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Bar spacing and other cage questions


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#1 Deaux-Deaux

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:30 PM

First off, let me explain that I am a first time hamster owner (though I have had rodents before) and have owned my darling little critter for only a week now. At the pet store, the employee insisted that any of their starter kits would suffice my Syrian hamster, so I purchased the Super Pet CritterTrail Two cage. I have done a lot of research since then, and have discovered that this cage is too small for my hamster...

Back home (I attend university), I have a 30" x 18" cage that I was thinking of using, but the bar spacing is 3/4" wide. Is this gap too large for my Syrian hamster? Obviously I don't want him escaping out into the apartment when I'm away at classes one day.

To continue this journey...
I will be going back home this next weekend in hopes to get a new, bigger cage. (Whether that be the cage I already own, or a different one). Would it be okay to leave my hamster for two nights or should I bring him with me? Because he has only been with me for a week, I'm afraid that the 1 1/2 hour drive home, yet a new environment, a new cage, and then the drive back will stress the poor little guy out. I would of course change out his bedding and leave plenty of fresh food and water before I left.

AND LASTLY...
Is the Super Pet Critter Trail Two cage a suitable size for a dwarf hamster? I have added on a couple attachments to the side of the cage, but obviously the original structure is the most important part. I do not plan on getting another hamster anytime soon, especially since I am a first time owner, but I would like to know if the cage would be useful in the future or if it is a lost cause.

Thank you to anyone who comments, I have been going on multiple hamster forums in hopes that someone would offer advice, but have not had any luck yet.

Here is a link to the cage for those who are not familiar with it:
http://www.petco.com...SuperPetCritter




#2 -- Hamstergirl

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:55 PM

I wouldn't suggest using a cage with more than 1/2" bar spacing. In fact, I once had a hamster escape into a vent with 3/4" bar spacing. You could try wrapping mesh around the cage, but, honestly, I'd just buy a new cage if I were in your situation.

Unfortunately, the Crittertrail Two is still too small for a dwarf hamster. Connected with a second or third Crittertrail or Habitrail cage, it would be big enough.

Also, your hamster should be fine left alone for two nights. Posted Image

Edited by -- Hamstergirl, 27 January 2013 - 01:55 PM.


#3 Taxonomist

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:58 PM

Hi, and welcome to Hamster Hideout! Posted Image

Back home (I attend university), I have a 30" x 18" cage that I was thinking of using, but the bar spacing is 3/4" wide. Is this gap too large for my Syrian hamster? Obviously I don't want him escaping out into the apartment when I'm away at classes one day.

Unfortunately, I think 3/4" spacing is too wide for any hamster, including Syrians. If I recall correctly, the maximum bar spacing is 1/2" for Syrians and 1/4" for dwarfies. I'm not positive on this, though, so someone please correct me if I'm mistaken!

However, it is possible to modify the cage to make it suitable. You could put 1/4" hardware cloth around the bars to close up the gaps.

I will be going back home this next weekend in hopes to get a new, bigger cage. (Whether that be the cage I already own, or a different one). Would it be okay to leave my hamster for two nights or should I bring him with me?

Hamsters can generally be left alone safely for 2 - 3 days. So you should be okay on that front. It sounds like you know the proper precautions too, so you should be good. One thing you might consider, though, is getting a second water bottle to put in, in case the normal one empties or stops up on you.

Is the Super Pet Critter Trail Two cage a suitable size for a dwarf hamster?

No, I'm afraid it's not. Hamsters require a minimum of 360 square inches of floor space (30" x 12"). This applies to all hamsters, regardless of species. Dwarf hamsters cannot live in smaller cages just because they're smaller animals. In fact, some might argue that they need bigger cages than Syrians, because they're very active and need room to run around.

The Crittertrail 2 is only about 120 square inches. So it's only 1/3 of the size that it would need to be for any hamster. (Good job recognizing that it was too small for your Syrian, by the way! Posted Image )

However, that doesn't mean that the cage is useless. Such a cage could very easily be used as a temporary holding area for when you're cleaning the actual cage.

#4 Deaux-Deaux

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 10:41 PM

Thank you guys for all the help. I'd love to get Mr. Sulu a brand new cage, but being a broke college student I'm gonna just work with the one I have back home. I'll probably add some kind of mesh or wiring to it so he doesn't escape. Thanks again!

#5 wystearya

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:58 AM

If you happen to have a Tractor Supply Store nearby they carry a relatively inexpensive roll of smaller mesh hardware cloth. I used it for making a bin cage recently. ;)