If you are a first time hamster owner, then it may be a difficult task for you to find the best hamster cage that is safe, reliable and affordable. Investing in a hamster cage is one of the most important decisions you will make for your hamster, and there are many important factors you need to consider to make the best choice.
That is why this article will inform you on the best practices in regards to cage safety, minimum habitat requirements, as well as how the best hamster cages on the market meet these requirements.
Finding the perfect cage for your pet is an important step in ensuring its well-being and happiness. These furry little creatures are a joy to have around, but only if you provide them with the necessary environment to flourish in. Below you’ll see our recommended cages as well as the considerations we took into account when selecting a cage.
Review of the Best Hamster Cages
Lixit Savic Hamster Heaven Metro Cage
For those looking for the best Syrian hamster cage that is easy to clean, has lots of room, and is filled with engaging activities for your hamster, then you cannot go wrong with the Lixit Savic Hamster Heaven Metro Cage. At first glance, you’ll notice it has a deep plastic base which provides plenty of room to fill with bedding. Located above is a wire-mesh top that provides ventilation. The Hamster Heaven has two doors which gives you easy access to its contents; a large one in the front, and one on top which you can attach additional accessories.
Included with the Metro Cage is a lot of tubes, ladders, ramps, hideaways, and even a spinning wheel. With such a wide selection of activities, your hamster is sure to be spoiled. That’s not all, you can customize it further with more add-ons and further arrange it to your liking. The tubes can fit even the largest Syrian hamsters and can break apart to individual sections for easy cleaning.
- Plenty of room
- Comes with loads of tubes and accessories for customization
- Wire-mesh top deep
- Plastic base
- Narrow spacing between bars means your hamster won’t pull a Houdini on you.
- Could have a more durable construction, as wires can bend if you are not careful with it
- Exercise wheel is a little bit on the small side.
Rosewood Pico XL
As much as you love your pet hamsters, sometimes the mess they make can drive you a little bonkers. So if you want the convenience of never having to clean out plastic tubes ever again, consider getting the Rosewood Pico XL Hamster Cage. This cage has a deep plastic base as well as a wire mesh top, but that’s not what makes it stand out.
It is packed with ledges and raps to maximize the vertical space. Furthermore, it comes with a hideout and exercise wheel in case your squeaky friend wants to go for a run. Overall, its high-quality construction as well as good ventilation makes it a solid option.
- Wire mesh top
- Deep plastic base
- High-quality construction, very durable
- Lots of neat accessories
- Great verticality with multiple levels for space and exercise
- Difficult to assemble
- Water bottle is quite small
Ferplast Hamster Cage – Best Dwarf Hamster Cage
The Ferplast Hamster Cage has three different models, ranging from a modest single habitat, to a double, to a spacious extra large cage and there are quite a few similarities between them all.
First is their construction quality, namely that they are made from high-quality plastic and are stocked with all the amenities your hamster needs right from the get-go. They are quite affordable compared to other dwarf hamster cages on the market.
If budget is a concern, then this should be an attractive option for you. The larger models of the Ferplast Hamster Cage can even be used to house Syrian hamsters, so look through the options and see which is right for your situation.
Bear in mind that the smaller variations are harder to clean, and require more cleaning on top of that due to its somewhat poor ventilation compared to the other options in our review.
- Suitable for dwarf hamsters and Syrian hamsters (depending on the model)
- Choose between 3 designs
- Poor ventilation
- Challenging to assemble
Habitrail Cristal Hamster Habitat
Habitrail cages are some of the best on the market, and the Cristal Hamster Habitat is perfect for a dwarf hamster. However, its low price tag can be somewhat misleading; to get the best bang for your buck, you will want to spend a bit more on additional modules to have all the nice features.
This enclosure has two levels and includes a wheel. The beauty of Habitrail enclosures is that you can customize it with plenty of accessories. If you have no plans to expand on this cage, though, then it will be quite small even for a single dwarf hamster. With additional expansions you can make a cage that has sufficient space and activities for your hamsters to live in luxury.
Overall, the Habitrail Cristal Hamster Habitat is durable and well-constructed. As long as you get the recommended modules, it will provide your hamsters with everything they need. If not, then it may be somewhat lacking.
- Highly customizable
- Good ventilation
- Includes a wheel and water dish
- Without expansions, it is too small
- Wheel is too small for Syrian hamsters
Ferplast Hamster Cage, Black
Though it doesn’t look like anything special, the Ferplast Hamster Cage is surprisingly well-designed. The deep plastic base and wire-mesh top combined results in maximum use of space and great ventilation.
The Ferplast Hamster Cage offers many levels of play and has an integrated exercise wheel so your hamster will have lots to do. Furthermore, it comes with the basic accessories to help you get started quicker and has a connection cap in case you have future plans to expand the cage with plastic tubes.
- Comes included with basic accessories
- Has a connection cap for future expansions
- Two-floor design maximizes space
- Can be more durable
- Single opening is located at the top of the cage
What to Consider When Searching for the Best Hamster Cage
Minimum Size Requirements
You want to make sure that the cage is spacious enough for each hamster. If you have multiple hamsters, it is a good idea to purchase individual cages for each hamster because they can be quite solitary and territorial and fight each other if caged together.
For Syrian hamsters, the minimum cage size should be at least 2 cubic feet of space. Keep in mind that Syrian hamsters are lone creatures and therefore should not be housed with other hamsters once they are a few months old. Thus, if you own multiple hamsters, you will need to prepare a different cage for each hamster before they are 2-3 months old. If this seems too costly for you, one cheap solution is to buy large plastic containers in bulk and use these as hamster cages.
There are plenty of reasons why you should get large hamster cages. One reason is that a large cage will not become dirty as quickly, meaning there will be less ammonia build up which can be a hazard to your hamster. Second, an appropriately sized cage will reduce the likelihood of your hamster getting agitated or bored which can lead to bar chewing and compulsive behavior.
Types of Cages
There are many types of hamster cages and depending on the species of hamster as well as your own preferences, one style may be better than the others. For instance, a wire hamster cage with a plastic base is the most common and basic cage you can buy.
Another style is a compartmentalized, modular cage that is better suited for dwarf hamsters or younger Syrian hamsters before they reach 2-3 months of age. This style allows for plenty of customization and makes the cage look maze-like.
Lastly, a third type is the aquarium with a mesh wire lid. We will discuss all three types of cages with more detail further below this article.
It is imperative that your hamsters get as much clean air as possible so that they are comfortable and healthy. Unfortunately, though plastic modular cages look very fun, they tend to be less capable of providing adequate airflow.
Similarly, aquariums can pose the same problem, and that is why wire cages are the most popular cages for owners that want to provide the best ventilation for their pets. However, they provide limited protection against cool air drafts.
Ease of Cleaning
Consistent upkeep of your hamster cages is another important step in ensuring your pets’ well-being. No matter how many cool features your cages have, if it is difficult for you to clean, it will be detrimental to your pets’ health.
Larger cages take longer to get dirty and are easier to clean due to how spacious they are. Compartmentalized cages can have sections taken out one by one to be cleaned, however the pieces tend to be small and might be a nuisance to clean without patience or the proper tools.
There’s no point in getting a cage if your hamster can escape from it! Make sure that the maximum space between each bar is no more than 0.5 inches apart for Syrian hamsters, and 0.25 inches for dwarf hamsters. We go into the specifics of how each type of cage can provide different levels of protection in further detail below.
Seasoned hamster owners and industry vets alike agree that hamster cages should be fitted with a hamster wheel because they are an easy way for your pet to get the exercise it needs. Furthermore, if plan on having Syrian hamsters, you need to make sure that the wheel is adequately sized.
Basic Safety Concerns
On the market, there are so many types of hamster cages available for purchase but not all of them are necessarily optimal. For instance, many hamster cages are actually meant for the smaller dwarf hamster, and thus space becomes an issue if you plan on housing a Syrian hamster.
Furthermore, many hamster cages look very beautiful but actually aren’t very practical when put in use. Thus, you must be cognizant of some basic safety requirements and guidelines so that you can select the best hamster cage.
Bar Spacing and Escape Points
Most hamsters, especially dwarf hamsters, are capable of squeezing their tiny bodies through even the smallest of spaces. When kept in a hamster cage, they have all the time in the world to find a gap to escape from or a bar they can chew through.
Think of each hamster as a miniature Houdini, and then try finding a cage with that mindset. If the cage that you are eyeing has bars, make sure the spacing is at most ½ inch or smaller for fully grown Syrian hamsters, and babies should be kept in a glass or plastic cage so that there are no spaces that they can escape from.
When selecting a bar cage, look for areas where there may be gaps that are larger than ½ inch in length, such as in corners or other connecting areas where measurements may be slightly off. Make sure each bar is evenly spaced or else your hamster might simply disappear.
If you are not confident of the cage’s security, first place the cage in a large plastic bin or a bathtub for a week and see if your hamster can escape from it.
The Dangers of Bar Chewing and How to Prevent It
When selecting a cage, be aware of any ridges or surfaces that are not completely smooth because these are points where a hamster can nibble on. You should also keep in mind how much a component will be to replace if the hamster decides to chew on it. If there is a very thin section on the cage, you can bet the hamster will wear it down and possibly escape through that area.
Even if you provide adequate space for your hamster, these restless creatures may still end up chewing on the cage bars. This can create quite a ruckus, as well as cause serious damage to their teeth or your cage. This can easily result in medical emergencies.
Fortunately, Syrian hamsters’ teeth continuously grow throughout their life. However, a damaged tooth can make it difficult to eat. If your hamster has a broken tooth, take him to the vet immediately. Place many soft chew toys in their cage to encourage them to nibble on that instead of the bars. If they refuse to do so, you may have to migrate them to a cage without any bars such as an aquarium or bin cage.
Have a Solid Base
You might think it is a good idea for the cage to have wire floors so that pet droppings can fall through; however, hamsters are uncomfortable walking on wire surfaces. Hamsters usually don’t look where they put their feet and having spaces will cause them to continually drop their leg through the spaces, putting them at risk of injury. Thus, if your cage has wires on the bottom, try to cover it up with a solid surface such as coroplast, cardboard/cardstock, or laminate flooring.
Materials and Ease of Maintenance
High quality hamster cages should last your hamster’s entire life and perhaps many more hamsters afterwards depending on how well you maintain it. Plastic cages are convenient because you can scrub and bleach the plastic without worrying about it cracking, unlike glass. However, it is optimal to find a metal cages that are PVC or powder coated which will keep any metal components from rusting.
With that said, PVC coated cages are more likely to crack but have a longer life span than galvanized metal cages that are not treated at all. Many owners prefer to keep their hamsters in aquariums, which are resistant to wear if they are cleaned frequently and haven’t been dropped. For those on a budget, cheap plastic bins can serve as makeshift plastic aquariums for their hamsters.
Ease of Access
When selecting a hamster cage, look at for cages that have easy access points like lid and doors placed in easy to reach locations. The cage doors should be large enough that an adult can easily reach their hand in and touch any part of the cage (important for clean-up).
At the same time, the door or lid needs to be secure enough so that tugging on it won’t easily open the cage. If it is easy for you to open, it may be possible your hamster can open it too. Optimally, the cage should be easy to take apart so that each section can be thoroughly cleaned.
Horizontal vs. Vertical Space
Find cages that are more horizontal than vertical. Hamsters love to climb up but have trouble getting down; they usually just hit the top and fall down. Thus, you ought to minimize any fall damage they might sustain, and so your cages should not be too tall unless there are different levels. Furthermore, hamsters love to run on flat surfaces so they will have space to roam around.
Finding the Most Suitable Cage
Since the most popular type of hamsters are Syrian hamsters, it’s no surprise that most cages are designed for their use. Thus, it is quite simple to find cages for them.
On the other hand, finding a cage for dwarf hamsters are a bit trickier since they are less popular and there are less cages for them. If you make the mistake of buying a cage for a Syrian hamster, the smaller dwarf hamster can easily escape from the cage. Thus, you need to buy the right cage or else you may lose your pet!
Since dwarf hamsters are so small, big hamster cages such as large tanks and aquariums can serve as their home with minimal issues. They can also be used to temporarily house young Syrian hamsters, but they should be moved out once they grow older. In either case, make sure there is at least 2 cubic feet of space available for them to roam around.
Many people use aquariums as a temporary home to rear their young hamsters before transferring them to a better cage. However, if you plan on using it as their permanent home, you need to clean it frequently to prevent a buildup of excreta and urine. These can build up ammonia fumes over time.
Make sure to cover your tank/aquarium with mesh to allow for aeration, and that deep layers of bedding are supplied in addition to hamster to keep your pets active and occupied. Since there are no gaps in which a hamster can squeeze through, this is a great dwarf hamster cage.
Another benefit of having no gaps is that cool breezes cannot pass through, and it will retain heat much better than many other cages. Thus, people who live in colder areas that want to own a pet hamster should get an aquarium cage.
This type of cage is the most popular for all types of hamsters. If you own a dwarf hamster, make sure the space between bars is no more than 0.25 inches or else they may find a way to escape. Make sure there are no loose ends on the cage since hamsters like to climb all over to find an escape route.
Syrian hamsters truly flourish in a spacious enough wire mesh cage because they will have the freedom to move around as much as they want. Make sure to fill your cages with bedding and toys and ramps to keep your hamsters busy.
Unfortunately, due to the many gaps between the wires, this cage does not offer any protection against breezes. Therefore, you must not place the cage near open windows or vents where drafts can come from. Additionally, if you live in a colder area and want to keep your hamster warm, this is not a good solution.
Hamster cages that are modular, such as tube cages, can be a fun and expandable habitat for dwarf hamsters and young Syrian hamsters, however it can be difficult to predict how large your hamster will grow and it may be unsafe or uncomfortable for them to squeeze through the tubes.
Some owners have horror stories of their hamsters getting stuck in tubes because the hamsters either grew too big or they were trying to carry nesting material and got stuck. Getting stuck is a death sentence because they are the least well-ventilated area of the cage, and who knows how long it will take before you notice your hamster got stuck.
Thus, it is generally not a good idea to get a tube cage for Syrian hamsters. However, if you are dead- set on getting one, make sure your hamster is a short-haired breed since they are less likely to get stuck, and place the hamster cage in a visible area in your home so that you can supervise it frequently. Lastly, Syrian hamsters are the most powerful chewers among its hamster brethren, and cages with plenty of connection points and ridges may be susceptible to getting chewed on.
Buying a Temporary Cage vs. Permanent Cage
You may have some baby hamsters that don’t yet require as much room as an adult. However, they tend to grow so quickly. Once 4 weeks has passed, baby hamsters are already capable of leaving their mothers, and by two months they will have doubled in size.
Thus, it is prudent to simply purchase cages that are for adult sized hamsters. If you already own a smaller cage, you can still make use of it. First, it can be used as a travel cage. Second, it can be a temporary cage as you clean their main cage.
It’s easy to generalize advice, but let’s face it – not all advice works in every situation, and sometimes you will need to deviate a bit. Therefore, you might need to specialize if you plan on giving your pet hamster the best care possible. We also recommend you check out this basic hamster care overview guide. Here are some potential situations you could encounter.
Own a timid Syrian hamster? The best cage for Syrian hamster is one with a wide open floor design
Some Syrian hamsters startle easily, and will get very anxious when being handled by humans. They may become aggressive if they feel like they are being cornered or if someone is too close to their nesting area.
Thus, a wide open floor plan allows for plenty of room so they will not feel like they are being trapped, and there will still be room for their privacy. Wide open cages allow you to place your hand easily into the cage and let the hamster come to you instead, establishing trust and helping nervous hamsters get accustomed to being handled.
Putting the cage near carpeted floors? Opt for a deep cage pan
Cage pans have no standard depth; however, they range from 1-3” deep on most cages. If you filled the cage with loose bedding substrate instead of a fabric bedding, then chances are your hamster will make a mess and spill some of that bedding on the floor around the cage. A deep cage pan reduces the chances of this happening, however aquariums or bin type cages can prevent this issue from occurring completely.
Taking care of an older hamster? Select a cage with only one floor
Older hamsters may struggle to climb or even walk up ramps to higher levels. Thus, to make it easier on them, you should find a cage that has flat floor plans right from the beginning, or you may have to remove any existing ramps to make it elderly-friendly.
For additional information on hamster care, check out this site: http://anchoranimalhospital.com/proper-care-guide-for-hamsters/