How to Select the Right Cage or Aquarium or Terrarium for Hamsters

Before bringing your hamster home , you must settle the question of the cage:  cage with bars, aquarium or terrarium  ? Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Here are some tips to guide you in choosing the perfect hamster cage.

Below you will find a comparison of hamster cage types to help you choose the best hamster cage at the best price according to your hamster’s needs.

Hamster cage with bars

It has many advantages: the ventilation is good and the cleaning is easy. The bars allow direct contact with the animal. Accessories, such as the bottle , are easy to attach to the bars of the hamster cage. But there are also downsides: Hamsters are burrowing animals that love to dig, and litter can sometimes be thrown outside.

The bars encourage him to climb. But that’s not his strong point, which doesn’t stop him from trying; he clings to bars and often falls. You won’t be able to prevent him, but you can prevent him from hanging on bars and getting hurt. For this,  the bars must be spaced at least 12mm apart .

If the hamster does not have enough items to gnaw on and is lacking in distraction, it may start gnawing at  the bars . If he starts gnawing at the bars, add play accessories for your hamster.

Glass or plastic house: the aquarium and the terrarium

If you don’t want to watch your hamster through bars, you can also use a large terrarium. Advantage: no projections when the hamster rummages in its litter.

Warning :

  • The floor area should be approximately 80 x 40 cm. In a terrarium that is too narrow, there is insufficient air circulation. The moist heat that is released can make animals irritable, and even sick.
  • Watch out for terrariums with more than ten years of existence! The seal is most often putty and not, as is generally the case today, silicone. The putty contains lead which is dangerous for your hamster.
  • To compensate for the lack of bars, remember to provide as much climbing possibilities as possible.
  • Make yourself a cover of tinned mesh that will protect it from cats, if necessary, while ensuring a sufficient supply of air.

Although it sounds odd,  an aquarium makes a great hamster home . He can dig there at will. You need a leak proof and safe cover that allows enough air to get inside. A small mesh screen cover is easy to make. It is also possible to buy this type of ready-made cage / aquarium.

On the other hand,  the aquarium is quite heavy  and difficult to handle. Children cannot and should not move it. Cleaning is less easy than with a cage with bars. Be careful, the aquarium must be less high than it is wide, otherwise there will be a ventilation problem. It is unpleasant for the animal, but also for its nose. Hygiene in the aquarium must be irreproachable.

The terrarium is very similar to the aquarium, but it has a decisive advantage:  it is ventilated above and below . In addition, it opens from the side and not from the top (bird of prey attack). The view is not obstructed by bars. But the terrarium is also very heavy and takes longer to clean.

Cage with plastic tubes

“Hamster Maze” ; some pet stores are starting to offer plastic hamster shelters, inspired by the burrows of animals living in their natural state. They are made up of various elements linked together by transparent tubes, and which can be combined at will.

Hamster cage models are available on the market with many galleries, including  the cage with plastic tube . These cages are attractive because they allow you to see your hamster in the different galleries. But you have to be careful, the animal can get stuck in the tubes. It is important that the cage alternates between larger space and galleries so that the air is renewed. When maintaining the cage, it is strongly recommended to clean each tunnel by separating its parts in order to remove all traces of condensation. The colorful and modern finish appeals to children, but the maintenance of the cage requires more attention. With this type of hamster cage, there is a whole range of extensions. It is mainly the Habitrail brand that stands out in the field.

Wooden cage for Hamsters

Our real favorite is the wooden hamster cage model , a mix between the terrarium and the hutch. Apart from the fact that they are often very aesthetic , they are also convenient to clean thanks to a sliding drawer. They fit perfectly into a more natural environment.

Tip : To prevent your hamster from gnawing at its cage, put some fruit tree wood to gnaw on it, don’t hesitate to coat it with food to attract it.

Dimensions of the cage

Hamsters are agile, curious and very active. In the wild, they travel long distances on their small paws. This instinct must be able to be satisfied in the cage. A wheel does not replace space. The minimum dimensions of the hamster cage are  80 x 40 x 40cm . This should not be too high:  if it exceeds 40cm high, it is advisable to install an intermediate floor . In any case, these floors are very useful. They provide the hamster with a variety of space and movement. With them, the animals have the choice: a small house upstairs, another downstairs.

A well-designed house for your hamster

Material: a metal cage, floor made of a plastic bin. Dimensions: 40 x 30 x 25 cm at least. Grid: can be raised from above.

Bars: horizontal.

Distance between bars: 1 to 1.3 cm. Floor: edges raised at least 7 cm. Other solutions: a large terrarium or a “hamster labyrinth”.

To discover our advice on the rabbit cage

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