How To Choose The Best Cage For A Syrian Hamster

By Kate Hendricks | Pets

Sep 12

Choosing the correct house for your Syrian hamster is important to ensure maximum comfort and happiness for your pet. The most popular type of accommodation is a cage.

But you must consider a few factors before buying it, read our guide to the best cage for a Syrian Hamster.

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Syrian Hamster Cage Buying Guide

Size

Hamsters are very active and require enough space to really exercise and keep themselves entertained. If your hamster becomes bored you might find them trying to bite and gnaw away at the bars, or worst still, chewing at their own fur.

Although a Syrian hamster will be living alone, it still needs the room to play, with space for tunnels, a wheel and other toys.

The cage shouldn’t be too tall, hamsters like to climb up and down their cage bars and if they climb too high, they might fall off and injure themselves. A cage that is longer and wider than it is tall is preferable. Aim for a minimum of 12 inches by 24 inches.

Security

If you’ve ever owned a hamster before you will know that many of them are escape artists! The security of your cage is therefore extremely important. Owners have been know to lose their hamsters for days after they have broke free. Check that fastenings are strong and that they can’t fit through the wire bars. You’d be surprised at how hamsters can squeeze through really small spaces!

Accessories

Most cages available to buy include accessories such as tubes, houses, a water bottle and sometimes the cage comes with different levels with ladders connecting the floors. If the cage you get doesn’t come with a place to hide you must provide one. Hamsters need to feel secure and need a hiding place, as they would have done in the wild.

Syrian Hamster Cage Reviews

Lixit Animal Care Savic Hamster Heaven Metro Cage

This cage is our top choice for Syrian hamsters. Although it is the more expensive of the models reviewed here, it has absolutely everything you could need out of the box. There is no need to buy extra accessories.

Your pet will love the different levels to climb up and down, the tunnels, wheel, toilet and sleeping house. This cage has a flexible layout, allowing you to change how it is set up and keep your hamster entertained.

The Lixit has been built with quality and durability in mind, ensuring that your cage lasts. The base is made from plastic, making it simple to keep clean, and the ‘cage’ area is made from strong wire to deter even the most determined of hamsters!

The handles on the side of the cage make it easy to transport.

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Ferplast Hamster Cage

The Ferplast is a popular choice for your Syrian. It’s ample size of 14.37 x 23.62 x 11.81 inches will ensure that your hamster has plenty of space to zoom about and get the necessary exercise that they need.

The cage comes on two levels, with the lower ground floor being transparent so you can easily watch your hamster run on his wheel or burrow down in the sawdust. It is worth considering that the lower level doesn’t have a lot of ventilation so care must be taken when it is hot.

The upper level is suitable for eating and sleeping in the provided sleeping house.

What we really like about this model is that it is modular, meaning you can connect it to other add ons as and when you choose to get them.

This cage comes with a sleeping nest, water bottle, wheel and a ladder to connect the two floors. If your Syrian is on the larger side you might need to replace the 9 inch wheel with something larger.

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Savic Mickey 2 XL Hamster Cage

This model is the largest of our reviewed cages at 31.4 x 19.5 x 15in. The bottom of the cage is made from plastic and is around 6 inches in depth making it great for a bedding area for your hamster to burrow around in. The deepness of this area means any spillages are kept to a minimum.

The cage comes complete with water bottle, tunnels, wheel and a feeding bowl.

The size of this cage is what really sets it apart from the others, however, some users have reported a poor quality exercise wheel and needing to take out the wire mesh platform to replace it with something more hamster feet friendly.

The cage is easy to clean and has a large enough door for easy access.

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Other Things You Will Need

Hamster Wheel

Hamsters love to run and they usually do this via a hamster wheel in their cage. As they are nocturnal animals this is mainly done at night so getting a silent hamster wheel is really important! Make sure you get one that is big enough so that your hamster doesn’t hurt his back.

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Food

Your hamster will require a good quality food that includes seeds, grains and nuts. It can be bought locally from a pet store, or ordered online. It will depend on size, bu tmost Syrian hamsters will only require 1 to 2 tablespoons of food each day. Everything else they will store in their pouches to be eaten at a later time!

In addition to feeding the above mentioned hamster food, you can give them treats such as apples, carrots, bananas, brocolli and other good quality fresh fruit and vegetables. Try to avoid feeding them citrus fruits as they can be too acidic for their stomachs. You can also treat your hamster to some other foods such as sunflower seeds, peanuts or some commercial snacks. Only feed them in moderation though as they can often have added additives that won’t be great for your pet if they are fed too many of them.

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Hamster Ball

Your hamster will absolutely love this! Pop them inside and let them run about, making the ball roll. Don’t ever leave them unattended, and avoid tops of stairs. A hamster ball is fun to watch and is great exercise for your pet.

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Hamster Bath

Your hamster will enjoy a sand bath around once a week. You can use chinchilla sand, placing it in either a bath made especially for hamsters, or alternatively a high walled plastic bowl. Your pet will love rolling about in the sand to wash themselves!

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Cleaning Out The Cage

As with any animal, keeping their living area clean is vital to ensure both their happiness, and their health. But how often should you clean out a hamster’s cage? You need to spot clean daily, just doing a partial clear out of any toilet. You will need to properly clean out their bedding area and main cage once or twice a week, but try to leave some of their original bedding as hamsters like to keep their scent. Use a gentle disenfectant, preferably one designed for small animals to ensure they are not exposed to any nasty chemicals.

Introducing Your Hamster To The Cage

Hopefully the pet store or breeder will be able to provide you with some of their bedding for them to travel home with. The scent on their exisiting bedding will make them feel more relaxed both when traveling home, and when you place them in their new cage. When you arrive home, keep your hamster in the travel box and place that inside the cage with the door open so that they can come out and explore when they feel confident enough to do so.

About Syrian Hamsters

Syrian hamsters are a very popular pet, they are easy to care for and bring lots of fun to owners, young and old. They are available in many different colors and coat textures.

Syrian hamsters make ideal pets for children, but only really for older children who understand the need to be gentle when handling them.

Don’t forget that hamsters are nocturnal – if you plan on keeping them in a bedroom consider that they might make some noise at night! They can run up to 7 miles in 1 night – phew! Investing in a ‘silent wheel’ as shown earlier on in this guide might be a beneficial purchase.

Bringing Your Hamster Home

You should make sure you have everything you need before you bring your pet home. Make sure their new home is all set up so there is minimal distress for him or her. Try and keep their surroundings calm, especially in the first 24 hours when they will be the most unsettled after being moved.

Try and bring some of the bedding they slept in prior to coming home with you. Leave this in their cage or sleeping area so that they have their scent on it.

Once you have your hamster home, gently place him in his crate, making sure they have fresh water, food and bedding, and try and leave any handling of them for the first 24 hours. You can gently stand by their crate and talk to them softly, but try not to startle them.

Handling Your Hamster

handling your hamsterIf you purchased your hamster from a pet store they might not be that tame when you first bring them home. This is because they likely won’t have been handled each day and given the opportunity to get used to human interaction. It is therefore really important that you take the time to take them out each day (after the first 24 hours of bringing them home) and hold them, stroke them, cuddle them. Sit down when you are holding them as hamsters can be quite acrobatic at times and you don’t want them falling from a height! Make sure you approach them gently and don’t startle them. Keep your handling sessions short before putting them back into their cage for some alone time.

Hamsters love to eat and it is the ideal opportunity to hand feed them to increase their confidence with you. See further on in the article for what you can feed your hamster.

If you are concerned about any nips in the early days, wear a pair of (clean) gardening gloves to protect your hands. Over time, as long as you are consistent, your Syrian hamster will become tame and actively seek your attention.

How Long Does A Syrian Hamster Live?

They have an average lifespan of around 2 to 3 years. Make sure your hamster is at least 6 to 8 weeks old before you purchase them, they will be fully weaned by this time.

Can I Get More Than 1 Syrian Hamster?

No, Syrian hamsters must live alone. They are solitary animals and do need company. If you put more than one Syrian hamster in the same cafe together they will fight which could potentially be fatal.

Hamster Body Language

Hamster Body LanguageSitting Up

If your hamster is sitting up with it’s teeth on show it could mean they are about to bite. Time to leave it alone!

On Their Backs

If your hamster roll over on to it’s back it is being submissive, potentially fearful. Be gentle and leave them alone.

Jumping Up

If your hamster is jumping up in to the air they are happy 🙂

Mouth Open With Vocal Noises

If your hamster is making funny crackling noises they are warning off potential predators.

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