Which hamster cage is best?
Hamsters are commonly kept as pets because they are gentle, low maintenance and don’t take up a lot of space. However, their small size does not mean that they don’t require special consideration when it comes to selecting the best hamster cage.
Hamsters need an environment with enough room to allow them to exercise, hide, explore and play. Adequate ventilation is also critical when it comes to a hamster’s health. A wire cage with a variety of fun accessories, such as the Savic Hamster Heaven Metro Cage, is the best option to cover all of your pet’s requirements while keeping them safe and happy.
What to know before you buy a hamster cage
Types of hamster cages
There are three basic types of hamster cage: wire, plastic and aquarium. Each of these different cage options has pros and cons to consider.
Wire: Traditional wire cages offer your pet great ventilation and visibility. They are also easy to clean and the bars may allow your hamster some climbing exercise. Select a cage with bars that don’t have enough space between them to allow your hamster to escape.
Unfortunately, wire cages need to be opened and closed carefully to avoid scaring or stressing your pet due to the noise inherent to their metal construction. Wire cages also allow your pet to throw any bedding material or food pieces outside of its home, which makes keeping the area around the cage a challenge. Your hamster may also chew the metal cage bars, which can lead to tooth injury.
Plastic: Plastic cages come in a variety of exciting colors and modular configurations. They are easily expandable, which makes it easy to provide your hamster with new environments and obstacles to explore. Modular plastic models are great for people interested in DIY hamster cages.
However, hamsters tend to damage plastic cages with their chewing. Plastic cages also lack ventilation and their tubes and tunnels can be difficult to clean.
Aquarium: Many hamster owners choose glass aquariums for their pets because they offer minimal opportunities for escape. An aquarium will require a mesh or screen lid to allow for ventilation. The lid must be tightly affixed or weighted in order to prevent the hamster from lifting it up and finding a way out.
A downside to using a glass aquarium is that they are much heavier than the alternatives. You also need to be sure that any toys or accessories you provide your pet with are suitable to be safely kept in a glass enclosure.
What to look for in a quality hamster cage
Consider the following hamster cage features to ensure that you provide your pet with a fun, healthy environment.
Hamsters spend most of the day resting. However, they are active, curious animals that do most of their moving around at night. Purchase the biggest hamster cage you can afford that will still fit in your space to allow your pet ample room to explore.
Hamsters are small, delicate animals. Make sure that your cage and accessories don’t have any sharp, jagged edges that could potentially injure your hamster. Hamsters can be hurt when trying to escape, so ensure that your cage is free of ways for your pet to become stuck or fall.
Hamsters require fresh air and a well-ventilated environment to prevent illness and lethargy. Avoid any cages that are tightly sealed or lack space to allow airflow.
Many hamster cages come as kits that include water bottles, food bowls, tunnels and shelters. While these are convenient, some people like to create their own environment for their pet by selecting accessories to fit their preferences. When purchasing a home for your hamster, prioritize the size and quality of the cage itself over included accessories. These can be easily added later.
Hamsters require regular cage cleaning to prevent odor and maintain good health. A hamster cage that is easy to clean and doesn’t require a lot of disassembly will make this task much easier.
It’s important to be able to easily access the interior of your hamster cage for cleaning, feeding and playing with your pet. Look for a cage that has a door or opening large enough to allow your hands to fit through comfortably but small enough so as to not allow your hamster a chance to escape.
How much you can expect to spend on a hamster cage
Hamster cage prices range from $15 for small models that may not provide adequate room for your pet all the way up to $100 or more for big cages with high-quality construction. Prioritize your pet’s needs over the temptation to keep costs low.
Hamster cage FAQ
Q. How large should my hamster cage be?
A. Hamsters love to run and exercise. According to experts, hamsters may cover as much as 5 miles in a single night. Minimum size requirements vary by species, but the National Hamster Council generally agrees that a Syrian hamster should have 155 square inches of floor space, whereas a dwarf hamster can have 124 square inches of floor space. As a general rule, big hamster cages are better.
Q. Will my hamster be able to escape through the bars of a wire cage?
A. Hamsters are expert escape artists, so it’s imperative to make sure the space between the bars of a wire cage is too small to allow them to squeeze through. The space between the bars on a cage used to house a Syrian hamster should never exceed half an inch. Due to their small size, finding a wire cage with spaces small enough to prevent a dwarf hamster from escaping is difficult. These tiny animals are best kept in either plastic cages or glass aquariums.
Q. Why is my hamster acting different today?
A. If your hamster has stopped eating or is no longer active, it could be a sign of sickness. Hamsters can become ill if their cages are not properly ventilated or if they are being kept in the wrong kind of bedding. Either can cause respiratory problems in your pet. Changes in your hamster’s behavior should be brought to the attention of a veterinarian.
What’s the best hamster cage to buy?
Top hamster cage
What you need to know: This wire cage contains a great collection of accessories and toys, making it an excellent choice for those who want to give their hamster a deluxe environment.
What you’ll love: This cage has enough room for multiple hamsters and includes accessories for climbing, eating, sleeping, exercising and more. It includes adjustable tubes and platforms.
What you should consider: This cage can be time-consuming to properly clean and is a bit on the expensive side compared to other options. Some users have also noted quality control issues with this model.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top hamster cage for the money
What you need to know: This cage was designed specifically for hamsters and is a great upgrade for those looking to give their pet a new home.
What you’ll love: Many great accessories, including a well-designed exercise wheel, are included with this kit.
What you should consider: This cage may be too small for larger hamster species. Some users have complained of its flimsy construction.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This fun, affordable cage is large enough for most hamsters and its multiple levels provide your pet with many exercise opportunities.
What you’ll love: This cage has enough space for two hamsters. It is easy to clean and the cage’s deep floor pan prevents food and litter from being tossed outside.
What you should consider: The metal bars on this model are easily bent, and the included accessories are of generally poor quality.
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Derek Walborn writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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