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Old 11-22-2022, 04:49 AM   #1
HammyGandB
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Join Date: Nov 2022
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Exclamation Removing Tubes from Syrian Cage.

Hi everyone, first time on this forum but it looks like an awesome community.

My partner and I bought our first syrian hamster last week, his name is Oreo. I had two hamsters as a child however, not as an adult I realize how I could have cared for my hamsters a lot better and want to do a better job with Oreo.

To get to the point, we removed the tubes from Oreo's cage last night and I would love to hear everyone's opinions on tubes for syrian's or all hamsters. We bought a traditional bin and wire cage for our hamster and the pet store said it was big enough for a syrian however, we plan on getting a bigger one soon. This cage came with normal sized clear tubes which attached to either side of the cage creating one straight tube, horizontally, across the back of the cage. The problem is that he would hardly ever come out of the tubes. After a week, we decided to remove the tubes because he just wasn't coming out as often anymore for food and water. We couldn't even get him to come out easily with treats. He started to use the corners of the tubes as his toilet, only slept in the tubes, hardly utilized the space in his cage and would move all his food into the tube. He just lived in the tube.

We decided to remove the tubes after reading on this forum that tubes aren't always a great idea for hamsters as it often leads to them just sleeping and using the tubes as their toilet, creating a bacteria issue, they can get stuck and airflow is an issue. Is this true? Do petstores advertise tubes as fun and healthy for hamsters when they in fact aren't?

I also wanted to remove the tubes because we were having to take the tubes out to clean them because of the poo and urine which would cause Oreo a lot of distress from the sudden jerking and movements.

I'd really love any feedback on comments on this situation... We really want Oreo to be happy but also healthy. Thank you so much everyone!
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Old 11-22-2022, 09:02 AM   #2
Jeir
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: UK
Posts: 197
Default Re: Removing Tubes from Syrian Cage.

The thing to remember is that pet stores are stores first and foremost. They want to sell things. If they can convince someone that this 30x20cm/11x8in modular cage that costs 50 is perfect for an adult syrian hamster, then all the better; when the hamster starts chewing the bars they can just say 'it's just bored, buy more parts to keep it entertained'. Of course, not all are like that, and there are staff who do want to give the best advice they can, but selling is still the priority.

As for tubes themselves, consider; in the wild, hamsters build huge burrows. Domestic hamsters still have this burrowing instinct. They like tight spaces, because it makes them feel safe (and my own syrian loves cuddles as a result, which is a yay for me). So, if given a tube system, they will try to use it as they would in a burrow, and basically live there, which indeed causes issues with bacteria buildup and airflow issues.

The best kind of cage for all hamsters is one with a large, single floor space. Generally 80x50cm/32x20in or 100x50cm/40x20in is the preferred minimum, although some more nervous hamsters might do better in 70x40cm/28x16in cages (it depends on the hamster!). After that is the matter of depth. You'll want to have the substrate be at least 16cm/6in, as this is just enough for the hamster to start building his/her own burrows.

You can still add plenty of toys to the enclosure, with a wheel (20cm/8in for a dwarf, 28-32cm/11-13in for a syrian), sand pit (which can also be used as a potty), and various hides and cardboard tunnels being favourite. You could even break down the plastic tubes and lay them in the cage if you wished, as it's unlikely a hamster would want to build a house in a tube that doesn't resemble a burrow.

I've rambled a bit, but oh well. Good luck with Oreo. Hopefully he'll enjoy his home once it's all ready for him.
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Old 11-22-2022, 10:37 AM   #3
LunaTheHamster1
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Join Date: May 2019
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Default Re: Removing Tubes from Syrian Cage.

yes you are right with what you have been reading, if the hamster decided to live in the tubes they just become dirty and need cleaning - make life easier and get rid.
in the actual cage you can always use bigger (wider) tubes e.g. wicker, hyacinth, or cardboard. Do you have a hide for your hamster to sleep in?
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