Best Hamster Cage -
Buying Guide and TOP picks

Finding the best hamster cage for your furry little friend shouldn't be hard if you know what you are looking for and where to look.

The right information saves you the hustle of picking through hundreds if not thousands of hamster cages just to get the right one.

Your furry little companion deserves the best of everything if you aim to ensure its well-being and happiness—like a true member of the family.

From what it eats to where it sleeps, only the best can suffice for your healthy, happy hamster. This is why investing in a good-quality, cozy hamster cage is important.

Yes! The market is flooding with hamster cages, and getting the best can be a pain. Hopefully, this guide sets you off the right path to getting the best hamster cage without breaking a sweat.

Hamster eating sunflower seeds

How to Choose the Best Hamster Cage -
Buying Guide

Types of Hamster Cages

Before jumping into the things to consider when buying the best hamster cage, here are the different types of hamster cages on the market:

Wire top cages

They come with a wire structure and a solid base. They provide exceptional ventilation and are quite easy to clean. They also provide easy access to your pet.

Unfortunately, the bars can be chewed upon by your pet, and the bar spaces are an easy escape route if they are large enough.

wire top cage for hamster

Plastic cages

Made entirely of plastic, the cages are a fan favorite for kids since they come with intricate designs and plenty of toys for your hamster to utilize. It's easy to see what your pet is doing through the plastic.

On the negative side, ventilation is not that great with plastic tanks and some tenacious hamsters can chew their way to freedom through them.

Also, they are not easy to clean, especially those with complex set-ups.

Aquarium cages

Made of glass with a wire top mesh, glass tanks are great if you are looking to enjoy viewing your pet's day to day activities.

They are chew proof, and you can apply as much bedding as you want. Unfortunately, they are pretty heavy to carry around.

Since you're familiar with the different types of hamster cages, here are a few important things to consider when buying the best hamster cage.

8 Essential Features to Consider

There are many factors to consider before buying that hamster cage. These details and features are extremely important to know before you choose which cage is best for you, your home, and your hamster.

1. Size

The cage size is vital for any hamster, big or small. The more spacious the cage, the more accommodating it is to your furry little friend.

You want to find an appropriately sized cage that is easy to clean and accommodates all your pet's activity needs. You don't want your pet easily getting agitated or bored because the cage is too small.

Syrian hamsters, for example, generally need large cages as they thrive in large amounts of spaces. According to the National Hamster Council, Syrian hamsters require no less than 150 square inches of floor space and 17.5 inches for vertical space to live and play in.

2. Bar space

Bar space is another important feature to consider when looking for the best hamster cage. Your hamster's safety is vital, and the wrong bar space could be dangerous.

For example, a larger bar space makes it easy for your hamster to either fall from the cage, gets one of its limbs trapped or even escape.

A smaller bar space, on the other hand, ensures your hamster's safety is in check. The recommended bar spacing for Syrian hamsters, for example, is ½ inch while for dwarf hamsters is 5/16 inch.

So, before picking out that great hamster cage, check the gaps in between the wire bars and see if they are suitable for your furry friend.

hamster in a top wire cage

3. Material

Hamster cages come in two popular materials:

  • plastic
  • metal

Choosing the right hamster cage means choosing the most suitable material for your hamster.

While plastic cages are mostly preferred because of their ease to clean and offering an unobstructed view to your pet, they come with a few problems if they are not well-made high-quality cages.

For example, with a mischievous hamster, chewing through cheap plastic is a walk in the park. The result is a hamster choking on plastic in case it ingests it. If you are looking for a plastic cage because you like the design, make sure you invest in one that is suitable and safe for your pet. You can see some of the best options above.

Some consider metal a safer material for hamster cages, but they come with risks as well. If the bar space is too narrow or wide, the cage can not be considered safe for your hamster. Again, you need to choose a high-quality cage with proper design to ensure your hamster's safety.

In the end, choosing the material for your hamster's cage comes to personal preference. Just make sure to pick a good-quality cage proven to be safe for small animals.

4. Ventilation

Oxygen is vital for the survival of any living organism. So before choosing a hamster cage, ensure it provides sufficient ventilation for your hamster.

Also, ensure it will be right for the location you aim to place it.

Wire cages are great providers of superb ventilation as they are only "closed" at the bottom where there are bedding materials. Plastic cages will also have excellent ventilation if you make sure you buy a good-quality cage with the right design.

5. Cleaning

The best hamster cage is one that is also easy to clean.

Not many people enjoy cleaning, which is why the easier it is to clean the cage, the more accommodating it is, not just to your pet but you as well.

cages for hamsters

The easiest cages to clean are wire cages. You only get to concentrate your cleaning on the base of the wire cages, which can easily be separated. Just clean it with mild soap and rinse it until the water is clear, simple as that.

Cages with complex set-ups tend to be the hardest to clean as you have to disassemble all the parts when you clean them. Luckily, hamsters are clean animals, and you don't need to clean those tunnels that often. Mostly you can just clean the lower part with a mild soap while changing the bedding, and shower the tunnels with warm water every now and then.

6. Safety and security

Because of their small bodies, hamsters can easily get stuck in between the wires or set themselves free from their cages. While large bar spaces make it easy for some to slip through and escape, some are witty enough to unlock the latch to their gates or doors.

They may chew through cheap low-grade plastic cages, leading to chocking in case they ingest the material while some escape through the hole made from chewing.

When looking for the best hamster cage, you want to look for one with top access doors with a clipping mechanism. Top access doors are not easy to reach, and the clipping mechanism makes it almost impossible for any hamster to open.

7. Bedding Depth

When choosing a wire top cage for your hamster, considering the depth or height of the bottom tray is important. If you can fill the bottom tray with at least 2 inches of hamster bedding you are on the right path.

Hamsters are generally burrowing animals. Digging is in their DNA. The right depth or height of the bottom tray can help prevent or reduce the amount of bedding your pet kicks or pushes out of the cage.

8. Exercise wheel

Exercise wheels are a great way to keep your hamster active and happy in the cage. A bored hamster is not a happy hamster.

The recommended exercise wheel should have a solid surface, and its diameter should be slightly bigger than the body length of your pet. Exercise wheels with crossbars are a big no for your pet as it can easily get caught while the wheel is turning, which can be quite dangerous.

Once you get that hamster cage that suitably suits your hamster needs, it's time to set it up.

A hamster in an exercise wheel

How to Set Up a Hamster Cage

Especially if you're taking the time to choose the best hamster cage, you'll want to familiarize yourself with the instruction manual or the steps you take to set up the cage:

1. Choose a location for the hamster cage

You want to look for a comfortable environment, preferably at room temperature.

Ensure they are not exposed to loud noises as they have an acute sense of hearing. And since they are particularly active at night, you want them in rooms that are not too dark.

2. Prepare their bedding

You want to ensure as you spread their bedding material, it is deep enough to accommodate their burrowing nature.

A deep enough bedding, at least 2 inches deep, can comfortably protect your pet's feet while absorbing the smells and liquids efficiently.

3. Add the accessories

Finally, you can add the accessories that came with the cage like exercise wheels, food bowls, water bottles, and any other stuff.

Just make sure not to crowd the house. Your pet needs space to roam around freely.

FAQ on cages for hamsters

What is the best type of hamster cage?

The best type of hamster cage depends on your budget and preferences.

A cage with a plastic bottom and wire top offers excellent ventilation, is easy to clean and inexpensive. However, it is easiest to escape.

Tanks, on the other hand, are not easy to escape, and they offer great visibility for watching your hamster go about their daily business. However, they are heavy and can, therefore, be challenging to clean.

The third option is a plastic cage with an intricate design. These cages will offer your hamster a stimulating environment, and many kids love these colorful cages as well. However, the complex design may result in a more challenging cleanup.

In the end, your hamster will be happy in any of there cages as long as they have all the space and accessories they need. A clean cage, some activities, food, water, and a safe space for sleeping will keep your pet happy. It's up to you to choose the cage that you feel is the most comfortable with. Check out our buying guide and top picks to learn more about hamster cages.

How big of a cage do hamsters need?

You should try to find a cage that is 24 inches by 12 inches and at least 12 inches in height. Hamsters are active animals, and they enjoy moving around. In their natural habitat, they can run up to 8 miles a night in search of food. To keep your hamster happy, you need to not only equip the cage with a running wheel but also to give them the space they need to be active. The bigger, the better. 

Should I cover my hamster cage at night?

Hamsters are nocturnal animals, which means they sleep most of the day and are more active during the night. Although hamsters may adapt to the routine around them and they may want to play with you during the day, staying awake all day is against their instincts, and owners are not encouraged to try to change the hamster's natural habits. A hamster that is kept up during the day may become overly tired and, therefore, aggressive.

Since hamsters are most active during the night, there is no need to cover their cage. Covering the cage will not make them sleep, but it may obstruct the ventilation, and they might even chew off a piece of the cloth, causing a choking hazard. If, however, what you are trying to do is to give your hamster some peace and quiet, then covering the cage is not the best option. Instead, make sure your hamster has a small hut where they can retreat to and feel safe while sleeping.

What is better for a hamster, a cage, or a tank?

Cages with a wire top are often cheaper and easier to clean while also being portable and offering excellent ventilation. Tanks, however, may offer better visibility for following your pet's activities, and they are also harder to escape. However, glass tanks are heavy, and consequently, they can be hard to clean.

Your hamster will feel comfortable in either type of cage, providing that you offer them everything they need in their cage. Whichever type of cage you choose, make sure it has a running wheel, a private hiding place, a food dispenser, toys, and a drip-proof water bottler.

Is a 30-gallon tank big enough for a hamster?

A 20-gallon tank is generally too small for a hamster, but 30 gallons is a pretty decent size. However, if you can stretch it to a 40-gallon tank, that would be ideal for your hamster. The bottom of a hamster cage should be about 12 inches by 24 inches, and it should be at least 12 inches tall.

Hamsters are active animals that need a lot of space. They love to run and exercise in a hamster wheel, but they won't be happy if there is too little space to move around in the cage.

Is it OK to keep two male hamsters together?

It depends on the breed of your hamster. Dwarf hamsters such as Winter white, Roborovski, and Campbell's dwarfs will enjoy the company, and you can even keep two males together in the same cage. Other hamster breeds like Syrian hamsters do not like to share a cage, and they should be kept separately. 

If you want to house two dwarf hamsters in the same cage, make sure that the cage is large enough to give them plenty of space. Both hamsters should also have their own running wheel, water bottle, and food bowl.

If you are planning to adopt two hamsters, they should be of the same breed. You should also choose hamsters that are of the same gender and preferably adopt them as a pair before they are eight weeks old.

As hamsters get older, they are less likely to enjoy the company, and even hamsters that have gotten along before may start to squabble. If your hamster is over a year old, you should not try to pair him or her up with another hamster.

Can you keep a hamster in your bedroom?

Sure, you can keep a hamster cage in the bedroom. Just remember that hamsters are nocturnal animals, and they may stay active throughout the night running in their wheel. If you are a sensitive sleeper, you might want to consider keeping your pet in another room. Also, hamster cages tend to have a musty smell if you don't keep up with the weekly cleaning routine. To keep your bedroom smelling nice and your hamster healthy, remember to clean the cage regularly.

When trying to figure out the best place for your hamster's cage, consider these things. The hamster cage should be placed somewhere where

  • It is quiet
  • There is a steady temperature
  • There is no direct sunlight
  • No appliances nearby
  • Other pets don't have access to the cage

Do hamsters like being in cages?

Hamsters are domesticated, and they won't mind living in a cage as long as there is enough space for them, and their environment resembles their natural habitat.

These small pets are very active, which is why they need a fairly large cage compared to their size. They also need bedding they can use for burrowing, a hut for sleeping and hiding, a running wheel for exercise, and, of course, a water bottle and food bowl. You may also want to give your hamster toys to keep them stimulated.

Will a hamster stink up my room?

Hamster cages do have a musty smell – especially if you don't clean it regularly. To keep your room from smelling, you should buy high-quality bedding that absorbs urine and smells. You should also clean your hamster's cage once a week and change the bedding while doing so. You can also wash the cage with mild soap and rinse it with hot water if you feel there may be any odors left. 

A clean cage will not only keep your room smelling fresh but also keep your hamster happy and healthy. If you keep the cage clean, it will have that lovely pet smell, but it won't stink up the whole room.

Can a hamster climb out of a tank?

Some hamsters are quite the escape artists, but a tank will usually keep them from escaping. Of course, the sides need to be high enough, and you should make sure there is nothing your pet can use to help them escape the tank.

Hamsters can not chew through glass, so the only way out is through the top. If you think you may be living with a little Houdini, cover the tanks with a heavy mesh top that allows for adequate ventilation but keeps the hamster inside.

Getting the best hamster cage for your furry little friend shouldn't be hard with the right information.

Hopefully, this article can help you familiarize yourself with the various important features, what to look for, and how to set up your cage.

Just remember to put your hamster's needs first when choosing his best home.

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