Hamsters often make great first pets for kids, but they’re truly a great pet for people of all ages. Ideal for smaller homes or for a person who doesn’t have the time to care for a dog or cat, hamsters are easy to care for and offer much delight to the people who raise them. Of course, hamsters aren’t maintenance-free; they require food, water, attention, and regular cage-cleaning.
Speaking of cages, your pet’s cage is the most important investment you’ll make for your hamster’s health and well-being. It’s where he’ll spend most of his time, eating, sleeping, playing, and, well…eliminating waste. So, you’ll want a cage that’s ample in size to allow for exercise and enrichment.
We reviewed dozens of hamster cages to identify the best of the best. We found the elaborate cages that will spoil your hamster to the basic ones that gives your hamster everything he needs and all those in between. No matter what you are looking for, we found it for you.
Early in our research, we found the Prevue Pet Products Universal Small Animal Home and it remained our top pick throughout. With its ample space and included accessories, this is a cage for your hamster that will do its part to keeping him healthy and happy.
The 5 Top-Rated Hamster Cages
|Best Overall||Prevue Pet Products 528 Universal Small Animal Home||4.7|
|Runner Up||Midwest Critter Nation with Stand||4.2|
|Best Budget Buy||Ware Manufacturing Chew-Proof 4-Story Hamster Cage||4.0|
|Best Large Hamster Cage||Living World Deluxe Habitat||4.5|
|Best Dwarf Hamster Cage||Favola Hamster Cage||4.3|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: Prevue Pet Products Universal Small Animal Home
The Prevue Pet Products Universal Small Animal Home is all your furry friend will need to make your home his home. It has a large tubby-style base that will easily accommodate his bedding and exercise equipment, as well. There is even a pedestal and ramp for him to have a better view of the outside world and when he wants the privacy and seclusion of feeling as if he’s all alone, even in a crowded house, he can retire back down to the solid walled base.
The wire spacing is set 3/8 of an inch apart and that means there will be plenty of air ventilation without any extra room for him to try to wiggle out. There is a door on the top and one on the front so getting him our and cleaning the cage will be all the easier. And there are handles on either side of the cage, making it easier to transport him, should the need arise.
With over 200 customer reviews on Amazon, you can take the rating as pretty reliable and that makes its rating, 4.7 stars, all the more impressive. In fact, 96% of customers gave this a positive review and that makes the chances of your satisfaction high.
Prevue Pet Products Universal Small Animal Home Key Features:
- 32.5’’ L x 19’’ W x 17.5’’ H
- 2 large entry doors
- 6.25″ tubby base
Our Runner Up Pick: Midwest Critter Nation with Stand
The Midwest Critter Nation with Stand is ample in size and on wheels, complete with a storage shelf underneath that you can use to store food, treats, and bedding. Full-width double doors ensure that you have easy access for interaction and for cleaning. Choose from a single-story or two-story setup, or, if you already have a single-story configuration but want to add another living level for another pet, an add-on is available, as well.
This cage has full-width double doors for easy access to your fur buddy and a leak-proof pan that will make sure that cleaning up his cage won’t involve cleaning the surface on which the cage resides. There are four locking wheel casters to make him easily relocated and assembling this from the box is easy as can be; no extra tools required. The 0.5 inch wire spacing will give him optimal air ventilation so you can also be sure he’ll breathe comfortably.
There are a huge number of customer reviews on this hamster cage, nearly 2,000! And with that many people deciding they like the cage well enough to come back and leave a review, it definitely lends credibility to the overall 4.2 star rating on Amazon.
Midwest Critter Nation with Stand Key Features:
- One pan, one adjustable shelf, and one ramp with cover
- 36″L x 25″W x 38.5″H
- 1-year warranty
Best Budget Pick: Ware Manufacturing Chew-Proof 4-Story Hamster Cage
Ware Manufacturing Chew-Proof 4-Story Hamster Cage is an incredibly affordable hamster cage that has plenty of features for its generous price. This 6.5 pound cage is made with a chew-proof, durable, powder-coated metal that measures in at 12.75 x 17 x 24 inches. Did we mention this hamster cage boasts four floors which are connected by built-in ramps? So you can rest assured that your hamster will have ample space in their new home.
Cleaning this hamster cage is also super straightforward. Plus, it’s easy to assemble with no tools needed, so your hamster can move in practically right after your order comes. As you’ve now discovered, this cage may look simple, but in reality, it offers a number of eye-catching features hamster moms and dads are sure to appreciate!
Ware Manufacturing Chew-Proof 4-Story Hamster Cage Key Features:
- Four levels and ramps
- Durable, powder-coated metal
- Easy to Clean
Best Large Hamster Cage: Living World Deluxe Habitat
With everything you need to safely house your hamster or small animal, the Living World Deluxe Habitat is a hybrid cage, with a plastic bottom base and an upper wire frame to provide ample ventilation. This means that while you can feel good about how much air is circulating into and through the cage, you’ll still be giving your hamster that dark bottom to retire too when the outside world is just a bit overwhelming for him. Plus, that plastic bottom will be much easier to remove his waste from when it comes time to clean.
The food dish is a tip-proof design that secures to balcony floor making it all the harder for your furry friend to wreak havoc. He even has a hay guard if you opt to give him that. (Although your hamster may not like it as much as the bigger rodents, it’s still a great addition to his diet to incorporate some additional fiber.)
With a whopping 3,260 customer reviews on Amazon, you know this cage has some fans. In fact, of those thousands of reviews, 90% are positive, so you can expect you’ll be in the majority of satisfied customer, too. In fact, those 3,000+ reviews have given this cage an overall rating of 4.5 stars.
Living World Deluxe Habitat Key Features:
- Plastic bottom base and upper wire frame
- Balcony with access ramp
- 46-8/9″ long, 22-4/5″ wide, 24″ high
Best Dwarf Hamster Cage: Favola Hamster Cage
Just because your dwarf hamster is small, doesn’t mean their cage should be! A dwarf hamster should be given plenty of room in order to live a long and healthy life. Our pick of the best dwarf hamster cage on the market is definitely the Favola Hamster Cage. This two-story cage provides plenty of space for your hamster to explore and play. Well-ventilated and comfortable, your pet can climb between the floors with ease thanks to its well-designed plastic ramp .
It includes everything you need: a food dish, hide away, 5.5 inch exercise wheel, a connecting port for play tubes to connect to other hamster cages, and even a water bottle. You’ll be happy to hear that it’s also a breeze to clean as the middle plastic section disconnects from the base and the top panel features an access door.
With more than 800 customer reviews on Amazon, this hamster cage has earned a very respectable overall rating of 4.3 stars. Customers particularly love how easy it is to clean and the fact that the latches are strong enough to prevent any escape artists. They have also been impressed that the deep pan not only allows for their hamsters’ bedding to be fully contained, but also provides them with plenty of opportunities to burrow.
Favola Hamster Cage Key Features:
- Includes all essential accessories
- Two stories
- Easy to clean
Who Should Buy a Hamster Cage
If you have a hamster, you need a place for him to live. Not only will he need a place to live, you’ll need to find a place to put him that is secure and will allow you to take your eyes off him. You can’t be there to make sure he’s behaving all the time, so the cage will need to be safe and escape-proof. Placing them in a ball will lead to a lot of adventures for him, it’s true, but it will also create a lot of messes for you to clean up (Both in what he rolls into and the possible trail of urine that he leaves behind). Depending on how many hamsters you have and how badly you want to spoil them, you may even consider getting two hamster cages and connecting them via a series of tubes.
If you don’t have a hamster currently, you may want to consider getting one (or more). They’re a wonderful addition to your family that isn’t especially high maintenance. (And maybe you could use something low maintenance in your life.) In fact, a hamster is a wonderful first pet for your child that can begin to teach them about pet responsibility and will even work as a “Test” if you’re just not sure your child is old enough for a bigger, more needy pet. So if your child has been bugging you for a puppy, a hamster may be the first step in proving to you that they can handle the responsibility. (And if they aren’t ready, the hamster isn’t that much work for you to get stuck with.)
Important Features to Consider
A hamster cage should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting a cage for your hamster:
- Wire cage. Wire cages will provide you with a good view of your hamster as he goes about his daily activities and they’ll give a lot of good ventilation for your hamster. You will want to watch out for a few things, though. Make sure the space between the wires isn’t too far apart, otherwise you may need to add mesh to your cage to escape proof it and definitely check to see what, if anything, the wire is coated with to prevent your hamster from ingesting something toxic.
- Plastic cages. Not only will you be able to clean a plastic cage without worrying about how much exposure to water it gets and whether or not it’ll rust, the plastic cage will often give you an unfettered view of your little one without all the wires making you squint and turn your head. You’ll need to make sure there are still plenty of holes or slits in the cage to make sure your little one is getting enough air circulation. You also want to make sure you’ll have a good way to take the cage apart or clean, but most are a matter of just hosing it down while it’s empty.
- Tubing. For your adventurous hamster, an intricate pattern of tubes in which your hamster can crawl will surely entertain and please him. You can even really spoil him and set him up with access to different areas of your house via these tubes. You can expand his cage size by attaching a tube that takes him to an entirely different cage. The potential with tubes is near endless. But you won’t have any of these options to you without first purchasing a cage compatible with those tubes.
- Adventure habitats. In addition to tubes, you can attach all kinds of adventure habitats for him to explore. (Some will require tubing but will typically come with the necessary tubing included.) Some will attach and detach for mobile fun. With this, you can take a small portion of his cage with you wherever you’d like. If you plan on just spending the day outside but don’t trust him to not bolt on you, this method will allow you to let him get some fresh air without losing him.
- Exercise equipment. No matter what you choose for your hamster cage, you need to develop a plan from the get-go on what your hamster will have available to get his exercise. If you plan to do the extensive tubes, that can be a source of exercise, but that’s not very fun, is it? A wheel is a traditional addition, and you can find a lot of hamster cages that come with those built in, but even if they’re not included, you will still need to make sure the cage is big enough for you to add it later.
- Travel. You may be able to leave your hamster alone for a lot longer than your other pets, but if you travel frequently, you’ll love being able to take him with you from time to time. Doing so is complicated if you don’t have a travel cage. That could look different for different people and hamsters. You may have a cage specifically meant for travel, like our budget pick, or you can opt for a cage with handles that you can detach add-ons and accessories from and just take the whole cage with you. They even sell hamster purses, but we would caution you that hamsters who are kept in a fabric bag for extended periods will very likely begin chewing it to create a more fluffy bed or just to escape.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are hamster cages and what do they do?
A hamster cage is a place for your hamster to travel or live in. It’s pretty simple in its concept, but in practice you have so many options it can boggle the mind. You can create your own cage with virtually anything. Considering hamsters are rodents, keep in mind their standard of living isn’t too terribly high. But your standards for your pet may be – and that’s a great outlook for your pet. You can re-purpose a tote, and add in wire sides or a mesh top, adding his equipment and accessories in as you go, or you can do the same with a square fish tank. In fact, some of the most elaborate cages we’ve seen began as fish tanks or lizard habitats. The easiest solution, though, is to just buy a cage that already has everything you need in it. That means finding a specific “hamster” or “small animal” cage. Just make sure you’re getting the right size for your need. If your hamster spends a lot of time loose or in his activity ball, then a smaller cage isn’t the worst thing. But if your hamster is always in his cage, then you want to make sure you’re getting it big enough for him.
What is the best size cage for a hamster?
As a rule, the recommended minimum size of a hamster cage is 12″ by 24″ with additions added to provide exercise. Some of the size requirements of a hamster cage depend, naturally, on the size and breed of the hamster. A dwarf hamster may not need quite as much space as the more active Syrian hamster. Need, of course, is relative. They may only need the 12″ x 24″ but the real answer to best size for a hamster is that the bigger, the better. Some say you should have a minimum of 450 square inches of floor space to provide adequate room for him to run and give him enough exercise. The good news is that number does include the two or three stories or tubing of your average-sized cage. Just be careful when expanding the cage with tubes or add-ons, to make sure the joints are secure and your little buddy isn’t going to get out.
What do hamsters need in their cages?
The vast majority of your hamster’s life will be spent in his cage, and as his parent, you’ll need to make sure you’re giving him all he needs every day of his life. That means you’ll need to provide him a bedding of some kind that will both help prevent a stink when he uses the bathroom and give him padding to create a nest for himself. He’ll also need access to water 24/7, so make sure he has a water bottle placed somewhere he can reach at all times. You’ll also need to give him food. Generally, hamsters don’t get on a feeding schedule, so you will just need to make sure he always has access to food, as well. And make sure you’re checking these frequently to keep him set up. You may want to give him some hay, and if you choose to do that, you’ll want to make sure it is lifted off the ground so that he isn’t urinating in it. A “house” inside his cage to offer him a place to sleep without being bothered by the outside world will also go a long way to his contentment.
Beyond the basic requirements to live, the requirements for him to lead a happy life are a bit more up to personal preference. Unquestionably, he will need some form of exercise, but how much you give him to do that is up to you. You can give him a hamster wheel for him to run in and he’s sure to appreciate that, or you can go elaborate and buy add-ons and tubes and all kinds of exercise equipment for him.
Are wire cages bad for hamsters?
As a rule, no, hamster cages aren’t bad for hamsters. In fact, the ventilation they provide can be good for them. Of course, you need to make sure the wires are spaced properly so that your hamster can’t escape and you want to make sure that they aren’t coated in any kind of paint or material that is dangerous for your hamster to chew on. The biggest thing you’ll want to watch for, though, is a wire bottomed cage. The best kind of wire cage will have a plastic bottom, which, for you, means that it will be easier to clean, without any leaking and that your hamster has a darker place to retire when the outside becomes overwhelming for him. But for your hamster the wire floor is dangerous. Not only can they get their legs stuck in them (and you may not know it for days, if you’re not paying close attention), but they can hurt their feet just by standing on the wire floors for too long.