Strawberry is in his “retirement” cage. Yup. Disturbing him daily to be sure he hasn’t died and having to deal with all his jungle gym equipment dangling from his bin cage lid was driving me nuts. He isn’t coming out at night. He IS coming out during the day more. I know he’s barely active at night because I have had a lot of opportunity at night at all hours to check on him. I have a teething 1 year old. Enough said. I am not getting much sleep.
I was having to go upstairs during the day and in the middle of the night go in the hammy room – lift up the lid. Lift up his house. And make sure he was alive as I otherwise wasn’t seeing him. The bin cage isn’t very great for visibility either.
I got him a 24” long, 12” wide, 14” tall Grreat Choice cage from Petsmart. SUPER deep base. Which I will be adding much more substrate too. I dumped in there what I had left of the Kaytee Cozy stuff. I need to wait to get my hubby’s help to take the crinkle bedding storage bin down from a high shelf and once I do I will put that in to deepen it.
And I have to tell you – I actually love this cage. It’s so simple. Yet sturdy. And with the multitude of stuff I have to put in it from collecting…I am pleased. I have to recommend this cage for people with lazy dwarfs. Not Chinese or Roborovskis as they are too small and could possibly squeeze through the half inch bar spacing. Baby Russian dwarfs are a no no. But for a full grown, older, lazy dwarf I cannot see how he could slip out. I did have to bend a couple bars back that were slightly bent to be too wide. Easy enough to squeeze them back in shape. The door area where it presses in to “lock” will widen the bars a bit over a half inch but I screwed in an edible branch perch thing in there which blocks the gap made when the door is pushed in. I mean, with a bit of ingenuity you can adjust it to be escape proof for an adult dwarf.
This cage is marketed for rats. Yuck. You have to be kidding me. It’s WAY too tiny for even a single Rat. I’d not put a Syrian hamster in this other than for travel or a hospital cage. Even if the bar spacing was 7mm I’d not put mice or Roborovskis in this. Roborovskis are super active. They need the same if not more space as a Syrian from my experience. I don’t have really great experience with Russian dwarfs. “Hybrids”. I just have Strawberry and he’s always been lazy, antisocial, and moody. He has never been very active and now that he’s getting feeble lately he’s hardly ever surfacing from his house but to eat and drink. He’s gotten clumsy too. I noted that when I did see him out once in his hammock. He fell from it …on purpose seemingly. Scared me.
So far he has taken to this cage well. He has made it his with his manic rushing around over everything in there. I have him downstairs now so we can see him more since he is more day time lately than night time. He is coming out a lot more and climbing around. He *SEEMS* quite content. He’s most definitely not unhappy. He seems to be feistier than he has been for so long.
I loved the bin cages but I must be losing my mind because suddenly I am tired of them. I am throwing out the double decker I made Penny. I’ve been cleaning out the house to get ready for our moving in the spring. It’s a slow process of sorting and giving away and tossing away. I am minimizing our STUFF.
And I just feel like tossing the bins to the curb. I got really turned off when Penny’s bin was overwhelmingly stinky from the lack of ventilation. I’ve never had that problem with a singular bin cage with plenty of ventilation meshed windows. But still – the issue with a good working door in the front and having to lift from the top to reach down in – that was one of the main reasons I hated Tanks. I don’t like reaching down. I also didn’t like the lack of ability to hang and connect stuff. I much prefer a lot of bars to hang things and connect things.
And I just have to downsize. Strawberry is old now. He’s got to be 2 years old. I’ve had him a year and a half and he was not a baby when I brought him home. I wasn’t given his true story but he was full grown when they pushed him on me. He looks old. Is acting old. (So is Gabriel but I know he’s older too due to me being his 3rd owner). I’m pretty content with having him in a “retirement” cage. Especially, now that I have easier access to him inside. I can fit him downstairs to be among us more often so he’ll get more attention.
If only they made this same cage but bigger. They DO but it’s a rabbit cage and the bar spacing is inch spacing. If they could make a rabbit sized one with this half inch bar spacing this brand Grreat Choice would be on the top list for USA Hamster owners because it’s such a sturdy well made SIMPLE cage. The door could shut better. But that is really minor to me. This was on the inexpensive side for a cage and for its size.
I put a shelf in there that came with the Kevin 82. It connects to tubes so he has his tubes back which he loves – you can’t see them from the bottom but they connect to the shelf from below and he comes out of the curved periscope like tube at the top. I put his Silent Spinner in there which he was strangely excited to have back. He liked his Wodent Wheel and his Flying Saucer as well but both took up too much room. Under the shelf is his sand bath and a loo roll. And in the other corner of the cage his igloo and wooden bridge and wooden tunnel. That bendy bridge I made connects him from the floor to the shelf. Also helps him climb out of the front door when I open it. His hanging coconut, food dish, chews, and SS is on the shelf. His hammock and hanging wooden suspension ladder is dangling from the other side.
I’ll take better pictures later. I took these tonight in the dim lighting with my cell phone. I wished I had thought to take pictures earlier today when he was running around everything.
In closing – this cage doesn’t meet minimum requirements for space for a Dwarf according to the RSPCA guidelines which most of us knowledgeable USA hamster people follow as our law. I wouldn’t recommend going below the minimum for a young, active Dwarf hamster. It’s half inch bar spacing which is not safe for a Chinese or Roborovski or baby Russian dwarf hamster. They can slip through if they are determined. For a lazy, old, adult size dwarf – just be sure all the bars are not bent wider than they should be. I cannot even fathom how Strawberry could fit through these bars.
Grreat Choice – I’ll be contacting you guys with some suggestions. You guys make a great cage but please consider making them longer as you do the rabbit cages but with the same or even smaller bar spacing as this one! For a retirement home for my dwarf I feel this cage is ace. But it could have been a few inches longer to make a more affordable yet suitable sized hamster cage.