Hamsters are playful creatures, keen to explore and learn. They are friendly but they also enjoy some quiet time as well.
However, they do love to get some exercise in. That’s why your little one needs the best hamster cage that fits its propensities and abilities, allowing it to stay healthy and happy.
But where can you get a good home for your hamster? This article discusses various hamster cages in terms of size, accessories, safety and ease of cleaning. Apart from that, the short buying guide and included FAQ section will help you compare and contrast these products, so you can select a proper home for your hamster.
If you’re in a rush, scroll down to get straight to the reviews.
Things to Consider Before Buying
The best kind of hamster cage is the one that fits the needs of your hamster. That’s why it’s important to consider the following issues before getting a cage:
There are three main types of cages: wire cages, terrariums and plastic modular cages, each with their own set of advantages and disadvantages.
Wire cages are affordable, sturdy and easy to customise. Plus, they usually come with included accessories. On the flipside, some hamsters might love chewing the bars.
Terrariums have glass walls and a mesh top lid. They’re the sturdiest from the batch and also come at affordable prices, with some accessories included. It’s more difficult to set various levels, though, and they also get quite hot in warm weather.
Plastic modular cages are resistant, easy to clean and satisfy your hamster’s need for exploration. On the other hand, they are quite expensive and tiny.
Ease of cleaning depends on the type of cage you’re getting. For instance, wire cages are very low maintenance, especially if they come with a plastic tray at the base. In this case, all you have to do is lift the top. Conversely, terrariums are heavier, so they’re more difficult to manoeuvre.
Of course, it also depends on the number of included accessories. While it might be irksome to take out every food bowl or seesaw, hidden compartments and complex tubbing systems are even more difficult to squeeze your hand through.
Security and Safety
If you have a wire cage and the bar spacing is too big, meaning bigger than 0.8 – 1 cm, smaller hamsters might actually manage to escape. Syrian hamsters can safely reside in wire cages with a bigger bar spacing, up to 1.25 cm.
You should also check the doors and how secure they are, considering that hamsters can quickly learn how to open them. If you want some extra security for your peace of mind, use metal bolt clips on the doors.
Multiple storeys pose safety issues too. As such, make sure the hamsters can’t fall from a height that’s too big for them and ensure the stairs offer good grips.
All hamsters need a wheel in their cage to exercise, but it’s important to get a wheel that’s the right size, particularly if you have a bigger, Syrian hamster. The rule of thumb is that built-in wheels are generally very small, but double-check this on the main product page.
Make sure that included wheels and see-saws have solid surfaces, so your hamsters don’t get any limbs caught while they’re playing.
It’s important that the accessories are fun and interactive for hamsters, helping them explore. It’s equally important that they make your life easy too, so they should be easy to reach and clean, particularly wooden accessories that retain the smell of urine.
Hamster Cage Reviews
With that in mind, let’s see some of the top hamster cages on today’s market. They come in different sizes and with a variety of design features so you can choose according to your needs:
Little Friends Grosvenor Hamster Cage: best cage for Syrian hamsters
This cage from Little Friends is one of the best Syrian hamster cages on the market, being very spacious. In fact, there’s plenty of room for even bigger rodents, such as rats or chinchillas. What’s more, the 1 cm bar spacing is quite narrow, so this cage can be home to small hamsters as well.
Also, keep in mind that this is the Single storey, Grosvenor model. On the main product page, you can see two other models: the Double (Langham) and The Triple (Plaza), which are even more spacious. Still, even for this model, you can appreciate the large top door that makes this cage quite low-maintenance.
With such a value for money product, the real disadvantage lies in its need for DIY. The shelves are placed on the wires, which means they need extra-securing so they don’t fall off. The same can be said about the clips which connect the top to the base, which are quite flimsy.
However, one advantage is that the cage is collapsible, which makes it easy to store and to assemble. Among its included accessories, you get a wooden shelf and a ladder, so your hamster can roam around freely from one place to another. On the other hand, your hamster might start chewing on the wooden shelf, but you can replace that without too much hassle or include more attractive chew toys.
Speaking of toys, this cage comes with included accessories, such as a house, wheel and bowl. If you want to add different or more toys inside, the cage is roomy enough to allow customisation.
Rosewood Pico Hamster Cage: best cage for Dwarf hamster
Specific features: 50 x 36 x 47 cm; 8.5 mm bar spacing; included accessories; clip-free secure corners; components fixed to the wire top
Best use: Dwarf hamsters; mice
If you’re looking for a playful dwarf hamster, the Rosewood Pico is definitely among the top contenders. Just keep in mind that its dimensions are too small to comfortably accommodate bigger rodents, such as Syrian hamsters or rats. Besides, the 8.5 mm bar spacing is just right for small hamsters.
That said, this is a feature-packed cage that your small hamster will enjoy living in thanks to the included accessories, which allow it to explore and play. The loft den has a unique design and the spin wheel is quite solid. There are four storeys, including a place to burrow which all hamsters appreciate, with plenty of stairs in-between.
There is also an included water bottle that can be placed on the ceiling and a couple of food dishes too. However, one disadvantage would be that your hamster needs to do a bit of running back and forth between the food and the water. But exercise helps, right?
Another advantage is that all the accessories and shelves are fixed to the wire top roof. When you want to clean the cage, you simply need to remove the roof which makes it very low maintenance. The bedding is very easy to change as well thanks to this design feature. Besides, the clip-free corners are really secure and translate into an easy setup.
On the other hand, the components might not clip very securely which probably explains why this is such a cheap hamster cage. Plus, the wheel might also prove a little squeaky if your hamster uses it on a frequent basis. Also, the water bottle sometimes leaks so you might need to change it after a while.
Terrarium Kerry Spacious Small Pet Terrarium: best terrarium for Syrian hamsters
Specific features: 75 x 45 x 37 cm; glass walls; mesh roof; back ventilation; included accessories
Best use: Syrian hamsters; gerbils
With its glass walls, this cage from Terrarium Kerry is perfect if your pet has developed a habit of biting the bars of its cage. And considering the wide dimensions of this cage, it can be suitable for bigger hamsters, such as Syrian, as well as other rodents like gerbils.
The mesh roof makes the cage breathable, is secure and easy to remove, so that the cage itself is easy to clean and you can pet your hamsters any time you want to. There’s also a ventilation grid at the back of the cage. Although this grid is secured with glue, this is a non-toxic sealer so your hamster is perfectly safe around it, even if it starts chewing it.
On the other hand, your hamsters might love to chew the included accessories, the two wooden houses and the seesaw. These items are really fun though, and even if they’re made of wood, they can’t soak up the hamster’s pee because the houses don’t use a wooden floor as a base.
The downside is that the cage is quite heavy, which makes it difficult to move around. You also need to place it on a sturdy table so it won’t break.
Ferplast Combi 1 Hamster Cage
Specific features: 40.5 x 29.5 x 22.5 cm; modular design; top opening; included accessories
Best use: Add-on cage; cleaning; travelling
Every hamster parent wants the best hamster home, even if that’s just for when you’re cleaning the main cage. But cleaning the cage involves extended maintenance and disinfecting on a regular basis, as we’ll discuss below. During what might be a couple of hours, your hamster needs a comfortable and secure place to stay, which is where this cage comes in.
Thanks to its modular design, your hamster can use the connecting tube to explore its surroundings. This design also makes the Ferplast Combi 1 Cage great for travelling or as an add-on to your hamster’s primary home. Besides, the tubing is well-made and can fit those made by Pets At Home, meaning you get a versatile cage.
The top opening makes it easy to clean and pet your hamster. The accessories are a definite plus too, especially the plastic house. There’s a hamster wheel included but this is quite small even for dwarf hamsters, while the eating bowl is fairly big for this tiny cage.
Little Friends Plaza: best large hamster cage
Specific features: 78 x 48 x 80 cm; three levels; 1 cm bar spacing; collapsible design; included accessories
Best use: hamsters; rats; chinchillas
The Little Friends Plaza Cage is one big hamster cage thanks to its three floors and large dimensions so it’s a good home for bigger hamsters, rats and chinchillas. To achieve its multi-storey system, there are three wooden shelves and three wooden ladders that connect the shelves.
These items are made of wood, which might be a problem because wood soaks up urine. There’s a small wood house on the top storey, so that makes things even more difficult if you consider that hamsters and rats pee while they sleep.
That said, the other accessories are all fun and sturdy. The wheel makes it easy for the hamster to play by itself, while the see-saw is quite interactive. The small hideaway is a definite advantage for hamsters which have a deeply ingrained burrowing instinct.
There are plenty of advantages for people too, like the safe, easy to clean and compact design. The cage is easy to assemble with no additional tools, the design is collapsible so the cage is easy to store while the 1 cm bar spacing is safe for the hamsters and easy for you to pet them.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re on the market for the best home for your hamster, you probably have some additional questions, such as:
How Big Should a Hamster Cage Be?
This depends on how big your hamster is, as well as how many hamsters you have. For instance, one Syrian hamster which can get to about 16 cm, needs a cage that’s at least 30 cm tall, with a base of 60 x 30 cm.
On the other hand, a dwarf Campbell’s or Roborovski is almost half the size of a Syrian hamster. That means that a dwarf hamster requires a cage with a footprint of at least 15 x 30 cm, and a height of around 30 cm.
More hamsters don’t mean you have to get a cage with a huge base that might take up a lot of room. You can simply increase the number of levels, so the hamsters can have their private spaces too.
You can also buy an additional smaller cage that you can to use it when you travel or when you need to clean your hamster’s permanent home.
How much do Hamster Cages Cost?
This largely depends on the materials, design, size, included accessories and craftsmanship. A bigger cage that’s sturdy, made from metal, with unique design features costs more than a smaller, plastic cage.
While a hamster cage can cost anywhere between £20 to £100, more doesn’t always mean better. The most important consideration here is that the cage is safe for your hamster, so check that its components are firmly secured. Also, make sure the hamster can’t escape by chewing through certain parts of the cage or by simply pushing the cage doors.
How Often Should You Clean a Hamster Cage?
Considering that hamsters prefer to eat and sleep in the same place, I’d suggest making daily cleanups as hamsters tend to pee during their sleep.
Also, if you’ve trained your hamster to defecate in a certain area, you need to clean it every day. The bedding should be replaced every week but remember to leave behind a clean part of the old one so that the new bedding has the same smell.
The water bottle and food bowl should also be cleaned every day so your hamster can be healthy and happy. If your hamster is ill, you need to use chlorine or another disinfectant to wash the cage. Otherwise, a weekly soaping and washing are more than enough for the included accessories like the house, tunnels and wheel.
How do You Keep Hamster Cages from Smelling?
There are many tips and tricks to prevent your hamster cage from smelling, but the most important one is to spot-clean on a daily basis, and get all the soiled bedding out, as well as any leftover food. It’s also important to change the bedding completely every week and wash the cage with hot water once a week.
If the cage already smells bad, you can put vinegar in the water. This is a good disinfectant but also disperses unpleasant smells.
If the cage doesn’t smell that bad but you’re still not a fan of the hamster smell, another trick is to hang charcoal near it. Charcoal absorbs odour, leaving the rest of your house smelling fresh. Just make sure your hamster can’t get to it.
Some hamsters might enjoy peeing on their toys, which is another source of the bad odour. A quick solution is to wash the accessories frequently, but you might also want to stop your hamster peeing on the toys, to begin with. As such, remember to make fewer bedding changes, so the hamsters recognise where they’re supposed to go.
You might also want to look into a highly-absorbent bedding that doesn’t require very frequent changing and that absorbs bad smells. A bathhouse for your hamster with plenty of sand inside is a good idea too; that way your hamster will roll around in the sand, keeping its coat clean and fresh.
This article reviewed a number of very different hamster cages, all quality products with features that meet different needs. You can also compare the products’ specific features against the short buying guide at the beginning to make sure you’re getting something that fits your needs. And lastly, the FAQ section shows you how to care for your newly acquired hamster cage.
That said, what type of hamsters do you have?