Over the years I have had the fortune of having many hamsters in my life, and along the way I have come to realize the four key areas you need to consider when choosing the best hamster cage. This is a cage that will be suitable for one Golden or Syrian hamster. Syrian hamsters are a species which need to live alone, unlike the dwarf breeds who can live together in pairs or larger groups.
Outlined below are the most important points to consider when making your choice of hamster cage, they are particularly important if the hamster is being cared for by a child, as a child can quickly lose interest if the care of their little friend becomes a boring , irksome or difficult chore.
The Cage Needs To Be Easy to Clean
This is a very important point as the cage needs to be thoroughly cleaned and scrubbed out on a weekly basis, you therefore don’t want something that is going to be cumbersome or heavy or has areas that are inaccessible. Not to put too finer point on it, but your hamster might use any area of the cage either as a food storage place or a toilet and you want to be able to easily clean out these areas.
The Cage Needs to Keep the Hamster Occupied
Your hamster is going to be spending a lot of time in his or her cage, especially at night when they are particularly active. Yes you will put them in a hamster ball to have a more lengthy run at certain times but still they need to be active and occupied during the times that they are confined. This is why it is good to have different levels within the cage, some ramps and even some tubes. It’s also best to have a wheel in the cage, either attached to one of the walls or freestanding, as it is amazing how much distance a hamster can cover during one night.
Easy Access To The Cage
You will be changing your hamster’s water, and adding in hamster muesli and fresh veggies daily. Thus you need at least one, if not two doors in order to access the cage. It’s also nice to be able to pet your hamster or hand feed them, especially when they are new to your home and the two of you are getting acquainted.
Your Hamster Needs to Be Visible
Bars or clear plastic are best, firstly as they are easy to clean and secondly so that you can see your hamster and the little adventures they get up to. It is also important to have a nice dark nesting place within the cage so that your hamster can sleep in peace during daylight hours. This bed should be filled with the pet bedding you can buy from the pet shop, not your own shredded paper or newsprint, as the ink on this can be toxic.
Those then are my top four top tips for choosing your hamster cage wisely. Make sure there is enough space, that the hamster has plenty of activities and that it has easy access and is easy to clean. You can choose a wire or clear plastic traditional cage or a one of the modular systems can be fun too, and also have the advantage of being able to be added to over time, if a child is spending his or her pocket money for instance.
If I was making my own personal choice I would go for a traditional rectangular cage with a mixture of plastic and bars, simply because I think they are the easiest to assemble and keep clean. Whatever your own decision on which is the best hamster cage however, always keep in mind the four areas outlined above when making your choice.