Large Hamster Cage Setup Demonstration
My DIY wooden cages were originally built by my husband for my own personal hamsters to live in, but since their passings each cage has been used for rescues who need more space to thrive. To build your own type of cage there is a great video done by Cosmic Hamsters which you can view by clicking HERE
To see a video about setting up a cage for a dwarf hamster click HERE
To see a demonstration about setting up a Bin cage for a Syrian hamster click HERE
The goal in setting up a cage for any hamster 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. Everything can be found on Amazon with the exception of the terra cotta tunnel which is no longer being sold, the terra cotta pot which is from Home Depot and the bendy bridge and aquarium rock which are sold at Petco.
*Please measure your space and order supplies that fit appropriately, the links below are general ideas, but you may need to adjust as needed.
Niteangel Ceramic Rock Hide Please note very heavy, must be placed on a platform or cage bottom
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)
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:
*Large cages like these do not need to be cleaned often. Spot cleaning pee areas are all that is needed and if your hamster chooses to pee in the sand, even better! Just strain that daily! I use dollar store strainers and pancake mixing bowls for sand straining. Wheel cleaning only needs to be done as needed and using Niteangel wheels allows you to remove the wheel only and leave the base buried in the bedding. Note when cleaning a hamster wheel never fully submerge it! Just cleaning the running surface is advised to keep the wheel in top shape.
*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; 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.
*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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