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Old 12-28-2019, 11:22 PM   #1
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 9
Question Any Improvements for this Cage?

I've been a new owner of a female Long-Haired Syrian hamster since Christmas. I'm also new to hamsters in general, so what could I do better with my first cage?

The enclosure is a 40 gallon tank.
The wheel is 12''.
The bedding is paper.
I've already ordered a water bottle on Amazon.
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Old 12-29-2019, 12:13 AM   #2
Hamster Pup
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Canada
Posts: 88
Default Re: Any Improvements for this Cage?

What a cute hamster and what a good start!

I would suggest adding in some more things to chew on if you have them- if you don't you can put in some cardboard tubes or even make things with cardboard. Some more hides also would be great- you can hit two birds with one stone and make a hide out of cardboard if you'd like! If you have any clean terracotta pots they also can make a great hide as well- plus they help file down their little nails.

A sandbath is also a great addition- you can make one with a plastic tray or something (ideally at least 2-3 times bigger than your hamster) and filling it with sand. Reptile sand (not calcium sand) is great for this but you can also use chinchilla bathing sand (not dust) or even childrens play sand. If you use play sand make sure to sift through it to get rid of any larger bits and to sterilize it in the oven.

You can also add more bedding, from what I understand syrians like a whole lot of it. If you don't want to/ can't have a super thick layer through out the whole thing you can make one corner super duper deep and kind of wall it off on one side with some cardboard.

Another thing you could do is add some ripped up paper tissue. If you rub it on your hands before adding it it can help familiarize your new friend with your own scent. The hamster will likely use it in whatever she decides is her new nest.
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Old 12-29-2019, 12:42 AM   #3
Hamster Hugger
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: London
Posts: 2,327
Default Re: Any Improvements for this Cage?

She’s cute, pretty colour!

You could add some more substrate, some hides (e.g. more bendy bridges), a large wooden house for her to nest in (you’ll have to get one made for guinea pigs in order to find one large enough), maybe some more things to chew on e.g. whimzees or even just some more cardboard tubes.

Also you could have a look at this thread for ideas: Let's see your cages - New thread - July 2017
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Last edited by AprilPearl; 12-29-2019 at 01:01 AM.
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Old 12-29-2019, 11:46 AM   #4
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 9
Question Re: Any Improvements for this Cage?

Thanks for the responses, I'm implementing some of your ideas at the moment like deepening the bedding, but I have another question. As of the last 2 nights she has taken advantage of the deep bedding and created what seems to be her new nest in the bottom corner of the tank. There is a more or less entry hole now, and she has started to bring seeds and other food into the burrow. She has also slept there every night. My question is: Are hamsters more comfortable in burrows or hides as nests, and if I put, say a modified shoe box in as a hide, would she move her nesting grounds?
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Old 12-29-2019, 11:59 AM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: North of England
Posts: 21,982
Default Re: Any Improvements for this Cage?

I was going to say add more things to fill up the floor space so she doesn’t feel too exposed. Then saw your last question as well. Yes I would add a shoebox house - just pop it over the area where she is nesting Then she won’t feel the need to have an underground burrow - the house mimics it, is dark inside (out a bendy bridge over the door to achieve this) and easier to maintain for her and you.

A platform is also a good idea - provides overhead cover and somewhere to go plus a place to put additional items and heavier items. You can make one or make a knuff platform (google “hamster knuff platform”).
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Old 12-29-2019, 03:28 PM   #6
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Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 1,010
Default Re: Any Improvements for this Cage?

My dwarf hamsters love burrowing deep nests as well as nesting in their houses. They seem to alternate between the two but when I clean their cages I find food stored up in both the burrow and the house.

So if you can, provide both deep enough substrate for them to burrow and a house. Then your hamster can choose.

It is really fantastic that you are putting so much effort into the happiness and wellbeing of your hamster!
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bedding, cage, enclosure, gallon, tank, improvements

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