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Old 08-05-2022, 11:18 AM   #11
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Default Re: What kind of hamster will be content in 1000 sq. inch cage?

Originally Posted by xosunflowerox View Post
Thanks for the tips! Here's the cage, I have the large size:

I'm really hoping a male Syrian will be happy. I'll order some cork logs as well.
It looks great - I'm sure any Syrian would be happy in there.

The Iris Christmas Tree bin is a great size too - if that's the one your female syrian wasn't happy with it could possible have been the dimensions or it being a bin and not open visibility perhaps. It's very long but I'm not sure how wide it is.

The cage you have now is a good width/depth.
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Old 08-05-2022, 02:57 PM   #12
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Default Re: What kind of hamster will be content in 1000 sq. inch cage?

Originally Posted by xosunflowerox View Post
I'm sorry to hear about your experience, but glad to hear it's going better! So they key is to have the cage a bit cluttered with little open space? I really want to Syrian, but I think I would be fine with a dwarf. I have an appointment with a breeder tonight where I'll look at both types of hamsters.

The bin I had my last hamster is in exclusive to the US, I think. It's the same as the IRIS Christmas tree bin, also in the US only, I think. It was around 800 square inches. It's the biggest bin available in the US.
Iris 44 gal. Storage Tote with Wheels | The Container Store

Hehe, thank you! I honestly think I should’ve put him in a smaller cage and then upgraded him into his main cage at a few months old so he’d be more pleased with it... maybe that’s something you could try? Has anyone else had good experiences with starting them off in a smaller cage to help initiate taming?

And yes, correct. Clutter is so important, and I’d even say at times more important than cage size... Cork logs, grapevine wood, wooden dividers to add height and levels to climb + separate textures such as beech + cork chips, moss etc. All ideas!

If you’re going to a breeder, you have the ability to try and select a Syrian from two parents that are calmer... or at least the breeder could direct you to a baby that seems to be a bit less hyper?

Sorry! I did a quick google and it said 490sq inches, I apologise! Yeah... then that proves it’s female hammys for you lol

I’d get a Syrian if I were you. You’re able to provide good space, good enrichment and you’ll probably like the little fella more if you’re bias towards Syrians. Go for it! I would do ANYTHING to get my hands on a Vista or Bigger World, & i’m sure your future hammy would too. Have fun decorating it!
Otto - Syrian (1 year old) - 1200sq inch cage

Last edited by otto; 08-05-2022 at 03:16 PM.
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Old 08-05-2022, 03:28 PM   #13
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Default Re: What kind of hamster will be content in 1000 sq. inch cage?

It’s something I believe breeders sometimes do - start them off in a smaller cage for taming and until they’re less skitty, then upgrade them. Not too small obviously. Something like a hamster heaven. It has pros and cons. Baby hamsters are very skitty and scared usually and might just hide away and feel nervous in a big cage with a lot of space above. So could settle in easier on a smaller one then appreciate the space later. On the other hand, a cage change is always stressful for hamsters and they generally don’t like change. They may have just adjusted to a particular style of cage and way of going in and out and struggle with the changes for some time.

A compromise can be starting them in the larger cage but block off one end of it initially (eg a deep substrate end) do the floor space is smaller initially - and not have too deep substrate on the main area - eg 5 to 6”. So they don’t just disappear permanently. Although I find if you have a labyrinth house they take to that straight away and that can take up a fair bit of floor area. But also set it up so they have things to hide under. That’s easier with barred cages as you can hang things from the roof - so they have overhead cover. With a tank style cage I think it’s really important to have platforms and plenty of floor tunnels etc. So they can get to one end of the cage to the other and still feel secure. If they don’t feel secure with the set up you can sometimes see them creeping round the edges of the cage. Even just putting a blanket over the lid can help initially with feeling secure. But the labyrinth house offers a lot of security too.

German tank style cages actually have a kind of “racetrack” which looks great - it’s like one long shelf along the back and extends round the sides so there is shelving/platform on three sides or the labyrinth house roof forming the shelf on the third side. Sometimes with a gap along the back for the wheel. Or sometimes with the wheel on the shelf. So they still have lots of floor area but a good chunk is under cover and the rest doesn’t seem such a large open area.

A lot depends on the personality of the hamster though - our current Syrian is so gregarious nothing bothers him and he’s out every evening and not seeking shelter at all. Most of our other male Syrians have been a bit more shy/lazy and love their labyrinth houses and take time to venture out more. Although if you get a night cam/baby monitor you’ll probably find them out every night using every bit of the cage.

Once they’re hand time they gain in confidence too. That can be slow progress with some.

Even with breeder hamsters you can’t guarantee the personality. Within one litter you’ll have shy ones and more gregarious ones and I sometimes think colour affects personality. If you want a lively one get a cream or yellow! If you want a less lively one then possibly a golden or black hamster. That’s not scientific by the way - just my observation. Behaviour can also be affected by early life experiences.

But I think any Syrian would be happy in that cage - maybe put the labyrinth house in the middle as a kind of divider so there are two smaller floor areas either side - and a platform at one end and it should be fine.

If you have a platform at both ends though you can run a large rat tube between them along the back which gives some overhead cover under it and means they have an extra run T platform level.
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Old 08-05-2022, 03:59 PM   #14
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Default Re: What kind of hamster will be content in 1000 sq. inch cage?

Another factor to consider is health.

Maybe i've been unlucky but i have lost a number of dwarf hamsters to various illnesses. They all had medical attention by hamster knowledgeable vets.

Two of my four male Syrians are over 2 years old and have never needed a vet. With a female hamster there's always the chance of gynea problems developing.

I can't think of anything that is not in favour of getting a male Syrian hamster. Thought i'd add this info in case you are undecided.
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Old 08-05-2022, 11:36 PM   #15
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Default Re: What kind of hamster will be content in 1000 sq. inch cage?

Good point Ria. And as you have sadly found, dwarf hamsters lifespans can be limited by health issues and they are prone to diabetes. Because most dwarf hamsters are hybrids of two species of Russian dwarf. They still make lovely pets, diet can help avoid diabetes and it’s pot luck- they can live to 2 years - some it’s only a year or 18 months. Even with Syrians it’s pot luck but all our male Syrians have been healthy and lived to about 2.5 years or a bit longer. Although it’s not easy when they get old age diseases either. And any hamster could be born with a heart defect. Female Syrians can get pyometra - which is often not survivable. I don’t think it’s that common but something to be aware of and needs immediate vet treatment.

Everything I’ve read has said robos can be longest lived - yet our first Robo had tumours at 18 months. I think breeding can be a factor in health issues with them.

Anyway things to look for are a general look of healthiness and activity, good fur condition and bright eyes.
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cage, hamster, large, male, syrian

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