There are thousands of ways you can set up and furnish a hamster cage, but what about choosing the actual cage itself?
In our guide below, we’ll highlight some of the best hamster cage choices and provide you with the most useful tips from hamster experts who know a thing or two about these furry little creatures.
If this is your first hamster or your 10th, a good cage is always key to keeping him safe and entertained.
How to Choose
There are a few things to take into consideration as you search for a hamster cage:
- Size. The size you choose depends on the amount of space you have available and how many hamsters you’ll place inside.
Remember that Syrian hamsters are territorial and shouldn’t be housed together, but they can live in separate cages near each other (neighbors, not housemates). Dwarf hamsters of the same gender might be able to live in the same cage, but it’s not a guarantee that they’ll get along. Trial and error!
The dimensions depend on the type of housing you choose, which we will discuss more in detail below.
- Location. Where you place it also makes a big difference.
The cage should sit indoors at around 65°-75° Fahrenheit. Keep it in an elevated area and not on the floor as to allow for proper ventilation and airflow.
Avoid direct sunlight or unheated areas such as a garage or breezeway. We wouldn’t put it in the kitchen, either, since their burrowing can cause the contents of the cage to fly everywhere (you don’t want hamster droppings around your food!)
Top 10 Hamster Cages Table
|1. Ferplast Hamster Cage, Black||$$$$||4.2|
|2. Habitrail OVO Dwarf Hamster Habitat||$$||4.1|
|3. Midwest Small Pet Playpen||$$||4.1|
|4. Habitrail Cristal Hamster Habitat||$$||3.9|
|5. Aquarium Tank, Glass||$$$$||3.9|
|6. Kaytee Run-About 7-Inch Exercise Ball||$||3.9|
|7. Prevue Pet Products SP2005BL Hamster Haven||$$||3.9|
|8. Trixie Suspension Bridge Wooden Hamster Gerbil Cage Pet Ladder||$||3.9|
|9. Kaytee My First Home Tank Topper||$$$||3.8|
|10. Kaytee Critter Trail 2-Level Habitat||$$$||3.8|
Types of Housing
There are three main types of hamster habitats to choose from: glass aquariums, wire cages and plastic habitats.
Each have pros and cons and may be best for one type of hamster versus another.
Let’s take a look at them:
- Wire Cage. You can find hamster-specific wire cages or wire cages for small animals. If you’re interested in the latter, you’ll probably want one designed for mice or rats rather than larger critters (rabbits, guinea pigs, etc.) since the holes are too wide.
Since wire can be very uncomfortable for a hamster’s little feet, only the sides and top of the cage should be wire. Use a solid material on the bottom of the cage so they have something comfortable to walk on.
These should be around 2 square feet (or similar dimensions if rectangular in shape) and usually work best with the larger Syrian hamsters.
- Plastic Habitats. These are great for Dwarf hamsters and they come in a variety of sizes. Don’t opt for the smallest one out there because you have limited space. Hamsters, in the wild, are used to having a variety of burrows in their habitat that are dedicated to certain tasks (bedroom, kitchen and bathroom). Give them as much space as you can without crowding your home.
The one major downfall is that they are hard to clean. Some of them don’t have very good ventilation, either, which can cause bacteria and mold to grow.
Be prepared to dedicate some extra time to cleaning these types of cages!
- Glass Aquariums. If you get a glass aquarium rather than a standard hamster cage, a 20-gallon size should be large enough for one hamster. Get rectangular ones vs. square so they have more room to run.
Alternatively, you can get a 10-gallon tank and place something like number 9 (a tank topper) on it to build a taller cage for your hammie.
You’ll also need to find a sturdy mesh lid that they can’t push off and add in plenty of tunnels and activities to prevent your hammie from getting bored.
What About a Playpen?
When you or any kids in the home want to take the hamster out to play, there’s always the fear that he will escape.
That’s why something like the Midwest Small Pet Playpen is handy. Set it up when you want to give your hamster a little extra room to run around indoors or when the kids want to play.
They won’t escape and they’ll get more exercise!
Don’t forget to keep your hamster entertained and challenged with accessories.
Tunnels and exercise balls such as the Kaytee Run-About (number 6) are perfect additions to wire cages and aquariums.
Top 3 Best Hamster Cage Reviews
This is probably the best hamster cage in terms of quality and features on our list.
It measures 60 X 36.5 X 30 (in CM) and features two levels. The base is made of clear plastic so your hamster can still see out of it with a wheel for them to run in.
It comes with a nest, a feeder, drinking bottle and wheel, plus a ladder that allows them to go from top floor to bottom floor.
A quality cage that you won’t have to worry about falling apart!
If you have dwarf hamsters, then this plastic habitat will keep them entertained all day. The nice thing about this is that you can also add on additional pieces if you would like to increase the size.
The tunnels and tubes allow them to interact with their home as they would in the wild, keeping them busy and entertained as they slip from burrow to burrow.
The wheel is quiet and the tubes are perfectly sized for dwarf hamsters.
The water bottle that comes with it isn’t very good (we’d get a better one for ours) and it can be a bit complicated to put together.
Overall, still a great cage!
As we mentioned earlier, this is a great “second” home for your hamster to play in under your supervision.
When you need to clean the cage, you or the kids want to interact with the hamster and avoid an escape or when you just want to allow them a bit more space to run around, a playpen like this ideal.
Makes a great addition to their normal housing unit!