(Closed) How to take care of new Hamster when having two cats

posted 6 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
335 posts
Helper bee

Hamsters need those really complicated, built upon itself, type cages, You can get them in a solid plastic, with lots of tubes and corridors, because they tend to get bored. 

Things like this.


Or wire like this.


If it’s kept up, and in its own space, maybe where the cats will have a harder time getting to it, such as making it take up the entire top space of a dresser, or something, it should be fine. 

Post # 4
2959 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Big tank, top screen with lock on it! We have “Mouse TV” for our cats’ entertainment. I can only find an old pic at the moment, but you get the idea!

Post # 5
15 posts
  • Wedding: December 2012

Just wanted to say when your hamster is in his walking ball please be aware they can sometimes manage to open them, or they can open if they hit off hard objects when rolling about. When our hamster was using her ball we would run cellotape around it for extra security, otherwise she would escape every single time!

Post # 8
2959 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@Anamagana:  Actually they are gerbils and no, they love to tease the cats by standing up on somethingin their tank  and touching the screen to “touch” the cats. It’s hilarious and hours of fun!

Post # 10
9115 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Small rodents are very prone to upper respiratory illnesses and are generally not advised to be put in fish tanks or other solid-walled cages.

if you put your rodent in one of these tanks you need to make sure you have excellent circulation of air and change the bedding often, as dust and debris has nowhere to go except onto your little fuzzy wuzzy and into their lungs. Ammonia in the urine will accumulate pretty quickly and in solid wall tank, it will accumulate on everything.

Lots of people will pipe up and say, “Well I’ve had my hamster/gerbil/rat/mouse/what have you in a tank for years and they’re fine!” While that may be the case, is a potential vet bill worth it?


Edit: I had a dwarf hamster for 5 years (LONG for them, they generally live 2-3 years) with many cats. I had to get a small tightly meshed cage (It was kind of like the one posted with the tubes) to prevent my cat from pulling her out of the cage. He managed it a few times, and she survived every time. She even walked off my palm and fell onto a concrete floor from 5 feet up. I love Russian dwarves.

Post # 12
3774 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2004

@Anamagana:  I think giving him lots of time in his walking ball is a good place to start.  He will be safe in there and I am thinking that if the cats see him out for a stroll they may not see him as food.

Post # 14
2959 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@Hyperventilate:  Good info. I have been keeping my small mammals in tanks for over 20 years and none of them ever got an URI, but I guess it could happen!

Post # 16
593 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2017

I work in the small animal and fish department at a pet store, and while I’m not an expert, I would like to at least offer my opinion and rebut some things mentioned previously.

First, the typical “hamster cages” you find at a place like Petco are generally unsuitable for most small animals. You want A MINIMUM of 360 square inches of floor space for the animal to be completely happy; too small of a cage is the #1 reason for bites. 9 times out of 10, when I deal with a customer with an “aggressive hamster who bites/nibbles”, the floor space of their cage is less than 360 square inches. For this reason, I do not recommend the overpriced plastic wire cages. They’re too small, they’re expensive, and the wheels that most come with are best equipped for Robo dwarf hamsters. Some have larger wheels, though most do not. Ones made by Crittertrail (a very popular brand) are also notoriously easy for the animal to escape from. I will not sell one made by this company to a family with cats for this reason. Better safe than sorry.

I am a huge supporter of aquariums or plastic cages. A 20 gallon long tank will run you (at most) about $30 new, or you can find them used for much less. They have over 400 inches of floor space. So long as you use a wire mesh top (either purchased or made), I have never heard of a hamster having respiratory problems. You do have to ensure bedding changes are performed on time, but the same can be said about performing changes in wire cages as well. With animals that have more ammonia in their urine (like mice and rats), I do not recommend them. But hamsters are fine. If the animal is a dwarf, go no longer than 14 days between bedding changes for a 20 gallon long. Aim for every 7 days; 14 would be maximum. For a Syrian, you would want to perform them more often.

If you get the glass aquarium with the wire mesh top, DEFINITELY get a lock. If you can’t find an aquarium, pick up a cheap plastic Rubbermaid container from Walmart and make a cage out of it. Measure the floor space of the bin to ensure it is at least 360 square inches. You will have to cut the center of the lid and put wire mesh over it for ventilation, as well as lock the sides, but they are excellent for the hamster owner on a budget.

Another reason people may have had issues with “ammonia buildup” in glass aquariums may have been due to the bedding used. Aspen is the only safe wood-chip type bedding for hamsters if you are going for the wood; when pine and cedar mix with rodent urine, it releases a fume that can be toxic. Go with paper-based if you can, but if you like wood, aspen would be your choice. ๐Ÿ™‚

Is it a Syrian or a dwarf hamster? If dwarf, is it a Russian, Robo, Winter White, or Chinese? All these different species have different needs, especially in terms of diet. And their temperaments and needs vary widely as well!


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