Hamsters should have a minimum 288 sq inches (e.g. 24′ x 12′) of floor space, not including upper levels. We recommended a floor space of 360 sq inches (e.g. 30′ x 12′) for any of the larger Syrian Hamsters. Please do not keep a hamster in a cage less than 24 x 12 inches for any length of time. It can cause stress and behavior problems.
Buying a hamster cage is a big responsibility, and is a decision that should be approached with careful consideration. You should always by the largest hamster cage you can but we appreciate the sometimes there isn’t room for one of the larger hamster cages. Some common reasons for purchasing a smaller hamster cage are a lack of apartment space, apartment regulations and financial restrictions. Purchasing a cage that is too small for your hamster is not recommended. If you have limited space we recommend buying a single Dwarf Hamster. Dwarf hamsters are much smaller than their Syrian cousins and are more suited to living in a smaller space.
If space is an ISSUE A dwarf hamster IS THE BEST BREED TO BUY
Small Plastic Cages: There are some types of hamster cages which are fairly small, and constructed of lightweight plastic material. These cages may be around the size of a sheet of paper (8 1/2″ x 11″), and may also include a carrying handle. It’s important to remember that many of these small cages are designed for short-term hamster transportation only. Many of these tiny cages aren’t designed to be used as a long-term habitat for your hamster.
Cage Materials: Just like with any other cage, it’s important to make sure that your small hamster cage is constructed of a material that will not be harmful to your hamster. Hamsters need to chew frequently, and will often chew on the material of their cage. Check the manufacturer’s website for your hamster’s cage, in order to be sure that it is free from potentially hazardous materials. Some materials to avoid are chemical paints, toxic plastics and chewable rubber coating (sometimes seen on wire cages).
Small Wire Cages: In a small cage, ventilation is even more important than with larger hamster cages. A wire cage will allow your hamster to have a large amount of ventilation. When choosing a wire cage, you may want to choose a cage that has vertical “compartments” for your hamster. This can help your hamster to better handle the smaller size of their cage, since it gives them additional compartments to explore.
Exercise: Since a smaller hamster cage restricts your hamster’s movement, providing a source of exercise is essential. An exercise wheel is a great way to keep your hamster occupied, while also increasing their activity level. If you wish, you can also purchase an exercise “ball” for your hamster, which allows them to exercise while outside of their cage.