even for a dwarf hamster - and not a suitable layout.

A shame you can’t keep them and it’s great you want them in better conditions before the go to the rescue. I would have thought a good rescue would have their own, suitable sized cages actually. If they haven’t, then would it be possible for you to do what you’re doing (rehousing them in better cages) and rehomong then yourself by advertising? Specifying a minimum 80 x 50 cm cage?

Anyway going with your initial post - yes Syrians do need at least 80 x 50 cm floorspace. However not so many years ago there were some reasonable 60 x 40 or 70 x 40 cages that, if set up right, would do (as in people on here used to use the Savic Bristol cage which is 60 x 40 but set up with a couple of levels yet still not too tall). These days it would be classed as too small but for something better than they are in now I would try and go with something at least 65 x 40 and about 40 cm tall.

I actually have a holiday cage that’s 68 x 40 and 35cm tall (bigger than the Favola) but when set up carefully our Syrian has been perfectly happy in it (however that is with regular oit if cage time).

To cut to the chase, if you can afford it the best option would be to get either the Lixit Hamster Heaven or Lixit Mickey 2XL from Amazon - same cage, different bar spacing and contents. The Mickey 2XL has narrow bar spacing for smaller hansters but needs less adjusting as it doesn’t come with all the unnecessary (and unsuitable) external tubes.

They usually cost about $125. Amazon also used to sell the Prevue cage which is ideal and costs a lot less - but has been out of stock for a long time. The pandemic has created a situation where cages are often out of stock.

I’ve looked on Amazon.com and the Mickey 2XL doesn’t seem to be available. The Hamster Heaven and Prevue cages are in stock but only from external sellers (not from Amazon themselves) and at extortionate prices! The Prevue cage (which used to be about $6 is for sale at $153. I’ve linked it anyway so you can see what it looks like - size, dimensions etc.

https://www.amazon.com/Prevue-Pet-Pr...%2C481&sr=8-15

The Hamster Heaven is out of the question. Being sold at $250 ish ! Again linked so you can see what it looks like.

https://www.amazon.com/Lixit-Animal-...%2C1587&sr=8-3

Cages in the US are difficult to find at the best of times (suitable ones) which is why many US Hamster owners use glass tanks or make bin cages (which in your case aren’t portable - except bin cages maybe - but that involves a fair bit of diy.

I do remember something called the big one? A newish cage a bit like the habitrails that was a decent size - off to look …..

Nope - can’t find it.

There is one I know of that is a good option for now - about 75cm x 40cm - it’s the Fop Tamburino Perspex tank style cage (equivalent to the duna multy in the uk or the zoo zone 1). It’s not on Amazon. It’s only sold by Abbaseed. I think it’s your best bet - reasonably priced and will take an 8” diameter wheel.

tamburino
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Old 12-30-2021, 06:30 AM   #12
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Default Re: Help me get rescued syrians in better cages! Need advice!

To follow on. Ideally Syrians need an 11” wheel but 8” minimum - an 8” wheel would be ok. At some point they may need a 10 or 11” wheel which wouldn’t fit in that cage but 8” is a lot better than the tiny wheels that come in most cages and should be fine.

Litter - not pine shavings (in the US pine shavings are not safe unless the packet says they are kiln dried and dust extracted. And states that it is pine and not just “softwood” as that could include anything and cedar shavings are a big no no).

Kaytee clean and cosy is the best option (or carefreah if you can’t get Kaytee).

Wheel - the 9” exotic nutrition silent runner wheel is prinsbky the best for that cage. It should fit - but I am not sure what the height is on the stand. Or the internal height of the Tamburino. I know it fits in a Duna Multy (which is very similar). It’s a very good, safe wheel and silent. Although not the cheapest. Not sure if it’s on Amazon but you can order them direct from the manufacturer- exotic nutrition. If you get it elsewhere - do not get the “Sandy track “ version - very bad for hamster feet.

Silent Runner Wheel With Sandy Trimmer Track And Cage Attachment - Exotic Nutrition

Bedding - Amazon doesn’t seem to have plain Kaytee clean and cozy (or care fresh) other than scented versions or “odour control “ versions - which aren’t safe. It needs to be unscented bedding. However Walmart has the plain white Kaytee c amd c

Kaytee Clean & Cozy White Small Animal Pet Bedding 24.6 Liters - Walmart.com


So what you need is - the two cages and wheels - at least 4” substrate in each cage. A house in each cage, nesting material (just use plain white toilet paper - it’s the safest and they like it - take a few sheets of it and tear them into strips then put a pile of the strips in each cage - not inside the house as they like to take it to the house themselves.).

And a toy or two - eg a tunnel (a kitchen roll inner tube is fine but slit it down the side so it expands. Another small hidey place maybe - coconut huts are popular

Amazon.com

or something like this - sorry have to go - more later!
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Old 12-30-2021, 09:06 AM   #13
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Default Re: Help me get rescued syrians in better cages! Need advice!

“This” was one of those ceramic hides - quite a few on Amazon - but make sure the entrance is big enough (needs to be at least 6cm diameter. Some are also only big enough for dwarf hamsters. Basically any toys snd enrichment you had, improve the hamster’s life and environment. Whimzee mini toothbrush dog chews are popular with hamsters as a chew stick to help keep their teeth trim.

Food - just get Harry or Hazel Hamster (contents are identical even though labelling is different - one is US labelling, one is Uk labelling. They contain everything needed, the right protein levels (which are important) snd are sugar free. They also contain while peanuts in their shells and fairly good quality contents.

There are probably other wheels if you don’t want to spend that much on the silent runner. But I’d go with the Tamburino cage. You could get a Zoozone 1 which is similar, but that needs the top meshing as the bar spacing is huge.
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Old 12-30-2021, 09:08 AM   #14
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Default Re: Help me get rescued syrians in better cages! Need advice!

Note. On the page link for the Tamburino you just click on the word “Buy” and it opens up a PayPal page showing the cost ($60). You can then either go ahead and buy or close that page down.

This wheel is a recent popular one too. But costs more than the silent runner. The small size is 8.3” diameter.

https://www.amazon.com/Niteangel-Sup.../dp/B08FC4FXL8

Finally - when you have cages sorted - moving the hamsters to their new cages needs to be done carefully. A cage move can be hugely stressful for them and lead to stress behaviours if done cold Turkey.

So what you need to do is set up the new cages with everything needed. Then on the day of moving, move over everything from the old cage without cleaning Anything.

So keep all the old substrate from the old cage and put it on top of the new - so it still smells familiar. Unless the pine shavings are unsafe ones and then don’t move the old bedding across. Keep the old nest and move it across to the new cage, putting it inside the house. Keep as much of the old hoard you can (that’s dry) and put that under the nest on the new cage.

Try and keep the layout similar (may not be possible if a completely different cafe). Ie of the wheel was left back in the ok’d cage, put it left back in the new one and the house in a similar location as before. The familiarity of layout and “route” between a and will help them settle in quicker without stress behaviours. Any toys you’re keeping from the old cage, move across as well.

The important thing is to resist wanting to clean everything before moving things. Much better if you don’t. And then they need two weeks to fully acclimatise to the new cage - and no cleaning during that time either (you could spot clean the pee area after a week if it needs it).

After that two weeks they will be more confident and display happy behaviour.
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Old 12-30-2021, 09:21 AM   #15
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Default Re: Help me get rescued syrians in better cages! Need advice!

The Prevue cage is in stock at $100 as well now

https://www.amazon.com/Prevue-Pet-Pr...s%2C301&sr=8-4
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Old 12-30-2021, 10:05 AM   #16
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Default Re: Help me get rescued syrians in better cages! Need advice!

The proper diet in the US is Higgins Vita Garden(not Sunburst as the dried fruit isn't appropriate for hamsters as part of a daily diet among other things), and added to that you should give roughly a pinch of flax seed a day and Pure Bites - not too many, the shrimp are the best but chicken and turkey are also great options.

Petsupermarket do carry the Savic Hamster Heaven which could work with all the plastic bits removed, or you could make a bin cage from an Iris Christmas tree bin. Even better you would be able to make an even larger DIY cage, but in this situation it really is far more important to have at least something decently sized as soon as possible that is completely secure!
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Old 12-30-2021, 03:50 PM   #17
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Default Re: Help me get rescued syrians in better cages! Need advice!

I’m super glad to hear you’re keeping them! The cages you got would definitely need to be meshed up, they’ll get out in an instance else �� Just remember attach it to the outside not the inside to avoid sharp ends, I’m sure I’m just telling you things you’ve probably already thought about.

I’m sure they’ll have a brilliant home! If you have any questions feel free to ask any of us and we’d be happy to answer �� all the best to you all.
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Old 12-30-2021, 06:01 PM   #18
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Help me get rescued syrians in better cages! Need advice!

Oh I must have missed the bit about you keeping them! And youíve already got cages! The cages are a good size - but as you say - need meshing. Agree that meshing them on the inside is needed (if itís on the outside they could get trapped between the bars and the mesh. Make sure no sharp edges too (I think people fold the cut ends under - and itís supposed to be hard on your fingers!).

Hope some of the other info helped
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Old 12-30-2021, 08:03 PM   #19
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Default Re: Help me get rescued syrians in better cages! Need advice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
Hi there. Sorry to say I wouldnít go with any of the cages linked above by Cherry. The bar spacing needs to be 1cm or less (no bigger than half inch in US) or they can escape. The Favola cage is far too small - even for a dwarf hamster - and not a suitable layout.

A shame you canít keep them and itís great you want them in better conditions before the go to the rescue. I would have thought a good rescue would have their own, suitable sized cages actually. If they havenít, then would it be possible for you to do what youíre doing (rehousing them in better cages) and rehomong then yourself by advertising? Specifying a minimum 80 x 50 cm cage?

Anyway going with your initial post - yes Syrians do need at least 80 x 50 cm floorspace. However not so many years ago there were some reasonable 60 x 40 or 70 x 40 cages that, if set up right, would do (as in people on here used to use the Savic Bristol cage which is 60 x 40 but set up with a couple of levels yet still not too tall). These days it would be classed as too small but for something better than they are in now I would try and go with something at least 65 x 40 and about 40 cm tall.

I actually have a holiday cage thatís 68 x 40 and 35cm tall (bigger than the Favola) but when set up carefully our Syrian has been perfectly happy in it (however that is with regular oit if cage time).

To cut to the chase, if you can afford it the best option would be to get either the Lixit Hamster Heaven or Lixit Mickey 2XL from Amazon - same cage, different bar spacing and contents. The Mickey 2XL has narrow bar spacing for smaller hansters but needs less adjusting as it doesnít come with all the unnecessary (and unsuitable) external tubes.

They usually cost about $125. Amazon also used to sell the Prevue cage which is ideal and costs a lot less - but has been out of stock for a long time. The pandemic has created a situation where cages are often out of stock.

Iíve looked on Amazon.com and the Mickey 2XL doesnít seem to be available. The Hamster Heaven and Prevue cages are in stock but only from external sellers (not from Amazon themselves) and at extortionate prices! The Prevue cage (which used to be about $6 is for sale at $153. Iíve linked it anyway so you can see what it looks like - size, dimensions etc.

https://www.amazon.com/Prevue-Pet-Pr...%2C481&sr=8-15

The Hamster Heaven is out of the question. Being sold at $250 ish ! Again linked so you can see what it looks like.

https://www.amazon.com/Lixit-Animal-...%2C1587&sr=8-3

Cages in the US are difficult to find at the best of times (suitable ones) which is why many US Hamster owners use glass tanks or make bin cages (which in your case arenít portable - except bin cages maybe - but that involves a fair bit of diy.

I do remember something called the big one? A newish cage a bit like the habitrails that was a decent size - off to look Ö..

Nope - canít find it.

There is one I know of that is a good option for now - about 75cm x 40cm - itís the Fop Tamburino Perspex tank style cage (equivalent to the duna multy in the uk or the zoo zone 1). Itís not on Amazon. Itís only sold by Abbaseed. I think itís your best bet - reasonably priced and will take an 8Ē diameter wheel.

tamburino
Thank you so much for this very thorough response!!

I actually AM keeping them now <3 They are currently in 2 separate bin cages, they scuffled (no blood drawn, but clearly needed to be separated ASAP, so my partner went to Wal-Mart and got another water bottle as they had them shockingly). They aren't huge, but easily 2-3x large than their previous cage, they have 5" of bedding, shredded toilet paper to nest in, fresh water and food, and carboard boxes to climb on, so a significant improvement of quality of life.

My partner was very "no, we are NOT having them" initially (since we already have a dog, a cat, I have 2 fish aquariums (20 gal long planted betta tank, 40 gal saltwater with 2 "nemo" clownfish and a tiny yellow goby-I always try to provide over the minimum for all my caged/aquarium pets) but over the course of the last few days I have managed to convince him (lots of foot and neck massages, making yummy meals, etc. to persuade) to let me keep them. Got approval from apartment complex yesterday morning, and last night, he gave me his answer and said yes!!!

I feel so bad you spent so much time posting all those habitat options above.

I was going to go with this cage https://www.amazon.com/MidWest-Homes...59&sr=8-4&th=1 (39.5 x 23.75 x 19.75 inches) and then mesh it w/ 1/4" mesh and zip ties like I have done a ferret cage for ratters before, but decided the 5.5" depth of the base was too shallow in case they wanted to burrow, and the fact that I would have to mesh the whole thing which is a pain, sounded like too much work.

So, I cancelled my order this morning, and....drum roll....decided to go with a christmas tree storage container to make a bin cage!!

I raced over to my local target this morning to get 2 of them, but they were out of stock! So, I ordered 2 at a store 36 miles away instead online, and picked them up today. It was SUPER windy and they almost blew away getting them to the car, and I was scared they weren't going to fit, but we managed to get them in safe and sound.

This is the bin, dimensions are 57"x20"x15" roughly, it doesn't taper too bad either. 200qt Latching Tree Box - Wondershop™ : Target

I picked up some of their kaytee natural clean and cozy bedding, which is getting left in the car overnight to freeze any bad things. Got 6 bags of it, but will probably need more I think. Luckily, Target is only a 5 min drive away.

I also got them some bird millet sprays that I used to get my mouse that seem okay for hamsters too.

I got some 1/4" spaced mesh (the metal stuff, not plastic or coated) and white zip ties from Home Depot tonight.

I ordered the crittertrail playpen and a sauter iron from Amazon (found an article where someone recommended a $10 sauter iron to cut the plastic, rather than a drill/heated knife/etc), which arrive in the next couple of days.

I looked up some different ways to make a bin cage, and I want to make a mesh arch like the image attached below, that way I can fit a 12" wheel in each cage.

I am going to do the domed mesh roof, and then I am going to use the critter trail playpen panels to make windows near the top on the sides, and cut out the 2 doors from the stupid critter trail cage to make front doors on the bin cages as well.

I got them sunburst higgins and the recommended freeze dried cat treats to mix in for protein boost (was gonna do the mazuri rat and mouse, but read they both have sugar so better to do the chicken if they like it)

I'm hoping I will be able to get them in their new cages this weekend, but if mail is delayed due to bad weather it might not be until Tuesday.

I don't shop at any pet stores that sell animals/with any companies that sell animals, so I have to wait for things from Amazon to arrive.

I am going to get their 12" wheels tomorrow after I get paid, along with a couple other toys/hideys, but will have to wait for a couple more weeks to really deck out their cages.
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Old 12-30-2021, 08:21 PM   #20
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Default Re: Help me get rescued syrians in better cages! Need advice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmityvilleHams View Post
The proper diet in the US is Higgins Vita Garden(not Sunburst as the dried fruit isn't appropriate for hamsters as part of a daily diet among other things), and added to that you should give roughly a pinch of flax seed a day and Pure Bites - not too many, the shrimp are the best but chicken and turkey are also great options.

Petsupermarket do carry the Savic Hamster Heaven which could work with all the plastic bits removed, or you could make a bin cage from an Iris Christmas tree bin. Even better you would be able to make an even larger DIY cage, but in this situation it really is far more important to have at least something decently sized as soon as possible that is completely secure!
Really? Gosh darn it, I was going to do that, but then I read forum post or article somewhere saying that vita garden was not recommended, but sunburst was? I thought it was somewhere on this forum. So then I swapped it out.

No one mentioned that shrimp Pure Bites would be best, I only saw the chicken ones ever mentioned. I can give my dog the chicken ones then, I'm sure she will eat them. My cat is picky, doubt he would touch them.

Does it need to be whole flaxseeds or is ground okay?

Just to confirm, THE BEST (that can be bought, ideally on Amazon) food for syrian hamsters is the higgins vita garden, with shrimp Pure Bites, and a pinch of flaxseeds daily? Since they are 4-5mo old, do they need anything different than an adult? Since their nutrition has been so poor, I want to try to fix that now.

Another poster said to just get Hazel Hamster, would that be better?

I updated in another post before responding to yours, but I actually got an xmas tree bin from Target today for each of them Picked up some mesh to make a dome lid, zip ties, and a sauter iron and crittertrail playpen panels will arrive in the mail over the next couple of days.

Last edited by cherryfox22; 12-30-2021 at 08:32 PM.
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