There are a lot of misconceptions when it4 comes to hamster cages. Many people believe that hamsters only need a small enclosure since they are tiny creatures. This cannot be farther from the truth. Hamsters might be small in size, but they have big animal energy.
To ensure that your pet hamster is living the life they deserve and have a quality life with you, it is your job to provide them with a safe and suitable home. This starts with making sure that your fur baby has a fantastic home.
Providing an excellent enclosure for your hamster doesn’t mean you have to be highly creative and develop an elaborative cage design. Although there are limited hamster cages that you can buy and are ready to use, there are still decent options that meet the 450-square-inch hamster cage requirement.
In this article, we will be discussing everything about choosing a store-bought hamster cage. I will explain how we landed on the 450-square-inch size and, finally, a list of hamster cages for all types of hamsters that I highly recommend. You can also take a look at our guidelines on how to choose a hamster cage.
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE BUYING A READY-TO-USE HAMSTER CAGE
One thing you should definitely know is that the critter cages sold in pet stores “for hamsters” are very small, unsafe, and unsuitable. Hamsters need a big, spacious, and high-quality cage. These colourful cages might look cute, but they’re surely bad cages for hamsters that you should avoid.
They have so much energy and require a lot of space to run around and burrow. Hamsters also love chewing on things. Having a low-quality plastic cage, your hamster can chew through it and escape. Below are more tips on choosing the right enclosure for a hamster.
The first thing you need to understand is the size. You might be wondering, why 450-square-inch? This enclosure size is actually only suitable for a Dwarf hamster cage. If you plan on using a glass cage, a 40-gallon tank is a minimum for a Dwarf hamster.
For a Syrian hamster’s cage, 450 square-inch is a little small. You need 620 square inches of the enclosure.
Hamsters are diggers or borrowers. Unlike their cousin rats, hamsters are not great at climbing but love running around and digging underground. When we make a cage for a hamster, we are aiming for one that is long in size and deep enough for them to dig through. A bookcase such as a hamster’s cage or a glass tank cage is an excellent choice for this.
Again, unlike rats, hamsters don’t need a multi-storey or multiple-level cage. They need a spacious one where they can run in a straight line and have a spot where they can burrow themselves under bedding.
Hamsters also have a lot of energy. They can run for 21 miles (34 km) a night and loves being active and busy. When we choose a hamster cage, we want to be able to have enough space to provide everything they need. We want to be able to replicate their home in the wild inside a cage, at least something similar.
If you house a hamster in a small cage, you won’t have space to add many toys and it doesn’t allow your pet to burn all the extra energy they have.
Metal bar spaces/gaps
Most 450-square-inch hamster cages are made of plastic and metal combination. The base is usually made of plastic, from the body to the top features metal bars. These metal bars do an incredible job when it comes to providing ventilation for your hamster.
However, if you are housing a Dwarf hamster, especially a Robo hamster, the gaps between these metal bars are too wide. This will allow your pet to simply squeeze themselves and walk out. There are a lot of reasons why a hamster would try to escape. This includes having a small enclosure, very few toys that lead to boredom, and when the hamster doesn’t get time out of the cage – just to name a few.
This shouldn’t be the reason to completely disregard store-bought hamster cages though. You can do a few things to ensure that your hamster will not escape. One thing you can do which is quite popular is by adding a mesh wire over it. Read our mesh wire guide.
Although hamsters don’t live that long, you still want to choose a cage that will last for a while. Something that is not easy to break or easy to chew through (hamsters are really amazing chewers).
Look for a 450-square-inch hamster cage that is high-quality. If it’s made of plastic or wood, look for one that is thick. In this way, if your hamster starts chewing their cage, it won’t be able to break out overnight.
A thicker enclosure allows you to observe or check it if your pet has started chewing through. This gives you time to fix it before anything goes wrong. Housing your hamster in a nice and spacious enclosure is already one step closer to providing proper hamster care.
BEST 450-SQUARE-INCH HAMSTER CAGE
There are different types of hamster cages; store-bought, glass, bin cage, and bookcase. If you are not as creative as me, I recommend you go with a ready-to-use cage. There are so many benefits of going with a ready-to-use hamster cage. It saves you time, meets the size requirements, and these cages are often well-designed and ventilated. Here’s a list of the best store-bought hamster cages for species of hamsters.
hamster cage by Niteangeli is one of the best hamster cages on the market right now. It was only released a few years ago but it was well-received by many hamster owners. The quality is great, it has see-through coverings allowing you to have a view of your pet, and it’s very spacious. There are two designs; rectangular and slanted. Since this design is open space, you can add a hamster cage divider to maximise the space.
- Size: 47.2 x 19.7 x 23.6 inches (120 x 50 x 60 cm)
- Colours: Burlywood, Apple Green, White
This 450-square-inch hamster cage is an amazing choice. It offers fantastic ventilation for your pet, plenty of space for toys, and is quite affordable. The gaps between the metal bars are small enough that you don’t need to add a mesh over (unless you have a robo or plan to house a baby hamster).
- Size: 32.5 x 19 x 17.5 inches (82.5 x 48.3 x 44.5 cm)
- Colours: Dark grey
Living World Deluxe Habitat (Large or XL)
Living World’s deluxe habitat is specifically made for rabbits, guinea pigs, and other bigger rodents. However, it doesn’t mean it’s not a suitable cage for your hamster. You have to remove the hay feeder and add a mesh over the metal bars, but other than that, it’s a suitable enclosure. There 5are also 3 different sizes, the large one is good enough for Dwarf hamsters or Chinese hamsters, but for Syrian hamsters, you should opt for the x-large.
- Size (XL): 46.9 x 22.8 x 23 inches (119 x 58 x 58.4)
- Colours: White
Little Friends/Alexander Cage
Little Friends Cage, also known as Alexander Cage is an incredible choice for hamster enclosure. It comes with a nice platform, hideout, wheel, and a good bowl. You have to remove the wheel and upgrade it to a bigger running wheel, but the rest can stay. There is also a deep tray which allows you to add a lot of bedding for deep burrowing.
- Size: 30.7 x 18.9 x 14.2 inches (78 x 48 x 36 cm)
- Colours: Black
Ferplast Maxi Duna Multy/Ferplast Casita
Ferplast cages have the best feature when it comes to deep trays. Because of its unique design, you can make the bedding as deep as you want. However, the downside of this design is the ventilation. Although the top has some, it’s not good enough. It’s best to remove it add replace it with a mesh wire. It comes in three sizes, make sure you get the large or extra large one.
- Size: 99×51.5×36 cm or 40×20.3×14.2 in
- Colours: Light brown
Amazon Basics Cage (Jumbo)
This is my least favourite on the compilation, but it’s a decent choice if you are on a budget and don’t want to go with a DIY bin cage. The quality is on the low side, however, it comes with a food bowl, ramp, nice platform, and fantastic ventilation. You definitely have to add a mesh over to avoid your hamster being able to escape. There are three sizes, and they’re a bit confusing. The Jumbo is more expensive, but cheaper. The large size is much more spacious though, the weight makes it more confusing. So, remember to contact Amazon Basics before purchasing.
- Size: 104 x 21.5 x 57 inches (264 x 55 x 145 cm)
- Colours: Light brown
VERDICT ON THE BEST 450-SQUARE-INCH HAMSTER CAGE
When it comes to overall quality and design, my vote goes to Niteangel, it’s honestly perfect. The only thing I hope Niteangel would change is to upgrade the ventilation. My second choice is Prevue 528, this is an awesome choice if you live in a warm and very humid region.
It’s not easy finding a 450-square-inch hamster cage that meets the majority of requirements of a suitable home for a hamster. But the options are getting better, hopefully, one day, we can walk into a pet store and no longer see the small critter cages.