Setting up a Hamster Cage & Keeping Dwarf Hamsters

The Hoopster Hamsters

When Christmas came we knew we wanted to surprise our girls with a special present. Abigail was Desperate for a pet (preferably a dog), Imogen Liked the idea of a pet, but wasn’t as set on it as Abigail. We also knew that whatever pet we were to adopt, it would end up being Catherine and Me that looked after them. So what did we want as a family pet?

The Dwarf Hamster Cage Surprise.

With about a month to go before Christmas, I visited the pet shop, talked to the shop assistants, picked up the leaflets and googled like the wind. Buying a pet Hamster without any research is always going to be a road to disaster. So we analysed everything, but had we done enough research?

When it Came down to the opening of the Christmas presents, we thought it’d be a great idea to catch it on video. After all the girls were creating their Youtube Channel and it seemed like the right idea to do.

Instead of choosing and giving them a pet for Christmas, we thought it was best to prepare and get everything ready. That way after Christmas when they had a little more time, we could carefully set up the cage. Then introduce the Hamster / Dwarf Hamsters in a less overexcited environment.

The Hoopster Hamsters

They decided to choose 2 dwarf hamsters (1 each). So I furthered my research and read that Russian Dwarfs are easier to handle than Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters. Whether this is true or not we thought it was worth taking on board.
Imogen Chose a brown Russian Dwarf Hamster and called it Coco. Abigail chose a white one with red eyes and call it nibbles.

Through what I thought was good research, I chose the Zolux Rody Lounge. It was a three level clear plastic cage, with lots of tubes, 2 wheels and “Everything” I needed. Pets at Home had a label next to it suggesting it was large enough for 1 Syrian Hamster or 2 Dwarf Hamsters. Perfect!

The Rody Lounge Trio Hamster Cage

We thought it would be useful to create a setup video. That way other people setting up the cage could refer to it if needed.

What we didn’t expect was the number of Hamster Experts that offered their advice on Hamster Care.

“That Cage is too Small”, “The Food isn’t any good”, “you’ve chosen the wrong wood shavings” and “You can’t keep 2 Dwarf Hamsters together… they will kill each other”.

The Video was mainly to show how to set up the cage, but we never expected the hatred for that cage. According to our Youtube audience, a minimum floor space needs to be 80cm x 50cm. That is over one floor. Multiple floors don’t count.

Wood Shavings, certain types of wood shavings aren’t good for Hamsters and can make them bad. It is recommended that you use Aspen shavings. It was unclear as to the wood source in the bundle we bought (apart from the UK), so we decided to switch to a paper-based product.

Finally, it is possible to keep dwarf hamster together, but it is also likely that they can be aggressive to each other and should be split if this happens. We kept an eye our two just in case. Then after 2 weeks, a couple of squeaks alerted us to “play fighting”. As my mother always used to say “Play fights lead to real fights”, so it was time to make some changes.

Setting up Larger Hamster Cages

We went straight to the pet shop again to find 2 larger cages that fell within the new recommended size guidelines. Out of all the Hamster cages on the shelves, there was only 2 that fitted this suggestion. Again we shared our experience in a video.

I think it’s worth mentioning that Hamsters can be great pets. They are fun little characters and are fascinating to watch. Even though they were our “kids pets”, I’m sure it would be nieve to believe that they would actually look after them properly. So Cat and I have enjoyed caring for them just as much.

The original Zolux Trio Rody Lounge was a nightmare to clean out. You had to dismantle the whole cage to do it. OUr new larger one is much easier as you can simply clip off the top layer. As with our videos, we welcome Hamster keeping/caring advice. So if you have any please let us know.

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