Cage Setup for a Dwarf Hamster
The video below shares the technique I have developed based on the many cages I've set up here in the rescue home and is meant to give you an idea for setting up your own cage for dwarf hamsters BUT please be aware it is not recommended to house dwarf hamsters together for a number of important reasons; my set up demonstrations strictly apply to those who intend to house a single dwarf hamster. To learn more click HERE to view a YouTube video done by Cosmic Hamsters about why hamsters should be housed alone.
To see a demonstration about setting up a cage for a Syrian hamster click HERE
**The goal in setting up a cage for either species should be to create a home with a balance of activities and places to hide as well as easy access to all areas. We want the hamster to utilize every square inch, be comfortable and thrive.
*Please note, the video can be paused if needed, and sound can be muted or played;
more options are available when viewing on a computer.
Items used to set up this particular cage are linked below.
Cardboard Tunnels *They come in a pack of 10; okay if chewed and are big enough for a Syrian hamster, just replace once soiled or chewed up (pop off plastic ends and discard first)
Sandbath *For the cage I set up I used a bamboo drawer organizer found at Target, but this one could work too
Note On Bedding:
I mix a few different brands and consistencies together to achieve the best balance for the hamster to burrow. I am NOT a fan of adding in aspen wood or hay to stabilize the burrows, this does not work and furthermore creates sharp and coarse substances for the hamster to navigate through when attempting to burrow. I have had a surrendered hamster arrive with a piece of hay sticking out of the center of his eye and a sanctuary mouse here in foster care scraped the side of his face on some sharp aspen shavings. Both resulted in expensive veterinarian care, so I no longer use those in the hamster cages.
Cage Maintenance Tips:
*Water bottles can be hung with industrial strength velcro. Sometimes they leak or stop dispensing water, so always provide a water dish too, which also gives the hamster a choice. A little ceramic bowl under a hanging water bottle can catch any minor drips that are normal; this bowl is also an excellent place to serve fresh veggies (bowl may need to be rinsed out first).
*Hanging toys can be hung using a small command hook attached to the cage and some safe sisal string attached to the toy. Never use duct tape in a hamster cage due to the fiber threads inside being hazardous if chewed and ingested; if tape must be used choose clear packing tape but try not to use tape at all. Remember anything placed in a hamster cage can be eaten.
*Wheels can sometimes get clogged up underneath with bedding, so always ensure it freely spins. But if your hamster is on the small side, and the wheel seems to spin too fast, as is usually the case for Roborovski hamsters, packing in a little extra bedding under the wheel can help them not spin so fast until they learn to control the wheel better.
*Hamsters move bedding all over the cage, they are their own interior designers so no matter how strategically you place it all and try to create barriers for it to stay in place, it won't. Let them put it where they want it and just fill in areas on top with fresh bedding, but don't disturb their burrows.
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