The choice of a hamster cage is a step not to be missed for the well-being of your little companion. It's essential!
So how do choosing the best hamster cage ? A cage adapted to his needs will guarantee him a secure and comfortable space in which he can flourish. Wouldn't you like to live in a house or apartment you don't like? The same goes for your hamster.
When choosing a cage for your new companion, you'll need to pay attention to the following key elements:
- Type of cage You'll find everything from metal cages and terrariums to plastic cages in pet shops and on the Internet, whether you buy them or make your own. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, which you'll discover below.
- The size of the cage The minimum surface area for one is 4000cm², but the larger the better.
- Safety level : spacing between bars, cage height.
Different types of hamster cages
In terms of materials, there are different types of hamster cages:
- Metal cages with bars
- Glass cages
- Plastic cages
- Transport cages
- Cages with tunnels and connected pipes
Some of these cages are the basic models you'll find in any pet shop, while others are more complex. Let's take a look at the five types of cage mentioned above, and their advantages and disadvantages.
1. Metal cages with bars
This is the basic model, one of the simplest and most widespread cages, made of rigid wire.
The base of the cage is usually made of plastic or another durable material. The "walls" and "ceiling" are made of thick wire, often covered with a protective layer. Bar cages can be single- or multi-level, depending on your hamster's needs and your budget.
Advantages of metal bar cages
Disadvantages of metal bar cages
|Barred cages are among the most affordable. They're commonplace, and you'll have no trouble finding them in the shops.||Cleaning every bar in the cage can be a bit of a hassle, even though it's essential.|
|Cleaning the cage's plastic base is fairly easy; sometimes it's even removable.||Your hamster may start chewing the metal bars, which can cause oral health problems over time.|
|The open bars of the bar cage provide adequate ventilation. This means that even if your hamster makes a mess, the smell shouldn't reach you right away. (However, clean their cage regularly!)||Depending on the width of the metal bars, some hamsters may slip through and escape.|
|If your hamster is a climber, the bars of this cage offer much more entertainment than other types of cage.||The plastic tray may not be deep enough for the hamster to dig.|
|Sometimes these cages are simply too small for a growing hamster.|
Buy a metal cage
After studying the pros and cons of several products, here are the 3 best metal hamster cages on Amazon, with excellent reviews:
The best equipped: Savic Hamster Heaven
A spacious, well-equipped cage is designed to provide a real paradise for your hamster. It measures 80 x 50 x 50 cm and features a wide range of accessories, including a large wheel, tunnels, platforms, a playhouse and a food bowl. Its metal structure guarantees good ventilation and strength, while its removable tray makes cleaning easy.
The largest: Ferplast Krolik 160 cage
A generous cage and modular design make it easy to separate different areas (resting zone, feeding zone, etc.). Its metal grid is removable for easy maintenance.
The most practical: Ferplast Cage CRICETI
Perfect dimensions, sturdy, with an ingenious closing system. Convenient, easy-to-clean top opening.
2. Glass cages (terrarium)
Glass cages, also known as terrariums, offer your hamster a generous, deep space to run, play and dig to his heart's content. It's a kind of aquarium. To prevent daring escapes, these structures are often fitted with a mesh or wire lid. Practical, isn't it?
Ventilation is a legitimate concern for owners of guinea pigs and rats, who need excellent air circulation. That's absolutely right... for the latter. But hamsters have different needs!
In their natural habitat, native to desert regions, our hamster friends produce less urine than other rodents. This limits the production of potentially toxic fumes. That's why guinea pigs and rats need well-ventilated cages to prevent the build-up of undesirable fumes.
A hamster, that little desert acrobat, will adapt perfectly to life in a terrarium. It produces less urine, and as long as you clean the terrarium regularly, it will be perfectly at ease spending its days in this large glass dwelling.
Advantages of terrariums
Disadvantages of terrariums
|Terrariums are completely transparent, so you can always keep an eye on your hamster. They are particularly popular in schools, where children can observe the behavior of their class hamster.||These cages are the most expensive option. A large terrarium can cost several hundred euros.|
|There are no bars for your hamster to climb or chew on.||Their considerable weight and compact size|
|You can always tell when the terrarium is getting dirty, so you'll never leave too much time between cleanings.||Glass can get dirty and needs frequent cleaning.|
|As long as you keep the top covered with wire mesh, your hamster benefits from plenty of fresh air and excellent ventilation.||There's nothing for your hamster to climb on, so you'll need to provide plenty of activities and exercise opportunities to keep him entertained.|
Buying a terrarium
After studying the advantages and disadvantages of several terrariums, here is our opinion of the best hamster terrarium found on Amazon :
The rattling glass cage!
Elegant and spacious, it's no less practical thanks to its wide top opening, allowing good ventilation. An excellent compromise between maximum visibility and ease of cleaning.
3. Plastic cages
Plastic cages are the cheapest cagesThey come in a variety of fun shapes and colors to brighten up your hamster's daily routine. They're also easy to clean, but less durable.
Because of their material (Plexiglas or acrylic), these cages are not as transparent as glass terrariums, but they still offer excellent visibility so you can keep an eye on your little furry friend.
Most of the time, they are fitted with a panel or "window" covered with wire to ensure adequate ventilation.
Plastic cages are generally lightweight and easy to move, which can be a considerable advantage if you need to reorganize your pet's space from time to time. The lid is also often made of wire mesh, to allow optimum air circulation while ensuring your hamster's safety.
However, this is the type of cage we recommend least: less pleasant for your hamster on the one hand, and not so good for ventilation on the other. If price is your criterion, choose a metal cage whenever possible. In our opinion, these cages are not the best possible habitats for a hamster.
Advantages of plastic hamster cages
Disadvantages of plastic hamster cages
|Inexpensive cage for hamstersthe most economical solution.||Beware of sharp plastic edges in and around the enclosure. Otherwise, your hamster could injure itself by chewing or rubbing on them.|
|The plastic is easy to clean, which saves you time when cleaning.||It can take several washes to completely get rid of odors on plastic. If excremental odors persist, living with them can be particularly unpleasant.|
|These cages are very versatile. You can stack two cages of different sizes on top of each other, or line them up side by side. If you're feeling particularly creative, you can even drill holes in several bins, connect them with play tubes, and create an intricate playground for your hamster.|
Buying a plastic hamster cage
However, if you would like a plastic cage, you will find them in all pet shops. Here are 2 that we have selected on Amazon and which seem to us to be correct if not perfect:
The simplest plastic cage
The cage is made of hard-wearing, transparent plastic for maximum visibility. Its hooks on the side make it easy to transport if necessary. Supplied with feeder, drinker, floor, ladder, wheel and nest.
The funniest plastic cage
A practical top opening, with an extra-high tray for lots of litter and sand. A funny tube system that will delight its little occupant.
How do I make a hamster bin cage?
If you like the idea of creating your own hamster cage from a plastic tub, you should know that it's perfectly feasible. It's an ideal DIY project for those who are good with their hands and have the right tools.
Here's a great demonstration video to help you get started:
4. Transport cages
Your hamster is probably not accustomed to traveling the world, but it will need to get out of the house from time to time. That's when a transport or travel cage becomes indispensable.
These models are compact and safe, preventing your hamster from escaping when on the move, for example to the vet. Their small size does not, however, make them suitable for long-term use.
Advantages of transport cages
Disadvantages of transport cages
|Moving your hamster for a visit to the vet is simplified, rather than having to move its usual cage.||You'll need to be careful when buying, as some of these models may be too narrow for a larger breed adult hamster.|
|Most travel cages have bars, so you can keep an eye on your hamster at all times.||Bear in mind that these cages are designed for short periods. Never leave your hamster in a travel cage for an extended period, even if it's of high quality and looks comfortable.|
|With a lockable door, you can be sure your hamster will stay inside during the journey.|
5. Cages with tunnels and connected pipes
The last type of hamster cage we're talking about is undoubtedly the most sophisticated ... and to be honest, not a separate model, because it's made of glass, metal or plastic.
It's a set of cages linked by tunnels. It's up to you to decide how far you want to go in terms of personalization, taking into account your budget, the space you have available and your sense of creativity. Whether you opt for a few tunnels or a veritable spider's web of passages, the choice is vast - indeed, unlimited!
To help you see things more clearly, here is a list of the strengths and weaknesses of hamster cage systems:
The benefits of tunnel cage systems
The limits of tunnel cage systems
|Your hamster benefits from regular physical activity as it moves from one tunnel to another.||Older hamsters may tire of traveling from one place to another.|
|Such a stimulating environment means your hamster never gets bored.||If you decide to add too much to your cage, it could prove costly.|
|Link tunnels are compatible with all types of cages, whether wire or plastic.||You'll need a large enough space to install such a complex cage system.|
|Visually, this type of system gives your hamster cage a cool look.||Cleaning all the tunnels could prove tedious.|
Buy a cage with tunnels and pipes
My opinion? Now we're starting to indulge ourselves. Inevitably, it takes up a bit of space, but it's a real pleasure afterwards to observe what's going on:
The largest cage with tunnels
There are plenty of tunnels to stretch your legs in a space that's as creative and well thought-out as it is easy to maintain on a daily basis. These passages are of course supplied.
High, colorful tunnels
Among the words on this page: large, tall, practical and ergonomic.
Choose a suitable cage size
Cage dimensions are crucial to a hamster's well-being. Rodents need a space that meets their physical activity requirements.
But it's not enough to choose a cage large enoughbut also to ensure that it can all the accessories you need for everyday life your hamster's natural behavior.
A minimum surface area of 4000 cm². (Length x width to calculate surface area) is recommended for a hamster cage. This minimum surface area must be in one piece, not including any annexes or floors connected by passageways:
If you start on a cage without floorHere are the minimum dimensions:
|Hamster breed||Minimum dimensions|
|Golden hamster (Syrian)||80 cm (L) x 50 cm (W) x 50 cm (H)|
|Russian hamster||80 cm (L) x 50 cm (W) x 50 cm (H)|
|Roborovski's hamster||80 cm (L) x 50 cm (W) x 50 cm (H)|
|Chinese Hamster||80 cm (L) x 50 cm (W) x 50 cm (H)|
|Siberian hamster||80 cm (L) x 50 cm (W) x 50 cm (H)|
|Campbell's Hamster||80 cm (L) x 50 cm (W) x 50 cm (H)|
Here are some other points to consider when choosing the ideal cage for your hamster:
- Does the cage offer enough space to install all the necessary items such as food bowl, bottle, exercise wheel, toys and nest?
- Taking into account the extra floors, is the total surface area of the cage large enough to allow your hamster to run around freely?
- Does the cage design allow for climbing areas for your little companion?
- Is the cage tray deep enough to hold an adequate bedding layer?
Minimum cage height
When choosing the height of your hamster's cage, you need to strike a balance. The right height allows your hamster to thrive, while avoiding a high risk of falls.
To prevent accidents, the distance between the top of the cage and the litter level should not exceed 10 to 20 cm. If this distance is greater, consider adding an extra floor to the cage to reduce the risk of high falls.
Determining cage surface area
Calculate the surface area of the cage, multiply length by cage width. For example, if a cage is 70 cm long, 50 cm wide and 40 cm high, its surface area is 3500 cm² (70 cm x 50 cm). As mentioned above, this surface area is insufficient for a hamster.
For a comfortable life, a cage with a surface area greater than 4000 cm². When choosing a cage, try to make it as large as possible for the space and budget you have available.
A cage must be safe and secure
When buying a cage, consider two main factors to ensure its safety: the space between the bars and the number of cage levels.
We've already discussed the importance of spacing between bars when talking about metal cages. Make sure the bars aren't too far apart, as this could allow your hamster to escape or get stuck! And believe me, it happens fast.
The second point to consider is the number of levels in the cage. Many cages on the market offer multiple levels to maximize vertical space.
This may sound clever, but it means your hamster runs the risk of falling. These can be dangerous for their delicate little bodies, and lead to injury.
If you want to offer your hamster several levels, the best solution is to connect them with tubes. This way, your hamster can climb up and down safely, without the risk of injury.
Some owners even choose to connect several cages with tubes to give their hamster extra space and take advantage of the vertical space available in their home. By taking these safety aspects into account, you can provide a safe and comfortable environment for your companion.
How much does a hamster cage cost?
The price of a hamster cage can vary considerably from one model to another, making it difficult to establish a single price for this type of product.
In pet shops or on the Internet, you'll find that cages can range from a few dozen euros to several hundred. The average price of a cage, however, is around En moyenne, the average price of a hamster cage is between €40 and €80.
But how do you explain such a wide disparity in prices for the same product? Several factors come into play:
- Size It's no surprise that the larger the dimensions, the more expensive they are.
- The materials Some very expensive hamster cages are made from finely polished and hand-carved fir or other woods. Cheaper models are often made of metal or plastic, with price variations depending on size.
- Accessories included As when you buy a house, the price will vary according to whether it's furnished or not. A hamster cage with extra equipment will logically cost more than a more basic cage.
The best hamster cage
Having written this article and given you all the criteria to consider, here's what I think is the best hamster cage. And not surprisingly, it's not cheap! Behold the beast:
She has all the makings of a great
Spacious, exceptionally well-appointed and well ventilated, it offers excellent visibility. Its roof or front opening makes it extremely practical. Exceptional finishes, for the "Rolls" of the cage.
Accessories to add to the cage
Have you found the ideal cage? All that's left is to equip it with the accessories necessary for its well-being:
Hamsters love to dig, so give them something safe to cover the bottom of their cage, such as wood shavings and pellets, sawdust or recycled paper. Never use pine or cedar, as these woods can make your hamster sick.
A bowl for food
Use a heavy stone bowl with a rim low enough for your hamster to reach it, but without tipping it over.
Baby bottle or water bottle
Indispensable for quenching thirst. An inverted water bottle with a dropper works best for hamsters, as they spill water from a bowl and make a mess.
An exercise wheel :
Hamsters are very active, so an exercise wheel is essential.
They'll keep your hamster from getting bored in its cage. Hamsters love to climb and dig, so anything with steps or tunnels is ideal - anything that rolls is great too!
A hiding place or house
Your hamster will need a safe place to sleep or hide if he feels stressed or in danger.
Hamsters clean themselves by rolling in "hamster bath sand". Your hamster will appreciate a container filled with "hamster bath sand" to climb into and roll around in.
Tunnels and pipes
Create a system of fun and safe passageways that give your hamster more space, stimulation and exercise... and something to hide behind.
Finally, don't forget that the location of the cage is a major consideration. Place it in a quiet spot, away from draughts and temperature variations.
Avoid rooms that are too noisy or crowded, as hamsters are sensitive to stress. Make sure the cage is not exposed to direct sunlight all the time, as this can cause overheating.