How Big Should a Hamster Cage Be?

Female choosing the suitable cage size for her new hamster pet.

Given that hamsters will live the rest of its life within their cages, it is critical that you provide them with the ideal size cage for their needs. When caring for these little animals, your hamster’s cage is most certainly the essential investment you will take. The ideal cages for your hamsters should be convenient to clean and maintain, large and airy enough for them to wander around, and must be flee-proof!

Hamsters are very energetic creatures; in the wilderness, they may run 5 to 8 miles each nighttime on average! The dimensions of the cages you choose are, without a doubt is one of the crucial considerations to consider. There are many other important variables to consider regarding sizes, all of which may significantly impact the well-being and contentment of your hamster friend, including their lifestyle.

In this article, we’ll take a look at how big a hamster cage should be and some other essential variables to take into consideration.

Sizes Suggestions for Hamster Cage

Look into how big a cage you should have for hamsters. You may find many differing opinions amongst different pet organizations on the suggested minimal cage dimensions that you need to know about. Following are the sizes of the cages suggested by a variety of animal welfare organizations, with the size you should have for one hamster:

The Humane Society of the United States: For all hamsters, a 576 square inches cage or a 288 square inches aquarium is recommended.

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: For all hamsters, 1290 square centimeters are recommended.

Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: As big as feasible, if at all attainable. Given the lack of proof, there is no minimum size requirement for a dwarf hamster, although it used to be 70centimeters × 40centimeters as well as 80centimeters x 50centimeters for a Syrian hamster.

Whereas these more authorized animal welfare organizations suggest more minimal cage sizes, you may come across specific hamster-specific webpages that propose cage sizes that are markedly different from the official recommendations. Forums that are particularly well-liked include:

Hamster Hideout: A few years later, the suggested minimum size was extended from 360 square inches to 450 square inches, although a bigger space is preferred. This famous forum is often mentioned among YouTube hamster groups and is widely regarded as the absolute minimum in the United States.

Hamster Central: It is recommended that the size of the cage is more than 75 by 40 centimeters. It is the hamsters’ forums for the United Kingdom, and the suggestions are quite the same as those found on Hamster Hideout.


Factors To Consider When The Suitable Sizes of The Cage for Your Hamster

Space and Cage Design

Most hamster websites have the same requirement about the cages: cage space must be contiguous and directly measures by the size of the floor area. Tubes, separated rooms, ramps, even ledges are more or less just additional space these are bonus areas that are not included in the total floor space requirement.

Instead of having an old-fashioned kitchen set apart from the living space, it would be more like the contemporary open-concept kitchen. Pet shops provide a plethora of different hamster cages. The most popular cages are connectable or small cages that connect by tubing, and hamster forum users stated that these cages are not considered continuous. For that reason, it would be insufficient if there was not at least one continuous area that fulfilled their minimal number of square inches or centimeters requirements. Nevertheless, no data exists to verify that this rule applies.

Style of Cage

You’ll have three primary options: plastic modular cages, wire cages, or aquariums. Each cage type has both pluses and minuses, and how easy they are to keep clean, how much ventilation they allow, and how safe they are.

Ease of Cleaning

Generally, wire cages with plastic trays are the most convenient to clean. Remove the wires in the bottom, wash out the beddings, and wipe and clean off the wires as required. The more complex the cages, the more challenging it will be to maintain and clean them, which is essential if you contemplate a plastic cage with numerous tubes and compartments. To clean out these cages may be a little bit tiring and time-consuming chore. Aquariums are not particularly hard to clean, but they are hefty and hard to move during the cleaning period. Maintaining and cleaning out the cages is not a pleasurable job, so making it as simple as possible can make getting a hamster more rewarding!

Ventilation

A wire cage is unquestionably the most excellent choice for ventilation. Due to the tubes as well as closed compartments of plastic modular cages, ventilation may be restricted, leading to low-grade airflow plus condensation issues. In the same way, aquariums may encounter insufficient ventilation. Please note that open-wire cages allow for impressive ventilation, but it also indicates that you must retain the cage-free of drafts to maintain adequate ventilation. When it comes to shielding from drafts, plastic cages, as well as aquariums, are preferable.

Size

As a rule of thumb, a minimum of 24 x 12 inches or at least twelve inches in height is preferred. Nevertheless, if you wish your hamsters to be happy, active, and comfortable, you should consider getting a spacious cage when it pertains to hamster enclosures. A bigger one is preferable!

The bred Syrian hamster needed plenty of room to move and play around, and the size of the floor area required in the cage is also crucial. Generally, several hamster cages available for purchase are smaller for the bred, like Syrian hamsters. It is worth noting that the tubing compartment, including inbuilt wheels of plastic modular cages, is too narrow for several Syrian hamsters to live comfortably.

Cage Security and Safety

The space within the bars of a Syrian hamster’s cages should be not more than half an inch separated. The use of horizontal bars will allow some possibility for climbing. Hamsters are very clever at opening the cage doors, so be sure the doors on every cage you purchase are secured before using them. To provide an additional tier of security to wire doors, the metal-bolt clips, such as those used at the dog leash, can be hooked into the door to lock to provide more safety and security. If you select cages with numerous levels, make sure that there is no spot in the cage wherein your hamsters might tumble to a long extent.

Hamster Cages and Nibbling

The cravenness and capacity of a hamster to nibble may impact the ideal cages for them. Although wire cages offer numerous benefits, several hamsters get nearly engrossed with nibbling the bars of their cages. Moving to a solid-sided cage may be necessary when you give them various chew toys and boredom busters, which is still not enough to break off the nibbling problem. Aside from that, while selecting a plastic cage, be sure that hamsters may chew through no visible edges of the plastic. Once there are, your pet hamster will be more likely to run away at a particular time. Aquariums are usually resistant to chewing, but ensure the lid is well secured.

Wheels

Hamsters must have wheels, whereas Syrian hamsters need to have wheels to be large enough to accommodate them. The wheels included within the plastic cage are too compact for Syrian hamsters to maneuver around comfortably. Preferably, wheels must have solid ground and thus no crossbars to provide support so that no limbs and other body parts would get trapped.

Bedding Depths

Depending on the cage you choose, always make sure it has deep bedding layers to help the animal burrow. It’s especially essential for wire cages: select one with a deep tray that provides deep layers of bedding and minimize the number of beddings your beloved hamster may throw out outside the cage while they are frolicking.


Re-evaluate The Size Of Your Cage If:

  • Your hamster is acting aggressively in its cage. Since dismissiveness in small creatures may be considered common behavior, effective taming methods should alleviate this problem, and aggressiveness should not be overwhelming for an animal bred in captivity.
  • Over-biting occurs. Although hamsters kept in large ten sq ft cages are known to bite the bars occasionally, it should be anticipated. Since bar-biting may cause tooth problems, hamsters who do it regularly may be kept in an aquarium.
  • There is no adequate room for multiple enrichment items. While research has found that the size of the cage is the primary variable responsible for the poor well-being of captive hamsters, enrichment has been neglected. Small cages naturally provide less room for various enrichment items, which may have a major impact on the research results. Considering that enrichments and cages size is associated, you might have to consider expanding your hamster’s area if your cage is too large to make a multifaceted setting for your hamster to live in. Additionally, this may be upgraded by extending the number of levels or attaching another cage.
  • Various stereotypes. Abnormal behavior, including over-grooming, burrowing, and repeating one’s actions, often means the hamster has outgrown its cage, has become bored with its routine, or lives in an environment with frequent disturbances. Under certain animals, particular behaviors are stubbornly entrenched, mainly when young animals are reared in a specific habitat.

The Bottom Line

You must consider some essential factors while selecting the appropriate cage size for your hamsters. As with every animal, hamsters require a certain amount of room to live comfortably and healthier. They also require certain accessories that do not make the cage excessively crowded. The ultimate hamster cage size must include not only your hamster, and thereby tubes, wheel, and bedding for burrowing, as well as being lightweight and portable enough to be moved about simply and quickly. Finally, the bigger the size of your hamster cage, the more complex it will be to maintain it, which is an essential factor if you do have many as one hamster in the house.

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