So you’ve adopted a cute new hamster buddy. Great! Now you need to set him up with a comfortable new home. The perfect hamster habitat will vary greatly depending on your animal and your own home. You might decide that you want to erect a next-level tube city with branches that extend up and around your living room, or you might choose to go for a multi-story duplex for your new friend. No matter what you wind up going for, you’ll want to make sure that the cage has enough space and that you provide plenty of exercise opportunities, both inside the hamster’s housing and out of it.
In the wild, hamsters burrow and spend much of their lives underground, in part to protect themselves from predators. You can recreate that for them with lots of fun tubing either snaking through the room or underneath the substrate. Your hamster will feel safe inside and get some exercise climbing around in them. Be aware, though, that your hamster still needs some additional recess time out of the cage and getting in laps on his wheel.
The best part of designing your new enclosure is getting creative. Start with one of these setups and then make it your own by adding accessories. Check out these five low-cost, high-quality hamster habitats for your little guy as a jumping-off point.
Many owners choose a basic wire cage to promote airflow and give their pet lots of uninterrupted space to move about. The great thing about this one is you can add just about any design that you want: tubing, a little home, or other toys. It’s also really easy to clean because it comes apart and can be wiped or sprayed down. Reviewers love the big door for ease of access and the close-fitting and easily assembled parts.
With this topper, you can make a two-story cage (though you’ll need to provide the tank). You can separate the two halves by keeping the hamster wheel and some underground hideouts on the bottom and then adding swings and see-saws on top. Your hamster will also be able to run up and down for a little extra fun and movement. “It fits nicely on the 10-gallon tank and has enough room ‘upstairs’ for wheel, sand bath, food, water, chew toy, and little coconut hut,” says a happy customer.
You can use this as a travel/secondary cage, or you can get a whole set of the different CritterTrail hutches and connect them to make a giant home. It comes with the wheel and dishes too, so it’s up to you to decide if you want to attach the habitat to another enclosure or make a tube city. If you decide to use the enclosure as a carrying case, you can include all the must-haves in here and use the handle for easy carrying. It’s important to note that this isn’t really enough space for even a small hamster, so don’t consider this a primary habitat. However, you can certainly add it to a model that comes without accessories.
Add a lot of extra pizzazz with this set that includes tubing and a den. Bonus: it even glows in the dark! One set will add a lot of mental and physical stimulation for your pet, but you can also get multiple sets and combine them in multiple ways. One buyer comments: “My hamster is living the dream with tunnels and hideouts and space! [This is a] great product [that is] easy to attach [and easy to clean][N]o complaints!” The one downside is that, as with any extensive tubing, the pieces can be more difficult to clean because you’ll need to take each piece off to wipe it down.
This cage has all the bells and whistles, making it the ideal hamster ‘hotel.’ It’s sort of a combination of a few of the others on this list because it has a mezzanine level on each side with a bridge to connect them, but it also has tubing around the top. The ladders lead down to the bottom level, which you can deck out by adding your own below-ground tubing or other playthings. “We couldn’t be happier!” raves one review. “The cage has tons of space to run around in. Our hamster loves the tubes that go over the top of the cage.”
You don’t have to stick with just one setup. Many of these habitat options come with lots of customization options. Looking to mix things up? Take out all the tubing during cleaning and put it back together differently than before. Both you and your hamster will get to enjoy the new layout at no additional cost. Lastly, remember that you can make fun hamster toys yourself by using materials you likely have at home to give the habitat a little more oomph.
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