One of the biggest misconceptions about taking care of a hamster is the right side of the cage. We grew up thinking hamsters are such small adorable creatures that we often assume they would only need a small cage.
In this article, we will debunk the hamster cage myth and show you the suitable and best big hamster cages,
Fortunately, there have been enough studies about hamsters’ appropriate habitat for them to keep them happy and healthy and live the best life they deserve. Hamster has to have a bigger cage than what we see in pet shops to give them enough space to run around, do some digging, and play to use up all their energy.
This post will help you decide what is the best big hamster cage suitable for your home and for your baby hamster. Most staffs who work at the pet shops are not well-trained and not aware of the required floor space for a hamster and often recommend a small and cute cage, we will also discuss why a hamster needs a bigger cage.
Having a tiny cage is one of the reasons why hamsters are not happy and become aggressive.
ALSO READ: Interesting facts about hamsters & why hamsters can’t live together
WHAT ARE THE BAD CAGES FOR HAMSTERS AND WHY AVOID THEM
In TVs, movies, and even books, you will see that hamsters are often housed in tiny critter cages. These are some of the worst hamster cages and should be avoided. Don’t waste your money on them because your hamster will just get bored, anxious, and will try to escape.
Therefore, I highly advise you not to waste your money on those tiny, colourful, critter cages. They are bad cages for hamsters because they are too small, come in multiple storeys (hamsters are not climbers), and are simply not durable.
MUST-READ: Hamster Cage Inspiration from Reddit and Samples of Bad Hamster Cage
WHY HAMSTERS NEED A BIGGER CAGE
Hamsters are energetic animals, they are used to the wild and are still wild animals. Dogs and cats have been domesticated for thousands of years, while the hamster hasn’t even reached the 100-year mark yet.
If you are a new hamster owner, you should read how to take care of a hamster for beginners. You can also read about how to tame a hamster. You should also join these Facebook groups that are full of informative discussions about hamster welfare. Providing a large cage is one step in keeping your hamster happy and healthy.
A big hamster cage is a must on the list of basic hamster supplies. Not only that you have it ready when the hamster comes home, but you also need to know the correct requirement and how to clean it properly.
Not knowing or researching cage sizes before bringing your hamster home is a very common new hamster owner make, but don’t worry, most people didn’t get it right the first time.
Hamsters are territorial animals, living in a small cage makes them aggressive, which can result in biting and escaping. Hamsters that are kept in small cages can develop cage aggression and psychological disorder.
Cage aggression also results in bar biting. Bar biting is when they chew on the bars of the cage. Many people believe it’s normal because hamster needs to wear down their teeth, but this is not true.
Hamster bar biting results from psychological stress, which is also bad for their teeth and causes the balding of their nose.
Living in a small cage can cause stress, resulting in bad health and, worse early death.
ALSO READ: Best and healthy hamster treats
Hamsters are energised and active animals. Having a bigger cage means that they can run around, burrow all night, and constantly hoard food for the winter. They are prone to diabetes and obesity. Hence, making sure that they have space to use all their energy is very important for their health.
MUST-READ: Hamster exercise ball; is it safe or not?
REQUIREMENTS WHEN CHOOSING THE RIGHT AND BEST HAMSTER CAGE
Here are the things you must keep in mind before buying a hamster cage. These things are necessary to get the best cage for your hamster. You should read about different species of hamsters since they come in different sizes.
What is the required floor space for a hamster cage
How big should a hamster cage be? The minimum hamster requirement for Dwarf and Chinese hamsters is 100x50x50 cm (4000 cm2) or 39×19.6×19.6 in (620 square inches). The floor must be unbroken, meaning combining small cages together and levels are not suitable.
While Syrian hamsters should be a bit bigger since they are bigger in size. The minimum size for a male Syrian hamster cage is 100x60x60 cm (39×23.6×23.6 in), and the female Syrian hamster cage is 120x70x70 cm (47×27.5×27.5 in) or at least 800 to 950 square inches.
If you want to use a glass tank, a 40-gallon tank is the minimum for a Dwarf or Chinese hamster, but a 50-gallon for Syrian hamsters. The bigger, the better. I also recommend you read our guide on how big should a hamster cage be.
CHECK OUT: Best 450-square-inch hamster cages, suitable enclosures for Dwarf hamsters, and spacious cages for Syrian hamsters
Hamster bar cage spacing
When you buy a ready-to-use hamster cage, almost all of them have a metal mesh bar, which is great for airflow, especially during summer or hot days. However, they don’t come without problems.
If you have Dwarf, Chinese, or Roborovski hamsters, you want the spacing between the bars as small as 8-9 mm (0.8-0.9 cm). The usual spacing of bars from these cages is too wide, making it easier for hamsters to escape, especially the small ones.
Type of floor
The floor must be solid and not bars. Bars are bad for the hamster’s feet. They can cause bumble feet or also known as feet swelling. It is also bad for their balance when walking around. A bar floor will not hold the bedding needed for a suitable home.
Deep tray for burrowing
The cage ground must be deep, around 4-5 inches. You should be able to add a lot of bedding, so your hamster can dig up and burrow her/himself. Make sure to use safe and the best hamster bedding.
The air must be able to flow through the cage to avoid suffocating your hamster. During summer, plenty of airflows will also help your hamster stay calm. This is when a store-bought hamster cage works best.
However, if the gaps between the metal bars are too broad, you need to add a mesh over them. Check our list of best mesh wires for hamster cages.
ALSO READ: Cool gifts for your hamster
The material that the cage is made of is very important. But you won’t really know what personality your hamster will have. What I mean by this, some hamsters will be attracted to chewing through their cage.
If your hamster develops this personality, a hamster cage that is made of plastic will not be a good idea because you will risk the chance that your hamster will through its way out and escape. Plus, you will have to buy a new cage.
While a hamster cage that is made of wood is a great one for the natural-theme cage but risks two things; one, if the cage doesn’t have a polished or plastic/laminate cover, urine and moist will seep through the wood, which can be the cause of bacteria built up and funky smell that you cannot get rid of. Second, a hamster can also chew through the wood cage.
A hamster cage with metal bars plus a plastic base has not only the chewing risk but also your hamster might develop a bar biting behaviour which is dangerous for them physically.
If you can afford it, you definitely should invest in a cage that is made of glass. They are pricier, but you know you can use them in the long run minus the chewing and escape the dilemma.
Extra toys and features
Some cage comes with extra features and toys like a wheel, a few dens, slides, and tunnels. However, don’t take these additional features as the sole base on which cage to buy. Often the toys included are not suitable for you or your hamster.
For example, the wheels included are often loud or too small for any hamster. While the tubes are often too small for a Syrian, and the dens have some sharp edges that are very unsafe for a hamster.
ALSO READ: How to choose the best large hamster wheel and which live plants are safe for hamsters
TYPES OF HAMSTER CAGES
There are two (2) main types of hamster cages; ready-to-use and DIY hamster cages. This section will discuss the difference between these two and their pros and cons to help you decide which cage is suitable for you and your hamster.
After this, you will see a comparison table of different large hamster cages that are ready to use and the ones you can use for DIY.
Ready-to-use hamster cage
Ready-to-use hamster cages are those that you can buy in the shop, take home, clean, and bam. You can start setting up your hamster’s new home. However, while they are great for those who are not creative (like me!) or don’t have the time to design one (perhaps you have to bring the hamster to your home right away), there is a limited option.
Here are the pros and cons of a ready-to-use hamster cage:
- easy to set up
- comes with toys and other features
- well-ventilated (since most of them are built with lots of metal bars are walls and ceiling
- semi-cheap and semi-expensive options
- perhaps comes with a warranty
- might be expensive
- easy to break/low quality
- the metal bars can be too big for Dwarf, Chinese, Robos (meaning they can escape easily, meaning you need to add mesh around to make it escape-proof)
- metal bars that hamsters will likely chew on
- limited design/colours
- limited depth for burrowing
- hamsters can climb the metal bar walls and escape if the top is not secured
DIY hamster cage
DIY hamster cages can be cheaper but not always. However, they are easier to customise, personalise, and design. You can do whatever you want, basically. If you need some ideas for DIY, check this list of hamster cage ideas and the list of best hamster enclosures from Reddit.
With DIY hamster cages, they come in three (3) forms; bin cage (plastic box), aquarium, and bookcase (turned on the side) and remove the dividers. Or maybe more types if you are more creative than me.
Here are the pros and cons of a DIY hamster cage:
- easy to customise, personalise, design
- no bar chewing for your hamster
- maybe cheaper or more expensive – bin cage is obviously cheaper than aquarium and bookcase
- can make the bedding as deep as you want
- poor ventilation – because the walls are solid versus the metal bar walls
- make a secure top cover to make it escape-proof but well-ventilated
- glass aquariums and bookcases can be very pricey
WHAT CAGE IS BEST FOR HAMSTERS
Personally, I think a glass tank is the best cage for hamsters. It is chew-proof and keeps the temperature inside the cage at a reasonable level. Even if you get a Dwarf hamster, there’s still a high chance that it will develop cage-biting problems. Once it chews through a wood or plastic cage, it can escape.
Glass tank cages are also easier to clean and don’t absorb moisture or smell (from pee). If you decide that a hamster is not for you, it can be used for other pets like reptiles or fish.
BEST BIG HAMSTER CAGES COMPARISON TABLE
Here’s an easy way to compare all the best hamster cages in this article. You can overview which one has the best floor size, its best features, and you can find out which cage is best for the types of hamsters you have.
|CAGE NAME||VOLUME||SIZE||BEST FOR||BEST FEATURES||CHECK REVIEWS/PRICES|
|Niteangel Aspen Cage||130L|
|76.2x38x45 cm / 30x15x17.7 inches||all species of hamsters||panoramic view, deep burrowing, easy to assemble||AMAZON US|
|Savic Hamster Metro Heaven||200L|
|80x50x50 cm /|
|Dwarves||tunnels, dens, a water bottle, and a wheel||AMAZON US|
|Marchioro Goran 82||190L|
|all species of hamsters||toys, dish bowl, tunnel, and platform||AMAZON US/CA|
|Living World Deluxe Habitat||310L|
|96x57x56 cm (large), 38x58x61 in (there’s XL option)||Syrians (unless you mesh the metal bars)||available in two sizes||AMAZON US|
|Prevue Pet Products 528||180L|
|82x48x44.5 cm /|
|Dwarves||well-ventilated, easy to personalise||AMAZON US|
|Little Friends/ Alexander Cage||270L|
|101×52.5×51 cm /|
|Dwarves||side clips for security||AMAZON US|
|84×48.5×44 cm /|
|Dwarves||with a slide, platform, and a den||AMAZON UK|
|100x54x45 cm /|
|all species of hamsters||it has three doors and toys|
|MidWest Home Cages||300L|
|100x60x50 cm or 39.5x23x19 in (there’s also a larger version)||all species of hamsters||tunnels, dens, water bottle||AMAZON US|
|Zoozone 2 Large||190L|
|100x51x37 cm / 39.4×20.1×14.6 in||all species of hamsters||two food dish||AMAZON UK|
|Ferplast Maxi Duna Multy or Ferplast Casita||184L|
|99×51.5×36 cm / 40×20.3×14.2 in||all species of hamsters||mount on the side for a water bottle||AMAZON US|
|IKEA Detofl or Bookcase||259L|
|43x163x37 cm /|
|all species of hamsters||very spacious||AMAZON US|
|150L Bin Cage||200L|
|80x50x50 cm /|
|all species of hamsters||great for DIY||AMAZON US|
|Aquarium Tank Breeder||208L|
|132×62 x42 cm / 51.9 x 24.4 x 16.4 in||all species of hamsters||great for DIY / themed cages||AMAZON US/CA|
WHAT ARE THE BEST BIG HAMSTER CAGES
Now that we have tackled the vital things to look for in a hamster, here are the big hamster cages that we highly recommend. They can be bought online or sometimes available in big pet stores as well.
Here are the big hamster cages that are available and popular in the United States, Canada, UK, and Europe. There are many great cages only available in Europe, but in the past years, brands have created bigger and better hamster cages.
Niteangel offers 3 different sizes of their wooden cage. The first one is below the size requirement, the second one is perfect, and the third one is a great choice for any species of hamster (especially a Syrian hamster).
It is a “build it” cage, imagine IKEA cabinets where you need to set up it (but this one’s much easier). It also has plexiglass, you can see your hamster anytime. You can choose from 3 different colours – apple green, burlywood, and white.
- size: 119.8x50x60 cm or 47.2×19.7×23.6 in
- plexiglass/transparent, great top ventilation, PVC board at the bottom, to prevent the wood from getting wet
- it gets sold out very quickly, so when you see it’s available, order right away
- made of wood, not suitable for extreme chewers
Savic Hamster Heaven Metro Cage
This hamster cage is a great deal not only because it meets the floor space requirements but also because it comes with a lot of accessories such as tunnels, dens, and a wheel. The mesh bars might need to add a smaller mesh to keep smaller hamsters from escaping.
This hamster cage is one of the best big cheap hamster cages on the market.
- size: 80x50x50 cm or 31.5x20x20 in
- comes with tunnels, dens, a water bottle, and a wheel
- handlebars for carrying on the top
- the wheel is too small for a Syrian
- must add another mesh for smaller hamsters to avoid escape
- only one colour is available
Marchioro Goran 82 Cage
A large and spacious hamster cage comes with a tunnel, water bottle, a platform, and a food dish. More than half of the upper body is mesh wire which is great for ventilation. It’s best for the dwarf hamster but maybe a little too small for a Syrian.
- size: 80x50x50 cm or 31.5x20x20 in
- comes with tunnels, dens, a water bottle, and a wheel
- handlebars for carrying on the top
- could have the height a bit higher
- adding a standing wheel can be a challenge but possible
Living World Deluxe Habitat – XL
Lixit World Deluxe Habitat is one of the most known and best hamster cages in North America. It has a spacious floor and easy top and side access to take in and out your hamster. It also comes with a lot of toys and extra features. It is available both in large and extra-large.
Living World Deluxe Habitat is definitely an extra-large hamster cage; great for either Russian, Dwarf, or Chinese hamsters.
- size: 96x57x56 cm (large), 119x58x61 cm (extra-large) or 37.8×22.4×22 in (large), 46.9×22.8×24 in (standard)
- comes with den, food dish, water bottle
- must add more mesh to secure smaller/dwarf hamsters from escaping
- pricier than other options
Prevue Pet Products 528
This is a great cage with plenty of ventilation; perfect for owners living in a warmer part of the country. The extra platform is removable and can be moved around the cage. It also has a deep base which is excellent for bedding and burrowing.
- size: 82x48x44.5 cm or 32.5x19x17.5 in
- comes with a removable platform and a ramp
- very breathable
- tight wire mesh
- top and side opening door
- doesn’t come with a water bottle or toys
Little Friends/Alexander Cage
The Alexander cage is such a great and spacious house for all types of hamsters. It has a large additional wooden platform and many dens and hiding spots. A great cage for an energetic and playful hamster.
- size: 101×52.5×51 cm or 39.8×20.7×20.01 in
- comes with a removable/rearrangeable extra platform, wooden dens and stairs
- side clips
- tried and recommended by many hamsters owners
- can be challenging to put together and clean
Alaska Cage is one of the most affordable options for a big hamster cage that meets the bare minimum floor space. It also has a little upper floor and a removable sleeping area/hiding spot that a hamster will enjoy very much. The top is a metal bar and is great enough for air to flow through.
- size: 84×48.5×44 cm or 33.08×19.1×17 in
- best for Robowski and Chinese dwarves but must add extra mesh wire
- meet the bare minimum floor space
- Tried and tested by many experienced hamster owners
- must add a mesh for smaller hamsters
- doesn’t come with a water bottle
- doesn’t come with a wheel
Barney cage is very suitable for smaller hamsters because of mesh or smaller gaps between the metal bars to avoid escapes. The tray is deep enough to allow fun burrowing activities as well. There are also three doors, one on the top and two on the sides, making it easy to take your pet out and bring it in.
- size: 100x54x45 cm or 39.4×21.2×17.7 in
- great for smaller pets or even for a Syrian
- three doors
- comes with a plastic wheel, wooden ladder, wooden den, and a platform
- clips on the side to attach the mesh bars
- the free plastic wheel might be too small for a Syrian hamster
MidWest Homes Cage
While this is for rabbits, the size fits well for a hamster. If you choose this cage for your hamster, make sure to put a mesh over the metal bars. The spaces between the metal bars are too wide which can be the escape route for your hamster.
You can easily buy mesh online or construction section in the store, try to buy the metal ones, not plastic or else your hamster will chew through them.
- size: 100x60x50 cm or 39.5x23x19 in (there’s also a larger version)
- comes with a built-in den, food bowl, and water bottle
- snap clips on all around
- the spaces between the metal bars are too wide, and need customisation
Zoozone 2 Critter Home
If you are looking for a large cage but at the same time you want to customise the dens, tunnels, extra floors, and other accessories in the cage, then Zoozone 2 is perfect for you. The spaces between the metal bars are a little too big, hence an additional mesh wire over is highly recommended.
- size: 100x51x37 cm or 39.4×20.1×14.6 in
- two extra but removable compartment food dish
- easy to clean
- doesn’t come with a toy, den, or stairs
Ferplast Maxi Duna Multy or Ferplast Casita
Ferplast’s large cage is almost like Zoozone 2, it is very spacious, however, without any extra toys, dens, tunnels or platforms. The top has a large opening wire bar for the entrance and also great ventilation.
- size: 99×51.5×36 cm or 40×20.3×14.2 in
- holes on the side for a water bottle
- no extra toys, tunnels, or dens
MEWOOFUN Hamster Cage
This one is a good choice if you want a wooden cage for your pet hamster. It meets the size requirement and gives a nice “natural theme”. You need to assemble the enclosure on your own, but it shouldn’t take longer than 30-minutes. There’s also a tray at the bottom that makes cleaning easier.
- size: 100 x 50x 50 cm or 40×20.3×14.2 in
- panoramic view
- great for deep burrowing
- needs improvement on ventilation
- too small for a female Syrian hamster
BEST HAMSTER CAGE BRAND
Personally, I like Living World and Prevue cage brands, they meet the required floor space, offer great airflow for the summer season, and they come with extra features. Although, if I am creative enough, I’d definitely buy a tank or bookcase instead and design them myself or a Niteangel Aspen Cage, which I recently discovered and really liked it.
BEST DIY HAMSTER CAGES
Personally, I would say that the best cages for hamsters are DIY. But I also understand not everyone has the budget, time, or creative mind for it. However, for those who are looking to save some money but at the same time don’t mind being a little creative, here are some other options to create your own DIY cages for your fur baby.
IKEA Detolf or Billy Bookcase
IKEA Detolf is basically a standing glass bookshelf (or get a wooden bookcase), many hamster owners would lay this on the side, and take out the divider/platforms to accumulate all the space. Since it is made of glass, it’s a great way to observe your hamster play around, it’s also a lot easier to take your hamster out and back in. Having a detolf also means that you can customise the interior design of your hamster’s house easily.
- size: 63x16x16 in (163x43x43 cm)
- so much extra floor space
- glass material
- can make really deep beddings for burrowing
- can be tricky to add a wheel
- must find a secure and breathable top lid
Storage Box 150L / Bin Cage
Bin Cages are one of the cheapest and most fun DIY hamster cages there is. A bin cage is those plastic storage boxes that you can purchase almost everywhere; IKEA, big grocery stores, Home depot shops, etc.
Get the right size or bigger which is 80x50x50 cm. Take out the top cover, cut out 2/3 and cover it up with a mesh. If you are creative enough, you can add levels, and DIY hideouts, stairs, swings, etc.
- you can customise it easily
- easy to clean
- deep for burrowing
- some hamsters chew through the bin box if the quality is not very good or the hamster is stressed inside the cage
- need to use a hot knife to cut through
Reptile Tank 55gal
If you can spare some money, get one of those glass aquariums. They are perfect for keeping your hamster cool during hot days. You can also customise the play area, sleeping dens, and tunnels the way you want them.
- 132×62 x42 cm / 51.9 x 24.4 x 16.4 in
- you can make the bedding a lot deeper for burrowing
- must attach a mesh wire on the top for security
- fragile because of the material
- adding a water bottle can be a challenge
VERDICT FOR BEST HAMSTER CAGES
If you want a cage that is ready to use that is the best cage for a hamster, I highly recommend the Living World Deluxe Habitat (XL) or the Little Friends / Alexander Cage, they offer the biggest floor space, and they are both suitable for any species of hamster while they also offer a lot of extra features that can be very useful.
On the other hand, if you are up for some crafting and can spend a little more, I recommend you choose the IKEA detolf or Bookcase or an Aquarium Tank, these are great options and with a large floor size. I’m pretty sure you will have a fun time decorating these. My only note is to choose a suitable, safe, breathable and escape-proof top/lid cover.
If you are on a budget and still willing to do some decorating and customisation, a bin cage or plastic storage box is your go-to option. It’s cheap, lightweight, and the height is high enough to avoid a hamster on the loose. With this one, you also need to create or find a safe lid cover that is also breathable.
So, that’s all we have for now. I hope you find the best big hamster cage of your liking. If you have more questions, let us know in the comment section below.
2 thoughts on “How to Choose the Best Big Hamster Cage”
Hi, I was hoping you could help. When you say, “add extra mesh” to something like the Living World Deluxe cage, what kind of mesh do you mean? We just got our first hamster and are trying to follow this site to the best of our ability, but that’s one area we’re stuck.
Mesh comes in different material like plastic, fabric, and metal. We recommend the metal to avoid hamster chewing through it. If you are from the UK, you can get it from Wilkos, I’m sure any country should have it from DIY shops/construction section.
We also recommend you choose the kind where the spaces are smaller enough so your hamster cannot fit their nose through it. You should also use a screw instead of zip ties because your hamster might chew the zip-ties.
Just remember to inspect the mesh after installing, if there are bite marks, you can use these steps to stop bar biting, if that doesn’t work, I’m afraid your best option might be a bin cage or aquarium tank/glass base cage to stop the chewing.
I hope this helps!