Hamster Cage Buying Guide

Good Hamster Cages

I would say the biggest hamster cage that you can afford would be best for an active and healthy hamster. I recommend a minimum ground area of 360 square inches for a hamster cage which is quite small compared to other forum minimums. Rarely will you find a suitable cage in a pet shop that meets the minimum requirements. Hamster cages at Walmart tend to be very cheap quality and poorly built. The ones that are good are more expensive. A good hamster cage should have a wheel for exercise as well as chewable toys to help your hamster wear down their teeth. Food should be fed to them in a heavy ceramic bowl to prevent them tipping it up. Hamsters are not happy in small cramped conditions and may display signs of depression and repetitive behavior such as bar chewing. Hamster cages are available in a wide variety online as well as in-store. It is best to shop around for the best prices, as there are certainly bargains to be had especially online!

hamster cages
hamster cage

Module Type Hamster Cages

There is a lot of module type cages with linking tubes on the market which are good as an add-on to the main cage but don’t represent a great stand-alone cage for a hamster. Hamsters thrive best in wide open spaces so multi-tiered cages do not count with regards to minimum space area for them.

Hamsters Escaping

Hamsters are excellent at squeezing through minuscule gaps, and they are prone to finding the perfect places in the cage where it is an idea to start chewing to make an escape route. Even some of the some of the best hamster cages for Syrians can give your hamster an easy escape route. You should have a solid rock hamster cage so you won’t need to worry about your furry friend getting out and running around the house. Bars with smaller than 1/2 an inch should be standard when looking at cages because dwarf hamsters and baby Syrian hamsters can easily squeeze through caps. A good rule to follow is – If their face can fit through, then all of their body can develop as well. Dwarf hamsters are a lot smaller than Syrian hamsters and are able to squeeze through bars much easier so bear that in mind when choosing your cage. It is important to remember that social species of hamsters need lots of room to stop them from fighting.

Low Budget Hamster Cage

savic hamster heaven cage

As a small budget option – A bin cage is a cheap option for a hamster cage that easily fits the minimum space requirements. I would recommend going to IKEA and getting a large plastic container and using that as a hamster cage. Find the biggest one you can find, and get some wire mesh to put over the top of it to secure it from cats or other predators. You will need a proper dwarf hamster cage for dwarf hamsters.

The Savic Hamster Cages are some of the best hamster cages for Syrian hamsters and Dwarf Hamsters alike. Very well built with beautiful colors. Included with the cage are a nesting area, tunnels, wheel, water bottle and bowl making it an excellent value buy.

Syrian Hamster

Dwarf hamsters

Dwarf hamsters are smaller hamster friends that are native to Mongolia, China, and Russia. There are 3 types of the Dwarf hamster – Campbells Russian Dwarf, Siberian Winter White Dwarf, and the Roborovski Dwarf Hamster. Chinese hamsters are considered a “mouse or a rat” like a hamster. Dwarf Hamsters can live together in small groups, and they are more active than the Syrian hamsters. Dwarf hamsters have short periods of activity throughout the day.

Syrian Hamsters vs Dwarf Hamsters

Dwarf hamsters are much smaller than the Syrian hamster and as such need to have special consideration when choosing a hamster cage for them to live. They are capable of squeezing through some bar widths, especially the Roborovski dwarf hamster which is minuscule and very fast.

Most species of Dwarf are social animals and do best when living with a cage mate or in some circumstances small colonies. Fighting can occur if they become territorial or become cramped in poor conditions with other hamsters, so it’s important to give animals plenty of space.

dwarf hamster
Campbell Dwarf Hamster

1) Campbells Russian Dwarf or commonly called “Campbells” is the most common dwarf hamster to find in a pet shop. The Campbells are closely related to the Winter White and as such, can reproduce together to create hybrids. This is not recommended due to genetic defects and poor quality litters. Campbells have a reputation for biting compared to other Dwarfs such as the Winter Whites, however, with proper training and good upbringing, this should not be a problem for owners. Campbell’s dwarf hamsters typically have narrow dorsal stripes compared to the Djungarian (Winter White) hamster and gray fur on the stomach.

2) Winter White Dwarf (Djungarian) most commonly called “winter whites” They resemble the Campbells hamster only they have 3 stripes that run down their backs and they can change to a white coloring in the winter but in captivity they don’t always get this winter coat. They are also harder to find in pet shops than the Campbells dwarf hamster. There are three types of Winter White hamster –

  • Normal
  • Pearl
  • Sapphire

3) Roborovski Dwarf Hamster or called “Robo Dwarf Hamsters” are the smallest of the dwarf varieties, and they are also hard to find in a pet shop. Robo hamsters have not been domesticated as long as the other dwarf species. Roborovskis are very fast at running and tiny making them unsuitable for pets for small children. They are more of a ‘look at’ pet.

4) Chinese hamsters are often lumped in with the Dwarf species even though technically they are not Dwarf Hamsters. They look like Mouse-Hamsters. There is a lot of confusion online with regards to their nature as solitary or communal animals. It is accepted they are difficult to live together and fighting is frequent.

Facts about Russian Dwarf Hamsters

  • The typical Dwarf Hamsters life span is up to 3 years
  • Dwarf Hamsters are herbivorous and can eat animal and vegetable matter
  • Campbells and Winter White hamsters can pro-create and give birth to hybrid baby dwarf hamsters