The process of choosing the best hamster cage size can be extremely daunting. You may find that many options are available in the market, making it challenging to select the most suitable. Furthermore, different pet shops may have varying recommendations of size.
Therefore, the best option for you is to conduct due diligence. The right cage size for your hamster should be roomy, spacious, escape-proof and easy to clean. Below we answer the question of how big should a hamster cage be.
Expert recommendations for the best hamster cage size
Several animal welfare groups and hamster experts provide varying recommendations for the most suitable size for hamster cages. The common element in all the recommendations is that hamsters should have adequate space. Here is some of the best expert advice on the minimum size requirements.
- The American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recommends 1290 cm2 as the best minimum size for all hamsters.
- Hamster Society of Singapore endorses the Syrian hamsters to have big hamster cages of 4000 cm2 and the dwarf hamsters to have cages of 2903.22 cm2.
- Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals also recommends a minimum size of 4000 cm2.
- The Humane Society of the United States endorses that all hamsters should have 3616 cm2 for wire cages and 1858 cm2 or 288 square inches for aquariums.
- Blue cross advises that the minimum cage size should be 80cm-by-50cm-by-50cm.
- The German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture endorses that the Syrian hamster should have a minimum cage size of 5000 cm2.
In short, big hamster cages are the best houses for your hamsters. From the expert advice, we can conclude that you should aim for a minimum of 288 square inches or 24 inches by 12 inches by 12 inches. Remember that the bigger the cage, the more room your hamster will have to be happy and active.
If you are a first-time hamster owner, consider going for the larger size recommended by experts. In the large cage, you can have ledges, platforms and tubes that will keep your hamster active all day long. Also, observe your pet’s behavior to establish their comfort levels in the cage.
Signs that indicate your hamster’s cage is too small
Hamsters can be very unhappy when they have a small-sized cage. So, what are the indications that you need to have a bigger cage?
Your hamster is constantly bar biting
Extreme bar biting is a huge sign that your pet is unhappy. If you find that they are trying to escape or biting the cage continuously, then note that it is very small. In such a situation, the only solution is to get a larger cage.
Displays cage aggression
As a hamster owner, you should know your hamster’s normal and abnormal behaviors. If the animal exhibits very aggressive behaviors, it may not be happy in its cage. The cage aggression indicates that it is time for a change.
Your hamster is lethargic
Hamsters will be energetic and playful when happy. They like exploring their cages, moving around and using wheels. However, if your hamster is only drinking, eating and sleeping, there is a high chance that it is unhappy and you need a bigger cage.
Cage climbing behaviors
Excessive cage climbing is a sign that the cage is too small and needs an upgrade. It shows that your playful animal is highly bored. Therefore, you need to pay more attention to how your hamster behaves to determine whether it is time to get a bigger hamster cage.
How much is a hamster cage?
In the market, you will find that hamster cages are available at different costs. The varying prices are because of factors such as size, material used, design and available accessories. Cheap hamster cages can go for as low as $25, while others can go for more than $200.
The cost you will pay for your cage will depend on your preferences. You can also consider a DIY hamster cage. The DIY cage will instruct you to build your hamster’s cage using readily available materials. You only need to prioritize the cage size for your animal’s comfort.
What is the best cage for a hamster?
Apart from size, the type of cage you get for your hamster matters significantly. You should consider these vital details when selecting a hamster’s cage.
- Substrate suitability
- Ease of cleaning
- Cage’s material
- Tall and deep
Here are some cool hamster cages you can consider for your adorable animal.
A wire-top cage is one of the most popular habitats for hamsters. Its top is wire, while the base is plastic. A wire-top cage is an excellent option as it is easy to clean, well-ventilated and chew-proof. You can find one with many shapes and levels.
Hamster cages with tubes
A hamster cage with tubes provides one of the best habitats for hamsters. The tubes offer hamsters a haven where they can hide whenever they feel threatened. They also remind the adorable animals of home. If you want to house your hamster in a cage with tubes, make sure that the tubes are spacious. You can include the tubes in plastic or wire-top cages
Wooden hamster cage
A wooden cage is ideal for hamster rescuers or breeders who wish to keep multiple hamsters. It is also best for any hamster owner who wishes to build a cage. One important thing to note when considering the wooden cage is to use one with untreated hardwood. Hamsters tend to eat and gnaw on wood. Thus, items such as wood glue can be poisonous to your animal.
Glass hamster cage
A glass hamster cage is another alternative that you can consider using and it is chew-free. Therefore, you are sure that your hamster will stay well protected. The plastic base in the glass cage will give your hamster enough room to burrow. It is also escape-proof and easy to clean.
The correct cage size for your hamster is where they are most comfortable to play and stay. You can consider behavioral assessments to establish whether your hamster needs a bigger place. If you are a first-time hamster owner, go for the larger sizes. Also, note that the bigger, the better.