Figuring out which enclosure is suitable for your hamster can be overwhelming. There is simply a lot of information out there to process. But one thing you should know first is that much of that information is not correct and unsafe for your hamster.
For example, pet stores are the worst place to get “care tips” from. The staff are often forced or trained in a way where they simply want you to buy everything from their store. Whether it’s the right choice or not, it all comes down to the sales pitch.
This article will clear up a few pieces of misinformation regarding hamster cage ideas. I’ll give you a list of what to look for in the suitable enclosure, which ones to avoid, and of course, help you decide which cage is suitable for you and your pet.
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT HAMSTER ENCLOSURE
How big should a hamster cage be
Depending on your country, there are different recommended cage sizes set by the animal care and control. In general, we aim for the worldwide standard 100x50x50 cm (39x20xx20 in) for Dwarf or Chinese hamsters. That equates to 4,000 cm2 or 620 sq in or 40-gallon tank.
For male Syrian hamsters, you need a bigger enclosure. 100x60x60 cm (39x24x24 in) or 620 sq in or 50-gallon tank. A female Syrian hamster needs a bigger cage, 120x60x60 cm (47x24x24 in) or 60-gallon tank is the minimum / 800 square inches.
ALSO READ: Is my hamster’s cage too small?
The material that a hamster’s enclosure is a crucial decision. This is because hamsters are such great chewers. You need to consider the quality of the cage material, or else your pet might simply chew through it and escape.
Although plastic is easy to bite through for a hamster, it doesn’t mean it’s a plastic hamster cage is a wrong choice. Remember, if you add plenty of toys and allow your pet to get out of the cage, there might be no reason for it to chew the cage.
There are a lot of hamster owners out there who are using a plastic enclosures for hamsters and haven’t run into this issue.
The wood material is a nice option. It gives such a rustic and nature-like vibe and atmosphere. It’s true, a hamster can chew through wood effortlessly. A wooden material also means it can absorb moisture and odour.
But this doesn’t mean you can’t go with this idea. If the wood has an excellent plastic coat, it’s water resistant.
Finally, a glass-type of a hamster cage. This is a fantastic choice which I personally prefer too. But not everyone is a fan. It’s an expensive choice and hard to find. It’s also not escape-proof.
The great thing about a glass tank for a hamster cage is that it’s waterproof, offers 360-view, is easy to clean, and looks very classy.
The issue with the hamster cage idea is the ventilation. You need to work hard in installing ventilation on top of the cage. You will risk breaking this enclosure if you add too many toys inside without good support on the bottom.
This is not a significant concern, but I understand how many people want to express their creative side when decorating a hamster’s enclosure. I really wish I have your artsy mind.
A glass cage is the best option if you want to design the hamster cage with a theme or run a theme seasonally. However, a bin cage for hamsters is also not a bad choice.
Just ensure that you don’t change the theme too often to avoid stressing your hamster with lots of change. You should also ensure that you don’t use toxic materials. For example, use non-toxic glue or coloured paper with food colouring instead of artificial dye.
BEST HAMSTER CAGE IDEAS
Now that you know the basics, it’s time to show you a list of options for choosing what cage is suitable for a hamster. Below, you will see the pros and cons so you can make a more informative decision.
A ready-to-use cage is a spacious and well-ventilated hamster enclosure with toys or other accessories. However, don’t get fooled by what most pet stores sell as a “hamster cage”. Those colourful plastic cages are too small for a hamster. Your pet will be bored there in just a few days, and you’ll be wasting your money.
Instead, get a hamster cage that meets the standard size requirements to ensure that your pet will have comfortable living quarters.
- Material: wood, plastic, glass
Glass Hamster Cage
Enclosures made of glass are fantastic hamster cage ideas. It allows you to see your hamster clearly at almost 360° view at all times. It’s also easy to see if your hamster is sleeping, playing, or looking unwell. If you need to clean the cage, you can simply wash it off and dry it.
- Tip: you can also use an aquarium, reptile glass cage, glass bookcase
DIY Bin Cage
DIY bin cage is an affordable enclosure for hamsters instead of buying a 450-square-inch cage. Since you’re buying a plastic box, you need to design it to turn it into an incredible home for your furry pet. Read our guide on setting up a hamster’s cage and compilation the best storage boxes to buy.
- Size: 150 Litres/Quartz
- DIY cage inspiration from Reddit
Another DIY hamster cage idea is turning a bookshelf into an enclosure. Its length provides spacious space for your hamster’s toys, sleeping area, and other accessories when laid down. This type of hamster cage exceeds the size requirement, which is just excellent.
If you already have a bookcase you don’t need or want to get rid of, that’s perfect. If not, you can buy one. A glass bookcase would be best, but a mixture of glass and wood works too. Check out our list of the best bookcase cages for hamsters.
Reptile Cage for Hamsters
Reptile cages are turned into hamster enclosures is nothing new. The size is perfect, it has terrific ventilation, and the glass makes for a good view. What’s there not to like? The only downside I can think of here is the price, but it’s not cheaper than a bookcase or a glass aquarium.
Another thing to remember is the depth of the cage. Some reptile cages have metal mesh on the side. This means that making deep bedding can be challenging since the bedding might just fall off through the holes. But not all is lost, you can add cardboard or something else to fix it.
VERDICT ON THE BEST HAMSTER CAGE IDEAS
Personally, I prefer the Prevue Cage because it has excellent ventilation and it gets very humid in my city every summer. But Niteangel’s cage is simply one of the best. I also go with the reptile cage, especially for Syrian hamsters. I will definitely go with a bin cage if I’m patient and creative enough to design it.
FINAL THOUGHTS AND MORE TIPS
Figuring out what enclosure is the best for your hamster can be a big task, but it can also be fun. Find different hamster cage ideas and see which one is most suitable for your pet and you.
Please know that your hamster is lucky to have you as their human parent. You’re going the extra mile to find out what’s best for them is very impressive. I hope you and your hamster share lots of loving, fun, and exciting memories.
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- Basic items a hamster needs from day 1
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- Compilation of unsafe hamster cages
- Best cages for Syrian hamster
- Suitable enclosures for Dwarf hamsters