Choose the perfect hamster habitat
A hamster cage buying guide
Before you buy a hamster as a pet, you need pet supplies, such as a hamster cage and bedding, to bring your new pet home to. You can find these supplies along with other dog and cat supplies and pet enclosures.
To figure out how to choose a hamster cage, consider the following information to help you choose between the different hamster cage brands. Whether you want a cool hamster cage or one that is simple and practical is up to you, but ultimately you want to buy a hamster cage that is the best hamster cage for both you and your pet.
>> Determine the type of cage
Different types of cages create different pet habitats for your hamster. Some are made of plastic, others of metal or glass, but you need to decide for yourself which is the best hamster cage.
You can use a typical aquarium like you would use for fish, a snake, lizard, turtle or other types of small animals. The hamster will not be able to chew through the glass. An aquarium does not come automatically with any special features for the hamster, so you'll want to add features like a wheel and house to make your pet a healthy home.
An animal playpen is another type of hamster cage. They are usually fairly large with an open top, so you have to be careful that the hamster cannot climb out. Some come with attached bottoms and others do not, so you may end up putting this on your floor. They usually do not come with many included features other than the cage itself.
Starter, traveler and carrier cages are available, and these are smaller hamster cage sizes that are easier to carry around, so they are best for traveling and keeping the hamster in small spaces, such as a smaller apartment or bedroom. In addition to these beds and carriers, sometimes they will have certain features built in such as tunnels or a water bottle.
The final type of cage probably has the most features but you may have to put it together. It is usually a pretty cool hamster cage made of plastic with metal bars and comes with all types of different pieces, such as tubes, cubbies, an attic, water bottle, wheel add-on and so forth. This is probably the most stylish hamster cage you can find.
The best hamster cages have bars that are close enough together or holes that are small enough so that the hamster cannot get out of the cage. Chinchilla cages are also very large and could work if the bars are close enough together.
>> Choose activities and accessories
Hamsters love to run around tubes, and it gives them exercise and something interesting to do. They love to dig tunnels, so these tubes mimic the tunnels they dig. Most cool hamster cages other than the aquarium and animal playpen will have these tubes.
An attic is the high point in the hamster cage that is a place hamsters will like to travel up to and sometimes sleep on. It gives the hamster a goal and something to do while it is running around all night. Most travel and starter cages and plastic piece-together cages will come with an attic of some sort.
While you can put a bowl or plate down with water in the cage, another aspect of some of the best hamster cages is a built-in water bottle, which is another way that hamsters like to drink their water.
The wheel is an important part of a unique hamster cage, as it is the best way for the hamster to get exercise. Many cages come with a wheel standard and built-in, which makes it easier for you. The wheel may make the cage cost a little more, but it is well worth it.
Ladders also provide exercise and something to do for the hamsters. Some top rated hamster cages will have ladders built into the setup, particularly the plastic ones, but even the animal playpen will have bars that the hamster can climb on, like a ladder. You just have to be sure that the hamster will not use the bars as a ladder to get up and out of the cage.
And finally, gnaw rings come built into some of the designer hamster cages, and this helps to satiate a hamster's incessant need to chew. You'll see the hamster chew on just about everything, from the tubing to the metal bars. Gnaw rings are a great way for hamsters to be able chew while not ruining different parts of its cage.
If the type of hamster cage you choose does not already come with certain activities and add-ons for the hamster, such as an aquarium or animal playpen, you may want to purchase these yourself.
Finding the best hamster cage for your new pet means taking a little time to browse different types of hamster cages to find the right hamster cage brands that call out to you.