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Old 08-10-2015, 08:03 PM   #1
ToriandHams
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Question New Cage + Advice?

Hello, it's been a while since I posted anything concerning my little Jinx but just today I upgraded her old hand-me-down SuperPet brand cage (which was admittedly too small even for a Chinese Dwarf like her) to an aquarium style cage which I found at a second hand shop.

After scrubbing it down with hot water and dish soap, I filled it with some of her old bedding and old toys/habitats and then even put some toys that I now had room for. Note: I miscalculated and the green wheel is a bit too large for her to use (6 inches). I'll be going out tomorrow to get her a smaller one.

I also realize that the cage is looking a bit barren and I do plan to add some platforms and some more toys for her but that will happen in time. Any advice on what in particular to add for Jinx's pleasure would be greatly appreciated

PS. You may have seen a thread that I posted earlier with much the same content but I was unable to edit the post a second time to put the pictures in.
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Old 08-10-2015, 08:13 PM   #2
virtualkeith
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Default Re: New Cage + Advice?

Hi again ToriandHams,

The first thing I'd like to say is that a 6 inch wheel is not too large for a chinese hamster. If she is really young, she will grow into it. I would also say that 6 inches is the minimum size. Some people here even use 8 inch wheels for dwarfs, and a chinese I believe is slightly larger than dwarfs, so I would say keep what you have and add to it as you can. Also, with he wheel, make sure the substrate on the bottom is not rubbing the bottom of the wheel. It is also helpful to maybe add a little vegetable oil to the wheel to help it spin more freely.
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Old 08-10-2015, 08:32 PM   #3
ToriandHams
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Default Re: New Cage + Advice?

Chinese hamsters are quite a bit smaller than dwarf hamsters, at least from what I've seen. I've had Jinx for about 2 months now but I don't know how old she was when I got her (I bought her from a pet store) so she could already be grown for all I know

For some scale, Jinx is roughly the size of a mouse, so pretty small. When she got on the wheel (Kaytee's 6in silent spinner) she can't even get it to move and it is brand new. There were 4in wheels at the store I was at that were recommended for mice and hamsters but I had heard that you should size up for the hamster's benefit so as not to strain their backs. I think perhaps the problem is that she is just so light and the wheel is much heavier than her.

I may try some veggie oil though, that might help it along. Thank you for the advice.
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Old 08-10-2015, 10:23 PM   #4
cypher
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Default Re: New Cage + Advice?

Chinese hams are lighter than Russians but longer so they do need as big or bigger wheel so they can run without arching their backs.
I think you'll probably find that the problem isn't that the wheel is too big for her but that the new design silent spinners just don't work properly!
I don't know what wheels you have available where you are but I found the 8" Karlie wheel the right size for mine & she had no problem turning that or other larger wheels.
The cheapest easiest things you could add to the cage that they really enjoy are egg boxes with a couple of holes cut in & toilet roll tubes along with a nice really deep layer of substrate to dig in.
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Old 08-10-2015, 11:58 PM   #5
ToriandHams
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Default Re: New Cage + Advice?

Hi cypher,

I'm located in the US. I had heard good things about the Kaytee spinner so that was the one I opted for but she can't even get the thing to budge! (and it was $20!) so I'll have to definitely find an alternative. I'll keep the brand you mentioned in mind, I noticed you're from the UK so I'm not sure if it will be available in any of my local pet shops.

And I definitely have a surplus of toilet paper rolls that can be put to use ^_^
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Old 08-11-2015, 04:34 AM   #6
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Default Re: New Cage + Advice?

Hi. The 6.5" inch silent spinner wheel is the ideal size for a Chinese, a Russian dwarf or a Roborovski. No need to change it to a smaller wheel as the wheel will then be too small. Is it spinning okay? If not, try some vegetable oil inside the yellow back part. Silent Spinners used to be the best dwarf hamster wheel on the market, but I think Superpet must have been bought out to another company who have changed the design to perhaps have a cheaper running mechanism? Not sure on that. I still have one of the original silent spinners and it`s been going strong for five years!

Once you add a shelf for her to hide under and climb on with a Trixie type wooden bendy ramp, you could place a sleeping box (cardboard tissue boxes are good) underneath the shelf where she can sleep in a nice dark area. x
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Old 08-11-2015, 09:28 AM   #7
virtualkeith
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Default Re: New Cage + Advice?

ToriandHams, I would try using vegetable oil on your wheel first, and if you have to get another wheel, try the 8" wodent wheel. I have the 12" one. They're great wheels.
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Old 08-11-2015, 05:55 PM   #8
ToriandHams
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Default Re: New Cage + Advice?

Alright, I oiled the wheel up with some veggie oil so time will tell if she can get it working or not. Thanks for all the advice
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