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More on cages...
Size: The cage should be as large as you can afford. The minimum cage size for a syrian hamster should be at least 45x30x30cm. This is a rough guide, it is best for the buyer to shop around before deciding on a suitable cage. More individuals housed together means a bigger cage is needed. This will also allow for more accessories and hiding places like tubes and houses.

  The wire cage

Description: The metal cage is made of a wire top and a plastic tray. The wire spacing should be about 1.3 cm at most, or risk the hamsters squeezing through the wires. It should have a flip-top. The plastic tray can be easily released for cleaning. These cages comes in various sizes and prices ranging from S$26 for a simple cage to upwards of a S$100 for a deluxe multi-storey cage. See the hamster cost page for more.

Cons: The hamster will usually kick out some shavings and some will really make the wood fly. You end up sweeping every day. The hamster usually develops the habit of biting on the bars, making some noise which can prove irritating. Cages may last its life but it can't last forever - you might have to purchase a new one as the paint rubs off and it gets rusty. If you give your hamsters a salt lick make sure that the lick is not in contact with the cage.

These are aquariums made for fish and are very expensive. Glass tanks are not advisable as they are difficult to clean. They are heavy and may cut. These are definintely difficult for young children to handle.

Pros: They do however, allow you a great view of exactly what your hammy friend is doing. No shavings ever get kicked out. It is also very unlikely to be able to escape (but you never know - be sure the top is secure).

Cons: There is no place to attach your hammy's wheel, water bottle or house. You can, however, purchase special water bottles which not only can be attached on the rim but are also non-climable - not promoting an escape. These cost more but are more convenient in the long run. Some hammy wheels can be put on the floor of the vivarium but these may be unstable.

The ventilation is also poor and this may lead to unhealthy hamsters. Glass traps heat in and your hamster's home gets hot readily - be sure to place you hamster's home in a cool place, out of sunlight.

Hard plastic pet containers:
Hamsters can make a hole in these, keeping you up with their horrible scratching noises. These are more affordable than glass Vivariums and can provide perhaps one year or so of service (more if your hamster is more gentle with it) if you don't mind the other inconveniences.

The plastic aquarium (see below) is a favourite as it is easy to maintain, light and comes with a plastic cover. Just pour out the bedding, wash the tank, refill the bedding and voila.The bedding may be filled up to 5 to 8 cm (2 to 3 inches) for burrowing pleasure. Personally, the bedding actually keeps their fur coat in fine condition. The largest plastic tank available costs about S$12.

These also lack good ventilation and might promote growth of mould. Take care not to leave the aquarium in direct sunlight or in an enclosed room. I know some owners don't put the tops on but do be careful of people walking about or other pets, like dogs and cats, which might knock over the cage pretty easily.

   Habitrail Habitat

Description: These are plastic tanks and tubes which resembles the natural habitat of the hamsters. There are plenty of add-ons and add-ins such as the solarium, spinning restaurant, tree-house.

Pros: Interesting, ressembles the natural habitat of hamsters, provides entertainment, stimulates the hamsters sense of fun and adventure, can be extended to accommodate your hamsters.

Cons: Poor ventilation, difficult to clean and maintain. Not easy to catch dwarf hamsters in them because of the small opening. The vertical tubes are of no use to dwarf hamsters, they are too small to crawl up the tubes. Some syrians also have trouble in these tubes and some are just way too small for comfort. There has also been reports of some accidents related with these cages too. Hamsters have had their limbs or heads stuck in the bars and died in this way.

More pictures of cages at Happy Critters Hamstery

To vote for the best of the above housing

Syrians/ Campbells/ Winter Whites/ Roborovskis / Email me
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