Everything about the sleeping house, impeller, etc.

Even though hamsters are quite small pets, they still need a lot of space. When you set up your hamster cage, you should therefore pay attention to the right size when choosing the cage. But the furnishing of the rodent home is also important.

A nice, quiet sleeping house for your hamsters is important for the well-being of the rodents - Shutterstock / mswald

A nice, quiet sleeping house for your hamsters is important for the well-being of the rodents – Shutterstock / mswald

A suitable home for the cute rodents is one of the most important factors for the well-being of the animals. To ensure that you set up the hamster cage in such a way that everything is species-appropriate and beautiful for your hamsters, you should heed the following tips.

Hamster cage: size must be species-appropriate

Before we get to the hamster cage setup, a few words about the ideal size: it can’t be big enough. A length of 120 centimeters and a width of 60 centimeters corresponds to the minimum size that you should comply with as a responsible hamster owner. Unfortunately, the pet trade often offers much smaller cages under the name “hamster cage”, so that you will rarely find a cage with ideal dimensions here. Tip: Terrariums or aquariums are usually a better choice than constructions from specialist shops. You can also build a hamster cage yourself, but you should then bring manual skills and experience with you so that the small rodents are safe.

Bedding for the hamster cage

The floor of the hamster home should be padded with appropriate bedding. The commercially available small animal litter made from wood chips is classic and simple. Stack the small animal litter at least 40 centimeters high in the hamster cage. As an alternative to small animal litter, you can also imitate a natural floor. This offers the advantage that your rodents can dig their own typical burrows. Layer bird sand and dry, clean soil on top of each other, then top with bedding. Offer your hamsters enough building materials so that their digging is stable enough. Straw, hay or non-toxic leaves are recommended for this.

Setting up the hamster cage: The sleeping house

A hamster cage should have a species-appropriate sleeping house in which your rodents can find peace and sleep. Plastic houses are not recommended, as waterlogging can form in them. It is best to choose a wooden house that is roughly equivalent in structure to a bird’s nest box. The advantage of wood: your hamsters can wear off their constantly growing teeth on the material. Wood also ensures good air exchange and insulates noise, so that the animals have peace inside. Tip: The sleeping house should not have too many windows, since darkness is an important factor for a good night’s sleep.

Feeding place and watering hole

When choosing a feeding station for the hamster, make sure that the bowl is robust and stable. Solid materials such as stone or porcelain are good choices. You can also offer the hamster food in bird bowls that can be attached to the cage – these are easy to clean and space-saving. Tip: Occasionally hide loose food in the cage – your rodents enjoy foraging for food.

It is best to offer water in drinking bottles that can be hung up (nipple drinkers), as the water in these bottles stays fresh and cannot be contaminated by litter, uneaten food or faeces. With drinking bottles, make sure that the sucking points are easily accessible and that your hamsters don’t have to “bend” too much to get their refreshment.

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The running wheel in the hamster cage

There are also a few things to consider when it comes to wheels. Basically, a balance bike is a good idea as it is a nice addition to the daily exercise program. However, the wheel should be safe: make sure it is big enough. If the impeller is too small, the hamsters will bend, which can lead to serious damage to their health. Sprouts are also taboo, as rodents can get their paws in between and break bones. Important: A wheel does not make up for a cage that is too small or too little movement!

Caves and climbing opportunities in the hamster cage

Hamsters naturally love to crawl into burrows and frolic underground. So keep caves in mind when setting up your hamster cage. For one, you should always put some building materials in the cage like hay, straw, or non-toxic foliage that the animals can use to build burrows. On the other hand, you can also use ready-made tunnels, for example made of kitchen paper or toilet paper rolls. You can also find hiding places made of cork or wood in specialist shops.

Also provide climbing areas. The sleeping house, for example, can also be used as a viewing platform, provided it has a flat roof. Slabs of slate, natural stones and wooden platforms complement the range of climbing options. However, be careful not to create potential crash sites by building too high. Even a fall from a small height can seriously injure a hamster. Otherwise, your hamsters will surely be happy about all kinds of games such as seesaws, bridges, digging boxes and Co. There are hardly any limits to your imagination when it comes to equipment. Ask your pet store about other options.

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